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Family
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Who We Are

Who We Are

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).

Cold Kids & Mommy

Here are some photos of Joshua and Caitlin exploring with Mommy the area around the place we are living at the beginning of our home assignment in the U.S. in October 2010. Joshua has never been so cold in his life.

 

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Is there anything that you need that you can’t get in Thailand? Can I send you something?

We can get most things that we need in Thailand although items like English language Christian books (especially those from a Reformed perspective) and quality age appropriate toys and books for Joshua are difficult to find.  If you would like to send us something, please see our mailing address on the Contact Us page.

 

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Caitlin's First Birthday Party

Here are some photos from Caitlin's first birthday party.  We got a princess cake from a local Dairy Queen, and with some help from big brother and Daddy, blew out the candle.  Afterwards, we opened a box of gifts from Grandpa.

 

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Caitlin Photos - 7 Months Old

Here is a collection of photos of Caitlin from around the time she is 7 months old.  She is now sitting up on here own and has cut her first teeth (front two teeth on the bottom)

 

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Joshua and Daddy Riding the Bicycle

Living in Phrabaht, Karl and Joshua have a morning tradition of riding the bicycle to the market to buy grilled pork and sticky rice for breakfast.  Off they go!

 

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April 2013 Prayer Letter

April 2013 Prayer Letter

    DOWNLOAD PDF - APRIL 2013 DAHLFREDS PRAYER LETTER 

 

 

 

Dear Friends & Family,

 

We hope you all had a good Easter, celebrating our Lord’s resurrection.  Here in Thailand, hot season is in full swing in Thailand as temperatures soar over 100 degrees each day.  The heat and humidity make us even more tired than usual, especially Sun.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

In our last prayer letter, we mentioned that Sun was feeling exhausted but we knew that this season would pass.  A perceptive reader read between the lines and wrote back, asking, “Is Sun....?” Yes, she is. We are pleased to let you know that Sun is pregnant with our third child, who should be making his or her appearance mid-September.  She is about 16 weeks along now, feeling tired, but not sick, and eating about every 2 hours.  It is hard to keep enough meals and munchies in the house!

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May 2010 Prayer Letter

May 2010 Prayer Letter

DOWNLOAD PDF - MAY 2010 DAHLFREDS PRAYER LETTER

 

Dear Friends & Family,

Perhaps you noticed that we did not have a prayer letter this past April.  We were tired and really close to vacation time so decided to skip a month.  We’re in the midst of Thai hot season, which is particularly hot this year, so it was good to get away to the beach for a couple weeks even it is often not so restful with two small children.

When we arrived back in PhraBaht, we were glad to discover that Pastor Jareun and his family were about to head out for a week of vacation.  Thai people almost never take vacations, and only take a few days off around international New Year’s (Jan 1) and Thai New Year’s (April 13-15).  Jareun and his family really needed a rest so we were glad that they decided to do something counter-cultural here in Thailand - taking a vacation.

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October 2009 Prayer Letter

October 2009 Prayer Letter

DOWNLOAD PDF - OCTOBER 2009 DAHLFREDS PRAYER LETTER

 

Dear Friends & Family,Praise be to God for the addition of a new little one to our family.  Caitlin Mei Dahlfred was born on Sept 21, 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand.  7.9 pounds, 20 inches long, pulsing with life & energy, and sporting a full head of hair (see pictures here).  Thank you to all of you who have sent your congratulations on the birth of our daughter.  God has been very gracious to us.

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September 2009 Prayer Letter

September 2009 Prayer Letter

DOWNLOAD PDF - SEPTEMBER 2009 DAHLFREDS PRAYER LETTER

 

 

Dear Family & Friends,

We are staying at OMF’s mission home in Bangkok now to be closer to the hospital as the arrival of baby#2 draws closer.  Due date is Sept 21st and we are now going for weekly doctor’s visits.  No matter what way Sun sits or lies down, she can’t quite get comfortable. The baby is boxing, kicking, flipping, and spinning around in there, ready to come out anytime now.  Sooner is better, according to Sun.  We’ll send out an email update when the big event occurs.

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December 2008 Prayer Letter

December 2008 Prayer Letter

DOWNLOAD PDF - DECEMBER 2008 DAHLFREDS PRAYER LETTER

 Dear Friends & Family,Merry Christmas! Thank you for your prayers for all of us. We are feeling strong and are working very hard with the Christmas outreaches and school programs scheduled for this month. Thank you also for the gifts and cards you have sent us.Here in Thailand, Christmas is not a time for family gatherings and celebrations, but a time of vigorous outreaches. If you look at our calendar, we have 10 outreach events for this month. It takes quite a bit of time to prepare and organize these events, but we praise God for opening such opportunities and for providing people and resources for them to be possible. Please pray earnestly for us and for all our brothers and sisters in Thailand who are also doing numerous other outreaches. Pray that God would be pleased to use these outreaches to

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Caitlin's First Birthday Party

Here are some photos from Caitlin's first birthday party.  We got a princess cake from a local Dairy Queen, and with some help from big brother and Daddy, blew out the candle.  Afterwards, we opened a box of gifts from Grandpa.

 

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Sorry, I Don't Speak Thai

Sorry, I Don't Speak Thai

Joshua has lived in Thailand since he was 6 months old and we've tried to get him to speak Thai but so far, he has not caught on.  At 4 years old, he talks a mile per minute in English but only a couple phrases in Thai.  As we are planning to be in Thailand long term, this will probably correct itself later on, but for now, he had a hard time with Thai people speak to him.  Often, there are three stages that Joshua goes through:

 

 

1) Listen to the Thai person talking to him

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Announcing Caitlin Mei Dahlfred

Announcing Caitlin Mei Dahlfred

 

DOWNLOAD PDF - BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT FOR CAITLIN

 

 

If you are curious about the name, "Caitlin" is an Irish name meaning "pure".

"Mei", in both Cambodian and Chinese, is a word meaning "beautiful".

 

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Happy Birthday, Joshua!

Happy Birthday, Joshua!
Today we celebrated Joshua's first birthday! Praise God for the healthy happy little boy that God gave to us one year ago today. He is still the same cute bundle of joy that we held in our arms in the hospital but, unlike then, he now wriggles out of our arms and flees naked across the room while we chase him down to put some clothes on him. So many changes within a year. Joshua was pretty oblivious to the fact that it was his birthday today although we think he enjoyed the icing on the cake and sucking on his new toys. Here are some photos from our celebration for Joshua (during lunch time with some other missionaries.)Joshua is not sure what to make of this flaming platter put before him.

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First Words & Ketchup

Do you know what a TCK is? TCK means third culture kid and is coming to replace the term MK (missionary kid). Joshua is a TCK. A TCK is a kid who grows up somewhere between one culture and another, not really feeling fully at home in any culture. Along these lines, Joshua is making an interesting beginning in life as he interacts with us and the world around him here in Thailand.We are still waiting for his first English words but he has a few Thai words that are very clear and very frequent. Although we think he has said "Dad", "ball", "amen" and "book", all of these have been one time occurrences. His favorite word is "nam" which is the Thai word for water. However, he uses it not only when he wants water, but when he wants milk, or grilled pork sticks, or sticky rice, or that tasty cherry children's Tylenol, or the toy we stuck

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Your Wife Must Be A Missionary Too

Your Wife Must Be A Missionary Too

Sometimes there are situations where a man feels called to the mission field, but his wife doesn't, but they go anyhow because the wife wants to be submissive to her husband.  While this is admirable, it is unwise.  Moving overseas is a huge commitment, and a huge lifestyle change for the whole family.  It is totally unlike staying in your home country where family life might look similar regardless of whether the husband is a pastor or businessman or plumber. It is unwise for a couple to go to the mission field thinking that only the husband is the missionary.  Both husband and wife must think of themselves as missionaries, and be committed to the calling that God has placed on their lives together. In cases where the wife merely follows on the husband’s coat tails, these couples don't last long on the mission field.  The wife often ends up resentful of having to do something she really didn't want to do to begin with.  Unless you are convinced that God has called you to the mission field, the stress from living in another language and culture (FAR from family back home) is too much to endure.  Men, if you want to be a missionary, make sure you take the necessary time, together with your wife, to pray and talk about it and discern together if God is calling you as a family to go.  And if your wife is not on board 100%, don’t go.

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Missionary Kids in Transition

Missionary Kids in Transition

Perhaps we should have seen it coming.  For the first six weeks of our home assignment in the U.S., we had been attending worship at one of our supporting churches, and our four year old son Joshua had been participating in the preschoolers Sunday school class.  But this particular week, I was preaching at another church.  As we pulled into the parking lot, we explained to him that Daddy was preaching at THIS church today so we are not going to the other church.And that’s when he flipped out.  Still strapped into his car booster seat, Joshua arched his back and screamed, “But I want to go to MY Sunday school!”

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Death is Wrong

I knew my eyes were deceiving me but I wanted the deception to be true.  I was standing before my father as he lay on a small raised platform, legs covered in a blanket. His chest was moving up and down, almost imperceptibly, as one breathes quietly when asleep.  But there was no breathing.  No motion. It was all in my mind.  This was not the stillness of sleep, but of deathA week earlier I had learned that he was in the hospital.  A few days after that I learned that this may be sickness unto death.  And after hurrying to pack up our family, arrange our affairs, and get plane tickets, here I was with my father.  

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