Dear Friends & Family,
Greetings from Thailand! I know you probably thought we were in Scotland, and a month ago, you would have been correct! The whole family is now in Thailand for the summer so that I (Karl) can do research at the Payap University Archives in Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand), and then we’ll be back in Scotland in the fall. God has graciously provided for us car to borrow and a house to live in, which we are subletting from a missionary family who is back in their home country for a few months.
Research and Travel (LOTS!)
For me, this is a busy time of research and travel, starting from the beginning of May up through the end of August. In May, I was in Philadelphia for 3 weeks to examine and collect old mission documents at the Presbyterian Historical Society. Three weeks was a long time to be away from the family, but it was a productive time of research and I was able to gather a lot of relevant documents. Thank God for smartphone cameras and Evernote!
After Philadelphia, I was home in Scotland for 3 weeks and then off to Thailand where I renewed my Thai missionary visa and Thai driver’s license, did a wee bit of research at the Payap Archives, and taught a couple sections of the Perspectives Course on the World Christian Movement at Bangkok Bible Seminary. If you are not familiar with Perspectives, it is a course developed many years ago by missions advocate and scholar Ralph Winter, for the purpose of educating and mobilizing Christians for involvement in world missions. I myself took the course 20 years ago when I was in my last year of college and found it very helpful in getting the big picture of what world missions was about and how I might be involved in God’s work around the world. For that reason, I was really glad to have the chance to teach sessions 6 and 7 (the history sections) of Perspectives for Thai seminary students and church leaders. I was also very glad to chat with 2 of my former students (a married couple with a young child) who are actively applying to do mission work in Japan. Its great to see those I’ve taught go on to minister not only in Thailand, but around the world.
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.