North Augusta, SC......Dr. Enoch Nai-Chung Tsai, 81, of North Augusta, South Carolina, died Thursday, December 29, 2022, while visiting with his son in Temple, Texas.
Enoch was born into a Christian family in Fujian Province, China, on March 15, 1941. His maternal grandfather was a pastor and both of his parents came to faith in Christ as teenagers. North American missionaries in his hometown influenced his family greatly and encouraged his father to pursue training as a physician. Enoch trusted Christ at the age of nine after hearing a message on Jesus’s second coming at a revival service he attended with his grandfather. Enoch suffered persecution for his faith in Christ, culminating in his expulsion from trade school in 1959 for practicing his faith. The next four years were difficult for him since he was unable to pursue other educational activities and had no means of leaving the country.
Eventually, in November 1963, Enoch was able to leave China for Hong Kong. There he studied for two years before pursuing undergraduate and medical training at the University of Miami, where he graduated in 1970. As an immigrant studying medicine in a foreign language Enoch experienced the Lord’s provision through new friends, his local church, a generous scholarship for which he did not apply, and two part-time jobs.
It was during this time that he was given a black-and-white photograph by a matchmaking relative and he began written correspondence with his bride-to-be who lived in Singapore. After a six-month courtship via airmail he traveled to meet Leng in person for the first time. During that visit he proposed marriage, and they were married eight months later in August 1971.
Dr. Tsai pursued a residency in internal medicine in Jacksonville, Florida, before his attention turned to ophthalmology. In 1976 he completed his ophthalmology residency at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and opened a private ophthalmology practice in Aiken, South Carolina, that same year. He cared for patients there for 40 years until his retirement in 2016.
Dr. Tsai’s trust in the Lord and his love for others were evident through his work as an ophthalmologist. He believed his role was not only to restore physical sight but to offer spiritual sight as well. He often prayed with patients who were anxious before surgery and was known to sing hymns while he was operating. His trust in the Lord was evident in how he ran his business, as he relied on word-of-mouth rather than advertising and never used a collection agency when patients could not pay their bill. He often hired young people and trained them as ophthalmic technicians, offering them a stepping stone to their own careers in medicine or Christian ministry. He loved his local church
and served at various points as a deacon, Bible teacher, lay leader and mentor. He served in various leadership roles with the Christian Ophthalmology Society and was a 2021 recipient of the J. Lawton Smith Award. Dr. Tsai loved telling people what Jesus had done for him and how they could know Him also.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Leng Tsai; three children and their spouses, Kathleen Chandler (Jack) of North Augusta, Dr. Jonathan Tsai of Temple, Texas, and Jessica Chou (Eric) of North Augusta; 18 grandchildren: Havilah and Jude Chandler; Caleb, Charis, Bethel Rose, Jessolyn, Abrielle, Josiah, Benjamin, Jubilee, Isaac, Titus, and Juliette Tsai; Cameron, Jasmine, Daphne, Samantha, and Paxton Chou. A brother Dr. Nai-Tse Tsai of North Augusta; a niece Susanne Tsai Young, and a nephew Joseph Tsai.
The funeral service will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 5, 2023, at Big Stevens Creek Baptist Church in North Augusta, with Pastor Eddie West officiating. Burial will follow in Pineview Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Rowland-Ford Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be Jonathan Tsai, Jack Chandler, Eric Chou, Cameron Chou, Kai-Fu Chow, and Todd Metz.
Dr. Tsai particularly loved Psalm 103 which reads in part, “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.”