First News

Getting to Know John Tsang

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 What is your role on staff at First Baptist Church?
My role is to give leadership to the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan for the caring ministry of FBC, so that we can provide good spiritual care to as many people as possible.  Apart from the above, I try to help out Team Tea > Team Coffee on the staff.       

What excites you about this work?
As I start to hear stories of FBC, I hear that the caring ministry was one that many people enjoy being a part of.  I'm thrilled to be able to develop, train, grow, and support a team of caregivers here at FBC.    

Tell us about your family
I have 3 other siblings, one older brother, one older sister, then there is me, and a younger sister.  I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home.  One of the enduring images I have is of my father and mother reading their well-worn Bible sitting on the edge of their bed.  My father passed away about three years ago and towards the end, he was starting to lose his memory, perhaps an early form of dementia.  My mother is here in Vancouver and she lives with my younger sister.  

I met Karmie at her Baptist church (also the church where I was baptized).  We were married in '91 in another Baptist church, the one where I served my first pastoral ministry as Youth Pastor.  Good things happen to me in Baptist churches! Josiah, my oldest was born in Toronto and unfortunately, he is a Leafs fan.  He works in the construction industry for a consulting firm.  My other two, Hannah and Noah were born in Richmond.  Hannah is a 3rd year nursing student at Trinity Western University.  Noah is in Grade 11 and he enjoys golfing and running. Noah is a member of the youth Mexico Missions Team.   

What three words best describe you?
When I asked Karmie, she said: fun-loving, adventurous, and couldn't come up with a 3rd.  When I asked my daughter, she said: humble, wise, and attentive.  Personally, I think I am: reflective, competitive and calm.      

What in your life brings you the most joy?
Time with family, enjoying a nice meal, a nice long ride on my road bike.  Sleep.  Seeing others deepen their experience of Christ.  Seeing others find their God-given calling in life.  Not having to worry about learning a new iOs would bring me a bit of joy.  And sleep, did I mention sleep (Ps 4:8)?  

What is your favourite movie?
Two recent movies that left an impression on me were Silence, a messy, untidy story of missionaries and the Christian faith in Japan during the 17th century.  The other movie is called The Innocents and it is a thought-provoking complex story of faith and goodness in the midst of unspeakable tragedy. I also really enjoyed The Shack. I love that scene at the end where the tears of the main character were used to water the vibrant garden of his life.  That was a powerful image.   

What sort of music do you enjoy listening to?
In my USB in the car, I have Hillsong, Bethel Music, Tomlin, Salt of the Sound, Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper, Camila Cabello, Imagine Dragons, and Ariana Grande ... I know, very eclectic.  

How can we pray for you?
Well, first thing that I ask for is wisdom and discernment as I get to know people, listen to the stories of members, and to understand the story of FBC. 

Secondly, it appears that God is not finished with my training from St. Paul's.  I was there for 6 months as a spiritual caregiver but the Lord needs me to learn one final lesson, namely, what it means to be a patient and to receive care. I had a test done in mid-January and it revealed some blockages in my arteries.  I am still waiting for a follow up consult with a specialist for treatment options.  So I'm in that space of knowing something is not quite right but not knowing what the next step is.  

 But on that note, I am kind of serious in that I feel good about being in the position to offer help and care and I am not very good on the receiving end.  Giving implies that I am strong and able whereas, receiving care implies weakness.  I think God wants to show me that in my weakness is His strength.  And as we enter into the season of Lent, we focus on the part of Christ's life which truly demonstrated this.

Posted by John Tsang

Youth Mexico Mission Trip

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Our youth group is getting ready for our mission trip to Mexico. 14 youth and 5 leaders will be serving the Lord in Ensenada, Mexico, from March 16 to March 23. I would like to take this opportunity to, firstly, thank our church community for supporting us in prayers and financially. Secondly, we would like to introduce the family that we will be serving in Mexico, the Hernandez Granados. Please read their profile and take some time praying for them. Click HERE to read their profile.

I would like to also share a video that can give you a taste of the type of work that we will be doing there in Mexico. To watch the video please click HERE.  

Finally, as our intern, Joseph Leong, beautifully wrote: "The participation in this mission trip to Mexico allows the youth and leaders to participate in the mission of God who was first sent into the world through the incarnation of Christ. It allows them to understand that mission is an attribute of the triune God because of his character - love. It will be a great experience for the youth ministry to learn to be faithful to shalom sharing and faith-filled engagement with the community in different places, races, and nationalities. When the youth leave the worship gatherings at First Baptist Church, strengthened by the words and sacraments, they are to engage in mission, caring for the marginalized, upholding social justice in the broken society and inviting the broken ones into relationship with the triune loving God. We believe this mission trip will provide the youth with significant experience to participate in the mission of God."

Here is how you could support us in prayer during our mission trip: 

  • March 16 | Pray for a safe and smooth journey to Seattle
  • March 17 | Pray for a safe and smooth journey across the Mexico border
  • March 18 | Pray for the four-day work of the house building project
  • March 19 | Pray for YUGO Ministries
  • March 20 | Pray for Mexico and the Mexican families who are in need
  • March 21 | Pray for FBC Youth Ministry & parents
  • March 22 | Pray for a good rest and quality fellowship among the leaders and the youths
  • March 23 | Pray for a safe and smooth journey back to Vancouver
Posted by Filipe Balieiro

Accepting the Call

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Good Afternoon, 

It is my joy to let you know that Anthony Brown has accepted the call to serve as our Senior Minister! 

I want to express my deep gratitude to our Senior Minister Search Committee members, Edna Grenz (Chair), Leona Adams, Josh Bennick, Alan Dyck, Sarah Kawamura, Lynda Palmer, and Holly Rail. For the past 21 months, they have laboured faithfully and prayerfully on our behalf. 

I also want to thank each and every one of you for your warm encouragements, wise reflections, and earnest prayers. 

As we have been, let us continue to fix our eyes on Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Let us faithfully, joyfully, and courageously respond to the His call in all spheres of our lives. 

"Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 6:24) 

With joy,
Executive Minister 

Posted by Justin Kim