Dear Friends & Family,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had an enjoyable holiday season and you are feeling hopeful as we head into a New Year.
Thailand Conference & Still More Research
From January 4-13, I (Karl) am in Thailand to present a paper at a conference. My paper topic is “Missionary Communication When Locals are Listening.” If all goes well, this paper will show up as a chapter in a published book next year. If you’d like a “sneak peek”, let me know.
After that brief trip, I’ll be back in Scotland to continue pushing through the remaining stacks of documents that I collected this past summer. I really thought that it wouldn’t take this long to read through and scan these docs, but such is life. Please pray that I’ll know what to skim and what to read in-depth so I’ll be ready to start some substantial writing in the not distant future. My supervisor has counseled me to start writing this year instead of waiting for my third year. Thus, I hope to get writing this spring sometime. I probably need to do a 2 week research trip to Wheaton College sometime this year as well. Please pray that I will have the discipline, diligence, and discernment to make all that happen. I’ve been at this 1.5 years so far and am hoping to finish this dissertation within 3 years total (mid-year 2020). But I’ll only have a chance of reaching that goal if I stay on task.
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.