Garth and Rachel Erickson, along with their children, are short-term missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Currently, they serve as dorm parents at Hillcrest School (HIS) in Sentani, Indonesia. The Ericksons served as dorm parents at HIS from 2007 to 2011, and returned again in 2013 to care for missionary kids while they attend the school there. They share, “Hopefully we can put parents’ minds at ease as they leave their kids at a boarding school while they take the Gospel to those who haven’t heard.”
Garth came to MAF from Barnabas International where he and Rachel ministered to MKs transitioning back to the U.S. after spending most of their lives on the mission field with their parents. He spent his early years in Pasadena, CA, and his youth and early adulthood in northern Virginia. He had a biblical foundation from going to church as a child, but didn’t make a decision for Christ until he was in his mid-twenties. At age twenty-six, through a time of heavy spiritual attack, he was confronted with the Gospel and realized that He knew a lot ABOUT Christ but didn’t KNOW Christ. So, in 1986, he gave his life to Christ. Garth’s Uncle Glen was a major spiritual influence in his life as he exemplified a humble, daily walk with Christ. In 1991, Garth began attending Reston Bible Church in Reston, Virginia, and it was through their strong dedication to missions that he learned about missions work and MAF.
Rachel has spent most of her life in Wisconsin in Lake Geneva and Waukesha. She shares that her parents have been the biggest influence in her life, and when she was four, her mother told her about Jesus one night before bed. That night she prayed and became a Christian. Growing up, her father served as chairman of the mission committee, and missionaries often were invited to dinner. In addition, her aunt and uncle, Carol and Russ Wardle, were missionaries with MAF for several years. When she was 16, her family took a short-term mission trip to Ivory Coast, West Africa. One of her favorite Bible passages is Psalm 37:3-7. She says, “These verses tell me how I should live my walk with the Lord; to trust, delight, commit, and be still.”
Garth and Rachel met while they were attending New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, Michigan. They were married in 1995. In 2002, Garth received a BA in Youth Ministry from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, and served as Youth Pastor at Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay, WI, from 1997 to 2007. His life verse is John 1:29b, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Garth shares, “When John the Baptist said this, I can only imagine the eyes of those around him beholding the Lamb of God. I can imagine they were transfixed on Him as He approached to be baptized. I want to always ‘behold the Lamb of God.’ I don’t want anything to take my attention off my Savior. When I keep my gaze fixed on Him, I am able to ‘walk on water’ as Peter did.”
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve Him in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in Garth and Rachel’s ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.
MAF missionaries raise support for a pooled fund out of which MAF covers salary, housing, benefits, and staff-related ministry expenses. MAF exercises discretion over the use of missionary support in the exercise of its mission and care of its staff.