"Nelson Cook for many years was the director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in Dallas, Texas. He was challenged to start afresh in 1988 in Los Angeles to develop a ministry to College Sports Coaches," M V Tronson explained.
Twenty one years hence, he has witnessed a life time of experiences that few others have seen, with some enormous highs and desperate lows. Initiating a fresh ministry from scratch is something M V Tronson knows all about, as in 1982, he too was a pioneer when he developed the Sports and Leisure Ministry in association with Australian Heads of Churches.
These were heady years, as Mark Tronson personally met with Australia's professional sports organisations across Australia, to negotiate chaplaincy arrangements. By 2000 he was released by Heads of Churches due to ill health, he had made 150 appointments of sports chaplains.
At this time, Mark Tronson and his wife, Delma, moved sideways and established Well-Being Australia which specialises in Life After Cricket and 'athlete respite' with facilities Basil Sellers Moruya and Basil Sellers Tweed.
"Nelson Cook had a similar path to mine, in that he arrived in Los Angeles with a vision to establish a Christian fellowship support network with College coaches. He had his wife, Stephanie, and three little daughters in tow and they needed housing and a way to maintain and increase his faith income," Mark Tronson related.
Over the next few years, he slowly developed his ministry along with a network of financial supporters for his family and established new ministry through personal contacts and businessmen.
"My USA study tours on sports ministry involved learning as much as I could from Nelson. On several occasions I have visited Nelson and Stephanie and their family, and in 1992 they hosted my young family on a trip to Disneyland," M V Tronson recalled.
Then tragedy struck Nelson Cook's family, Stephanie succumbed to cancer and died two years later and Nelson was left to raise his three young daughters and maintain his ministry and funding.
"In my 1996 ministry visit on my way to the Atlanta Olympics, I took over three field hockey sticks and a hockey ball for his three girls, as the USA has a strong field women's hockey team," mused Mark Tronson. "That week, those girls were the stars of their street."
This past twelve months has given me time to reflect on the many fresh insights offered by Nelson Cook. Nelson Cook's ministry and personal struggles with family tragedy have illustrated afresh the blessings of the Lord on a faithful servant through tragedy and then years later into a new marriage.
"I stand in awe of the Lord when I see a person such as Nelson Cook, my heart weeps and yet rejoices," M V Tronson said.