May 2011 Prayer Letter

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Dear Friends & Family,

When we left for the field as missionaries in 2006, we thought that owning a home was out of the question for us. We didn’t have the funds and we would be gone much of the time. However, we had to rethink that through when Dr. Larry Dinkins, a OMF missionary who has served the Thai for the last 30 years, wrote a guest post on our webpage entitled “If I Had To Do It All Over Again” (July 14, 2009). Number 7 on his list was, “I would have figured out a way to purchase a house on the homeside [USA] early in my career and thus set up a solid base for my family in subsequent years.” We began thinking and praying, and researching about this idea. We corresponded with the Dinkins to better understand their rationale, talked it over with the finance director at OMF to see whether OMF would be supportive of the idea of their missionary owning a home stateside, and looked at our finances.

February 2011 Prayer Letter

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Dear Friends & Family,

We have been told that one of the reasons for missionaries to take home assignment is rest and refreshment.  The only problem is that our family is not very good at resting.

From early in the morning until bedtime, four year old Joshua is zipping around the house in a flurry of activity and non-stop chatter.  Baby Caitlin tries to copy big brother.  Where do they get this from?  Hard to say because Mom and Dad are equally active in their own way.

At the beginning of February, Karl began studies at Talbot School of Theology, part of Biola University.  He is studying for a Masters of Theology (Th.M) which is one year of post-graduate work beyond the M.Div.  The plan is to graduate in December 2011, after which we will return to Thailand.  The purpose of doing a Th.M is twofold.  First, I want to equip myself to better respond to trends and questions of theology, culture, and strategy on the mission field.  Secondly, a Th.M will help prepare me to teach at both the bachelors and masters degree level in a Bible college or seminary in Thailand.  Upon our return to Thailand, there is a very strong possibility that we will be based in Bangkok and I will teach church history part-time at a seminary there.  At the moment though, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the work and am still looking for a thesis advisor.  Please pray that either I can find a professor willing to supervise my thesis or it becomes clear that I should pursue a non-thesis track.  I need to figure this out ASAP.

January 2011 Prayer Letter

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Christmas 2010Dear Friends & Family,

We praise God for a good three months in the Northeast, despite the untimely death of Karl’s father that brought us back to the U.S. two months earlier than expected.  God was very good in providing us with many helpful people to supply what our family needed - clothes, supplies, manpower, babysitting, finances, conversations, fun times, and opportunities to talk about what God is doing in Thailand, and in our lives.  Many thanks to those who had a part in our time in the Northeast this past fall.

On Jan 10th, our family flew to Southern California where we will be living until our return to Thailand in late 2011.  Coming directly from the bone chilling Northeast, it has been fantastic to walk to the park with the children in shirt sleeves.  Many of our things are still in suitcases though we are quickly settling in to our new home and surroundings.

December 2010 Prayer Letter

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green and yellow taxi cab in ThailandDear Friends & Family,

 

At the beginning of this month, I (Karl) was in Bangkok for a few days to renew my visa.  Believe it or not, it is less of a hassle to fly all the way back to Thailand to renew the visa than to apply for a new one.  My body is still recovering from all the time zone changes but it was a good trip for many reasons.

Besides successfully renewing my visa for another year, I had the chance to talk again with the same taxi driver who brought our family to the airport this past October.  At that time, he had been studying the Bible with the Mormons and objected to the idea that God could just forgive someone, letting them go scot-free.  We had a good conversation and I gave him a Gospel of John to read.  As he took me to the airport again this past week, I asked if he was still meeting up with the Mormons.  “Oh no” he replied, “I stopped meeting up with them after we talked, and I am a Christian now.”  Wow!  This was a great encouragement to me after a difficult term in Thailand when we did not see much fruit in our ministry.  I wasn’t able to determine to what degree he truly understands the Gospel but he talked about how God can help us, and no longer objected to God forgiving people.  I encouraged him to get involved in a local church to continue learning about Jesus.

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