In the last blog I told you how Tony and Ashley Low came to our Friday fellowship dinner and we had no idea what we were about to hear. And don’t forget that morning, I’d been chatting to God and wondering why he never sent people back to us from heaven or hell, to tell us what it’s like. I wouldn’t even call it a prayer, it was just my mind wandering, but sure enough, God answered all the same. There, around our dining table, that evening, Tony told us the most amazing story of how he met Jesus.
Once we sat down for dinner, we finally got to hear Tony and Ashley’s awe-inspiring story. They were from Singapore, and about 20 years ago, Tony was diagnosed with nose cancer. Ashley’s Mum was a Taoist and so Ashley consulted her Mum’s spiritual medium who recommended various treatments, such as drinking charcoal water. The cancer was getting worse and had now spread to Tony’s lymph nodes. This called for drastic action from the spiritual medium, and he suggested that Tony needed to be struck by lightning to be healed of cancer. So at the next thunderstorm, they wheeled Tony out into their garden but no lightning struck him. So for the next storm, they went up on to the roof, and they put Tony’s wheelchair by the TV aerial on the roof and told Tony to hold onto the TV aerial – again no lightning struck Tony. To this day, in Singapore, Ashley is known as The Lightning Lady.
They’d spent 9 months trying these treatments, without seeking medical advice. When they finally went to the doctor, he was furious. Tony had Stage 4 cancer and was given 3 months to live. He underwent chemotherapy which shrunk the cancer, but over the years, it was to return a further 3 times.
Meanwhile Ashley rejected Taoism and became a Buddhist. She took Tony on a pilgrimage to India to find out how to cure his cancer. On her return from India, Ashley clearly heard God telling her to go to church. “Why would I do that?” Ashley asked God, “I’m a Buddhist, and I’ve just come back from India.” But God persisted, and Ashley gave her life to Christ in 2005. Tony however, remained a Buddhist.
In 2008, Tony’s cancer returned for the third time, this time in his brain. He had a brain tumour the size of an avocado. Doctors advised that they would operate, but the chances of survival were very small, and even if Tony survived, there would be lasting physical damage. Ashley prayed, she got her church to pray, and she asked her pastor to come to the hospital and pray with Tony before the operation. When the pastor arrived, Tony shouted at him to get out – “I don’t need your prayers, if God wants to talk to me, He can talk to me Himself”.
So the doctors operated, and Tony went into a coma. On the 4th day, the doctors came to Ashley with the medical form for her to sign to turn off Tony’s life-support machine. His lungs, kidneys and brain were no longer functioning. Ashley spent the night on her knees in prayer. She claimed God’s promises and was comforted by the knowledge that “the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his (believing) wife” (1 Cor 7:14).
3 days later, after 7 days in a coma, Tony woke up, and the first thing he said to Ashley was “I’ve just met your friend Jesus!” Tony told us how he’d been with Jesus, for 3 days. He’d wanted to stay, but Jesus told him his wife had been praying for him, so he needed to go back. I’ll tell you more of Tony’s experiences with Jesus in the next blog.
Ashley then showed us a picture on her phone of Tony’s brain scan with the tumour cut out – there was a huge chunk missing, the size of an avocado. A few months later Tony had another brain scan, and his brain had grown back to its normal size. Brains do not usually grow back.
What’s more, the doctors, whilst amazed that Tony had woken from his coma, expected him to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. And here he was a few years later, with us, walking around, and skiing! At least one of Tony’s doctors became a Christian on the evidence of what he saw happen to Tony.
This had been a truly amazing and God-affirming evening, and Tony and Ashley had so many more stories to share with us which I can tell you about in the next blog.