Hello! My name is Bill Erickson. I am excited to be facilitating IFI’s outreach efforts at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign! My wife, Donna, and I are really looking forward to serving the ever-growing international community in this area. The international enrollment at this campus has exploded in recent years to surpass 10,000, with over 110 countries represented. That means that 1 in 4 students attending the U of I comes from another nation. We now have one of the largest international student populations of any public institution in the nation. There is also a large number of visiting scholars coming here to further their careers in higher education. Many bring their families with them. It is amazing to have this huge global gathering in the midst of the corn and soybeans of Central Illinois!
Donna and I both earned degrees from this university. The international population was far smaller at that time, but it still provided us with many cross-cultural friendships. Even before we knew each other, we each had a desire to reach out to people from other countries with the love of God. The Urbana mission’s conferences, which were still being held in Urbana when we attended the U of I, also added to our desire to serve the Lord in a global dimension. When we were married in 1988, we both sensed that God brought us here for His international purposes and we decided to make our college town our home town. Since then, we have raised 3 wonderful children; Amy, David, and Alise. Our careers have kept us well connected with the community. Donna is a registered dietitian and I am a landscape architect. Over the years, we have been active in reaching out to international students through hospitality, Bible studies, day trips, and church outreach efforts.
In light of the tremendous increase in the numbers of internationals now streaming to our campus, it has been a growing desire of ours to be even more focused in reaching out to them. When the opportunity to join the staff of IFI was presented, it answered longings that I have had in my heart for many years. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to share the truth of God’s love with our guests who are so far from home. As we reach out to this campus, another of my ongoing desires will be set in motion. That desire is to encourage the Body of Christ to come together in increasing unity and common purpose. We have such a purpose right here before us, as the world passes through our university.
In Central Illinois, we are quite familiar with the time for harvest. A great field of global harvest has been growing at the University of Illinois. Now is the time to labor together in unified response. Will you seriously consider joining us in this timely opportunity through your participation, prayers and financial assistance? We can only do this as we partner together!
God bless you!
Bill and Donna Erickson
Ways to Give to Bill’s Ministry
- EASY GIVING: Give automatically through your bank account.
- Use your bank’s ONLINE BILL PAY or mail a check to:
International Friendships, Inc.
PO Box 82416
Columbus, OH 43202-0416
Please write “BILL ERICKSON” on the check memo line or in the memo or account field in your online bill payer.
- Credit Card online (see form on this page)