Dear Friends & Family,
As we come to the end of 2014, is hard to believe that yet another year has gone by. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and finances as we minister in Thailand.
Our church plant has been holding weekly Sunday worship since September 2013 and we continue to get new visitors at worship on Sunday, though not all of our “regular” people are there regularly. There are four of us who function as elders for the church, Andrew, Tim, Natee and myself (Karl). All of us have young families and other responsibilities outside of the church plant. That makes for a lot of busyness, exhaustion, and sometimes sickness. It is exciting to meet non-believers asking questions, and see the church slowly grow, but it is a lot of work. Please pray for this small church plant as we seek to disciple believers and reach out to non-believers. Please remember in prayer a big Christmas event on December 20th, both for the planning and that the people who come to this event would ask questions and return for the worship service later.
Dear Friends & Family,
Thank you for praying for us as we serve in Bangkok. I don’t have any major events to report on but I do want to give several updates so that you know how to best pray.
In our last prayer letter, we asked you to pray that God would provide some house help for Sun. Praise God that He has provided woman to come help with some household tasks and cleaning five days per week. This allows Sun to spend more time with the children, and homeschooling, as well as some other projects that she has wanted to work on. It also means that I am needing to do less dishes and cooking as well.
Time with Students
In the past, I have not been able to get to know students as well as I’d like, but this term I have started eating lunch with them two days per week. This informal time provides more opportunity for relationship building and talking about things that they are thinking about or going through, whether related to class or not. Recently, a couple students have been asking me about what it looks like to emphasize grace in preaching and what that means. It is encouraging to hear these kind of questions because much of the preaching in Thai churches is moralistic and there are not enough models of Gospel-centered preaching for people to see. Pray that Bangkok Bible Seminary students and graduates would have a firm grasp on the Gospel of grace and what it means to live by grace, not by works.
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.