July: News, Thanks and Prayers

Graduation day with two of Kristi’s senior small group girls.

News and Dates:

  • July 6-10: Timmy in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Last two weeks of July: Timmy finishing Air Force Reserve service days as a Chaplain (Kristi and Luci get to come this time, too!)
  • In case you haven’t seen the update on Facebook, Timmy will be in Columbia, South Carolina this weekend! If you’re free and would like to connect, email timmy.dahlstrom@gmail.com to set something up!
  • BFA’s incredible Communications team has put together a short film called “Hands,” about the work we do at BFA. Check it out on BFA’s Youtube page here.

We’re Thankful For:

  • A Good End to a busy school year, weeks filled with hard work and good attitudes from students. As always, it was bittersweet to see them go, but we feel honored to have been a part of their lives.
  • Time To Rest and reflect on our first year in Germany, a time that was filled with new joys and challenges unique to our season as a young family in ministry.
  • A Visit With Friends last weekend in nearby Bavaria, providing a much-needed excuse to get out of town, see a different part of this lovely country, and catch up with old friends.
  • Recreational Reading during our newly out-of-school time. Timmy and I are reading David James Duncan’s The Brothers K, as a family we’re reading C.S. Lewis’s Prince Caspian, and Luci is reading* all three Knuffle Bunny books, by Mo Willems, several times a day.

*OK, Luci isn’t reading them. We are. Again and again and again.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Summer Travels. Pray for Timmy as he travels to South Carolina this weekend, for easy transitions and connections with friends there. We’ll be heading to Spangdahlem Air Base, a few hours north, in a couple of weeks, so pray for health and smooth travels for our mini-road trip. Finally, Timmy will be returning to Virginia Beach for his second graduate residency with Regent University in August, and Oma Donna will be coming here. Lots of coming and going this summer!
  • Financial Support. We continue to pray for about $1300 more in monthly support to cover increased cost of living and hospitality aspects of our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

We continue to praise God daily for the encouragement and support that you are to us in our ministry here. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

Sustainability {Or, Measuring A Year}

Class of 2017 on the first day of school…

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

From “Seasons of Love,” RENT

June 24 marks one year back in Kandern, this time as a family of three, a year filled with beginnings-again, with all joys and challenges included. At intervals throughout the year, friends, colleagues and acquaintances have asked us “how it is” being back. I must have expected to have a better answer at one point, but honestly this has become one of those questions, like asking “How are you?” to a brand-new parent, or “How was your trip?” to someone who’s just returned from a mission trip to Haiti after an earthquake. There is no simple answer. There’s just… well, a year.

This year was challenging, as we realized that having a young child who goes to bed early would change how we connected to the community. We went to fewer events, had fewer extracurricular commitments, and learned that weekend lunches were the best times for connecting with other young families. We hosted dinners and movie nights after bedtime, gradually figuring out how to exercise hospitality from this new family context.

This year was beautiful, returning with our daughter to this place that Timmy and I fell in love, reflecting daily on the vast history of blessing with which Christ has built and continues to build our family. We walked familiar trails, visited favorite buildings, and watched countless sunsets, thunderstorms and snowfalls from our fourth-floor apartment.

This year was surprising, filled with relationships and opportunities that we didn’t expect from the far side of the Atlantic. Timmy coached basketball and I substitute-taught ceramics for a few weeks. I co-led a girls’ small group with another young mom, and Timmy spent the spring doing a counseling internship with staff in the community. We discovered that Luci is by far the most popular member of our family, bringing gleeful grins from eleventh-graders and fellow teachers alike.

Though it’s impossible to sum up–to measure–this year, as a Pacific Northwesterner it seems no coincidence to me that the word that keeps coming to mind is “sustainability.” Because in the end, this was the common denominator of our ministry in Germany this year. Both at Black Forest Academy and in the community in Kandern, we seek to enable missionaries to sustain healthy ministries in the places to which God has called them.

For me, sustainability means teaching young people to read, write, speak and think clearly, helping to provide a quality English education while their parents serve in evangelism, community development, translation, refugee ministry and other mission work in Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond. Families that would have had to leave the field when their children reached high school are able to remain in ministry in these capacities.

For Timmy, sustainability means providing counseling and other hospitality services through TeachBeyond Member Care here in Kandern, working with a great number of missionaries, mostly school staff, as they transition from North America to Europe, from big cities to small towns, and from traditional careers to the decidedly non-traditional life of serving as overseas missionaries. This also means opening our home to fellow missionaries, providing hospitality and a safe space for connection and processing.

We’re working on our second year back in Kandern now, but I don’t expect our “word of the year” to change much. Our focus continues to be on creating space for sustainable ministry, both for our colleagues here in Kandern and for the parents of our students, spread around the world. We’re thankful for the weeks of summer ahead of us, time to spend sustaining our own family and ministry as we rest and reset for Year 2 (or Year 7, or Year 9, depending on how you count, and which of us you ask). Join us in praying for rest, health, and peace this summer, for us and those in our care.

If you’re interested in learning more about our ministry here in Germany, read our bio at Meet The Dahlstroms. Or, if you’d like to learn more about how to partner with us in ministry, follow this link to our TeachBeyond giving page.

…and the last!

 

June: News, Thanks, Prayers

Luci enjoys her new swing!

News and Dates:

  • June 8: Last Day of Class
  • June 9-14: Final Exams
  • June 16: Graduation Day
  • June 19-22: All-Staff Work Week at BFA
  • The BFA construction project is almost complete! We are nearly set to help the Middle School move from their current location in the neighboring village of Sitzenkirch to the new fourth and fifth floors of our Main Building!
  • Curriculum for June: Final exams, ceramics critiques, and debate!

We’re Thankful For:

  • A Busy Month of Counseling Practicum for Timmy, who has been able to meet with clients even in the midst of the wrapping-up of the school year.
  • Kristi’s Small Group of senior girls and her co-leader, Suzanne, for a wonderful year of conversation and sharing life before they transition to next chapters in the U.S. and beyond.
  • The Juniors of BFA, with whom Kristi has had a wonderful year studying literature and writing.
  • The Kandern Pool for offering fun and respite from a hot, hot May.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Ending Well. Pray for staff and students as we wrap up work and relationships, some for the summer and some for longer. Pray for those who are leaving this place, that their details will come together, their goodbyes will be life-giving, and that they remain safe and healthy through their travels.
  • Summer. Pray for rest and health this summer. We’ll spend most of the time in Kandern, with a two-week stint on Timmy’s Air Force base in July, some possible visits to friends here and there, and a visit from Luci’s Oma Donna in August.
  • Financial Support. We continue to pray for about $1300 more in monthly support to cover increased cost of living and hospitality aspects of our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

As this first year back in Germany comes to a close, we continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude for the encouragement and support that so many of you have been to us in our ministry here. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

May: News, Thanks, Prayers

News and Dates:

  • May 1-12: AP Tests
  • May 5: One-Act Play Festival
  • May 8: Timmy’s Summer Semester starts
  • May 12: Junior-Senior Banquet
  • May 13: Home Soccer & Track Meet
  • Timmy was approved by his graduate program with Regent University to complete his counseling practicum and internship in the next year, and has supervisors set for both.
  • Kristi will be supervising a ceramics class for the rest of the year, covering for a colleague on maternity leave.
  • Curriculum for May: The Crucible, College Essays, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, persuasive speeches

We’re Thankful For:

  • A Restful Spring Break, long days full of walking, cooking, playing and watching Luci learn to talk. Truly a gift!
  • Senior Transition Day, which was a great opportunity for Timmy to share some thoughts with our seniors regarding entering the next chapters of their lives with hearts open to God’s work.
  • Excellent Supervisors for Timmy as he begins his counseling practicum next week, and prepares for his long-term internship with BFA’s Counseling Center, which will start in the fall.
  • Excited Students, who have returned from Spring Break well-rested and ready to tackle the bear of AP tests and May wrapping-up.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • May Madness! The last few weeks of school here at BFA tend to be busy ones, full both of normal end-of-the-year activities and the added emotional pressure of goodbyes. Pray for students and staff, both the ones leaving this summer and the ones staying behind, and that the transition would be a smooth one for all.
  • BFA Building Project. Our year-long construction project, which will add a new floor and other updates to the Main Building, is drawing to a close. Pray that the process remains on-track as we prepare to move our Middle School from a neighboring village to our main Kandern campus in June.
  • Financial Support. We continue to pray for about $1200 more in monthly support to cover increased cost of living and hospitality aspects of our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

We are ever more aware that our ministry here would be impossible without the encouragement and support we receive from afar. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

April: News, Thanks and Prayers

Student cleaning Camp Kandern refugee center on Impact Day 2017

News and Dates:

  • April 6-24: Spring Break
  • April 27: Senior Transition Day
  • Curriculum for April: Modern Poetry, The Crucible, informative speeches

We’re Thankful For:

  • Impact Day 2017, which offered staff and students the chance to work on service projects in the community for the day. Kristi had a great time serving at the Kandern refugee center with her small group.
  • Lovely Spring Days in Kandern, perfect for walks in the forest, and to and from school these busy last weeks before Spring Break.
  • Spangdahlem Trip in March, which was a good time for Timmy to make connections with other airmen and chaplains with the Air Force, and offered him some valuable preaching experience at the Base Chapel.
  • Old and New Friends in the community, with whom we’ve enjoyed movie nights, dinners and evenings out. So blessed to continue to see God’s provision in bringing fun people around us.
  • Parents of our BFA students, both near and far, who work hard to communicate with staff and advocate for their children’s needs. It’s truly an honor to serve these families.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Rest. With Spring Break approaching, pray that we have time to rest as a family as we gear up for the busy spring season at BFA.
  • Travel Safety. Pray for the safety and health of staff and students who are heading out for service trips on three continents, and for the others who travel home for the break.
  • Financial Support. We continue to pray for about $1200 more in monthly support to cover increased cost of living and hospitality aspects of our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

In the midst of a busy season of classes, graduate school and service to missionaries in Kandern, we are continually thankful for your encouragement and financial support. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

March: News, Thanks, Prayers

Honors American Literature class, discussing the importance of the authors they researched this quarter.

Honors American Literature class, discussing the importance of the authors they researched this quarter.

News and Dates:

  • Beginning of March: Timmy serves on base as US Air Force Reserve Chaplain
  • March 3-5: High School Retreat in Switzerland
  • March 24: End of Quarter 3
  • Curriculum for March: Of Mice and Men, Modern Poetry

We’re Thankful For:

  • The BFA Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team, for whom Timmy had a great season serving as Assistant Coach. And for their victory as Division II Champions for DoDDS Europe!
  • A wonderful alumna, who has been able to help us by taking care of Luci while Timmy has been at basketball games.
  • Holly (Dahlstrom) and Chris Prairie, who are visiting in March. Luci is excited to have some swell times with her aunt and uncle while Timmy works on base!
  • Public Speaking class, a marvelous multilevel group of students that makes Kristi laugh every day as they face their public speaking fears and explore what it means to be good communicators.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Counseling School. Timmy recently learned that his counseling program through Regent University will likely take three rather than the two years we’d planned. Pray for wisdom as we process what that means for our service here, and as Timmy seeks opportunities to complete his supervised internship in his third year of graduate school.
  • Financial Support. We continue to pray for about $1200 more in monthly support to cover increased cost of living and hospitality aspects of our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

We continue to be grateful for the overwhelming support from those of you who make our ministry here possible with your prayers and financial gifts. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

February: News, Thanks and Prayers

Enjoying some BFA Basketball!

Enjoying some BFA Basketball!

News and Dates:

  • February 3-4: BFA Basketball @ Bitburg
  • February 10-11: BFA Basketball @ Kaiserslautern
  • February 17-18: Last home basketball game
  • February 21-25: DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependent Schools) European Basketball Tournament
  • Curriculum for February: The Great GatsbyOf Mice and Men, research, introductory and commemorative speeches

We’re Thankful For:

  • A Snowy January in Kandern since we’ve returned from snowy Snoqualmie. It’s been beautiful here, and COLD!
  • The BFA Basketball Team, with whom Timmy has enjoyed working this season, learning to coach and enjoying discipleship with the guys.
  • A New Semester for the students, which includes Kristi’s favorite half of the American Literature curriculum, and a whole new class of Public Speaking students.
  • Special Financial Gifts in the last two months, which have placed us at 100% of our support goal for those months! We’re truly grateful to those who’ve made this ministry possible!

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Basketball Tournament. Pray for Timmy as he and the basketball team travel to the DoDDS Europe tournament at the end of the month, that it would be a time without injury and a time of great fellowship and sportsmanlike competition for all involved.
  • Financial Support. We currently have about $4315 pledged monthly, and we continue to pray for a bit more support to cover increased cost of living here. We’ve been blessed with special gifts that have made up this difference , but could use more support to facilitate the hospitality aspects of member care. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

We are thankful every day for the support of friends, family and our three churches, those of you who make our ministry here possible with your prayers and financial gifts. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

January: News, Thanks and Prayers

Luci enjoys some quality time with her Great-Grandma Ruth at the Pass chalet.

Luci enjoys some quality time with her Great-Grandma Ruth at the Pass chalet.

News and Dates:

  • January 9: Classes resume
  • January 16: End of Semester 1
  • January 17-20: Semester Exams
  • January 20-21: Basketball games @ BFA
  • Curriculum for January: Modernism, The Great Gatsby, begin research project

We’re Thankful For:

  • A Christmas in Washington with family. It was a sweet time of reconnection with friends and family, playing in the snow, and rest in a beautiful place. Thankful for the opportunity to spend this time together!
  • Community of friends and family, in America and Germany. We’re endlessly thankful for the encouragement and friendship you bring to our lives, and for the bonds of relationship that span oceans and continents.
  • Financial Supporters who have continued to make our ministry possible in Kandern, faithfully contributing to our living expenses and giving encouragement, prayer and practical provision each month.
  • Fall Semester, which has been a strong start to the year, with hardworking eleventh-grade literature students and quirky and curious public speaking students.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Semester Exams. Pray for students as they return from Christmas break for one last week of classes before their final exams. Pray for health, safety and focus as both students and faculty jump in to one of the busiest weeks of the year.
  • Financial Support. We’re blessed with enough monthly for basic living expenses, but could use more support to facilitate the hospitality aspects of member care. If you’ve ever desired to have a missionary (us, or anyone else!) over for dinner, help us bridge that gap in the Kandern community by investing in our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

We begin this new year in Washington state, preparing to fly back to Germany in a few days, and are continually thankful for the community of support we’ve found here, in Germany, and in our other “home” in Virginia. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry in Kandern.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

December: News, Thanks and Prayers

Happy Birthday to Luci!

Happy Birthday to Luci!

News and Dates:

  • December 2-3: Opening weekend for BFA Basketball
  • December 16: Last day of classes!
  • Mid-December-early January: Home to Washington for Christmas
  • Curriculum for DecemberAdventures of Huckleberry Finn, Short story writing

We’re Thankful For:

  • A marvelous first year with our daughter, Luci. She’s growing and changing so fast, and we feel overwhlemed with thankfulness that we get to be her parents.
  • Flexibility in scheduling that allows Kristi to work at BFA and Timmy to coach basketball this season.
  • Family that we’ll see this Christmas and those we keep up with from afar.
  • Financial partners who make this ministry possible by encouraging us with monthly support.
  • The English Department at BFA this year, who provide support, collaboration and encouragement to Kristi as she teaches there.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Member Care. Pray for Timmy with his role in TeachBeyond Member Care. Our missionaries here in Kandern have lately sustained a number of traumas and losses, so we ask for prayer both for these families and for the team of people who provide support to them in the midst of troubling times.
  • Financial Support. We’re blessed with enough monthly for basic living expenses, but could use more support to facilitate the hospitality aspects of member care. If you’ve ever desired to have a missionary (us, or anyone else!) over for dinner, help us bridge that gap in the Kandern community by investing in our member care ministry here. If you’re interested in helping to support this aspect of our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

As the year comes to an end, we are overwhelmed with gratefulness to the friends and family whose encouragement and support make our ministry here in Germany possible. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom

November: News, Thanks and Prayers

All dressed up for our local Trunk or Treat!

All dressed up for our local Trunk or Treat!

News and Dates:

  • November 2: BFA celebrates our 60th Birthday!
  • November 4-6: Weekend retreat in Switzerland
  • November 14: Basketball season starts
  • November 21: Luci’s first birthday!
  • Timmy will be serving as an assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach at BFA from November to February. He’s excited to spend time mentoring the guys and growing in his coaching skills!
  • Timmy has also started a play group for parents of preschoolers, meeting semi-regularly. This has been a great time of connection for the stay-at-home parents in our community!
  • Curriculum for November: Transcendentalism, Huckleberry Finn, Informational Speeches

We’re Thankful For:

  • 60 Years of BFA, and the chance to reflect on God’s faithfulness to our school as we celebrate this week.
  • Autumn in the Black Forest and quiet weekends to hike and admire God’s creation.
  • One Year of Luci, a time of blessing and change as we’ve become a family of three and moved to a new country.
  • A Visit from Dahlstrom Parents, which is truly a gift each fall, giving us the chance to reconnect and them the chance to hang out with their granddaughter.
  • Commencement Speeches, for giving Kristi’s Public Speaking students the occasion to reflect on what they believe deeply, and what they find to be the most important “parting words” they could give to their peers.

Please Be In Prayer For:

  • Basketball Season. Pray for us as we begin a new season as Timmy starts working with the boys’ varsity basketball team. Pray for strong connections on the team, and health and safety for all involved.
  • Financial Support. We currently have about $4315 pledged monthly, and we continue to pray for a bit more support to cover increased cost of living here. We’re blessed with enough for basic living expenses, but could use more support to facilitate the hospitality aspects of member care. If you are interested in helping fully support our ministry, please visit our Getting Involved page or our online giving page with TeachBeyond.

In this month of thanksgiving, we are most of all thankful for our faithful friends and family, whose encouragement and support make our ministry here in Germany possible. Please let us know if there are ways that we can be praying for you, or if you have any questions our life or ministry.

Peace in Christ,

Timmy & Kristi Dahlstrom