Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement for us as we look toward returning to Thailand. A lot of people have been asking where we are at in that process. Here’s the scoop.
Financial Support Update
We are really thankful to have gained a new church partner within the past month and are hoping to hear something from a few other churches who have indicated strong potential interest in partnering with us but have not been in touch in some time. It would really help to shore up our financial position if we had an additional $1000/month or so by the time we leave for the field. Though more support is needed, we got really good news from OMF U.S. that our financial position is good enough for the OMF Thailand field office to start processing our visas. Woo hoo! Countdown to departure can begin!
Visa Applications and Departure Date
OMF Thailand is beginning the process of applying for a religious affairs (or “missionary”) visa for Karl which takes about 5 months. That feels like a long time, but then again there is a LOT of running paperwork between different government offices and other entities for signatures, stamps, approvals, etc. I won’t bore you with all the gory details of visa paperwork, but here is the plan.
Visa Extension Stamp for Thailand Missionary Visa in a Passport
Our family will leave for Thailand at the end of September, then take a quick trip from Bangkok to Penang (Malaysia) to pick up our visas from the Thai consulate there. Then we will come back to Thailand and move to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Hopefully we’ll have enough time to buy a vehicle, find a rental house, and get settled before the new term starts at Chiang Mai Theological Seminary in November. In sum, ETA for Thailand is Sept 30th or thereabouts depending on what flights we can get.
Between Now and Departure
With departure in view at the end of September, that gives us a bit less than 5 months to wrap up our time in the States. We’ve been here far longer than expected but it has been especially good for the kids who’ve had time to make some friends, experience American life, and to participate in activities like church youth group and scouting-type groups like Trail Life and American Heritage Girls. Just recently, Joshua also achieved the milestone of getting his driver’s license. He is nearly 17 years old now and by the time our next home assignment rolls around in 4 years or so, Joshua may be ready to strike out on his own. Getting his driver’s license now will make that future transition smoother.
There are now 3 drivers in our family. Congratulations, Joshua!
This summer, a couple of the kids will go to summer camp, I (Karl) will attend the annual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, and we’ll be trying to finish up some renovations on our house here in Florida so that we can rent it out while we are overseas. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make some church visits to share about Thailand as well, as the Lord opens doors.
Please continue to pray with us for God’s provision and for wisdom for the logistics of our upcoming move. Thanks for praying for us, and with us, on behalf of the Thai people. Soli Deo Gloria.
Blessings in Christ,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
- Connections with new mission partners
- Additional $1000+/month financial support
- Approval to begin visa applications
- New church partner & increasing support
5/13 Thai Bible Study, Melbourne, FL
6/12-16 Karl at PCA General Assembly
9/30 Depart for Thailand, Lord willing!