Who are heroes of the faith? I can name two. There are oodles of people such as these two who might be referred to as such. In my life time these are two of them.
My wife Delma and I initiated our faith financed sports ministry in 1982 in association with Heads of Churches, and like many other Missions, we raised our own funding for our living needs and ministry expenses.
In an interview on the Australian Missionary News IPTV, Delma Tronson said that when we moved from a secure income into faith financed mission, she laid her heart out before God, saying this was in His domain and trusted the Lord to provide .
I saw two essential areas to maintain this ministry. The first was to gather together five praying ladies who would commit themselves to pray 'every day' for our marriage, our children and our ministry.
The second was a monthly newsletter to a network of people we knew, of whom we requested in faith, sufficient financial support for their family living and ministry. As well as monthly news items with accompanying photographs, this newsletter for many years contained a bible teaching.
As a Christian mission starting out, I saw a bible teaching was a critical component for the newsletter in those early years as there were numerous people on our mailing list who were either, fellow traveller Christians who didn't attend a church, and non-Christian people. The bible teaching would provide these people with Christian input.
In the following 27 years of that era, we only had ‘two’ bible teachers.
We have held that Christians need a wide array of non-Christian friends from all walks of life as this provides a continuing balance to one's own Christian walk, and allows one to gain practical skills in evangelism, as opportunity arises.
Our circles of friends at that time centred around Delma's involvement in our community through the primary and high schools and local committees, and my part-time industrial padre ministry at Shell Australia in Sydney from 1980-92.
Our initial 'monthly newsletter' bible teacher was the Reverend Simon Manchester, a Sydney Anglican Minister who had served in London for some years under the tuition of Dick Lucas, specialising in 'lunch time bible teaching sessions' to the City of London businessmen.
Simon is a highly sought after international conference speaker and serves as the Rector of St Thomas North Sydney for so many years I have lost count. When visiting Sydney, Mark still occasionally meets with Simon over breakfast.
Simon Manchester interview
When Simon Manchester 'retired' from this position, I sought out Vic Matthews to continue in this bible teaching ‘newsletter’ role, an itinerant bible teacher who has been to Russia teaching theological college students, and who also specialises in 'Pastor Seminars'.
Heads of Churches released us after 18 years of leadership of the Sports and Leisure Ministry in 2000 (having negotiated and appointed chaplains to 150 professional sports) so as to establish Well-Being Australia which at that time largely provided Respite facilities to Australian Institute of Sport athletes and coaches.
I suggested to Vic Matthews that he might prayerfully consider becoming a Well-Being Australia board member, an invitation which he accepted. Since 2000 Vic has been a stalwart at Board level and has provided the annual bible teaching to the members of Board. This has kept Well-Being Australia focused on the tasks at hand.
Now he is one of our senior writers with Christian Today. He’s gone from giving his input to our personal support network to that of an international public column.
Vic Matthews interview
Another hero of the faith is Rev Margaret Court, Grand Slam Tennis ace. I am one of many Christians who submitted to Tennis Australia that Margaret Court should be afforded the same public and tennis accolades as Rod Laver this coming weekend in Melbourne.
Interview with Margaret Court
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 mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html