marriage

Refreshing Springs Through the Valley of Weeping

With our daughter’s wedding upon us and friends and family are beginning to arrive, our house is quickly being filled with chatter, laughter, and a little chaos.

Although I am extremely blessed and excited for this marriage to happen, I can remember a time when going to weddings was extremely painful for me. I was going through my separation and divorce and even the thought of going to a wedding made my stomach turn.

I tried to be happy for the couple, who were so in love that nothing could hold them back. But, I wasn’t feeling it. I struggled. A lot. I remember being at a small bridal shower and crashing to the floor because I had a grand-mal seizure. I was rushed to the hospital, where my friends stayed with me for hours to make sure everything was okay. Well, I wasn’t okay-mentally or physically. I just ruined a fun party and I felt horrible for the bride-to-be as her special day ended up in the ER as a result of me.

Now, many of my friends have experienced the loss of their spouse. I feel for them. Even though I haven’t been through the pain of becoming a widow, I do remember feeling alone and seeing joyful couples all around me and wondering if I would ever be happy again. Through all of the pain, I had to hold on to biblical truths. I love Psalm 84:2 “I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD.”

This is not our home! This sin-filled, selfish world is not our resting place. Oh, how I so look forward to the day when I get to see my Savior face to face. No more sorrow. No more suffering. Peace and love will fill me every moment.

It’s through the difficult times that we get our focus off of us and turn to the one who brings joy unspeakable and we experience Christ in a way that we couldn’t fathom.

In a few days I will stand with my daughter and watch her marry the man of her dreams. This is a time of rejoicing! I am no longer sad at weddings. I am joyful that God created a union between a man and a woman that would cause us to no longer be alone and to walk out the trials and joys of life together. I am especially thankful that God gave me my current husband, who is my soul-mate. We would not be having this wedding without God, who healed my epilepsy, gave me new life in the way of three children, and has given me streams of living water through the trials.

“What joy comes for those whose strength comes from the LORD…when they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.” Psalm 84:5,6

Missions

Cherith Brook Baja Newsletter

December 2018

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Hola, from south of the border!

Feliz Navidad, from The Landis Family and Cherith Brook Baja!

After being here almost one and a half years, and seeing God’s provision and handy work first hand, I am left with one clear thought;
The Best is Yet to Come!

To all our family, friends, and supporters we cannot thank you enough. Your prayers and your financial support have meant so much to us we could not do it without you. So, that means you are all part of the work God is doing down here. Please keep coming down for visits, it really lifts our hearts to see our church family.

Cherith Brook’s mission is simple; we are called to Love the one in front of us. The core of what we do as a family on the mission field is to Educate, Encourage, and Equip. This may also include some plumbing, electrical, and baby-sitting.

God’s dreams are so much bigger and better than ours. Christine and I are on the mission field with all three of our grown children. Not in a million years did I ever dream of seeing that!

Aaron, our son, has been here for four months. He is volunteering at Open Arms, which is a great ministry that serves the community by offering free day-care for children from image010infants up to the age of 12 years old. This enables the less fortunate to keep their families together. Aaron lives on-site at Open Arms and gets two meals a day, which means we get to see him a lot when he gets hungry. The kids and the daycare have really taken a shine to him, and he is even learning some Spanish, as he can order his own tacos now.

Storm made it back from Ghana safely. She doesn’t feel called to do missions there for now, but she is always open to wherever God will take her, and the Ghana families loved her so much they keep calling hoping she will move there. She hit the ground running when she came back and has close to 100 students that she is teaching English to at the local high school. She has also started going image007over to the women’s home a couple times a week. It is a home where women can get off drugs/alcohol and taste the love of God. She spends her time laughing, crying, and loving on them. She also leads worship for a Bible study and got a chance to teach at another Women’s Bible study, which must have gone well because they asked her back.

Sarah is working hard at finishing high school early this year and turned 18 on Dec. 16. She is very happy about this! She helps teach dance on Mondays to the locals, and she is baby-sitting one of Christine’s students named Evalynn, a couple days a week. Evalynn is the daughter of Johnny, who is our newest teacher at the La Mision Homeschool Co-op that Christine teaches at.

There is nothing better than seeing your adult children start living out their own faith in Christ!image014

Christine had to move the school this year to the Skill center, which our dear friend, Mary, runs and teaches practical working skills out of. Christine has really come alive now that she has her own classroom and doesn’t have to set up and breakdown every day. She loves the kids and pours so much of herself into them. She also goes to the women’s home with Storm and loves on the ladies there. She is teaching from time to image012time at the ladies’ Bible study at Calvary Chapel Rancho Libertad, and has been asked to teach at their upcoming women’s conference. There is nothing better than watching my wife take flight and become what God has dreamed of her being. Over the last few months Christine managed to reformat her book, Beautiful Dependence, so that it will be printed and shipped by Amazon. This will help us tremendously so we won’t have to drive to the states and hand ship it every time somebody orders it. Our children’s book How Bright is the Moon can also be found at Amazon. We’ve really been getting a lot of good feedback on both books.

As for me (Mark), I have been spending a lot of time transitioning the notes from the grace class that I teach into a book format, and finally finished the first draft, but I still have miles to go before it is finished. Hopefully, by this time next year we will have a printed copy. I am calling it Grace in Plain Sight. I am still teaching a couple of Bible studies a week, and on occasion I get to teach at Calvary Chapel Rancho Libertad in La Mision. I still get to keep my carpentry skills sharp as I often get a chance to help with repairs for other ministries as they need.

My recent favorite was a home I was able to work on for a farming family that lives in the river valley. I wired the whole house and taught the uncle how to run wire, it had to be the Spirit because I don’t speak Spanish and he doesn’t speak English! However, by the end he was running and hanging the wire perfectly, and I taught the kids a few songs as we worked, It was a grand time!

If any of this sounds fun, come on down to Cherith Brook and we will put you to work of loving on and being loved on. We are His hands and feet.

In His Love,
Mark Landis

Husband, Father, Pastor, Teacher, and Friend


Prayer Needs:
Many of you have asked for specific prayer needs. God is so awesome and has blessed us with many people to share our burden. Without you, we would not be able to do what we are doing here. Here is a list of things that we need both physically and spiritually.

*We see many broken people and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Pray against discouragement.
* Wisdom
* Physical Health
* To continue to learn the culture and speak Spanish!
* That we would do God’s will
* Continued financial support
* That the power company would work with us to finish getting power to the farming
family that we helped.
* That the Lord would show Christine what to speak on at the Ladies Retreat.
Retreat dates: January 25-27

If you wish to make a donation there are a few ways you can do that.

Through Pay Pal, www.paypal.com you can find us at pappamark@hotmail.com .

Or, if you want to make a tax-deductible donation you can go through Strong Tower’s website at: http://www.strongtowerministries.info/donations/ When you make a donation please tell them it is for Mark and Christine Landis in the notes or it will not get to us.
Contact Info: Mark & Christine Landis  e-mail: pappamark@hotmail.com /
facebook: MarkandChristine Landis (Through facebook we can text, call, and video chat.)

christianity, homesteading, Missions

Selfless Love

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9

My daughter, Storm, recently moved into the house right next door to us in Mexico. The whole thing is crazy to think about. What are the odds that the house next to us would come up for rent?

God’s timing is amazing. We are currently in a two bedroom home and our girls were having to share a room. This wasn’t a big deal and they have shared a room most of their life. However, we knew that we were either going to build a Casita on our current property or look for something to rent, as we have guests on a regular basis and it would allow for our oldest daughter to have her own place.

We had been praying about what to do. We knew building a Casita would cost some money and it would take a great amount of labor.

We had been getting to know our neighbors next door to us and had given their children some crayons, snacks, and other things that we knew they could use. We were sharing Christ whenever we could and sometimes sang worship songs to them playing the guitar.

One day we noticed their house was pretty quiet, but didn’t think much of it. A few more days passed and we still hadn’t seen anyone coming to or from their home. We began to wonder if they had moved. We were sad at the thought of not seeing them anymore, but wondered if this was the answer to our prayers.

Eventually, we saw a man whom we had never seen before doing some cleaning and taking many things out of the house. We asked a friend of ours if she could translate for us and find out if the house was available to rent. Sure enough, the home was for rent and the owner turned out to be the uncle of our dear friend! Long story short, we were able to rent the house!

When we received the keys and the lease was signed, we began work on it right away. It is a two bedroom, one bath home, which is perfect. Storm gets her room and we have a guest room where people can stay. Our daughter loves the Hispanic colors and wanted everything bright and cheery. The landlord gave us permission to paint it any color she wanted.

Our whole family has been pitching in. I have been helping the most with painting, which is not an easy task. I don’t like heights and getting up on a ladder is not my idea of fun. Especially when you are on it for a few minutes then have to get down, move it, and climb back up, and do this over and over again.

The thing that kept pushing me through was knowing that my daughter would be so happy to see the finished project. I knew she would have a smile that would radiate the whole house. I knew she would be so grateful and appreciative that I took time out of my busy life to spend it with her and to help wherever and whenever I could.

This made me think of Jesus and how He was so willing to come to this earth and die a horrible death so that we could be with Him forever. He is the example of selfless love that I want to be for Him and for all the people in my life.

In the Bible I see how busy Jesus was. He was surrounded by people. Some truly interested in what He was teaching, others just wanted to be fed or experience miracles. Yet, He took time out to be alone with the Father each morning. He had to be filled before He could minister to others. This is a good reminder for me. I need to seek God and spend restful time with Him before I can even hope to love on others.

The house is almost finished! We are doing little odds and ends to finish it up and with the help of some generous friends, Storm has furniture and dishes to go inside her home! God is so good!

Photo of her dining room/kitchen wall. She painted a neat vine to separate the colors.