Daily Post #97 (Thailand Needs Prayer)

I am pleased and honored to share a bit about my good friends who love Jesus and are preparing to return to Thailand very soon to continue partnering with God in all that He is doing there. I first met Karl in September 2017 at the School of Divinity in Edinburgh. We both started our doctoral studies there in that month and year. Little did we know that our friendship was one of the reasons that—in my opinion—God had us work on our Ph.D. at the same time. Within a few months, our families would meet and share a meal. Karl and I are still close friends and I want to dedicate today’s blog to Karl, Sun, and their kids and invite you to be a part of what God is doing in Thailand through prayer and/or giving (if you want to give a one-time gift or start giving monthly, click here). It is an opportunity for us to be a part of what God is doing in the nations of the earth. I take the idea of a spiritual inheritance seriously, and what a joy to know that you can be a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ moving forward in another nation as well as your own. Soli Deo gloria.

I invited Karl to write for this blog and share. Below are his words. (Oh, and ignore what he said about chocolate chip cookies. I have no recollection of such things.)

* * * * * * *

One of the greatest things in the world is friends who have the same heart and passion as you do. As C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”  In that vein, I am thankful for my friend B.J. Condrey who invited me to share this guest post on his blog.  B.J. and I met in Scotland where we both had desks in the same postgraduate study room at the University of Edinburgh. I found in B.J. a common love for Christ, research and teaching, hearty laughs, and chocolate chip cookies. And he ate more than a few of the cookies I regularly brought for lunch. 😀

But I didn’t come here to write about cookies. When B.J. heard that my family and I were trying to raise support to return to the mission field in Thailand, he said, “Hey, why don’t you write a post for my blog?” I thought, “Why not? I love to share with anyone who will listen about Thailand.”

Although Thailand (formerly known as Siam) became well known because of the original Siamese twins (who moved to 19th century North Carolina and married a pair of sisters), the country today is known for elephants, tuk-tuk rickshaws, beaches, mountains, amazing food, and (unfortunately) it’s red light districts.  It is also one of the most Buddhist countries in the world.

Thailand has over 66 million people and is 95% Buddhist, yet Christians make up less than 1 percent of the population and only half of Thai churches have a full-time pastor. The animated map of Thailand you see below shows how the Gospel has grown and spread over the past 150+ years. Blue areas don’t have any churches. Yellow areas have at least one church.  Red areas have more than one church. You’ll see the map only goes up to 2016 but the state of the church in Thailand in 2022 is still really similar, namely LOTS of places without churches or Christian witness.

It is awesome to see how God is growing his church in Thailand but statistics on new churches and numbers of believers is only half the picture. Are those churches healthy? Are believers walking in holiness, grounded in a solid understanding of God’s word? Churches in Thailand are growing but moralism, prosperity gospel, and other forms of false teaching abound.  Thai churches need leaders with a firm foundation in the Word of God and that’s why I want to return to the mission field in Thailand.

My wife Sun and I have worked in Thailand since 2006 and over the years, we’ve been involved in various ministries including church planting, English teaching, publishing, and theological education. When we return to Thailand this time, we will be based in either Bangkok or Chiang Mai where I will resume teaching and training pastors and church leaders at the seminary level, as well as doing local church ministry alongside Thai Christians.  For churches to continue growing, and to grow in a healthy and biblical manner, they need faithful pastors and teachers who know and love the Word of God. As a seminary instructor, my role will be to equip current and upcoming Thai church leaders to disciple their own people and lead them in evangelism and outreach.

If you would like to follow along with our journey to the mission field and hear stories about how God is working in Thailand to grow his church, I invite you to subscribe to our prayer letter.  We send out letters and updates with prayer requests about once per month, though sometimes more frequently (and we are obviously not going to share your email address with anyone else).

Thailand needs prayer and we need prayer, and we know that God listens to the prayers of his people!

Subscribe to Karl & Sun Dahlfred’s missionary prayer letter, “Thai Tidings” via the following link:

http://dahlfred.com/prayer-letters/subscribe

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Published by B.J. Condrey, PhD

Dr. Condrey holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Missouri-KC, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in Ethics & Practical Theology from the University of Edinburgh. He is ACSI certified. Dr. Condrey writes courses and teaches Psychology, Bible, and C.S. Lewis at Enlightium Academy, where he began working in 2016. He has served as a youth, young adult, and small group pastor in the local church, and currently teaches Ethics at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has a book published by Wipf & Stock (Breaking Ground) along with other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, spending time with his family, traveling, trout fishing, family hikes, and drinking coffee! He is passionate about helping young people construct a biblical worldview so that their faith involves both the mind and heart. He has been married since 2009 and has two children.

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