Dear Friends & Family,
Some missionaries feel the pressure to perform, but one of the things that I appreciate most about all of you who pray for and support us is this: You value the regular faithfulness of a long-term ministry over exciting reports of short-term successes. In the book “Ordinary”, Michael Horton asserts that the essence of the Christian life does not consist of high-energy extreme or radical experiences that promise a higher plane of Christian life. Rather, it is in the regular, ordinary, everyday seeking after God in ordinary ways, and the daily obedience in small, normal things that results in sustained growth in the Christian life over the long run. As applied to the missionary context, that means that the most productive thing I can do is to be faithful in the regular tasks and responsibilities that I have, rather than continually running after some new method or teaching that will result in amazing breakthrough or some kind of rapid, unprecedented church planting or people movement (as if the "secret key" or "silver bullet" that other generations missed is somewhere just around the corner). In reality, some things take time, and genuine spiritual growth depends upon the moving of the Spirit, not upon human striving to get things done by a deadline. In this vein, I want to give 3 brief updates on the ministries that we are involved in here in Bangkok.
Grace City Church, Bangkok
This new church plant in downtown Bangkok has been holding weekly worship since April 2014, and currently has about 20 members, of which 2 are adult converts who received baptism at Grace City Church. Attendance varies from 20-50 each week, with a healthy stream of visitors. We are steadily plugging along with preaching, visitation, evangelism, etc. but are in need of more Thai men, especially those who can become elders eventually. Our church session consists of 3 missionaries (including myself) and 1 Thai.
Bangkok Bible Seminary (BBS)
This is my 4th year of teaching at the seminary, following our return from home assignment in the U.S. in 2012. I am enjoying teaching church history, missions, and research skills, and have been recently encouraged to see students engaging well with the material and asking good questions. This is significant because questions and critical thinking are often discouraged in the Thai school system and many people are not used to in-class discussions where their questions and input are valued. BBS is the largest seminary in Thailand, and as an interdenominational school draws students from a wide variety of Protestant churches. Thus, these students will have an impact on a wide number of churches. I am finding BBS to be a good place to prod students’ thinking in a more Biblical direction, helping them to question received practices and assumptions (such as indiscriminate use of the sinner’s prayer).
Click here if you don't see the Bangkok Bible Seminary new library opening video above
Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand)
One day per week, I assist at Kanok, a Thai Christian publisher, as an editorial and theological advisor, as well as assistant to the general manager. Even though we only have 12 staff, Kanok is the biggest Christian publisher in the country. There are more good books to translate and publish than we can accommodate with our small staff. Pray for on-going projects, such as a series of preaching booklets in co-operation with the Langham Partnership, and an updated edition of a Bible handbook.
Please continue with us in prayer for all the normal, ordinary things that we do here in Thailand, for the sake of the Gospel, and the glory of God.
by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
- Growth and maturity of Grace City Bangkok church
- Seminary teaching at BBS
- Current book projects at Kanok Bannasan
- Grace City church evangelistic camp
- BBS students asking good questions and eager to learn
- Sun & kids settling into new year of homeschooling
10/23-25 Grace City Bangkok church evangelistic camp
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