Adobe Stock / Inset: GOFUNDME

An Arizona church leader is reportedly showing signs of recovery after being shot in the head while street preaching. During a recent worship service, Pastor Gary Marsh of Victory Chapel First Phoenix gave a brief update on the situation surrounding Hans Schmidt, a father of two, who was shot while street preaching on the corner of 51st Avenue and Peoria in Glendale, Arizona. Schmidt was hospitalized in critical condition.

Marsh said, “It’s up and down. It’s up and down. He’s not out of the woods yet, folks. He’s showing signs that he is on his way to recovery, but he’s not out of the woods yet. We just need to continue to lift him up and lift up [his wife] Zulya. That poor, dear thing. She’s just got to be beside herself.” Blaze Media reported that the incident unfolded in Glendale, with authorities investigating the shooting after initially receiving a report someone had been assaulted. According to a GoFundMe set up by family friend Brad Currell, the bullet fired at Schmidt “traveled through his brain and is still inside on the right side of his head.”

Currell said that bystanders and witnesses heard neither the gunshot nor which direction it came from. Video footage from the incident shows that when Schmidt was shot, he “initially fell but got back up and was walking and talking but bleeding.” No one realized what had happened until he started having seizures and vomiting, resulting in him going to the hospital.

KNXV-TV reported that the suspect hadn’t been apprehended yet, and it’s unclear whether the assailant shot Schmidt from a vehicle or was on foot. Family, friends, and locals are shocked and asking for prayer. Henry Branch, a Glendale resident, told local media, “Who knows why someone would want to take it out on a preacher like that because he’s speaking the gospel and good news to everybody. He’s out to help the community.”

Zulya, Schmidt’s wife, shared how thankful she was for her husband. The couple share two young children, one of whom was just born in September. She posted on Facebook, “So much to be grateful for. I am thankful for the amazing husband I was blessed with and all the fun adventures we’ve experienced and will experience. You have always made me feel so loved despite my craziness. You would take care of me and advocated for me when we had our babies.”

She added, “You blessed me with two sweet and beautiful children. You are such a great and fun dad. I’ve always loved and admired your humility and willingness to help and serve. I’m grateful for all the love, support, and prayers we have received during this time.” She also posted a photo of her husband with an encouraging message of hope that he will fight through and heal. “I love you, my handsome cowboy,” she wrote. “Keep fighting, papi. We need you!!”

Months later, Zulya shared an update on Hans in an Instagram update where he showed remarkable progress in his recovery. The first photo is of the pair where they are presumably at their church. The second slide is a video of Hans playing drums at his church’s worship service. Zulya shared a sweet caption on the post saying, “We serve a miracle working God. He walks, he talks, he even plays the drums. God has done an incredible work in Hans’ life and every day he continues to improve. Please continue to pray for a full restoration.”

Please pray for Schmidt’s healing and for the entire family and community as they navigate this nightmare. Victory Chapel First Phoenix is collecting donations for the family here.

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