Rev. Eric and Elaine Olson

Partnership Coordinator, South Asia

Eric, the son of a minister, grew up in the rural Midwest, living in Indiana, North Dakota and Nebraska. Many fond memories include reading books on the floor of his father’s study, hosting foreign guests for dinner, visiting nursing homes and serving neighbors in need. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, and after completing his undergraduate studies in music, Eric followed in his father’s footsteps at the age of 27. After 4 more years of graduate school and guided by an insatiable love of learning, Eric has served congregations in Florida and Nebraska.

After meeting the love of his life in college, at Indiana University, Eric and Elaine were married in 1989. Now after 35 years of marriage, Eric and Elaine continue to reside in Omaha, Nebraska. Together they enjoy music, dancing, board games, reading, running [Eric has run a marathon in 47 states as of this writing!], and family vacations. They are the proud parents of 8 children and 8 grandchildren, (with one on the way!)

Eric joined the staff of ELI in January of 2021. Strongly believing in ELI’s vision of training national leaders who will then replicate and train others, Eric is thrilled to spend his days equipping and raising up leaders within their own contexts. As indigenous leaders are trained to train others, both their organizations and communities will be strengthened and refined.

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