He Died Wanting the World to Know
Major Geoff Friend advocated for the disadvantaged in the developing world
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,
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 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.”