Mark Nam from Newport applied for a vocational grant in order to further his studies. Mark is married to Kayi and they have two young daughters and a new-born son. Hear from Mark on how he benefited from vocational funding:
My family and I returned to the U.K. in 2016, having lived and worked in Hong Kong for twelve years. The reason for our return was so that I could pursue a season of theological study and spiritual formation. I enrolled as a full-time independent student at Trinity College in Bristol and successfully completed a two-year diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission in 2018, which was accredited by the University of Durham.
Over the past year, I have felt God directing me to second and third generation migrants. As a 3rd Generation British-Born-Chinese person, I am acutely aware of the challenges inherent to presenting the gospel to those who no longer identify with their parent’s culture, but who also struggle to reconcile themselves with their new host culture. My studies in Missiology have been particularly helpful in preparing me to engage with various ethnic minorities, which in turn has influenced how I might better share the truth of the Gospel as I preach into different contexts and the changing face of Britain.
Having originally relied on personal savings and support from friends, the grant I received from the LWPT last year was incredibly timely and such an encouragement. Part of my spiritual journey has been learning what it really means to ‘live by faith’ and if it was not for the generosity of others and their willingness to share what God has given them, I would not have completed my diploma, so thank you very much.
I am pleased to report that Trinity College has offered me a place on their Masters programme, which enables me to deepen my study of scripture and inform my preaching practice. In terms of the future, I will complete my Masters and graduate in 2020. I am cautious to predict where God will take me from there, but I imagine it will be serving in a church in a full-time capacity. The Chinese Church network is a realistic option (particularly as one of their priorities is reaching out to 2nd and 3rd generation Chinese), but I am also open to serving in a local church. Since arriving in Bristol, I have been involved in conversations with the Church of England around issues facing BAME’s (Black and Minority Ethnic), which might lead to other possibilities, although it really is too early to say.
Accordingly, I intend to focus on the immediate task at hand, my studies, and I remain ever so grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from the LWPT in developing my preaching ministry.