September 2021 Prayer Letter
Dear Family and Friends,
I want to thank all of you for standing with us as we seek to return to Thailand. The past year and a half has seen many changes of plans for all of us as well as the frustration and uncertainty of not knowing what next week or next month may bring. We are still aiming to return to Thailand but the question of “when?” is up in the air. End of this year? Later? Nevertheless, there are positive developments to report amid ongoing question marks.
Advising Thai D.Min Students
I am in touch with Bangkok Bible Seminary and they would like me to advise some Doctor of Ministry students on their research. This is something that I can start doing now, connecting with students via email and Zoom as they develop research proposals for their dissertations. I thought I would have to wait until we get back to Thailand before I could get involved again with Thai theological education. But lo and behold, I can do it now! This is a great opportunity to use my education and experience to help full-time Christian workers in Thailand in their efforts to get better equipped for ministry in Thai churches.
South Florida Thai-Lao Christian Church
I’ve previously mentioned a Thai Christian bible study group that meets in a park about a 30-minute drive from where we currently live. The pastor that leads this group, Rev. Anukul, ministers at a Thai church even further south, about an hour north of Miami. In July, we attended a Thai Christian weekend retreat in Tampa where I translated pastor Anukul’s preaching into English while he preached in Thai. This went really well and we thoroughly enjoyed fellowship with many Thai brothers and sisters. In early August, we visited pastor Anukul’s church in south Florida where I had the privilege of preaching in Thai for the first time in about two years. Pastor Anukul and his wife hosted our family for a night in their home and we had a great time talking with them and enjoying meals together. We’re really glad for the connection with this Thai church and its pastor. For as long as we are here, it looks like we’ll have more opportunities to be involved in this church and its ministry from time to time. What a privilege to be involved in Thai ministry even though we haven’t been able to get back to Thailand yet!
Thailand, COVID-19, and Visas
For the past few months, Thailand has had strict lockdowns and domestic travel restrictions due to reported COVID-19 cases numbers and deaths. One impact of this situation, besides many churches and schools returning to online-only meetings and classes, is the Religious Affairs Department in Thailand has once again paused acceptance of visa applications. There has been a partial reopening in September with plans to more fully re-open in October and November. That may or may not result in the re-opening of visa applications. Whether that happens or not, restrictions for international arrivals will likely stay in place, namely multiple COVID tests and 2 weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine. Missionaries with visas in hand have returned under these conditions but we don’t yet have either visas or sufficient financial support. Please pray that God will open the way for us to return to ministry in Thailand. Please also pray for the people of Thailand as they deal with not only COVID itself, but also the resulting hardship from lockdowns, business closures, unemployment, suicide, etc.
Upcoming Church Visits (Autumn 2021)
We have several church visits lined up in the next few months. In September, I’ll present about Thailand and preach at a church near Fort Myers, FL and in October, I’ll visit a church near Seattle, WA to do the same thing. From mid-November to mid-December, we’ll be in southern California visiting partner churches and supporters. If you’re in SoCal and want to get together when we’re there, let us know. It would be great to see as many of you as we can. We’re really grateful for all our existing partners and thank God for a handful of new financial supporters in recent months. We still have a way to go in making up our budget gap, however, so please pray that God will raise up new partners, both churches and individuals, as we travel and meet people this autumn.
By Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
Pray God will make a way for us to return to Thailand, including increased financial support and visas.
Pray that church visits this autumn would be a blessing to both the churches and to us as we present on Thailand and Karl preaches.
Pray that God would grant us great patience and trust as we wait to see how and when we can get back to Thailand
- New opportunities to be involved in Thai ministry now, both through advising D.Min students virtually and with the South Florida Thai Christian Church
New prayer partners & financial support (both one-time gifts and monthly pledges)
9/19 speak at Grace Presbyterian Church (Lake Suzy, FL)
10/17 speak at Hope Presbyterian Church (Bellevue, WA)
11/19-21 Missions Weekend at Calvary Church of Santa Ana (Santa Ana, CA)
11/28 speak at First Chinese Baptist Church (Fountain Valley, CA)
12/5 speak at Grace Presbyterian Church (Yorba Linda, CA)
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