Remembering Our Friend Luis Palau

Luis Palau preaching to a huge audience in Buenos Aires. He is standing on a stage holding a hand in the air and wearing a blue shirt and white pants.
Luis Palau preaching in Buenos Aires.

Luis Palau went to be with the Lord on March 11, 2021. He was 86 years old.

For more than 65 years, Palau preached, taught and wrote about the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Originally from Argentina, Palau always had a big heart for the Spanish-speaking world. As the Lord blessed his ministry, he shared the clear Christian faith in 80 nations and to an estimated 1 billion people through his citywide festivals, television programs, radio programs and writings.

Palau was known for his genuine love for people, kindness and big smile. Toward the end of his life, Palau said,

“I have no regret in pouring out my years, from the time I was a boy, for the sake of the Good News. If I was given a thousand lifetimes, I would dedicate them all to the same calling.”

Luis Palau in a suit and tie puts his arm around his sponsored child, Fernando
Luis got to meet Fernando, a child he sponsored through Compassion in Mexico.

A dear friend of Compassion, Palau, his organization and Compassion have supported and cheered each on for years. Palau took opportunities to visit Compassion children around the world throughout his life and once visited Fernando, a child the Palau family sponsored. At the time, Palau said he appreciated, “finally seeing someone face to face I’ve been praying for …”

Luis Palau bends down to speak to a child. He is wearing a blue and white striped shirt.
Luis Palau visiting children in Compassion’s program in 1992.

Upon hearing the news of Palau’s death, Compassion President Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado tweeted:

Palau’s beautiful life and ministry was shared in the 2019 feature film “Palau.” Gaston Pauls, the actor who played Palau in the film, was deeply impacted by his life and ministry. He shared this tribute on Instagram, expressing gratitude for the millions of lives — including his own — that Palau touched.

The Palau Association recently sent out what would be Palau’s final challenge to believers around the world, “Never let the fire of evangelism fade. Stand strong for the Gospel!” Many remember how he always loved to quote the famous Corrie Ten Boom poem:

When I enter that beautiful city, And the saints all around me appear, I hope that someone will tell me: it was you who invited me here.

Surely, he is hearing just that and many times over! When such a hero for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ goes to his reward, we are all reminded of these words from the prophet Isaiah,

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation …” (52:7)

Luis Palau holds a Bible and closes his eyes to pray.

We all have people in our lives with such beautiful feet, those who have pointed us to Jesus and showed us the love of God. As we thank God for a life well lived, let’s pause and also thank God for the many people who, like Luis Palau, have faithfully shared the good news with us.


Luis Palau photos courtesy of the Palau Association.

3 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    Diane April 1, 2021

    I used to love to hear this man on the radio. I am saddened to hear of his death, yet I weep with joy over his life well lived!!!
    He was, and is still, an inspiration.

  2. Avatar
    Bonnie Bronleewe March 30, 2021

    Thank you so much for your beautiful tribute to the life of a man who had a powerful impact on my life, my family, and many of my friends. When I was a child, this man from Argentina, who was a student at Multnomah School of the Bible, taught Children’s Church at Cedar Mill Bible Church. He taught us songs in Spanish – to this day, when I sing “I have decided to follow Jesus”, my mind hears it in Spanish, even if I’m singing in English. He was so passionate in sharing the love of God with us. When our church had a Missions Conference, we could expect a powerful message from Luis (unless he was in another country preaching the Gospel!) Then, when I was home from college, Luis (when he was in town) and his wife Pat taught the College & Career Sunday School class. Before my father passed away in 1999, he asked us to arrange for Luis to speak at his funeral. That seemed impossible to my mom, but I relayed the request to my youngest brother, who has been friends with Luis’s boys since childhood. The Lord had already planned it for us – Luis was home and available that Saturday morning, the only break in his schedule in about 6 weeks before or after. There was standing room only in the old sanctuary at Cedar Mill as my dad’s family and friends, including many unbelievers, heard Gospel presented by Luis.

    1. Christina
      Christina March 30, 2021

      Bonnie, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Luis. May God greatly bless you and your family!

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