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December 2016 Prayer Letter

Written by Karl Dahlfred on .

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.

It has been rewarding to see new books from Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers Thailand) well received.  When the Thai edition of “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth” by Fee and Stuart came out recently, one of my students rounded up 74 more students who all wanted copies.  In a nation of so few Christians, it does the heart good to see people lining up for a book on how to study the Bible.

Grace City Bangkok church is growing, with new members, despite also losing some members as well.  But I remember that ministry requires a long-term perspective.  Attaching too much importance to attendance numbers on any given week can give an overly rosy or discouragingly bleak picture of how the church is growing (or not growing).  But I  am part of a great team of elders who work together to lead and care for this young church plant.

Our family returned to Thailand from home assignment in the United States in 2012, not sure what our new work and new life in Bangkok would look like.  It has been good. But even as we look back and give thanks, we also look ahead, not only to Christmas, but also to the coming year and beyond.

At the end of January, our family will go to the United States for 6 months of home assignment.   We are looking forward to seeing many of you, having meals or coffee together, and speaking in your churches.  We looking forward to sharing with you in person what God has been doing in Thailand and in our lives during these past four years.

Scotland is also on the horizon.  I (Karl) have been accepted into a Ph.D program in World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, beginning in September 2017.  It is a 3 year program and I am excited about the opportunity to do some research to equip myself to return again to Thailand to continue with seminary teaching, local church ministry, and writing.  We don’t yet know where we will get the necessary funding for Ph.D studies but we are moving forward in faith.  I know there may be questions about how studying for a Ph.D fits into ministry in Thailand, but I hope to have time to share more about that in person, and in future letters.  If things go as planned, we hope to serve in Thailand for at least another 20-25 years.

by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred

 


PRAYER POINTS

  • Patience and wisdom as we pack up and move out of our house

  • Thai Christian books to be read by believers and nonbelievers

  • Grace City Bangkok church Christmas party outreach on Dec 24th


PRAISES

  • Thai church is growing and  God has given us a part in that

  • "How to Read the Bible” well received

CALENDAR 

12/7 preach BBS chapel

12/9 BBS end of term

12/29-31 Grace City BKK leadership retreat

1/23 fly to USA

1/28-2/8 Colorado

2/8-3/8 New Hampshire

3/8-8/30 California

9/17- Edinburgh, Scotland

 


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