Dear Friends & Family,
Once again we find ourselves at the end of December and it is a good time to reflect on the Lord’s goodness to us over the past year, and to give thanks.
This past January found us still in Southern California, under-supported, and not sure when we would be able to get back to Thailand. Yet by May, God had graciously provided through many of you, and we were on our way to Bangkok.
In Bangkok, God had prepared a rental house for us right next to Bangkok Bible Seminary (we share a fence), and even given us a small yard for kids to play, plants to grow, and chickens to squawk. We set up house, got lost a lot in Bangkok traffic, and settled into our new life here. The kids and Sun have taken to home schooling and finding their way to the grocery store in the concrete jungle, and Karl has enjoyed the challenge of teaching seminary and assisting the editors at the publisher.
We never thought we would live in Bangkok, and were unsure whether we would like life in the big city. We are very glad to be where we are. The teaching and writing/editorial work fits Karl’s gifts and interests and he is finding a place to really contribute to the church in Thailand. The students he teaches and the books he works on will spread out throughout Thailand, having a greater impact than what we could do on our own. The faculty at Bangkok Bible Seminary and staff at Kanok Bannasan are great folks to work with, and we feel blessed to be part of these communities. We are slowly getting to know the seminary students and have them in our home, and Sun has begun a ladies prayer group with some of the other professors’ wives.
We really feel like we are in the place that God wants us to be, and are enjoying it. There are challenges, frustrations, and a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day we are where God wants us to be and are glad. Sometimes Thai friends ask us if we are homesick around Christmas but we aren’t. Sure, some cooler weather would be nice, and it would be good to see people back in the U.S., but we like being here in Thailand.
Even while we are thankful for many things in our own lives, however, we realize that for many this Christmas season is a time of pain. The grand-daughter of some OMF missionaries was among the children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting, and during that same week two different missionary families in Thailand experienced tragic road accidents, one family losing two children and another family losing a mother/grandmother who was here visiting the family. This world is not safe, whether we are “back home” or “out on the field” and we never know when suffering and death will come to us. But we do know that God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23) and Jesus’ birth that we celebrate at Christmas represents hope in the midst of a dark and hurting world. Let us hang onto hope in Christ now and always. Let us pray that God will comfort the hurting everywhere, and God’s people at home and abroad will faithfully hold out the hope of Christ to those who live in darkness.
by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
- The hope of Christ to comfort the hurting
- Thai Christians & missionaries to faithfully share the Gospel
- God’s provision in every way as we returned to Thailand in 2012
- Joy in where God has placed us in Bangkok
12/9 Karl preach Int’l Church Bangkok
12/14 BBS last day of term
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