Deacon Profile - Mark Tsang
Reconciliation with God does not always happen the way you picture it. The road of my journey has been filled with joy, smiles, tears and resentment. I grew up attending a Catholic school and learned of God and was told that His ways of “protecting” you comes from simply praying. I started off praying for less homework. Sadly, my prayers changed for God to deliver me from school bullies, even just for a day. For most of my school years, I was put through years of bullying, racism, and physical harm. The worst pain came from the humiliation and betrayal I felt from the teachers and staff as they disregarded my pleas for help and sometimes even laughed at my expense. Disappointed, it was not long before I turned my back on God, convinced that He had forgotten and rejected me. Years of sustained depression had taken its toll on my hope. I eventually resorted to thoughts of suicide as it seemed to be the only solution. Luckily, I was too chicken to follow through. I realized that I had a lot more to live for than to just give up and quit.
So I took matters into my own hands, applying my energy into achieving academic and career success to prove that I was better than those who hurt me. I thought that was the answer and protection to my pain. Although I accomplished many of my goals, I realized that a hateful motive can poison good things.
Something was missing in my life. My wife, Christine, taught me that alone, I would never quench my pain and anger. Only God could show me the way to peace and a more fulfilled life. But accepting the truth was not so simple, as I had made my own truth towards self-reliance. But slowly, God intervened and showed me His grace with the only way I could understand. On a plane ride, a kind and honest Christian brother was assigned to sit next to me. We began to chat and it grew into a conversation about the Lord. With Godly wisdom and words, He answered many of my questions about the Christian faith and began to diminish my deep doubts towards God. Not long after, I was in a bad car accident. I should have been greatly injured but somehow I miraculously walked away with some soreness and even went back to work. I realized it was time to begin my journey again and talk to those who were willing to share and disciple me. So after nearly two decades, I slowly unclenched my grip on all the hate and resentment in my heart and held my hands towards Him. I prayed again and asked the Lord for forgiveness and to show me how I could start my journey with Him once again. And to NWCBC I went...
I thank Christ for changing my life. I look forward to sharing with others how a life with God can transform even those who have given up on Him. God never gives up!
Call to Ministry
As I began my walk with the help of many of my fellow brothers and sisters, Pastor Terry, brother Gary Irimata, my wife Christine and her family, I was so grateful for God’s blessings and bringing me this far in my life. I felt the Holy Spirit’s burning desire to serve the Lord but the numerous ways were almost overwhelming. One day, God had inspired Pastor Terry to use some of my God given gifts and invited me to serve in Audio/Visual ministry. I’ve always had a great desire for technology and engineering so I humbly cherished the offer to serve the Lord in worship.
It wasn’t long after that I began to see God using me in other ways that pushed my levels of comfort. I’ve always struggled with stage fright but the worship team called on me to help with electric guitar. Everyone supported me through my struggles and reminded me that you’re glorifying the Lord with your service. I have had a desire to give my best to God in serving Him. Some of the greatest memories of my walk are experiencing God’s glory during worship when the Lord’s presence is felt in the room. My call to ministry has been as surprising as my discipleship where every turn has opened a new door in growing closer to God and learning the ways of Jesus. I want to be willing and obedient to His calling and to take care of His ministry.
Given my roller coaster of a childhood, God has blessed me with so many gifts that I don’t deserve. Through serving and spending more time among fellow brothers and sisters, I’ve come to discover spiritual gifts that I feel equipped and enjoy doing. One of the gifts is administration in that I like organizing multiple tasks and groups of people. I’ve been able to do this with the ping pong ministry as well as my small group. Another is the gift of service. Not only do I like to support others, but also, to look and fulfill their needs. I also have the gift of hospitality as I find joy in welcoming strangers and newcomers to the church through breaking of bread or simple greetings. I’ve been able to especially exercise this gift in our small group.
I believe these gifts are attributed to my desire in sympathizing with those who hold similar struggles to me. To know that God used me to help others grow to some small measure, has been pivotal in my growth.
Strengths and Weaknesses
I’ve had an exhaustive background in engineering and family restaurant business. As much as I loathed doing restaurant work, I’d say it gave me a strong appreciation for hard work. One of my strengths is the will to work hard to achieve my goals. I’ve been humbled by my experiences in seeing the struggle and sacrifice that is required to succeed in this world. I know God did not bless me with these gifts if it wasn’t for a greater purpose to serve Him. Technical skills in computers and technology have been a valuable asset in my life and I believe that God can use them for a deeper purpose. The skills are merely tools; if it wasn’t for God teaching me the lessons to be more like Jesus and to serve in love to those in need, and grow with my community, my skills are useless.
Serving with the church and those who may not know of God’s grace yet has been an honorable challenge for me. I discovered I have a way with words in some situations that somewhat comforts others and prepares their attention. I’ve always been intrigued by the art of communication and one of the greatest challenges for me is communicating the gospel. It’s taken me a great deal of time, but my strongest method of doing so, has been spreading the gospel by example and gatherings. I lack the knowledge of the Word, but I’ve bonded with so many people through badminton, ping pong, worship, dinner parties etc. and it is only through God’s mercy that I’ve been able to share with them the greatness of God.. Seeing how He has changed my life and those around me has inspired those who were questioning my faith and sometimes faith itself. This is all attributed to the transforming power of salvation in Jesus Christ. My belief and attitude towards God is a foundation of humility, gratefulness and appreciation for the Lord. Thus my life resonates with those who are not familiar and especially those who have come from the same childhood as me.
However, spreading the gospel requires diving into the Bible. Unfortunately, I have a deep laziness and reluctance to read. I’ve set so many goals and piecemeal reading schedules but I’ve been too weak to follow through long enough to retain enough meaningful commitment to reading. I am lacking the drive to improve and resolve this weakness. I truly need to fix this by committing as I do with all of my other passions.
Present Ministry Involvement
I began serving years ago in the audio/visual department. I was excited to see how much of a need for certain skill sets that I happened to have. I never believed I had enough talent to serve in anything beyond simple tasks so I was humbled to be able to serve in this field. I began serving on a regular basis with a rotational schedule and built a good routine. I even put in some methods of expansion and training a few others. Audio/visual has been a great foundation for my entrance to servitude for the Lord.
Not long after, the worship team invited me to attempt to serve the Lord through my worst imaginable fear, performing on stage. My childhood has put in me a frightful state of being on stage and fearing humiliation, but to me, I felt God whispering to me that serving Him is greater than that fear. It was one of my most challenging experiences, but the pleasure in knowing that God prepared me all of these years for this moment was unforeseeable.
Christine and I then started a small group to start a new community together. Our age group and personalities were a great gateway to begin our new adventure together. I was still young in my journey with the Lord so building a community and sharing with others as leaders was another fantastic challenge. It’s brought me closer to the Lord in a way that can only be experienced with others and sharing our struggles together.
Recently, Ping Pong was a new hobby that expanded my limited bucket of interests. I began playing with coworkers on a regular basis and miraculously God had called on my Pastor to reach out to me if I was interested in creating a Ping Pong program for our church. At this stage, I’m not too surprised by God’s timing as He’s blessed me again in providing a new and exciting way for me to serve him.
Serving the Lord has been one of my greatest pivotal moments in my journey. I am humbled by God’s grace and His ability to still surprise me at any given moment. I am thankful that through Him all things are possible. He has been preparing me and making me capable through the Holy Spirit.