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November 2008 Prayer Letter

Written by Karl Dahlfred on .

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prodigal son tractDear Friends and Family,

Thanks for praying for us as we arrived back in PhraBaht in October.  In our absence, our house was well taken care by Pastor Jarun and his wife Joy, and our househelp Muay did a great job of cleaning the place before we arrived.  We have really enjoyed seeing people again, both church people and neighbors.  We made a decision to focus on visiting and catch up with people instead of letting ourselves get wrapped up with unpacking and putting things away.  Those practical matters will come with time but our priority is loving people in the name of Christ.

Our ministry focus continues to be church planting in surrounding towns such as Nong Doan, six miles northwest of PhraBaht.  Our primary contacts there are Chaat & Muay, a Christian couple who come in to PhraBaht for worship on Sundays.  I (Karl) have restarted my weekly visits to them on Wednesday morning to teach Scripture.  We’ll are finishing up the book of Ephesians which we started last year before Sun and I had to go back to the States.  Next, I hope to teach them how to do inductive Bible study and thus understand Scripture for themselves.  Currently, their daily devotions consist entirely of reading the Thai version of “Our Daily Bread”, a little booklet with a daily Bible verse and accompanying story.  Please pray for their spiritual growth and for their marriage.  Sun and I counsel them as we are able but, like many marriages, the issues are complicated and long standing.


In a related issue, in a recent PhraBaht church leaders meeting, the leaders acknowledged that their families are not strong and that is a big reason why the church is not growing spiritually.  Again, the family issues are not easy to resolve and the some Thai culture values make relational problems even more difficult than in the West - indirect communication, extreme conflict avoidance, and a severe lack of models of healthy families.  That’s not to say that Westerners always love direct communication and getting into conflicts.  But rather, there is a much higher value in Thai culture on superficial peace and outward harmony, such that confronting someone about an issue directly is often unheard of.  An unhealthy passive agressive vengeful attitude is often the result.  Please pray for God’s sancification of PhraBaht church members and leaders so that this church will be marked by humility, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

We are starting to do some more personal visitation, in hopes of gathering people to study Scripture and do evangelism.  On Nov 16th, Karl will lead some believers out to Nong Doan for evangelism.  We will go to Chaat & Muay’s house  to pray, worship, and talk about “What is the Gospel?” before we set out in small groups to pass out tracts.  Chaat knows the area and will show us where to go.  Afterwards, we’ll come back to Chaat’s house and hopefully have time to evaluate how things went.  I hope to make such times a regular event, not only in Nong Doan but in other nearby towns.  We’ll throw out the nets wide and see who is interested.  Then we can go back and visit those folks later on.  This should also be a good opportunity to make sure the church people really understand the Gospel and how to share the Gospel in a way that glorifies God, not man.

Please continue to pray for us, for Thai believers, and for those who have not yet heard and believed.  May the Holy Spirit work faith in the hearts of many (John 3:8).

by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred

PRAYER REQUESTS

Thai believers who want to study the Word of God with us
Evangelism in PhraBaht, Nong Doan, and beyond
Language study as we take lessons at the OMF language school in Nov.
Good working relationship with Pastor Jarun

PRAISES

A strong start as we jump back into ministry
Restful vacation
Abundant opportunities for evangelism


CALENDAR
11/16 Tracting and Visitation in Nong Doan
11/20 Sun language check
12/2  Travel to Bangkok for Visa Renewal

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