December 2019 Prayer Letter

Written by Karl Dahlfred on .

Dear Friends & Family,

Greetings from dark and rainy Edinburgh!  We have limited sunlight these days (sunrise 8:30am and sunset 3:30) and none of the snow for which are children are desperately hoping, but during this Advent and Christmas season,  we praise God for the Light of Life who has come into the world. And good stuff is happening here, so without further ado… our news! 

Ph.D Thesis Progress Update

Now that I (Karl) am in my third year of Ph.D studies, people are asking, “When will you finish?”  I can’t say for certain, but hopefully I can submit my thesis by spring or summer 2020 and we’ll be back in Thailand by the end of 2020.  But, of course, this all depends on how quickly I am able to write my thesis.  I have 6 chapters planned (not including introduction and conclusion) and I have written drafts of 3 chapters so far. Those 3 are my background chapters, and now I am writing my first “substance” chapter (#4) which deals with what I have found in my primary source archival research.  It is great to be finally writing the real “meat” of my studies.  If you’re curious to know some of what I’m learning, check out my Facebook photo album called “Interesting Tidbits from my Research”, a collection of fascinating nuggets I’ve found along the way.

In November, I was in the U.S. for 2.5 weeks, visiting (again) the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, and then the archives at Wheaton College near Chicago.  It was a productive trip and is (hopefully) my last research trip.  That’s good because I am tired of doing research trips away from my family.  I just want to stay in Edinburgh and get this thesis written!  Please pray for discipline of time and lucidity of mind as I push on in writing!

English Practice with Bible Stories

This past September, Sun and I started an English conversation group for internationals.  The discussion each Thursday morning focuses around a different Bible story, using oral Bible storying methods. Our group includes both students and people from other walks of life from different countries, but mostly mainland Chinese.  Our group fluctuates from 4 to 10 people and perhaps only 1 or 2 are Christians.  It has been really enjoyable to talk through various Old Testament stories these past months with people for whom these are new stories.  May the Holy Spirit make this group a blessing to all who come, both in terms of language study and spiritually.

Church Youth Group

I (Karl) am now leading our church’s youth group together with a team of other leaders.  We get 8-12 teens out twice per month for snacks, games, and a Bible lesson. I’m really enjoying this and am thankful for the other leaders who share the load and for the teens who come.  Pray for the spiritual growth of the young people.

Budget Update

Thank you so much for all of you who support us financially.  International tuition at the University of Edinburgh is as expensive as U.S. college tuition and we are digging deep into our pockets since the grant that paid 2/3 tuition my first year is exhausted.  But our support level seems sufficient so we hope to head straight back to Bangkok after I (Lord willing) finish the Ph.D next year. Merry Christmas to you all!

by Christ’s grace,

Karl & Sun Dahlfred


  • Progress in thesis writing
  • English practice with Bible stories group
  • Spiritual health and growth of our children
  • Church youth group


  • Thesis writing progress
  • Opportunities to talk about the Bible with non-Christians
  • Church youth group
  • Financial provision and faithful partners


2/25 Karl present seminar at Edinburgh Theological Seminary

3/17 Karl present research seminar at University of Edinburgh

6/11-22 Karl in Thailand for visa renewal and preaching



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