Dear Friends & Family,
Happy New Year! Thank you for your abundant prayers and support during this past year. We praise God for a healthy, growing family and continued opportunities to be a blessing to others at Bangkok Bible Seminary, Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers), Grace City Church, and various local churches where Karl preaches. As we head into a new year, we have a few updates and prayer requests for you to remember this month.
Grace City Church, Bangkok
Our family is involved with a new Reformed church plant in downtown Bangkok, together with Thai Christians and some other missionaries, from both OMF and MTW. For most of 2013, we met for Bible study and fellowship on Sunday evenings and then for the last few months of the year we had a worship service once per month. Karl has been part of the rotation for preaching and teaching Bible study. Starting in January, we will have a worship service every week, meeting on the 25th floor of a hotel. As we transition to regular worship, please pray that our small core group of people will be built up in Christ, that non-Christians will come, that people will come to faith, and that our children’s Sunday school would have good, regular teachers and teaching. You can find the church website at www.gracecitybkk.org
Karl grew up in New Hampshire with his parents and younger brother. Through the ministry of a Presbyterian church youth group, he became a Christian and received a solid foundation in the faith. During college, Karl was actively involved as a student leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and got his first taste of missions through a short-term trip to Poland. Following graduation, Karl briefly worked for a publishing company before heading to Thailand for two and a half years to teach English and aid with evangelism and discipleship as part of an OMF church planting team. Karl earned a Masters of Divinity (M.Div) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology (Th.M) at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
Sun and her family fled from the killing fields of Cambodia and arrived as refugees in California. Sun heard the Gospel in Sunday school and later prayed to receive Christ. After high school, Sun sensed the Lord calling her into missions and pursued a degree in Biblical Studies from Biola University. Following graduation, Sun went on a short-term mission trip to Cambodia and then taught elementary school for a few years before returning to Asia to teach English in Laos. During her four years in Laos, she also earned an M.A. in TESOL through Azusa Pacific University. In 2002, Sun sensed God leading her to a very large Asian country where served for two years. Sun and her team shared the Gospel with top university students and partnered with churches.
Karl and Sun met in Colorado at OMF’s Candidate Course for new missionaries and were married in 2005. They have three children, Joshua (born 2006), Caitlin (born 2009), and John (born 2013). They did church planting ministry in Central Thailand from 2006 to 2010 and are now located in Bangkok where Karl teaches part-time at Bangkok Bible Seminary, and assists with editing and translation of Thai Christian books at Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand).
Karl teaches missions and church history at Bangkok Bible Seminary, and assists with translation and editing at Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand), one of the few publishers of Thai Christian books. Living right next to the seminary campus in downtown Bangkok, both Karl and Sun have opportunities to invest in the lives of students, the next generation of Thai church leaders. They are also involved in a new church plant called Grace City Bangkok, and Karl does itinerant preaching at various churches in the Bangkok area and beyond.
During their previous term of missionary service (2006-2010), Karl & Sun worked alongside a Thai pastor and his church to do new church planting. Living in the town of Prabaht in Central Thailand, they sought to plant a new church in the farming community of Nong Doan, about 6 miles distant from Prabaht. Karl assisted with preaching, pastoral visitation, and evangelistic outreach. In addition to being a full-time mom, Sun enjoyed discipling some women who came to see her at home.