Karen Welker


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SERVING IN: Thailand, Asia


Karen has been serving in Thailand since 1990. She lives in Khon Kaen, located in the heart of Isaan, the poorest region. This northeastern region has the least missionaries of any in Thailand. Her mission is to present the Gospel via teaching English at the university as well as in her home. She serves as the children’s church leader at River of Life Church, founded by Globe missionaries, Bill and Julie Hughes. Karen is also assisting new missionaries as they adapt to the culture and encourages regular fellowship of missionaries. As a nurse, Karen is available as a source of counseling for health problems to both the Thais and the expatriates.


Recent Updates


I have found a wonderful church in NC and I would like to be a part of it as I believe revival is coming. I have just visited Globe (June 15) and have discussed some ways I might be able to help as a nurse. (It would be via internet.) The department would be part of member care but its function and scope have yet to be determined. But it is not full time nor paid.


2021 has been a bit of a disappointment, but I still trust God with every fiber of my being. But, I must qualify this. There are certain things which I am standing firm in faith for. Then there are other things that I am finding it hard to have firm ground. But I still trust God; I trust He will lead me into all Truth and make me fruitful for His Kingdom. I believe that my faith will grow. That is my prayer.


 I am growing in the Lord. I have joined Warrior Notes School of Ministry with Kevin Zadai. I am gaining new insights. I recommend anything he has on YouTube. (just search on YouTube for Kevin Zadai—there is a storehouse of teaching there.) I have joined an Intercessory Prayer Group online praying for America and the election, etc. We meet 5 days a week for an hour or two.


Take heart! God is still on the throne and just as He guided through 2020, He will guide and provide for us in 2021.


The biggest news of the year is Janie’s salvation last month. Now, when I teach them English, instead of Bible stories (like Sunday School), we have started studying other scriptures. Last week was James 3 and the tongue. That’s another thing God has been working in me. Speaking faith, not doubt. It is exciting.


Retirement? Not for me. I have been asked by my boss at the government hospital (1200 beds) to apply for my old position. I am happy for that because it will give me an opportunity to be a better Christian ambassador than I was before. (I had talked to God about that in the last month.) I will need lots of prayer. There are obstacles: my age (69), the requirement to leave the country to get a new visa (currently I have a retirement visa), to name two. Thank all of you who have been praying for me…..if you haven’t, would you please start?


Living in the “COVID Era” in Thailand is sort of like being stranded on an island. While you can get everything you need for short term needs, other things are just out of your grasp. Thailand is an insulated island. We do not have the disease here, just the side effects. But we don’t have a toilet paper shortage!


What is it like to be a missionary? I’m not sure. I follow God’s leading and I find myself in various circumstances. Now I have led a lady to the Lord and baptized her; she will be seeing Jesus soon.


The government changes its policies regularly, without warning. Thank God that He never changes! Certainly, our lives have been changed, with many unknowns for the future. I pray that you are safe and healthy as I am. As Christians, we know that God is really in control, regardless of what happens. He is trustworthy!

mar - apr

First came Covid-19. Just news from China, no big deal, or so it was thought at the beginning…but the viral threat grew. Then my boss asked to see me “about the job”. The next day he released me on March 31 even though my contract ends June 20. I believe that due to the recession in Thailand (before Covid) the hospital director felt he had to let me go. I was crushed because I thought he thought I was not doing a good job. But it was more of an economic concern for him.

jan- feb

God has truly been blessing me with new friendships as well as a burgeoning Sunday School attendance. In fact, Sunday School is becoming more than I can handle alone! Isn’t that wonderful! More children, sometimes many languages (some of which I do not speak!)


We are entering the “cold” season. That means it will not go above 90 most days, and very little rain. It may occasionally
hit 55 in the mornings. This is when Thailand is a lot closer to heaven than hell.


Thank you for all your prayers. Our hospital passed accreditation! It is a miracle, really. Yes, the staff worked hard, but so much had to come together.

AUG 19

In September, I will start teaching Sunday School and English to my students (again). I am looking forward to taking some time off as well.

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