Update from Tom and Donna Ascol
Thank you for all the prayers on our behalf. The Lord is answering them in ways that continue to astound us. It was a little over two weeks ago on Sunday, December 8, 2019, that Tom was taken by ambulance to a trauma hospital after collapsing during a time of prayer on Sunday morning with Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida. He went from being unresponsive to speaking words and short phrases over the course of that day. This improvement was unexpected by the trauma doctors. We are convinced that God determined to show His power and mercy by granting the requests of His people in our behalf.
In those early hours of this ordeal many people from around the world contacted GBC, Founders, friends, and family members with assurances of their prayers. In recent days we have learned of Christians and churches who held special prayer meetings for Tom after hearing the news.
We are overwhelmed by such love and kindness and are very grateful for all who have prayed. God has been so good to us! As the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He is good and always does good. The gift of His Son for our salvation demonstrates that forever. So, we know that God would be just as worthy of praise if Tom had never responded or recovered at all. Our desire is to receive this token of God’s mercy with the kind of gratitude and faith that is fitting for people who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus. Please pray that the Lord will enable us to do so. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
Tom is steadily improving under the care of a godly neurologist whose parents were members of Grace Baptist Church when we moved to Cape Coral, FL 33 years ago. How the Lord reconnected Tom with this neurologist (who practices an hour away) after so many years is a story in itself of God’s mercy and grace (which, perhaps, can be shared another time).
We are still awaiting some test results but everything seems to indicate that there is reason to hope for a full recovery. Fractures are healing and pain is subsiding. Tom has started PT in order to regain some physical strength and, hopefully, get some relief from the lingering nerve pain resulting from his fall. Overall, we are greatly encouraged and looking forward to more recovery, answers to lingering questions, and returning to some normal routines.
Donna had foot surgery on Wednesday, December 18, after breaking her foot in a fall on the Saturday night prior to Tom’s collapse. Her recovery is going very well and she is learning once again how to manage on a knee scooter. She has another five weeks of non-weight bearing followed by a few weeks in a walking boot.
We are being cared for with love, thoughtfulness, and humility by our family, friends, and church. So many have served us by disrupting their schedules, taking on added responsibilities, preparing meals, running errands, etc. that we cannot keep up. These acts of love, joined with many words of encouragement and assurances of prayer, are constant reminders of God’s grace to us in Christ.
Please pray that we will steward this opportunity well. Pray that we will respond in faith and joy as we remember that the God who rules and overrules in all of the affairs of mankind is the One who gave up His only begotten Son to become a real man in order to save us from our sin.
In this advent season may the miracle of the incarnation fill your heart and mind with wonder and awe as we consider afresh the advent of our sovereign King.