CHIANG RAI, THAILAND (April 5, 2010) – Tom Cousineau, executive director of Covenant Heights Conference Center who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident last week, was moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) to his own room today.
He is looking “much better,” writes Evangelical Covenant Church missionary Ruth Dutton in an email. “He was much relieved to have the breathing and feeding tubes removed. As he said to me today, he’s a ‘talker’ so not being able to talk was one of the most difficult things for him.”
Cousineau was injured last Tuesday when the motorcycle he was riding skidded on the road and struck an electric utility pole. He suffered four broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken leg, and one broken toe. Doctors also removed his spleen.
Despite his condition, “Tom is raring to go and wants to try standing,” Dutton says. “So we’ll have to see just how fast the doctors will let him up, but I suspect with God’s grace he’ll be able to make it home in a few more weeks. We have reminded him to take each day as it comes.”
Cousineau’s upbeat attitude and humor had led him to “become quite a favorite” of the nursing staff, Dutton writes.
Dutton and her husband, Peter, as well as family members of Covenant missionaries Randy and Cheryl Bevis celebrated Easter in the ICU with Cousineau, all of them singing hymns. That became an opportunity to minister to others.
The wife of the founder of a Baptist movement was in the ICU following gall bladder surgery. “As he (her husband) heard us singing, he came in to join us,” Dutton writes. “We then moved on down to her bed and sang a few hymns with her.”
Aware that hospital expenses to treat the pastor’s wife will be significant, Dutton notes, the missionaries received an offering during the Sunday evening service of the English-speaking Thai Covenant congregation. “I think that will reduce their debt by a fourth,” Dutton writes.
Cousineau’s wife, Connie, will remain in the United States. His son, Tom Jr., arrived in Thailand this morning and will stay there until his father returns home.
Cousineau and two other directors of Evangelical Covenant Church camps had been traveling in Thailand, working alongside the Thai Covenant Church as they develop camp properties and a vision for their ministries. Others on the trip were John Gehring of Alpine Covenant Conference Center and Bryan Hayes of Mission Springs Conference Center.
The Association of Covenant Camps and Conference Centers (A4C) has approved financial support to help the Cousineaus and is asking for the broader community to donate towards care for the family, Hallberg says. Missionaries are arranging for housing in Chiang Rai, while Covenant World Mission is taking care of hospital payments until insurance kicks in as well as logistical support for the son’s travel.
Covenant World Mission has established a benevolence fund to help the family with expenses during this time. Donations should be sent to Covenant World Mission, 5101 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago, IL, 60625, with a notation designating the Cousineau Fund.
If donations exceed expenses, any extra money will be donated to the A4C’s summer 2010 camp project, which is supporting Covenant Camps in Thailand.
For questions regarding donations, email Karen Hallberg, World Mission director of mobilization and connection, or call her at 847-217-9833. Kim Crawford, associate director of mobilization and connection, also is available to answer questions and can be reached by email or by calling 773-907-3309.