Timmy and Kristi Dahlstrom have been serving in southwestern Germany, at Black Forest Academy, since 2008 and 2010, respectively. Timmy began as a Resident Assistant in 2008, and since then has taken on a variety of roles, including Bible and P.E. teacher and advisor to our Student Council. Kristi arrived in 2010, and since then has taught Canadian History and Honors and regular American Literature, has served briefly as English Department chair, and has mentored new teachers.
Growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Timmy’s involvement with his church led him to a passion for youth ministry even before finishing high school. An adventurous lover of the outdoors and a people-oriented leader, he pursued this vocation at Columbia International University, graduating in 2008 with degrees in Bible and Youth Ministry and soon after receiving a call to come work with high school boys at BFA. Having spent some of his childhood in Italy, and still feeling pulled towards youth ministry, Timmy left for Germany, and for two years served as an RA in Maugenhard boys’ dorm.
From a rural childhood in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State and an urban adolescence in Seattle, Kristi always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Kristi was a voracious reader and passionate writer, and after graduating with a degree in English Literature from Seattle Pacific University in 2006, she began teaching in Seattle at Ingraham High School. Though she loved public school, as the daughter of a pastor she also had a heart for children growing up in ministry settings, so in 2010 she applied and was accepted as a teacher at BFA, arriving in Germany that fall.
Timmy and Kristi met at BFA in 2011, after Timmy spent one year serving as an RA at a Christian school Korea, and under the excited, watchful eyes of a few hundred high school students, started dating early in 2012. Having both discovered that ministry at BFA consisted as much in mentorship and living in community as it did their official roles, they decided to keep their relationship “open” to the questions of students. When they got married in December of 2013, students from all over the world logged in to see their Seattle wedding streamed online, and the Dahlstroms returned to Germany to celebrate the beginning of their life together in the warmth of the BFA community. This celebration has only continued, as in the spring of 2015 they discovered that they’d be adding a daughter, Luci, to their family in November.
Though it hasn’t always been easy to live in the “fishbowl” of community, for both Timmy and Kristi hospitality and mentorship have become important parts of their calling in Germany. God has created a space at BFA where students are seeking mentorship, people just ahead of them on their faith journeys, showing by example what it looks like to follow Christ into adulthood. Through proximity to the school, getting involved with students through small group leading, sports coaching or dorm volunteering, both Timmy and Kristi have been able to develop lasting and meaningful relationships with young people who are just beginning to ask what it means to serve Christ as individuals.
After spending the 2015-2016 school year in America on home assignment, Timmy, Kristi and Luci returned to Kandern community in the summer of 2016. Kristi teaches English at the school, while Timmy works in pastoral care for the TeachBeyond missionaries in Kandern and studies for a Masters in Counseling with Regent University. Luci is learning to walk and speak, excited to navigate the cobblestone streets of a new home. Please join them in prayer, and consider becoming a financial partner in their ministry, as they serve the children of missionaries around the world.