Jim & Melinda Erickson

Every week Jim is out in the city, stepping into mosques, Islamic literature and education centers, talking with Muslims after their worship as they sip coffee or tea, or take time out for lunch. He has been invited into the mosque for a meal after Friday prayers on more than one occasion. His goal is always to begin that one relationship which will lead to conversations about the Truth of God's Word, and the salvation that is offered Muslims. In Jim's experience, he has found nothing profitable in debate, nothing loving speaking overtly against Islam. In the context of a loving relationship and together looking into Scripture there is much profit. Muslims come to faith in Christ the same way we do: through the love and concern of another person and through the working of the Holy Spirit in a human heart.

Praises & Prayer Requests

August 2016

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.

Please pray:

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

James Erickson

November 24, 2015

Following is a huge praise. The person referred to as GG is Melinda’s father who has been very

antagonistic towards anything to do with the Lord.

I went in to see GG this afternoon at 3:30, after a discipleship meeting, not really wanting to

because I’d seen him this am around 11 and I just plain don’t feel very well. So, in I strolled and

he was lying in bed. I came in and asked if I’d awakened him. “No”. He talked about nonsense

mostly, but said he was glad to know more about what had happened to him, and where he

was. I asked if he knew where he was, and he said he didn’t. I told him for the umpteenth time

that he was in Huntington Beach. We talked about more information and his recollections from

the hospital.

Then he said something like, “I think God wants me.” I said, “What? Why do you think He

wants you?” He said, “Well, I thought I was dead, but I wasn’t.” More conversation I can’t

quite remember. Then, I said, “you must have been afraid to think you had died.” He said, “yes,

I was afraid, but now I know that God is real. I didn’t think so before, but I do now.” He talked

about his mother who loved God, and about how he had decided there was no God. But now he

knows there IS a God. Affirmation from me. More conversation and then he said, “I know God

wants me with him.” More affirmation, “But, Daddy, you have made mistakes. God doesn’t

want you with him if you don’t think you have made mistakes.” He said, after some thinking, “I

know I have made mistakes. I’m not perfect.” “So, Daddy, you need to tell God that, you need

to tell him that you aren’t perfect and that you need Jesus to forgive you for your

mistakes.” Long pause. “I made mistakes and I want to be forgiven,” he said

quietly. Explanation to this dementia ridden man that God will forgive him if in his heart is is

sorry for his mistakes, and if he believes Jesus died on the cross so that he could be forgiven – all

said in bits and pieces, a little at a time. He got it. “I want that.” I said, “you need pray and tell

him.” He said, “can you do it for me?” I said, “ok. But then when I am finished, if you agree,

you need to say so.” He said other things and we talked a bit. He said, “ok.” I prayed very

simply, and I hope clearly. There was silence in heaven…”I agree,” he said, “I made

mistakes. I want to be forgiven.” Much assurance given. I said, “this is a very special day,

November 16. It is the day you became a God lover, and you can know you are going to heaven

when you die. I will write it down. He said, “Good, because I forget things now.”

He may forget this day, but I pray not. I have no doubt he meant what he said, and that whether

he remembers it or not, God will. He is headed for heaven!

We will continue to reinforce what he has done, add to it as necessary. But I believe as to his

salvation, it is finished!

…in His service,

Jim and Melinda Erickson

James Erickson

Muslims and others

God has given Jim a dozen or so men to either weekly, or every other week meet and disciple. It’s been full of excitement and also with disappointment. He is still looking for a Muslim “man of peace” upon whose heart God has been at work. Please pray for that man of peace!

Beyond Muslims, there seem to be more and more “others.” People who have a desire to be mentored and have crossed our paths. Please pray with us for those men. One or two seem to be among them who could become mentors themselves, and that of course, is what we are hoping. That those he teaches teach others, who teach others, who…and on it goes long after we are gone. Ministry that outlasts us.

James Erickson