[UPDATE] 4/5 3:37 p.m.
Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, has shown some signs of recovery after undergoing surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on his brain, according to an update Thursday.
"Colson can hear, process information and execute commands given to him – 'And that makes all the difference,' said his attending physician," according to Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries.
The prominent evangelical leader's daughter, Emily, also reported that on Wednesday evening, Colson gave doctors a thumbs up to say all is well.
Patty Colson, his wife, commented, "We are so thankful for the prayers of many friends from around the world. We are seeing hopeful signs of progress with Chuck. We fully trust in our Lord."
The well-known author and commentator continues to be listed in critical condition and remains in the neurological intensive care unit.
For the first time in 34 years, Colson will not be ministering to inmates in prison this Easter Sunday.
[This is a breaking news update. Check CP's earlier story below.]
With Chuck Colson in critical condition after suffering from bleeding in the brain, prayers and notes of encouragement are going out to the evangelical leader.
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, has asked supporters to join him in "asking the Lord to sustain and comfort this great lion of the faith."
"One of the things that I've most admired about Chuck Colson is his heart for the lost and his willingness to engage with people who clearly believe differently than he does," he wrote in a blog post Thursday. "At the same time, he's also a man of solid conviction who will never compromise his principles. He has, in my estimation, so beautifully epitomized Jesus' counsel regarding cultural engagement, to be 'wise as serpents and innocent as doves' (Matthew 10:16)."
Daly met Colson, who founded Prison Fellowship, in his 30s and through the years came to learn from him as well as confide in him. He considers the evangelical giant, who converted to Christianity in his 40s, a mentor, counselor, confidant and source of wisdom and perspective.
In his blog post, Daly praised the 80-year-old Christian for being open about his own faults and for his willingness to "set aside his own ego for the sake of that lesser person."
"It takes a very humble and broken man to openly admit that it was his own pride and out-of-control ego that led to his downfall and being labeled a disgraced former member of the Nixon administration and convicted felon, at that."
Colson served as an aide to President Richard Nixon and pleaded guilty to Watergate-related charges in 1974.
He was hospitalized this past weekend and underwent surgery on Saturday to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain. He suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage and is currently in critical condition though he has shown some early signs of potential for recovery, according to an update Wednesday.
Prison Fellowship Ministries CEO Jim Liske visited Colson earlier this week and said he was "encouraged to see that as we prayed, Chuck was responsive."
Along with leading Prison Fellowship, Colson also hosts a daily radio broadcast called Breakpoint and leads a program (Centurions Program) to help the younger generation develop a robust Christian worldview.
He believes the problem in society is one of worldview and wants to train Christians to defend against the "moral rot" that can destroy a culture from within.
Though he regularly defends the Christian faith and speaks out on such issues as the sanctity of human life, marriage and religious freedom, he has a "philosophy of engagement" that Daly admires.
"If a blind man steps on your foot, would you be mad and hold it against him?" Daly cited.
"Chuck has always been deft at putting circumstances in perspective. He is wise," Daly described. "He refuses to play the hype game and declare that the sky is falling and that all hope is lost pending the outcome of a particular election. Why?
"He takes the long view of life and rests in the assurance of his Christian faith."
Supporters are currently sharing on Facebook an image of Colson with the words "Praying for Chuck" as he remains hospitalized. Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, has also joined in retweeting prayers.