Opened in June 2011 after several months of refurbishing the cottage, missionaries from SIM, CMS, WEC, SU, TEAR, BCS, UCA, YM, Wycliffe, BCA, MAF, AFES, CM, Global Interaction and independent missions have already enjoyed taking 'timeout'.
Respite has a rich history from Jesus himself and to more modern Christian leaders such as the great London Victorian preacher of the later half of the 1800' C H Spurgeon. In his book "Lectures to my Students" C H Spurgeon spoke of how he suffered from prolonged attacks of depression, and escaped London to "a resting place in France". (au.christiantoday.com)
The 'Basil Sellers' Laguna Quays Respite project was initiated as a project by Well-Being Australia. My wife Delma and I had already established Basil Sellers Moruya (1992) and Basil Sellers Tweed (2006) respite facilities for Australian Institute of Sport elite athletes and their coaches and families.
Fell into place
The process of establishing a respite place for missionaries therefore fell into place. I felt the Lord's touch to get the missionary respite house up and running, as much for ourselves, as for others, as we've been full on in ministry for 36 years.
Mr Basil Sellers AM who has supported our mission activities over many years was once again pleased to assist the project and by June 2011 the facility was ready for missionary and pastor visitors.
With a wide ministry network being the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (ret 2000) and with my Olympic ministry credentials since 1984 and AIS athlete respite ministries, the PR process to mission societies and missionaries fell into place with confidence and assurance.
New and Fresh
Knowing intimately about missionary finance, we were determined there would be no fee, but if anyone wished to make a gifting they could. Over this past six months, a number of fresh and inviting creative things have occurred. For those missionaries who flew into Proserpine, we've developed a relationship with AVIS whereby the missionaries have a rental vehicle.
Mr Basil Sellers funded an 11 x 8 metre concrete section beside the cottage (when wet it was muddy and very sloshy). He also funded a car port in the back yard as a bbq area, with a bbq donated along with an 10 seat hand crafted bbq table and long pews from a church for seating.
He also funded the wi-fi which is now available along with other improvement associated with the cottage itself. The wi-fi is plugged in, a procedure document shows how to link it in to your lap top or tablet - this has been of benefit and comfort to the missionaries.
They have access to the local on-line "Midge Point – Bloomsbury – News and Mews" developed by Well-Being Australia as a community project www.mpbnews.org
Many of the missionaries and pastors have taken the opportunity to take day tours or 2-3 day excursions to the Whitsunday Islands which has been a wonderful bonus to their respite. With the AVIS vehicle they can tour to Bowen to the north or Mackay to the south.
The Laguna Quays respite has three bedrooms with all the normal household items. When my wife and I are there, I wheel the small portable desk to the wide front covered veranda where I connect to the Internet with my 3G plug while enjoying a sweeping view of Repulse Bay's magnetic blue.
Laguna Quays Respite has a three week vacancy in November and early December. Already bookings have begun for 2014.
Mission people wishing a visit please contact me at Well-Being Australia firstname.lastname@example.org or 0487 245 207
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html