Assist News Service

Olympian of the Century, Carl Lewis, presented an Australian couple, Mark and Delma Tronson, an international award at a glittering event held the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott ballroom on 16th February.

The Lay Witnesses for Christ award was for their services over 27 years to the Sports Ministry, which included their part in the Beijing Olympic Ministry international prayer network.

Carl Lewis gold medals

A LIFE OF SERVICE RECOGNISED: Carl Lewis presents Mark Tronson with the Lay Witnesses for Christ award.

The spectacular presentation evening was once again hosted by Lay Witnesses for Christ founder and president Dr Sam Mings and his wife, Sharon. Some 700 guests turned out for the 20th year celebration of Texan high school Christian Athletes of the Year (male and female), and many other awards.

When it was the Tronsons' turn to accept their awards, Master of Ceremonies for the evening, US sports and Olympic commentator, Lewis Braxton Johnson, read out the citation which was followed by Carl Lewis placing the ribbons holding the gold medals around Delma's neck, then Mark's.

Dr Mark Tronson, who has authored some 24 books, was then invited to respond. He initially referred to their 32nd anniversary celebrated a few days previously, then explained that, having pioneered the Sports and Leisure Ministry in 1982, they had travelled a parallel pastoral course in sports ministry to Dr Sam and Sharon Mings.

He told ANS, "I thanked Sam and Sharon for their insights and wisdom over the past 27 years, spoke of the Well-Being Australia 'Basil Sellers Athlete Respite facilities' in Moruya and the Tweed, Australia, and the Olympic prayer network."

He specifically identified the five elderly praying ladies who have committed themselves to pray daily for himself and his wife Delma, their children and their ministry over these past 27 years of faith finance ministry.

"When Dr Mings requested we establish the Beijing Olympic International Prayer Network, it was initially to these five elderly praying ladies I turned and then it went worldwide," said Dr Tronson.

The citation that Dr Mings wrote for MC Lewis Braxton Johnson to read included a comment that Mark's efforts helped every door to be opened for Sam and Sharon and their team in their Right Track 2008 Beijing Olympic Ministry, including one service where 1,000 Chinese came forward to receive Christ.

Dr Tronson observed that "the American culture shows a more public face in acknowledging the role of God in the life of ordinary people than is common in Australia." He further reflected that this particular presentation ceremony relied on the support of the organizers' families and representatives of their local communities to run so efficiently and smoothly.

"Rather than being a 'razzle-dazzle' piece of theatre to honor people, it has become a fitting tribute to the way the Lord works through ordinary men, women and young people," he said.

Dr Tronson, a Baptist minister 32 years, is the founder of Sports and Leisure Ministry, 1982 and by 2000 placed 150 Chaplains in Professional Sports and is also chairman of Well-Being Australia since 2000, which provides respite facilities for elite athlete.