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“While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” —Luke 24:51

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Photo of Lyle Dykstra Photo of Terry Dykstra.

REad letters from Lyle and Terry Dykstra

November 2011
April 2010
February 2009
May 2008
March 2008
February 2008
December 2007

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Lyle and Terry Dykstra

Presbyterian College
P.O. Box 387
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Lyle and Terry Dykstra, in their “go-go” years of retirement (the three phases, they say, are go-go, slow-go, and no-go), signed up in January 2003 to serve with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) in Kenya. Lyle lectures at the Pastoral Institute at Presbyterian College, teaching practical theology and pastoral care to future pastors. Terry works with a counseling program for young adults and provide administrative skills.

The lack of educational infrastructure in Kenya is so severe that there are no places for 80 percent of the young people who qualify to go to college. The PCEA experiences a chronic shortage of pastors. The Pastoral Institute of Presbyterian College is where most PCEA pastors receive their first theological education.

“I’m looking forward to working with candidates for ministry in pastoral care,” writes Lyle. “It will be exciting to discover how Kenyans are expressing the love of Christ in their care of one another. I hope to discover ever more effective ways to be an incarnate listening presence of the love of God in the lives of others.”

The Dykstras' interest in and concern for Africa and its peoples goes back a long way. While in college, Lyle participated in the Operations Crossroads Africa program in Liberia at the same time Terry was in Ghana with the same program. Ever since then, in one way or another, they’ve been preparing to return to serve in Africa.

A significant part of Lyle’s ministry over the past 20 years has been engaging in interfaith dialogue and activity. It is hard, says Lyle, not to come out of such interaction reassured that we are all God’s people regardless of what languages or names we use to describe and explain it. “We Christians are to show the love of Christ,” he writes, “whether others join us or not.”

From 1988 until 2002, Lyle was senior pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. From 1982-88 he was pastor and head of staff at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and from 1972 to 1982, he was pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Missouri.

Lyle was born and raised in Iowa and Minnesota. He holds an M.Div. from Union Seminary in New York City and a D.Min. from McCormick Seminary in Chicago. His bachelor’s degree is from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Christians of East Africa have a tremendous wealth of dynamic Christian experience to share,” writes Terry, “and can help me and other Americans to grow spiritually.” Terry’s work in Kenya is a continuation of her many years as a teacher and a learner. From 1987 to 2002, she was executive director at the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore. From 1983 to 1987 she was director of parent education and marriage enrichment at Family and Children’s Service in Baltimore. She served as acting principal and teacher at the Teenage Parent Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Terry was born and raised in Phelps, Kentucky, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. She holds a Master of Science degree in human development, family and community relations from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Terry is a member of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware, Lyle’s last pastorate. Lyle is a minister member of New Castle Presbytery.

The Dykstras are the parents of two adult children, Lisa Lee Jarosinski and Jennifer Lynn Burelbach.

Lyle - March 24
Terry - August 25