Dear Friends & Family,
Our family has experienced a number of unsettling changes since our last prayer letter in September.
We had been planning to begin our home assignment in the U.S. this coming December but then we received an email from Karl’s brother. Dad was in the hospital. In just a little over a week, our family had packed out of our home in Thailand, said goodbyes, and were on a plane back to the U.S. to begin a year of home assignment - three months earlier than expected. But Karl’s dad would not be there to greet us.
We were in plenty of time for the funeral but even if we had jumped on a plane the second we heard he was in the hospital, we would not have gotten back in time to talk with him. It is strange to think that just two years ago we made another unplanned trip to New Hampshire to be with Karl’s mom just before she died.
Needless to say, we have had a rather rough start to our year in the States. Though we are starting to get more settled now, we initially did not have any housing lined up and had to scramble to find some cold weather clothes, especially for the children. We are very grateful to God for some local friends, relatives, and one of our supporting churches who have been really helpful in providing food, watching children, finding secondhand warm clothes for the kids, helping with housing, and many other necessities. God shows forth his fatherly care and provision most clearly in times of difficulty and need.
Some people may be wondering how this earlier-than-expected return from Thailand affects our plans. Right now, we are planning to be in New England until mid-January 2011 and after that we will be in Southern California until late 2011, when we expect to return to Thailand.
One of the advantages of being in New England longer than expected is the opportunity to meet up with more people, and more speaking opportunities to educate, encourage, and challenge people in the area of missions and evangelism among Buddhists. Praise God for the renewal of old relationships and the making of new ones.
It is difficult for anyone to shift between different countries and cultures, but for children it can be particularly confusing. Joshua and Caitlin are adjusting well but Joshua is still uncertain about his surroundings. He has trouble believing that we can’t just go out to the local store and buy items like guava and sticky rice. Looking at a map of the U.S., someone asked Joshua, “What state do you live in?” He immediately replied, “Thailand!” We continue to talk with him about where home is though it is difficult because we are not sure ourselves sometimes.
Please remember Thailand in your prayers as there has been severe flooding recently, affecting many we know.
And please pray for our time in the States this year - for rest, renewal, recruiting, and refocusing as we wait to see all of what God has planned.
by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
- Time for rest & reflection
- Wisdom for continued planning of our time in the United States
- God to raise up more workers for the mission field in Thailand
- God’s provision of all things needful in NH
- Supportive friends, family, & church
- Unexpected deputation opportunities
11/7 & 8 - teach on Buddhism to sr. & jr. high youth groups at Orchard Christian Fellowship
11/14 - Karl preach Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashua, NH
11/21 - talk on missions at adult sunday school, Jaffrey Presbyterian Church, Jaffrey, NH