Dear Friends & Family,
Thank you to the many people who pray and give financially so that we can be in Bangkok and contribute to what God is doing to build His church in this city and this nation.
Grace City Bangkok Receives New Members
We are thankful for our small church plant which recently celebrated its one year anniversary since we began weekly worship in April 2014. On Sundays, we have between 20-40 people on average, and at the end of April welcomed five new members, 4 by affirmation of faith, and 1 by baptism (a young man who received Christ a few months back). Grace City Bangkok aims to be a grace-centered, Christ-centered church, which is different than what many newcomers are used to, having often seen moralistic, Bible-lite approaches to preaching and teaching in other places. Continue to pray for this small church as we reach out to visitors and others, and seek to disciple our members and regular attendees.
Helping Pakistani Refugees
The trials facing Pakistani Christians refugees has not improved any as police recently raided numerous apartment buildings and threw many men, women, and children into the Immigration Detention Center (IDC). The majority of these people have fled from religious persecution in Pakistan and have overstayed their visas in Thailand as they wait for the United Nations to process them for relocation to a third country, which can take many years. The IDC is an unpleasant, crowded, sweltering hot jail where detainees receive little food, or space to move around. Many members in our church are personally involved with helping Pakistani families in various parts of the city, and have also visited people in the IDC. Recently, Grace City Bangkok helped to bail a young family out of the IDC, which gives them legal status in the eyes of the police, and also tends to speed up processing by the UNHCR. Many churches and missionaries throughout Bangkok are involved with helping these Pakistani brothers and sisters but the physical, financial, and spiritual needs are great, and many times overwhelming. Pray that our family, our church, and Christians throughout Bangkok will know how best to help those in need.
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.