Dear Friends & Family,
Greetings once again from bonnie Scotland! It is cold and wet here but we are getting on with things and marvel at the fact that our time in Edinburgh may come to a close in a year or so.
Research Progress - I am Writing!
In our last prayer letter, I told you that I was trying to finish up reading and scanning the documents that I collected over the summer. Thanks be to God that is largely done now and I have started writing. I wrote chapter one and am in the process of revising it per my supervisor’s recommendations. Trying to figure out how to make a massive amount of data all fit together into a logical and interesting narrative is hard work!
But my constant prayer is that not only would my research come together into a coherent whole, but also that what I write will be useful. I keep asking myself, “How does this relate disciple making? How will this be relevant for the church?” At the end of the day, very few people read doctoral theses but I have a list of ideas for shorter spinoff articles that would make a contribution to the mission of the church in Thailand and elsewhere. It is my hope and prayer that my studies here would have real benefit for both my teaching at Bangkok Bible Seminary as well as writing and teaching for the broader Christian community. Please pray that I would have clarity of thought and excellent time management so that I can write up a quality thesis and our family can head back to Thailand by mid-year 2020. We are enjoying our time in Edinburgh but we are all looking forward to returning to ministry in Bangkok.
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.