The Odessa Record -

Meet your neighbors

The Pastor Dirk Jensen family


January 18, 2018

--Courtesy photo.

The new pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa along with his family following a December church service. Back: Pastor Dirk Jensen, Karen Jensen and oldest son Austin. Front: Chayden, Sonjya and Kaleb Jensen.

Sitting here, looking out my window at the sunshine makes me think it's spring, but I know it's not true. That's okay because, so far, winter has been mild, and I know spring is just around the corner.

I had the privilege recently of sitting down with two really neat people and listening to their story. For those of you who haven't met the Jensen family, let me introduce them to you: Dirk and Karen and their four children Austin, Chayden, Sonjya and Kaleb. Dirk is the new pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa.

Dirk was born in Nampa, Idaho in 1980, and Karen was born in North Dakota in 1979. They met in Boise in the ninth grade and started dating the next year. In his senior year, Dirk joined the army. He graduated from high school in December of 1997 and shipped out in January of 1998.

In May of the same year, they were married and headed out to Fort Campbell, Ky. 10 days after they were married. Dirk grew up in southern Idaho, where his parents owned a meat packing plant. As a young child, he was around the industry and learned the trade. Later on, he went to seminary and from 2012 to 2014 he pastored a church in Yuba City, Calif. After two years, the church could no longer afford a pastor, so Dirk and his family moved to Post Falls, Idaho while he waited for a call. In the meantime, he worked as a meat cutter at Mountain View meats, got his commercial driver's license and drove truck for a period of time until he got the call to pastor at Christ Lutheran Church.

He loves to read, especially theology, but also mysteries and history. He also enjoys playing guitar, hunting and fishing. Dirk tells me his whole family loves to hunt. He says he loves teaching and is currently teaching a class on Christianity 101 and is really enjoying it.

Karen was an animal control officer in southern Idaho and while Dirk was meat cutting she was working for the humane society in Post Falls. She has been involved in animal rescue for 18 years. The whole family loves animals. She is also a quilter and loves to crochet and cross stitch. Karen is currently taking online classes at Liberty University in business management and Christian counseling.

Their oldest son Austin is in the Army National Guard and lives in Post Falls. Chayden, their 17-year-old son is in his senior year of high school and will finish up his school year in Post Falls. He plans to sign up for the Marines after graduation. Sonjya their 15- year-old daughter is attending Odessa high school, and their 12-year-old son Kaleb is in middle school.

They say they love the congregation here and are happy to be serving in Odessa. I really enjoyed my visit with them today and hope they love Odessa as much as I do. Welcome to Odessa, Pastor Dirk and family.

Until next time, enjoy life!


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