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October 18, 2016

He Died Wanting the World to Know

Major Geoff Friend advocated for the disadvantaged in the developing world

Majors Jeff and Lyn Freind.

Major Geoff Freind, an Australian Salvation Army officer, was killed in a gang-related ambush in Malawi in September. He was about midway through a five-week preaching tour of the African nation. The 60 year-old officer had to be put into a medically-induced coma and transferred to a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He was promoted to Glory on Wednesday, September 21.

Earlier this year, Major Friend was released from his responsibilities in the Australia Southern Territory to pursue a strong calling on his life to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ in the developing world. He had completed preaching circuits in Southeast Asia as well as in several countries in Africa.

The terrible beating led to speculation that the attack might have been related to his outspoken sermons against sin and social injustice. Malawi is a source, transit, and destination country for people subjected to human trafficking—with children targeted for forced labor in agriculture, animal herding and domestic services and most girls forced into sexual exploitation. The Army’s Mchinji Center in Malawi rescues children from human trafficking by providing a safe home, food and an education.

Major Freind with Captains Ebbenish Kabulo and Phainess Kabulo at Chikankata Hospital.

Major Freind was a strong advocate for the disadvantaged and supported the Army’s Howard Hospital (Zimbabwe) and Chikankata Hospital (Zambia). Proceeds from his books, Enjoy The Journey, Thank You For The Journey, and A Great Journey went to fund these facilities.

Whether it was through his books sharing the challenges of life’s journeys, his personal relationships developed in his weekly ministry collecting funds for the Army by selling the War Cry (Australian) or his keen interest in coaching and supporting local sports teams, Major Freind simply loved engaging with people. 

Along with his wife, Lyn, he served God for 34 years as a Salvation Army officer. He is also survived by four sons and his parents, Allan and Mabel Freind.

A statement from the immediate family released just after his passing simply said:  “Geoff loved Jesus and wanted the world to know Him.”

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