Dear Friends & Family,
Greetings from the largest sauna in the world! April temperatures in Thailand reached a 65 year high, with the “feels like” temperature reaching into the 110s ºF. We have air conditioning in our bedrooms, but last month was still fairly miserable. This month we are praising God for slightly “cooler” temperatures.
Introducing the new Thai Christian Catechism
For the past couple of years, I have been working together with Dr. Natee (pastor, Grace City Bangkok church) and Mr. Chaiyasit (elder, New City Fellowship Church in eastern Bangkok) to write a new catechism in Thai for Thai Christians. I believe that the question and answer format of catechisms can be a very useful teaching tool to help people grasp the Christian faith, but translations of Western catechisms like Westminster and Heidelberg end up sounding clunky and unnatural in Thai. For that reason, the three of us have written a new Thai Christian Catechism from the ground up, borrowing from Westminster at times, but organizing the catechism differently and covering slightly different ground in terms of what is included or not included, and how it is expressed, seeing as 17th century Britain is different from 21st century Thailand. We wanted a biblically faithful and accurate catechism, that is readable and accessible for modern Thai Christians. I hope we have accomplished that. The catechism has been privately published with assistance from Kanok Bannasan, and our church will be teaching through the new catechism over the next several months. It will also be available for purchase through Kanok Bannasan, and we hope that other churches will find it useful in giving their church members a solid foundation in the Christian faith. Pray that this new Thai Christian Catechism will be a blessing to many people.
Karl grew up in New Hampshire with his parents and younger brother. Through the ministry of a Presbyterian church youth group, he became a Christian and received a solid foundation in the faith. During college, Karl was actively involved as a student leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and got his first taste of missions through a short-term trip to Poland. Following graduation, Karl briefly worked for a publishing company before heading to Thailand for two and a half years to teach English and aid with evangelism and discipleship as part of an OMF church planting team. Karl earned a Masters of Divinity (M.Div) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology (Th.M) at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
Sun and her family fled from the killing fields of Cambodia and arrived as refugees in California. Sun heard the Gospel in Sunday school and later prayed to receive Christ. After high school, Sun sensed the Lord calling her into missions and pursued a degree in Biblical Studies from Biola University. Following graduation, Sun went on a short-term mission trip to Cambodia and then taught elementary school for a few years before returning to Asia to teach English in Laos. During her four years in Laos, she also earned an M.A. in TESOL through Azusa Pacific University. In 2002, Sun sensed God leading her to a very large Asian country where served for two years. Sun and her team shared the Gospel with top university students and partnered with churches.
Karl and Sun met in Colorado at OMF’s Candidate Course for new missionaries and were married in 2005. They have three children, Joshua (born 2006), Caitlin (born 2009), and John (born 2013). They did church planting ministry in Central Thailand from 2006 to 2010 and are now located in Bangkok where Karl teaches part-time at Bangkok Bible Seminary, and assists with editing and translation of Thai Christian books at Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand).
Karl teaches missions and church history at Bangkok Bible Seminary, and assists with translation and editing at Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand), one of the few publishers of Thai Christian books. Living right next to the seminary campus in downtown Bangkok, both Karl and Sun have opportunities to invest in the lives of students, the next generation of Thai church leaders. They are also involved in a new church plant called Grace City Bangkok, and Karl does itinerant preaching at various churches in the Bangkok area and beyond.
During their previous term of missionary service (2006-2010), Karl & Sun worked alongside a Thai pastor and his church to do new church planting. Living in the town of Prabaht in Central Thailand, they sought to plant a new church in the farming community of Nong Doan, about 6 miles distant from Prabaht. Karl assisted with preaching, pastoral visitation, and evangelistic outreach. In addition to being a full-time mom, Sun enjoyed discipling some women who came to see her at home.