Pres­i­dent of CNEF and COVID-19 sur­vivor explains his renewed con­fi­dence to defend the faith and French evan­gel­i­cal church­es, as well as why his moth­er now calls him “Lazarus.”

After spend­ing three weeks in inten­sive care, Chris­t­ian Blanc, pres­i­dent of the Nation­al Coun­cil of French Evan­gel­i­cals (CNEF), shared his tes­ti­mo­ny of heal­ing from COVID-19 in a cov­er sto­ry for French mag­a­zine La Vie.

CT inter­viewed Blanc on how the expe­ri­ence has “incar­nat­ed” the Bible’s teach­ings in his life and his advice for how church­es can bet­ter serve the sick.

Sum­ma­rize your med­ical jour­ney, includ­ing why your moth­er renamed you “Lazarus.”

Dur­ing Feb­ru­ary and March, my respon­si­bil­i­ties as CNEF pres­i­dent meant I had to make sev­er­al trips to Paris by train and plane and used pub­lic tran­sit to move around, and it was dur­ing one of these trips that I con­tract­ed the COVID-19 virus. When the first symp­toms appeared (dry cough and fever), I stayed home think­ing that my con­di­tion would improve quick­ly. But it got so bad that I was in res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­tress and had to be hos­pi­tal­ized. I end­ed up in the inten­sive care unit, where every­thing got so com­pli­cat­ed in the fol­low­ing days that the med­ical staff were rather pes­simistic about my future. A doc­tor even phoned my wife and told her that I was prob­a­bly going to die dur­ing the night.

How­ev­er, the very next day he called to say that every­thing was start­ing to work again, so there was hope. From then on, my recov­ery began and con­tin­ued dur­ing the weeks that fol­lowed. When I came out of the ICU, I phoned my mother—also an evangelical—who was 300 miles away and think­ing she would nev­er see me again. When she heard my voice, she thought some­one was play­ing a bad joke on her. I had to insist that I was indeed her son, Chris­t­ian, whose health was improv­ing. She replied: “I will no longer call you Chris­t­ian but Lazarus. It’s as if …

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