Dear Friends & Family,
In this crazy time of Covid-19, lockdowns, cancellations, and general uncertainty, we are thankful for God’s blessings over the past months. The first half of 2020 has not gone how we imagined it would but our family is well and still hoping to head back to full-time ministry in Thailand at the end of the year.
When Scotland locked down at the end of March, I (Karl) regretfully hauled my books home from my study desk at the University of Edinburgh and started to work from home. All five of us found ourselves together in our small apartment and it took some time to find new work and study routines but eventually we adjusted. The kids are able to do their studies and I am able to write, although distractions are many compared to my desk in a quiet postgraduate study room at the university.
I am pleased to report that I am now writing the final chapter of my thesis. When that is complete, I need to write an introduction and conclusion, and then go over the whole thesis again to make final adjustments and changes. Then I submit it, hopeful in September or so, if all goes well. Then a month or two after that, I will have my viva voce (oral defense) and, Lord willing, complete my doctorate. It has been a long road and it is not done yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel! Please pray for steady progress on my Ph.D with the aim of wrapping it up before the end of 2020.
Karl grew up in New Hampshire and became a Christian through the ministry of a Presbyterian church youth group. During college, he was 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. In 2017, he began research for a Ph.D in World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. Karl 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. After Laos, 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 were married in 2005 and have three children, Joshua, Caitlin, and John. They did church planting ministry in Central Thailand during their first missionary term and then moved to Bangkok where Karl teaches part-time at Bangkok Bible Seminary, assists with editing and translation of Thai Christian books at Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand), and they are both involved with Grace City Bangkok, a new church plant in downtown Bangkok.
Karl teaches church history and missions 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.
Karl and Sun and children are currently on study leave in Scotland for Karl to pursue doctoral studies. Upon completion, they will return to Thailand.