Fred Schaeffer writes - My hard drinking, shrewd father, thrust me into my own business at age nine as a paperboy in the violent streets of Chicago. I was soon immersed into a neighbourhood gang and began mastering fighting and gambling. Fortunately, I was plucked from the street scene by responding to Christ. Jesus, the truth, led me out of the ghetto.
My “friends” wondered how I could make more money working than they could stealing and still attract a girlfriend, more lovely and loving than theirs. I married Carol 57 years ago, studied business, worked in advertising and then as a marketing manager. God blessed us with the birth of our son, Fred, and our daughter, Kysa.
Unfortunately, I was soon cursed with my commitment to seize the “truths man had discovered in the two thousand years since the Bible was written!”
Finding God’s Word
All my relationships took a “nose dive” during the eight years I persistently searched for new truths. Finally, I confessed to Carol that I was leading our family into a spiritual trap. She advised, “The one thing I know is that we must be in church together… often.”
By bringing my family to church, I received a regular diet of God’s word. I soon recognized Scripture as the authentic reality that revealed the deception of my “new truths.” In May 1982, both Carol and I ran forward at a Billy Graham crusade to reaffirm our faith and dedicate all to our Lord Jesus.
Subsequently, a friend confronted me with a provocative question:
“Fred, why don’t you take all the time you are investing into other media…which, you know is not helping, and spend it by reading the Bible as if it was true?” This forced me to realize that I had naively given a presumption of truth to other authors while reading God’s word critically. I suddenly became as my son, Fred, stated, “A Bible addict”.
Hearing the Call to Serve
While prayerfully reading Scripture, I was called to be an evangelist. I went on a church mission trip in 1985. In Cap Haitian my life flashed before me as God called me to “Go”!
I explained my calling and inability to be a foreign missionary to Dr. Bob Cooley, the president of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. His offer that I could not refuse was, “Why not serve men? You are ready to minister to any man in Boston. Use anything we have here to build your mission.”
My associations grew into a mission to Massachusetts men from the bar rooms to the board rooms. However, whenever I would read or hear the Scripture’s command to “Go”, I experienced a Holy Spirit conviction that God had more for Carol and me. I repeatedly pleaded with God to keep us in Boston.
In February 1990, Carol and I signed up for Dr. Christy Wilson’s mission course. Just prior to the first class I told Christy how I was being bombarded by the “Go” Scriptures. He became very serious and said, “Why not missions?” To which I replied, “I don’t have time!” He then queried, “Do you have the Holy Spirit?” I slowly responded “Yes”. Christy then said “Do you know Acts 1:8?”
Christy’s exhortation convicted me that I had been “cheating on” God ever since I was called to mission five years before. I repentantly prayed over Scripture till sleep came at about 10:30 pm. In the middle of that night, I was awoken. I knew that God wanted my complete attention. I prayed, sorrowfully repenting my disobedience.
Then out of nothing came an audible male voice which I knew was of God. I heard the words “I want you to evangelize in Australia.” Like a kid I blurted “Who?” The voice responded, “The Aborigines.” Receiving no further direction, at 9:00 am I accepted that His revelation was completed. It was time to talk to Carol and my mentors.
Our 30 years of answering God’s calling have “flown by.” Christian friends linked to church mission committees worked together to build a most fruitful, compassionate evangelistic association on 3 continents. Aboriginal Christian Training Services (ACTS) Inc. is a full participant in the growing awakening of non-Christian Australia. God is directing our prayerful actions to provide every Aboriginal child with Biblical resources in their school and or home by the end of 2022.
Since I received my call to Australia and the Aborigines, we have sought God’s counsel for our every step. We have encouraged up to 15,000 ACTS Action Prayer Partners to pray for our “family” of over 200 ACTS Volunteer Evangelists throughout Australia.
We are mobilizing a massive united action prayer effort to break down the demonic strongholds in ACTS Volunteer Evangelist’s communities prior to helping them launch united evangelistic action aimed at the lost, and most neglected 4-14 year olds.
ACTS and our partners are experiencing responses to God in revival proportions wherever we prayerfully outreach together. We have launched an Action Prayer Blitz to bring revival throughout the outback in Australia and Asia. There is now a growing revival in every Aboriginal community….an Australia-wide awakening.
Please join us in Action Prayer by giving God the glory for His rolling, growing movement in this great land! ACTS Inc.
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 25 books, and enjoys writing. 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 Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html