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Mark and Eszti Landerholm

ID: 15581, Region: Europe
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Although we grew up on two different continents, our stories are similar in many ways: we are both from wonderful Christ-centered families, we both accepted Jesus as our personal Savior at a very young age, and Jesus called both of us to serve as missionaries.

As a small child, Eszti started accompanying her parents on missions trips in Hungary and to Ukraine. During high school, Jesus placed children’s ministries—specifically orphans—on her heart. After graduating from college, I (Mark) served in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Ukraine for 11 months as a volunteer with WGM. During this time, Jesus more fully put Europe on my heart. Following seminary graduation in 2010, I led a group of college students on a short-term missions trip to Hungary. This is where I met Eszti, who was helping with English Camp.

After we both returned to the States—Mark to Kentucky for work and Eszti to Tennessee to finish college—we kept in touch and eventually fell in love. The following summer, Eszti went home and I came to visit her and her family and do some missions work together. I was sure about two things: first, I wanted to marry Eszti; second, I knew that Jesus had called me to serve in Hungary. We got engaged, and as we were praying together for Jesus’ guidance, God placed Hungary on Eszti’s heart as well. Our great desire is to see Jesus made real in the lives of people. Then, as they live that out in obedience to Jesus, that their lives will bring about the kingdom of God in their families and communities.

We are focused on discipleship and compassionate ministries and their intersection. We believe that discipleship happens with both believers and nonbelievers; it is meeting them where they are in their spiritual journey and helping them move to the next step until they are mature, reproducing Christ followers. Part of discipleship is obeying what Jesus says and reaching out to the poor, lonely, and marginalized, which we seek to do not simply on our own but also by bringing those whom we disciple alongside of us.

Much of our work in both discipleship and compassionate ministries is through Morning Star Ranch—a Christian horse ranch in Hungary where we do horse camps, Bible studies, special events, service projects, and outreach. We love partnering with other Christian ministries and churches where Jesus is on the move to better represent the united Body of Christ to the world. Additionally, relational ministry plays a huge role in our work and has given us an “in” to the special needs community, specifically the congenital heart disease community in Hungary.

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