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September 2011 Prayer Letter

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Dear Friends & Family,

 

Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we spend this year in the U.S. on home assignment.

In July, we enjoyed a ten day trip to Colorado for some training at OMF International’s U.S. headquarters, and visits with friends and supporters.  It was great to connect with other missionaries, and to hear their stories, at the OMF training week.  We were also reminded of all the hard work that the support staff do there, processing finances, sending out prayer letters, and helping prospective missionaries get to the field.  So-called administrative “overhead” is not wasted money, but essential for getting missionaries to the field and helping them stay there.

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July 2011 Prayer Letter

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Dear Friends & Family,

 

Praise the Lord! We have bought our home and are living in it. It has been rough at times getting here, but the Lord has accomplished it. Getting settled has also been difficult, but we are slowly getting there by God’s grace. Of course, keeping the home while serving the Lord as missionaries overseas will be a challenge. So, we know that we are dependent on God every step of the way. Please continue to pray for us over this matter.

We had written earlier that there would be risks to owning a home while we are overseas but we believe that it will be a good investment and will serve to control rent in our latter years.  If we were to retire in the United States in thirty years time, it would be good to not to have to pay rent at that time, especially as some people are less likely to keep supporting retired missionaries who are no longer “on the front lines”.   Out of necessity, some missionaries live in dozens of different homes over the course of their lifetime.  We hope that owning this home will add stability to our family’s life as we come back to it time and again when we are in the U.S.
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May 2011 Prayer Letter

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Dear Friends & Family,

When we left for the field as missionaries in 2006, we thought that owning a home was out of the question for us. We didn’t have the funds and we would be gone much of the time. However, we had to rethink that through when Dr. Larry Dinkins, a OMF missionary who has served the Thai for the last 30 years, wrote a guest post on our webpage entitled “If I Had To Do It All Over Again” (July 14, 2009). Number 7 on his list was, “I would have figured out a way to purchase a house on the homeside [USA] early in my career and thus set up a solid base for my family in subsequent years.” We began thinking and praying, and researching about this idea. We corresponded with the Dinkins to better understand their rationale, talked it over with the finance director at OMF to see whether OMF would be supportive of the idea of their missionary owning a home stateside, and looked at our finances.
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February 2011 Prayer Letter

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Dear Friends & Family,

We have been told that one of the reasons for missionaries to take home assignment is rest and refreshment.  The only problem is that our family is not very good at resting.

From early in the morning until bedtime, four year old Joshua is zipping around the house in a flurry of activity and non-stop chatter.  Baby Caitlin tries to copy big brother.  Where do they get this from?  Hard to say because Mom and Dad are equally active in their own way.

At the beginning of February, Karl began studies at Talbot School of Theology, part of Biola University.  He is studying for a Masters of Theology (Th.M) which is one year of post-graduate work beyond the M.Div.  The plan is to graduate in December 2011, after which we will return to Thailand.  The purpose of doing a Th.M is twofold.  First, I want to equip myself to better respond to trends and questions of theology, culture, and strategy on the mission field.  Secondly, a Th.M will help prepare me to teach at both the bachelors and masters degree level in a Bible college or seminary in Thailand.  Upon our return to Thailand, there is a very strong possibility that we will be based in Bangkok and I will teach church history part-time at a seminary there.  At the moment though, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the work and am still looking for a thesis advisor.  Please pray that either I can find a professor willing to supervise my thesis or it becomes clear that I should pursue a non-thesis track.  I need to figure this out ASAP.