About the Baldwins
Erik & Julia are very excited to be appointed as WorldVenture missionaries to Ngaparou, Senegal. Our home base is the Redding, California area where much of our extended family lives. We will be managing and maintaining a camp facility used by Senegalese churches for evangelism, trainings, and outreach for all ages, as well as a place of spiritual renewal for international and local Christian workers. We look forward to establishing a long-term presence in the Ngaparou area by building relationships with our future Senegalese neighbors, living life with them, and learning other ways the Lord wants us to be in ministry in the community. We also look forward to learning a new language and culture!
Growing up in Côte D’Ivoire, West Africa as an MK (missionary kid), Erik developed a heart for the African people early in life. Following his family’s return to the United States, Erik’s past experiences with local national people, their way of life, cuisine, and environment, continued to cultivate a desire to someday return to Africa. His heart for the African people deepened during college through a short term evangelism trip to Liberia. After graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University with his Bachelor of Science in Information Systems in 2009, Erik served a 10 month term with WorldVenture in the Central African Republic as the Information Technology Manager for the Bangui Evangelical School of Theology (BEST/FATEB). Erik has also worked in the IT department of a local company, run a free lance technical support business, and has enjoyed getting his hands dirty with household projects ranging from landscaping, irrigation, electrical, windows, flooring, and more.
Julia’s childhood began in Gallup, New Mexico, a small town surrounded by the Navajo reservation. These years nurtured a natural interest and appreciation for people of other cultures. While in high school, her family moved to the Redding area of California to be closer to family. Julia’s heart and ministry for others continued to grow as she completed her nursing degree and participated in brief college trips to Mexico and New Orleans. Following graduation from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2008, Julia worked as a public health nurse for one year in the maternal child health department of San Diego County, and then participated in “Mission Year,” an 11 month community development program in Atlanta, Georgia. Julia returned to her passion of public health nursing by working for Shasta County doing maternal child home visits after her return to Northern California in 2010 until the summer of 2016.
Our friendship developed while we were both attending Point Loma Nazarene University. However, it was not until we each moved closer to our families in California that we began dating and then married in 2011. In January of 2013, Erik felt led to leave his secular position of employment and seek God’s bigger purpose for his life. During a prayer and fasting vigil at church a short while later, he received a vision of God’s hand pointing and he heard the word “Africa.” Unsure exactly what following this command would entail, we began praying about and searching for ministry opportunities. God led Erik to the position of managing the Ngaparou Camp facility with WorldVenture, and he excitedly shared it with Julia. After further prayer and fasting together, the Lord made it clear to us that this was what He had in store for our lives!
In April of 2014, we welcomed our first child, Madeleine, into the world! We are excited to see what ministry opportunities the Lord has planned for Madeleine in Senegal too!
In March of 2017, we welcomed our son, Silas into the world. He arrived while Erik was arriving back in the country after spending a week in Senegal for a strategic planning conference.