Dear Friends & Family,
The worst of the hot season has passed, and our family is enjoying the cooling rains of rainy season, despite some flooding in our road and an occasional leak in our kitchen roof.
After the school year ended at BBS in June, we were able to get away for a family vacation in June for a couple weeks. I (Karl), however, took the first week of that vacation to do some Thai church history research in the archives at Payap University in Chiang Mai. I am honing in on a research topic in hopes of applying for a Ph.D program to begin some time after our home assignment in the States next year (Feb-Aug 2017). The school where I teach, Bangkok Bible Seminary, has encouraged me to pursue a Ph.D and I would like to do so because the knowledge gained would enhance my teaching in Thailand in the long-term. I’ll let you know if there are any major developments on this front. Please pray that God would grant wisdom and guidance to us in this matter so that the way forward is clear.
Positive Feedback on Thai Catechism
In our last prayer letter, I told you about the new Thai Christian Catechism that my co-worker Dr. Natee and I have written. Initial response from Thai Christians has been positive with comments like, “It is easy to read” “That is really clear.” Kanok Bannasan has been selling the catechism and reports that sales have been good, with many individuals, some churches, and at least one bookshop ordering copies. Dr. Natee is teaching through the catechism at church, with the videos posted online in hopes of other churches benefitting as well. If interested, you can find them on YouTube by searching for “Grace City Bangkok Thai Catechism"
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. After Laos, 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, Caitlin, and John. They did church planting ministry in Central Thailand during their first missionary term 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.