Dear Friends & Family,
Thailand has an evangelical Christian population of less than 1% so it might be fairly asked why we would spend a significant portion of our time discipling Thai Christians. Is not evangelism the more pressing task? Discipleship and evangelism are sometimes pitted against each other but they actually go hand in hand. The folks with whom we are studying the Bible, talking, and praying have much broader and deeper connections with the rest of society than we can ever hope to have as foreigners. If we can help Thai Christians become grounded in the Bible so that they are well equipped to both hold the faith and pass it on to their relatives and neighbors, then they will likely be more effective evangelists than we can ever be.
To this end, we praise God for the discipleship opportunities that He is opening up in the PhraBaht/Nong Doan area. In Nong Doan, Karl is taking a couple of Thai believers out to teach our evangelistic kids club on Friday afternoons, and is doing some mid-week pastoral visitation with Pastor Jareun of the PhraBaht church. Sun continues to meet with Arui, a Burmese Christian lady who has lived here locally for many years. She is teaching her the Bible and written Thai a few times per week. Sun will also start meeting Pastor Jareun’s wife Joy, and daughter Nung for Bible study on a weekly basis. Nung is in particular difficult period of life, having dropped out of college after getting pregnant out of wedlock. Related to this, we would ask for special prayer for the family of Pastor Jareun. An influential family in the PhraBaht church are hassling Jareun because of his daughter’s indiscretion, saying that the pastor’s family needs to be a good example for the congregation. The “read-between-the-lines” message to Jareun is “You should quit.” Although a valid concern, their motive for throwing this in Jareun’s face is highly suspect as they themselves are hardly a model family, and have opposed Jareun in the past. Jareun is a humble thoughtful man and is seriously considering whether he should stay on at the church or go elsewhere. He asked if I could
send an email asking people to pray for him in this decision. Whether he stays or goes will have a big effect on not only his family, but also our family and the PhraBaht church. Your prayers are appreciated.
In the midst of this, Jareun is thinking seriously about renting a building in Nong Doan to start a Sunday worship service to kick start the church plant. It might be a good idea but
I am not convinced. I would rather see us (Jareun, myself, church members) demonstrate more consistency in visiting people in Nong Doan and starting a house group there before trying to get a building and the obligations that come with that. Church buildings are fine... at the right time. I am not convinced that this is the time. More commitment to the church planting initiative from PhraBaht church members is needed first... including a church budget that is not in the red (if they really want to rent a building). Pray for Jareun, myself, and the the church leaders as we discuss what to do. We are currently not on the same page regarding a renting a church building in NongDoan. It would be wonderful if we could agree on top priorities for how to start a church.
Thanks for praying with us, for us, and for the Thai people.
by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
- Church plant in Nong Doan
- Discipling Thai Christians
- Pastor Jaruen’s family
- Visitation & discipleship opportunities
- Healthy happy kids
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3/1-12 Pre Home Assignment Workshop in Chiang Mai