Hi. My name is Thomas David Fulghum, but people just call me Tom. I grew up in Quito, Ecuador in South America. Ecuador is in what is called "the foothills of the Andes mountains." My parents are missionaries at HCJB World Radio, a short-wave radio station located there (it is the first missionary radio station in the world). Their names are Tom and Lois. (The fact that my folks are missionaries makes me an M.K., or "Missionary Kid".) We went to language school in Costa Rica when I was four, and then on to Quito when I was five. I attended school there at Alliance Academy of the Christian and Missionary Alliance from the time that I was in kindergarten through half of my seventh grade year, and then also for half of my Junior year of high school through my graduation.
For me, my biggest priority is to glorify my Father in Heaven. I first came to know him when I was still very young, but our relationship has been growing and developing since then, and I am proud to be named as one of His children. He has been my Strength and Shield, a very Present Help in times of trouble.
When I was in seventh grade, I was out late one night, participating at a band concert (I used to play French Horn). Because I had homework, I did not have time to stay after it for the refreshments; instead I started home, walking in the rain to the corner to catch a bus. I waited for the street light to turn red, indicating my turn to cross the street. A drunk driver who was careening down the street without having his lights on, however, did not stop at the light, and instead sped across the intersection, hitting me with such a violent velocity that I flew 25 meters (over 75 feet) through the air. A vender who had a small store on the corner heard the squeal of breaks, and the collision, and seeing that there was a person in the high-way, called the ambulance.
The damages were severe; I was left in a coma for the next five weeks, having broken both arms, both legs, my backbone, pelvis, and skull. My father had to look at my clothing in order to confirm that it was indeed me lying there on the operation table. Two months after the accident, when I was more-or-less stable, I was flown to the United States for more specialized treatment. The prognosis for my recovery was not very good; "If he lives," the doctors said, "he will probably only be a vegetable, or at the most, maybe be able to learn how to tie his own shoes." When I walked out of the hospital six months later, using a four prong cane, the response of one of the doctors, who didn't even know God personally, was to look at my Dad, and pointing upwards, say, "I can't explain it! I can only say one thing; He's got a friend."
Since then, I can know without a doubt that God has a special purpose for my life, and I desire to be faithful to what He is calling me to. I attended classes and graduated from Moody Bible Institute, with my area of studies being in the Christian Education of Children.
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