I was born in Christchurch in the late 1950’s. We had a quarter acre section, large vegetable garden, fruit trees, cricket pitch and hens.
Sport played a huge part in my early life and I was above average at most ball sports. Cricket and rugby were my passion but I gave up rugby in my early teens because a tall skinny physique did not lend itself to tough physical contact.
At High School I had aspirations of becoming a professional cricketer but my performances on the field did not mirror my ambition. I gravitated to a career in accountancy as I was good with numbers, hopeless at science, and accountancy was a good fit.
After getting a Bachelor of Commerce degree my career started in a Chartered Accounting firm. After two years and a wealth of experience I was keen to move into the business world and took up a position as Assistant Accountant at the Timaru Herald.
I started to develop a love for the newspaper industry and after a series of promotions found myself (at 28 years old) Accounting Manager of Wellington newspapers with 48 staff reporting to me.
Over the course of the next five years I managed to half the staff, having seemingly a knack for problem solving and organisational efficiency.
My career naturally moved into business planning as the daily deadline driven newspaper industry had few people with the inclination to think strategically. My focus became on how we could improve the business and reduce cost.
As Business Manager I was lucky to work on a number of major projects including new press purchases, building re-developments, the merger of the Dominion and Evening Post and the editorial move to digital first publishing.
During this time I was also lucky enough to be seconded to the News International site in London for three months where I worked on a special project involving activity based management.
As I approached my mid-forties, having gone through a divorce and loss of a very close friend through cancer, I started questioning the value of life.
When I realised that I would be able to retire comfortably in ten years’ time I asked myself, “For what purpose?”. It seemed totally unfulfilling to be retiring just to live a happy life for oneself.
One of my assistant accountants went to church and I asked her if there was an Alpha course coming up. I had seen billboards around town. None were on the horizon but her Church set-up a course called ‘Journeys’ which showcased Christians living in faith.
On the second week of ‘Journeys’ I watched a video of a miracle healing of a young promising violin player. Her fingers had been crushed in a car door and she had been told by her Doctor that she would never be able to play the violin again. A Catholic Priest prayed for her injured hand and the video purported to show her healed and playing the violin again.
I found this video testimony particularly challenging and that night I cried out to God, if he was REAL, to take away a painful verruca (corn) that had been on my right heal for three months.
The next morning I went off to work and arrived home that evening to go for a bike ride. I had stopped running and taken up biking because of my painful heal. As I took my socks off to change into my biking gear I looked at my foot and noticed that the verruca was no longer there. It had completely disappeared and I had no pain.
I thought, well either this is from God or it is a co-incidence. If it is from God I have to make a decision to give my life to him. I decided then and there to give myself 100% to God and it is something I will never regret.
A whole new world opened up for me. Since becoming a Christian I have met so many beautiful sacrificial people and travelled on mission trips to Asia, Africa, America and the Middle East witnessing many miracle healings and the power of God.
Lately, after over 30 years in the newspaper industry and an increasing dissatisfaction with the editorial direction of media, I felt the call of God to leave my job and set-up a new media vehicle based on truth, good values and hope.
For the past five years I have focussed my attention on The Daily Encourager (News that builds people up) and learnt a whole new set of skills including editorial writing, editing, communication and web publishing.
During this time I met Mark Tronson and he asked me to write for CTNZ and become a young writer judge.
I have started to enjoy writing and God is also bringing out a new creative side in me. During my spare time I am painting, song writing and collaborating with a local musician on a first album.
As I look back I could never have imagined that an Accountant would be doing what I am doing now. I do not pretend it is easy and I often feel inadequate and tempted to give up, but would not want to be doing anything else.
He is a God of promises and wonders!
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