First Family Vacation

Beach located right in front of the holiday homeSun & I are finally enjoying our first real vacation since our honeymoon almost two years ago. With the pregnancy and Joshua's birth, there was never really a good time to get away, not to mention all of the busyness involved with preparing to leave for Thailand. Joshua is at a good age now where we can start to do a few things with him and we all, especially me, need a break. OMF has nice holiday home on the beach in Southern Thailand that is available for missionaries.

We've enjoyed sometime to sit back and relax, read, go for a swim, walk on the beach, and play with Joshua. Sun's had some time to do cross stitch and I am working on some books that I've been meaning to get to for a while. I am slowly working my way through Revival and Revivalism by Iain Murray but I got sidetracked by a book of sermons by J. Gresham Machen that I found in the library here at the OMF holiday home. There is also a book on Calvin's life here but I don't know if I'll get to it before we leave in a few days.

Karl's First Thai Sermon

This past Sunday I preached for the first time in the Thai language and I praise God that my Thai brothers and sisters in the congregation at LopburiChurch understood the message and were blessed by it.I made sure I read over the sermon text (sections of Psalm 119) a number of times and had a Thai teacher at our language school help me read over the text to get the correct pronunciation and rhythm of the text.At the very least, I wanted to read the Scripture well and clearly because even if the rest of the sermon were to be a disaster, God’s people would at least hear the inspired Word of God read clearly.

I recorded the sermon with Sun’s phone and when I started to listen to it later that night I immediately knew that I had started off speaking too fast.I was nervous.I had the whole manuscript typed out in Thai although I have trouble reading off a manuscript even in English.However, I wanted to type out the whole thing to help me think through how exactly I would say things in Thai when the time came.Also, I wrote out a manuscript so I could show it to one of the church elders to check the overall flow of the sermon to see if it would make sense to a Thai congregation.English thought patterns and Thai thought patterns are often structured differently and I wanted to make sure I was phrasing things in a more or less Thai way to facilitate understanding.In the end, I didn’t use the manuscript that much when I was preaching because I just am not accustomed to reading off a page verbatim when preaching.The up side of that is that I had good eye contact.The downside is that I wandered around looking for the right word more often than I would have liked.

For the Love of Money...

Recently, I have encountered a couple of stories that have highlighted the fact that many Thai people are as devoted to money as they are to Buddhism - perhaps even more attached to money.

We visited a small church in a nearby province last week and one of the leaders told us of a new believer who would only come to church when her son, who isn't a believer, could come watch her home for her. Now, her son hasn't been coming, so she stays home on Sundays because she is afraid that theives will break into her house and steal her many possesions when she is out. Break-ins are not uncommon in Thailand this is just such a sad story because

The French Are Coming!

Commemorative plate in the palace ruins of Lopburi showing King Narai The Great giving an audience to french diplomatsThe city of Lopburi recently celebrated their annual Narai festival, in honor of King Narai who reigned over Thailand from his palace here in Lopburi about 400 years ago. Part of the story of King Narai includes ambassadors from France who came to visit the king and initiate diplomatic relations between Thailand and France. Later on, the ambassors, together with some Jesuit priests, all got knocked off because some higher up folks in the royal entourage were afraid that the priests were getting to close to converting the king to Catholicism. So, for the Narai festival parade, the organizers needed some white guys to be the French ambassadors. I thought it would be fun, so I volunteered. It was, kind of, but I felt somewhat ridiculous in my ambassador's costume, especially the wig. Even more ridiculous than the guy with the cone on his head in the picture below.


I was a serious French ambassador marching in the hot sun. I look silly enough being a white guy in Thailand, so why not put on some funny looking clothes to top it off?

Work Permit

Finally got my work permit after a number of months of waiting. Now I am official authorized by the Thai government to work as a "missionary" and to "propagate the Christian religion among those interested, to instruct [church] members in the fundamentals of religion, and to teach the Bible." Well, I better get to work. I wouldn't want to violate my work permit, would I?

New Wheels

We were very pleased to finally get a vehicle a couple weeks ago. Up until now, we had been walking most places (with baby in a backpack) or taking public transportation (with baby on our laps and no seat belt). Sometimes we got a ride with other missionaries but even then there was often no seat belt or car seat for baby. May cars (and especially vans) in this part of the world don't have seatbelts aside from the driver and front passenger.

In any case, we got a 2002 Isuzu Grand Adventure which is basically a four door pick-up truck that has been modified to include an extra bench of seats in the far back that can fold up for extra room. We were looking for a vehicle with a little extra room for people and/or things so that we could be a blessing to others in using the truck for ministry and also in the event of any future family expansion.

We praise God for the generous gifts of our supporting churches and friends back home that have enabled us to get this vehicle. It is rather funny to think about, but this is the newest vehicle that we have ever owned. Up until this point in life, Sun and I have always owned rather old cars with high mileage because we were trying to get through school on a limited budget or whatnot.

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