After leaving the ship ministry they returned to Central America in 1994 and for the next 2 years ministered in Honduras building orphanages and teaching in the remote areas of Honduras and Nicaragua. They returned home to Australia in 1996 for further education of their youngest son who had been with the family throughout their travels.
In 2002 they returned again to Central America after receiving a prophetic call back to Honduras to take up work with a number of orphanages. They spent another 2 years in Honduras sharing in churches and encouraging the Body of Christ, teaching English in a Christian school and a Bible College, and helping to set up micro-finance businesses with a local church.
God used their time in Honduras in a completely different way from the previous time spent there. As they preached and taught they began to see a marked increase in supernatural manifestations of healings and of deliverances. People were drawn to this and they had many calls to visit the sick and crippled all over the country.
It was during this time that Geoff read a book titled "Revolution in World Missions" by KP Yohannan, the founder of Gospel for Asia. This book answered many questions Geoff and Monica were asking themselves at this time concerning the cost, effectiveness and lasting fruit of missions work in general, especially in a country where the gospel had been established for over 120 years or more.
Reading this book was a life changing moment for them and they returned to Australia in 2004 after visiting the headquarters of Gospel for Asia in Dallas, Texas. The concept of supporting and training local, dedicated, Christian men and women to take the gospel to their own people, in their own language and in a cultural setting they understood made so much sense and was so much more effective and efficient that Geoff and Monica decided immediately that they wanted to get involved in this type of ministry.
A small number of people in Australia had heard of Gospel for Asia and at that time were supporting the work through the USA office. Geoff and Monica were asked to open an international office here in Australia and head up the work in Australia. They opened the office in February 2005 in Toowoomba. God has blessed the work and it has continued to grow from that day on partly through the promotion of the free book "Revolution in World Missions" that started it all for them.
Both Geoff and Monica have taken teams to India to see the work first hand, being affected forever by what they saw and experienced. Seeing Dalit ('untouchable') children on the streets without parents by the thousands is heart breaking, and no one seems to care. The children are viewed as worthy only if they are working or exploited. Even though Geoff and Monica saw poverty in Honduras it was nothing compared to what they experienced in India.
Gospel for Asia is making a tremendous difference in the lives of the Dalit communities through national missionaries and the Bridge of Hope centres sharing the gospel and bringing hope of a better future both now and for eternity, and this is what inspires and encourages Geoff and Monica in their work on this side of the mission field now.
Gospel for Asia is about changing lives
Gospel for Asia's mission is to fulfil the Great Commission among the unreached in Asia through training, sending out and assisting qualified labourers in partnership with the Body of Christ. Training Labourers is a feature of its ministries, Gospel for Asia has Bible colleges throughout South Asia where thousands of men and women are studying God's Word and undergoing intensive training in preparation for ministry. Through their training, where weekend and summer outreach is an important part, the students help many come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Most of the Bible college graduates will go on to minister in areas where the Gospel has never been proclaimed.
They are seeing incredible fruit in the lives of people to whom they are proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ! Although they often risk persecution as they carry forth the Gospel, these missionaries boldly carry on, counting it as a privilege to suffer for Christ. Our missionaries are hand-picked and trained to share the love of Christ in Asia. Thousands of new fellowships have started as a result. You can sponsor a national missionary and enable another village to be reached.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Make it possible for people in unreached areas to hear the Gospel
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Reach into closed areas and places restricted to Westerners
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Communicate effectively with diverse cultures
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Partner with an organization that has over 34 years experience with national missionaries
Each national missionary is a man or woman who already lives in Asia. In preparation for ministry they go through 3-years intensive ministry training. The following advantages make them ideal to reach Asia:
Ã¢â¬Â¢ They move freely in areas restricted to outsiders and are accepted in good times and bad.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ They know the cultural taboos instinctively
Ã¢â¬Â¢ They have already mastered the language or a related dialect
Ã¢â¬Â¢ They live among the community, eating the same food, wearing the same clothes, and sharing the same cultural interests
Ã¢â¬Â¢ They have a passion and burden to reach their own people
Gospel for Asia's Bridge of Hope
Through the Bridge of Hope, the "least of these" have a chance to improve their daily lives andÃ¢â¬"most of allÃ¢â¬"to hear that Jesus loves them. They receive an education; a warm, nutritious meal each school day; textbooks and school uniforms; and a yearly medical check-up. Entire communities have been transformed through these children.
Parents across Asia struggle to provide for their families. Children grow up illiterate, uneducated and taught they are worthless. More than 20 million boys and girls are trapped in social evils like child labour and prostitution in order to support their family.
It is Geoff's passion along with a growing team of volunteers to share the vision of GFA with churches, home groups, clubs, anywhere we are welcome to let people know they can be involved in the Great Commission without leaving their home by partnering with these brave missionaries to see whole villages and cities come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
To find out more about Gospel for Asia or order the free book "Revolution in World Missions" go to our website www.gsopelforasia.org.au or look us up on Facebook under Gospel for Asia Australia
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