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April 2017 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends & Family,

Greetings from Southern California!  Our family returned from Thailand at the end of January for six months of home assignment (furlough).  Our first six weeks in the U.S. brought us to Colorado, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Indiana and we are now in Orange County, California up through the end of August.

Traveling so many places has been tiring for our family, and somewhat unsettling as we have lived out of suitcases and spent lots of time adjust to new places and different patterns of doing things compared to our last four years in Thailand.

Dahlfred Family, February 2017

We are really thankful for the many kind and generous people we’ve met as we’ve visited churches, and caught up with mission partners, and friends new and old.  God has provided in so many ways, some unexpected and very timely, as we’ve booked flights, rented and borrowed cars, and filled our calendar with lots of coffees, lunches, and other get togethers.

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December 2016 Prayer Letter

homemade Christmas tree that our kids made from toys and construction paper

Dear Friends & FamilyMerry Christmas!

The end of the year is suddenly upon us, and I sit in my darkened living room looking up at the soft white Christmas lights that my kids strung across the room.  It is peaceful and I am thinking about what is past and what’s ahead.

Our family has lots to be thankful for.

Everyone in the family is happy and healthy, and the kids are enjoying homeschool, despite periodic episodes of foot dragging and lollygagging.  John never stops asking questions and Joshua and Caitlin never stop reading.

I’ve been enjoying teaching at the seminary, spending time with students, and discussing church history and ministry issues.  The faculty are great people to work alongside.

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October 2016 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends & Family,

Thank you everyone for praying for us and for the Thai people. Our ministry is a long-term endeavor and we appreciate the many people who stand with us in prayer and finances.

New School Year

The new school year has begun for all of us as the seminary started up again in August and Sun picked up again with homeschooling Joshua and Caitlin.  For toddler John, his lessons are more informal, such as learning what happens when he puts his face too close to a hot pot (don’t worry, he’s fine).  Pray for Sun to have wisdom and patience as she teaches the kids.  Some days are difficult. 

Kids Making Cookies with Mommy
I (Karl) am enjoying teaching 2 church history classes this semester, although the classes are abnormally large (nearly 40 students in each class), which makes class discussion unwieldy at times.  Some days of teaching are much more interesting and engaging than others, but I am encouraged when students ask good questions.  One student asked, “My friend said that worshipping on Sunday is sinful because it is worshiping the sun, syncretism introduced by Constantine.  Is that true?”  So I provided the historical and biblical reasons why Sunday worship is valid, and not a compromise with paganism.  Lots of misinformation about church history gets circulated in popular culture and among Christians, so it is great when students can see how learning history can help them answer practical questions of Christian living and discipleship in the present.

Karl with former students at BBS Graduation, September 2016

 

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July 2016 Prayer Letter

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"  

Dr. Natee Tanchanpongs teaches the Thai Christian Catechism at Grace City Bangkok church