Friday 15 March 2019 will be remembered for the day terrorism came to Christchurch, New Zealand when 50 people (worshippers) were gunned down when at two Mosques in the city.
On Saturday 16 March Dr Mark Tronson sent this message to his Kiwi young writers and their support team on this dark hour.
message from Dr Mark T
Re: Christchurch horrible murders
Like each one of us, Delma and I were stunned to hear the news casts of the Christchurch shootings at the two Mosques. Our hearts go out to our New Zealand young writers and team. If anything, the shock is that this happened in such pleasant and safe surroundings.
(“pleasant and safe surroundings” has been the hallmark response by so many of our Kiwi young writers)
Delma and I were in Hobart at the ARPA conference in 2012 when news came of the Christchurch earthquake. The many New Zealand delegates were in similar shock and utter concern – the breadth and extent of the earthquake was beyond our comprehension.
Mass murder is not only a Christchurch drama. We are also aware of the 120 Christian deaths in Nigeria over the past 5 weeks by attackers and hundreds more in 2018 - (and another large number of Christian Copts on Saturday in Egypt) and the decimation of centuries old Christian communities throughout the Middle East.
All such situations break our hearts. (all of them)
The closer to home, so too the more immediate our reaction and concern.
Moreover Christchurch heightened my extra ‘alert’ as the Bangladesh cricket team had left only minutes prior to the attack. In my 17 years as the Australian cricket team chaplain I had many a pleasant time when conversing with the Bangladeshi cricketers.
John 3:31-34 New King James Version (NKJV)
31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
May this be of comfort .
To end this short note, my article of last Monday - I spoke of US marketing viz NZ – Aust - flat white coffee, Sport, Tourism, the LA Outback Cafe with so called Australian massive size deliciously cooked onions, and then - told a story of meeting Baptists when in Lausanne Switzerland in 2000 with the IOC. - my final two sentences:
“This resulted in home meals and a bible study evening and I could not but feel - that I was right at home with the bible study group. The people gathered prayed around the room (as we do), the specific bible reading for that study was read and then discussed (as we do), followed a closing prayer and some supper (as we do). [all in French]
“In a real sense it doesn't need a flat white or a big cooked onion to feel at home when overseas. There is something else far greater.”
Our hearts are with our New Zealand young writers and team. (We have a far greater bond with our Kiwi young writer team).
Dr Mark T
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.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html