Tom Decker grew up in Colorado Springs. At the age of twenty-four, he and a partner started an oil service company, which became very successful. By the time he was 34, he had travelled the world. Tom met his wife, Lesley in Australia, and the two returned to settle in Colorado. Tom retired at 40, and moved his wife and daughter, Mary to Australia. They were living a quarter mile from the beach and life was perfect—until severe asthma symptoms began to threaten the lives of both Lesley and Mary.
Lesley had suffered from asthma as a child, and thought she had outgrown it, but her symptoms returned. At the same time, Tom and Lesley realized that Mary was also being attacked. Lesley remembers the last big
attack on Mary’s life; Mary turned blue as they waited eighteen minutes for an ambulance. Lesley heard God say, “All is well,” and she praised Him for that word. When they got into the ambulance Mary said to Lesley, “You were talking to God, and He said everything is going to be alright.” In the natural it certainly didn’t look it, but both Lesley and Mary had a peace that God would bring them through. During this event, Tom felt helpless for the first time in his life. There was nothing he could do for his family. Mary travelled to the hospital with her lungs full of fluid and the doctors treated her the only way they could, with massive doses of steroids. The heavy medication had lasting effects; Mary’s growth was stunted for three years.
Lesley and Tom were born again Christians, and knew that their health and healing had been paid for by Jesus, but there were things they did not understand. Lesley remembers thinking, “My daughter and I are dying of asthma and should not be. I’m born again. He healed me. I should not be sick.”
One evening while Mary was taking medication through a nebulizer Lesley said to Tom, “I’ve prayed about where to go to find out about healing, and God said, 'Colorado.' We need to go back.” So they sold their Australian dream home, and headed to Colorado.
After returning the Deckers prayed, “Well God, big state, where do we go?” The family travelled the state with a fifth-wheel camper, and finally, after finding Charis Bible College on the internet, ended up back in Colorado Springs.
Upon visiting the school the couple enrolled in classes for the upcoming semester.
Tom and Lesley recall being asked on their first day of classes, “When did you first hear of Andrew?” This was an interesting question, since they had no idea who Andrew was. In fact, Lesley thought it was odd that the students seemed to be making such a fuss about this “Andrew” fellow. One student asked why they would come all the way from Australia to go to Bible College, if they didn’t even know about Andrew? “Because we needed to find out about healing,” Lesley answered. The student assured Lesley that she was in the right place.
In September of 2001, Lesley and Tom not only learned who Andrew was, but also received great revelation through his teaching on their authority as believers. In October 2001 Lesley knew she had received a revelation of who she was in Christ, and she knew she no longer needed the asthma drugs. Five days later when she couldn’t breathe, she refused to pick them back up. “I didn’t care if I needed to be raised from the dead,” Lesley said.
Lesley saw in her mind, the biblical example of when Jesus mixed dirt and saliva, applied it to the blind man's eyes, and then prayed for him twice before he received his full healing. So, she went to class and spoke with Andrew, and told him she needed “more spit.” Andrew and her class prayed, and Lesley has been drug and symptom free ever since. As the Deckers rejoiced in God’s faithfulness, they also wondered about Mary, who was still relying on the medication. Lesley heard God say that Mary was working it out with Him, and not to worry, that she would come to her and let her know when she was ready.
In February, 2002 Mary came to Lesley and told her that she no longer needed her “puffers.” Lesley immediately acted on faith and threw the medication in the trash. Mary has been drug and symptom free since.
The Deckers graduated from CBC and went on to spend three years in England as the directors of Charis Bible College-UK. The family has traveled throughout the UK, Europe and Kenya to support missionary work. Although they have lived in and traveled to these varying climates, full of conditions known to trigger asthma symptoms, Lesley and Mary remain symptom free.
“When God heals you, He heals you all the way,” Lesley said.
Currently, Tom and Lesley have come alongside another couple to help them start a church in Woodland Park, Colorado. The Deckers have been leading a home group this year, but expect to incorporate in 2011 and move into a rented space. They are looking forward to “making disciples” and training up fellow believers so they too can live in victory.
Mary, now eighteen, is a full-time student at CBC-Colorado, and Tom has returned to the oil business as a Consultant. He enjoys taking the gospel of grace and faith to the men in the field. Lesley works as a Facilitator for CBC Online. “This is the best job in the whole world, I just love working with the students,” said Lesley.
For the Deckers, there is only one way to live: to believe in the Word of God as the only truth, to serve God with your entire life, and to “Go make disciples.