I was born in Sydney then our family moved a few months later to Mudgee, 3.5hrs north west of Sydney. Mudgee is a wine and honey town of about 10,000 people and I grew up just outside of town.
Growing up I played sport every Saturday (mostly hockey and cricket, although there is a long list of sports I have played in some league or other and we attended church each Sunday. I distinctly remember at about the age of 11 hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and asking the Lord to forgive me for my sin.
This remains a precious moment in my life, because I realize Jesus is the only way to enjoy relationship with God, because my sin had separated me from Him and I deserved an eternity in hell. Instead, by God’s grace, He called me to Himself and I have received a promise of eternal life with God as His son!
While this significant and life-saving moment in my life did not transform or permeate my being immediately, I am thankful the Lord surrounded me with friends who encouraged my faith and provided protection from some aspects of the world and flesh. After finishing Year 12 I moved away from home to attend University. I studied a double degree of sports and recreation/journalism in my four years at uni.
During my last year at uni I was challenged in what to do after graduating. I wasn't interested in pursuing sports journalism, although, because I hadn't any other direction felt it was important to finish my degree. With a greater desire to know and serve the Lord, as my relationship with God deepened in my final year at uni, I decided to check out missions and see where that would lead.
I ended up applying for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and was accepted into a school in Brisbane. The following 6 months radically transformed my life, as I was exposed for the first time to biblical concepts I had previously never learned. This time also developed a strong desire to be involved further in ministry and I was welcomed to join staff at the YWAM centre.
I began leading the sports focused DTS and was blessed with the opportunity to do this for a number of years. During this time we engaged students from around the world who wanted to learn more about sports ministry and it was during one school I asked Well-Being Australia's Dr Mark Tronson to share (Australian cricket chaplain).
It was through a Google search I found out about Mark and he quickly responded to my email to say he'd love the chance to share.Following this Mark and I got to know each other more as he mentored me into a chaplaincy role with the AIS in Brisbane (Australian Institute of Sport), as I became one of the first young Comment writers and was now a Sport Panellist. I stepped away from the Comment writing after about two years later but am pleased to be able to take on this role as a SportPanellist.
Canada and US bound
To back up a bit, after the first DTS I staffed, my future wife Genevieve (Canadian) and I got together. We married in Canada in the winter of February 2008, spent a few months in Canada and then continued with YWAM.On ANZAC day 2009 our first child was born, our daughter was born just after Christmas in 2010 (at the time of the Brisbane floods) and then our third and only Canadian born child was born September 2013.
After finishing with YWAM at the end of 2011 we moved to Canada, to my wife’s hometown. During our time in Canada I worked a couple of ‘normal’ jobs, although ministry remained strongly on my heart. While in Canada my appreciation for God’s Word developed even more and my theology became increasingly challenged. This led me to pursue additional bible training, realizing the necessity of professionally trained pastors to accurately speak the truth.
This hunger for truth and desire to learn how to study and preach truth led us to Los Angeles in January 2017. Here I am undertaking a Masters program, to earn my Masters in Divinity. My two years of study here have been incredibly challenging and yet so rich and enjoyable. I have studied how to interpret scripture, I have a basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and Greek (the two languages the Bible was mostly written in) and am surrounded by other men and a church that is committed to the task of the great commission.
I don’t know where the Lord will lead us in the future, but I am committed to learn from God’s Word and God’s people now as He prepares us for future ministry. The time in LA has been an enormous blessing for all of us to grow spiritually and I continue to be amazed that a country boy from Australia has been granted the privilege to study God’s Word in LA, in preparation for a ministry to honor and glorify the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God, by His own love and grace has called me to be His own and I endeavour to serve Him, to live for Him and to speak for Him, no matter the cost. May God be glorified!
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