A small church in New Richmond, Wisconsin is remembering a missionary couple who sacrificed everything to help others.
Jay and Katrina Erickson were devoted Christians -- the two brought their little girls to Africa as they became full-time missionaries. The couple's very first assignment came in February to work for the Chitokoloki Mission Hospital located in a remote area of Zambia.
Jay, a pilot, transported doctors and medical supplies to reach patients. Katrina was helping build a kitchen at the hospital to help serve food.
Sadly the couple's dream lasted less than five months.
On a return flight from delivering supplies to a remote location in Zambia, Jay hit some electrical wires and the plane crashed.
At the request of the Ericksons they were buried in Zambia in the same fashion and way as the local people. Thousands turned out for their service, showing the impact the couple made in a very short time.
A memorial service for Jay and Katrina Erickson will be held at First Baptist Church in New Richmond on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Katrina Erickson grew up as Katrina Mansfield, attending First Baptist. Pastor Kevin Morris says he always knew she wanted to devote her life to others.
"When we live out what Christ asks us to do it takes us to the most amazing places, places we would otherwise never go and it takes us on the most amazing journeys and legacies far beyond what human beings can make," Pastor Morris said.
The couple's two daughters, ages three and one, were picked up by their grandparents who still live in Somerset, Wis., and they are currently headed back to the U.S.
A fund has been set up to help the grandparents of those two little girls. The money goes for travel to bring them back and shipping costs to get their belongings back to the states.
Fund for family of Jay and Katrina Erickson Associated Bank (any branch)
Memorial service Saturday June 23, 1:30pm First Baptist Church 341 North Shore Drive New Richmond, WI