by Elizabeth Krump
When people ask me what it’s like to work for the Erics, they often lean in as if expecting stories of vigilantes saving the world. The Erics are legendary. Eric Chow is the eternally youthful Regional Director in the West. Eric Myatt is the tall, bearded, Viking Director in the East. Can you say Wolverine and Thor? Well, maybe Wolverine with less facial hair. Thor, definitely.
The stories that surround the Erics are often larger-than-life, sometimes making them appear to be superheroes. After all, they fly a lot, are sighted infrequently, and, by sharing Christ with the world, have made a heartfelt commitment to work for the greater good of humanity. Put all that together and they might as well be dressed in leotards saving the world.
But, like most superheroes, these are common men living out uncommon convictions. Chow began his working life as a rides attendant at the PNE in Vancouver, and dreamed of one day becoming an architect. Myatt had ambitions of becoming a firefighter. He worked his first job in Halifax one hot summer as a restaurant dishwasher.
Years later, both Erics graduated university with degrees in engineering. Soon after, they began working for CCO as lay missionaries. The two men now have 20 years combined experience with the movement. In typical superhero fashion, their lives are a little counter-cultural. Instead of pursuing promising corporate careers, both have chosen the more humble work of missionary life. But to them, it is the most important job in the world. There’s something undeniably life-giving about going to work every day knowing that your personal and professional mission is one and the same.
Like superheroes, missionaries need to sacrifice and to be brave to undertake the role entrusted to us by Christ. The Erics are no strangers to adventure. Between them they have tackled the following feats:
- road tripping through New Zealand,
- a sailing race through stormy weather,
- rock climbing,
- white water kayaking, and
- bungee-jumping from a parasail.
But they say that the most daring thing they have done has been to go “all-in” as fathers and husbands. Each man is married to an exceptional woman and each has three daughters (plus baby boy Samuel Chow). When Eric Myatt met his wife Angie, and Eric Chow met Vanessa, they made the boldest decisions of their lives. If you want to know what convictions drive these guys, ask them about Jesus and ask them about their families.
“Marriage and family life throw so much at you, and as a guy it can be tempting to coast,” Chow says. “But wanting an extraordinary marriage and extraordinary kids requires extraordinary dedication. That has been the most challenging and the most rewarding adventure.” You can guarantee that both men take the same dedication into everything they do. And Chow’s secret dad superpower? He’s learned how to French braid. It comes with the territory.
Starting next week the two Erics will begin blogging here each Thursday.