Greetings, Brothers and Sisters.
Yes, I know, it’s been a LONG time since we have written. We are grateful to all of you for hanging on with us, continuing to walk with us in this journey, in spite of our communication lapses.
We are currently in transition. As you know, Melinda’s father passed away in March, leaving us with no family or responsibilities for his care any longer here in California. We anticipated seven years ago that our stay in California following service in India would be temporary. We now believe God to be calling, allowing us to move to be closer to our family, and continue to disciple one on one.
For these years in California, discipleship has been large in our lives, either with Muslim background believers or with “others” who God has placed in our paths. The most difficult aspect of moving away form this area will be leaving those we have been discipling, however the very nature of a genuine disciple is that they multiply. We anticipate we will hear that nothing has stopped after our departure, but the passion to follow Jesus in His way that has begun will continue, even in our absence. We remain in touch with those men God placed in Jim’s life in Mumbai, India; so it is also likely that we will also stay in touch with those men and women in Southern California. We also anticipate God will put in our paths people who we have yet to meet where we are moving who are men and women of peace, in whose hearts God is already at work.
We look forward to the move with excitement to see what God will do next as we take this step with Him. Our new address will be available upon request. Phone numbers and email will remain the same. Our son, Matt and his family are expecting a move to Cincinnati with his work within the next year or so. Our daughter, Julie and her husband and daughter live in Irmo, South Carolina, and we hope to be able to visit much more often as we move within a reasonable driving distance.
We are grateful for all of you, for prayers that began in 1993 with seminary, then the Philippines, India, Newport Beach and now as we move to Ohio, we pray that you will remain with us. Surely we need you!
We have been grateful to you, too, for your financial support that helped us with daily living expenses since we have been back in the States to care for Melinda’s dad who had dementia, and has allowed us to be able to be actively involved in discipleship. As of September 1, 2016, we will no longer need personal financial support to continue in discipleship, however we do need ongoing financial support for emergency needs of those men in India who continue to faithfully serve and woo their Muslim countrymen to Christ. You have assisted them with flood relief, re-building homes, medical expenses of all kinds, for both adults and children, even funeral expenses. We appreciate our mission organization, Missionary Gospel Fellowship (MGF) who has encouraged our ongoing association with them and who provide desired accountability for funds received and distributed.
As to our future in Lorain, we are excited, because here we are again: moving without knowing what God will do. We have our own ideas, but never have we moved at His direction without being somehow surprised. For us personally, may we be transformed as He desires, seek to do life His way, set aside more of “us” each day, listen well, be obedient. Let’s see what God does.
Our friend’s family in Bihar. His nephew was washed away forever by the flooding, and four of his family members’ homes were lost.
Praise God for eight homes in another area of Bihar, from another flood, that some of you generously rebuilt for Mbb families, some of whom were widows, mothers who lost their husbands in the flood.
What does God have for us in Lorain, Ohio? Pray we will wait on His direction, ready to step out. Always ready to disciple those whose hearts are being drawn to Him. Pray we walk worthy ourselves, disciples to the core.
Pray we hold our home with open hands, His provision for His purpose. We are so grateful to God for this gift; pray we will always remember gratitude.
Much love to you all. If you have any questions, have an itch to come to Ohio to visit, please be in touch. We are taking reservations. Smile.
…in His service and love,
Melinda and Jim Erickson