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Dow Update #1: Merry Christmas 2021

This is the first of hopefully many "supporter updates" - in this case we will focus on our process of leaving Kenya well (note that the photo below is NOT our back garden in Kenya)

Leaving Well

As you can imagine, our focus over the last six month has continued to be finishing well at Rosslyn. We love Rosslyn and have invested ourselves deeply in this community for the last twenty years. Leaving well is going to be as hard as it is important. Our prayer is that God is preparing Rosslyn for even greater Kingdom-impact in the years ahead and we are already seeing evidence of this in, among other places:

  • The hiring by the Board of my replacement (Dr. Jon Hill from the International School of Beijing will begin in July of 2022)

  • Generally strong morale among staff despite the challenges of COVID

  • The completion of Rosslyn’s new Commons building (see photo below)

  • The strong beginning to a new hiring cycle for Rosslyn for 2022-23 (please share this link to anyone who you think might be interested).

We have also seen God’s provision for our family in very practical ways as we begin to transition away from Rosslyn and towards BFA, We have seen:

  • The girls have a really positive first semester at Rosslyn

  • The entire family’s enthusiasm for the big move to BFA continue

  • An encouraging start to the process of raising supporters for our work at BFA.

  • Initial transition discussions with the Board and leadership at BFA that will pick up pace in the months ahead.

Support-Raising Update

So far we have only reached out to a small group of people - mainly those who had already approached us or family (you). We are just starting to reach out to others whose convictions and vision we believe are fully in-step with BFA’s mission and purpose. Our initial support-raising target is $6500 per month. We have been extremely encouraged that just from this initial outreach, we are already at $3,230 per month pledged (with most of that already coming in - which will be critical for helping us set up home in Germany).

An Unexpected Blessing

We are also extremely grateful to Catherine’s parents who have been willing to help us put a meaningful down payment on a house in Kandern (the town where BFA is located). The modest but comfortable house is five minutes walk from BFA and right in the heart of the town. Meaning we will not have to have a second car and will be able to engage fully in the life of Kandern (the German town that BFA calls home). This also means that financial support that you have given us to cover rent/utilities will be “extended” in the sense that it will not be lost to rent but invested in a mortgage. This is a blessing we had not anticipated and are deeply grateful to God for His provision in this way.

Starting Work at BFA

In terms of the more practical pieces of starting my work at BFA and the girls starting school there, this coming semester will be very important. I am already meeting regularly with BFA’s current Head of School (my good friend Rob Shuman) and I have a week-long trip planned for April when I will have a chance to be introduced to the staff and students and have a chance to share about my excitement for playing a part in BFA’s mission. That trip in April will be extremely important and so Catherine and I would like to ask that you pray (even now) for that trip. Pray that God would prepare me for BFA and BFA for my leadership and that both would be fully aligned with God’s calling on the school for the next generation of students and staff.

In Supporting Us, You are Also Supporting Them

While we will not be able to share specifics in many cases (due to the need to protect the identity of some missionary families and their work), Catherine and I will be sharing stories about the ministries that are on-going in very challenging locations through the parents of our BFA students. We see your prayers for these pioneering missionaries (as well as for us) as being central to the ministry that is BFA! In a very real sense, your support for our work is directly supporting this work!

Please reach out to us at any time as we would love to share more with whoever would like to hear more!

With Much Gratitude and Affection,

Phil, Catherine, Emma, and Sophie


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