The early years
I was born in and spent the first 20 years or so of my life in Malaysia. My first recollections of church life was being invited to “Celebration House” – a kids ministry programme by a lovely family friend whom we affectionately called Aunty Marie.
My sister and I attended regularly, and eventually went on to join youth group and attend Sunday Services. It was at one of the youth meetings where I committed my life to Jesus - excited but unaware about the adventure that He would take me on.
If you met 15 year old Mussita and asked her what she was going to do with her life, she would have said, “I am going to live and serve God forever right here where I grew up.” The early years was not all fine and dandy, but I was contented.
I had it all planned out
There was no need to step onto a plane and fly off somewhere to fulfil a non-existent longing for adventure. There was no need to go to big cities to make my name known. There was no need to climb a never ending corporate ladder.
I was going to stay right there in Malaysia. I was going to work hard, serve in church, get married, have kids and be happy.
Upon finishing my secondary schooling, my parents encouraged me to apply for scholarships. I was reluctant as I did not plan to leave my hometown. But I did it anyway and God blessed me with a scholarship to obtain a degree in education. It was this twinning programme that would first bring me to New Zealand.
Despite my initial reluctance and struggling with change, I enjoyed my tertiary education years. Those first two years in New Zealand was memorable but I was happy to go back to Malaysia.
A few years after returning to Malaysia, now already married and with one child, God spoke to us about returning to New Zealand. We struggled with this calling. We wrestled with God to be let out of this calling. It took two years for God to work on our hearts, and it was a good time of preparation for the journey we were going to go on.
For such a time as this
The people who hear that we have migrated to New Zealand often think we came here for a better life or a better future. And while there are advantages to living in this beautiful country, we secretly smile at those remarks. We wouldn’t have dared embarked on this adventure without knowing that God was with us.
While we may have left behind families and friends we love in Malaysia, God has given us a wonderful church family to be a part of and to belong to. We love serving in church together in the different ministries God has placed us in. I really enjoy leading the Kids Ministry in our church and seeing the children learn about their Creator. My heart’s desire is to see kids with different needs be able to find an environment where there enjoy learning God’s Word.
We believe God has brought us to New Zealand for a purpose. We have seen His faithfulness in our journey with Him. The puzzle pieces are fitting together and making the picture clearer now. We still don’t see the whole picture, but we are contented walking with the One who knows what our lives looked like in the past, who walks with us in the present and who holds our future in His hands.
(Mussita Ng has served as the editor of the International young writers for some years)
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html