News About Marilyn

Marilyn’s Bio

Marilyn grew up on a small farm in Valparaiso, Indiana, as the eldest of four daughters of Martin and Lois Laszlo. As a young girl, while plowing the fields of her parent’s farm, she made a commitment to be a missionary.

She graduated from Bryan College, Tennessee, which awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Letters (May 2003). Marilyn studied linguistics at the University of Oklahoma and then kept her commitment to God by serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators. She and a translation partner served in Hauna Village, home of the Sepik Iwam people of Papua New Guinea. Marilyn, her sister Shirley, and their language helpers took an unwritten language and created an alphabet and reading books, and taught the people to read and write. Marilyn and Shirley did medical work, and trained indigenous people to operate a local school, store, and clinic.

Today the ministry that Marilyn started continues on in Hauna Village being led by her sister Shirley. 700 students are being educated in Hauna and other surrounding villages on the Sepik. Teachers are trained in Hauna and then sent out to work in villages up river. The 2-story medical clinic that Marilyn built still exists. Each day, one room is used as a clinic where a nurse gives basic care and hands out medications if they are available. Occasionally the other rooms are made operational for a team of doctors who bring their specialties to the jungle environment.

Marilyn moved back to the United States permanently to take care of her aging parents. She began telling her story in churches and through her three videos “Mountain of Light,” “Come by Here” and “Return to Hauna.” They can be found in our store here.  During the past 20 years, Marilyn has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people in churches, on college campuses, at retreats and conventions.

In 2012 due to health issues, Marilyn had to cease speaking publicly on the road. She returned to Hauna for a final visit with her friends there and to remember where it all began.

Recent news about Marilyn as of June 2021:

Pray for Marilyn’s care. Just a few weeks ago, Glenna, Marilyn’s main care giver, fell while getting out of a swimming pool after an aerobics class. She broke her hip and it has required surgery. She is now just as laid up as Marilyn and in the same house! Fortunately, there is a team of people who are taking care of them both. However, they have had to hire additional help to take Glenna’s place while she recovers. This has cost quite a bit more money. We are trying to raise an additional $500 per month to cover this extra cost.

Otherwise, Marilyn continues to be strong and steady. Glenna, except for the broken hip, is in good health and her hired help are more than capable of taking care of both of them.

Thank you for your prayers and continued support.

February 2021:

Topher Philgreen, president of LML, just returned from visiting Marilyn in Portage, Indiana. Quite frankly she looks better in February than she did last November. She is eating better and seems to be in good spirits. Marilyn’s body is very strong. We continue to pray specifically for Glenna who is her main care-giver. Glenna is not young herself, so her continued good health is important for taking care of Marilyn.

Laszlo Mission League continues to collect email addresses of Marilyn’s friends and donors so that they can be notified and be able to watch her funeral and home-going celebration online when that day comes.

October 2020:

Marilyn is very strong. We are quite thankful that she is not in a large nursing home during this Covid pandemic. Although Alzheimer’s is wrecking her body and mind, the years in the jungle have made her very tough. Several times in the past few months the family has been called by hospice to come see Marilyn and say goodbye. Yet she continues to bounce back. We know that Marilyn’s time on earth is drawing to a close and we are praying that she suffers no pain or discomfort. Thanks to donors who faithfully continue to support Marilyn, she has enough funds to pay the expensive long-term care bills. Laszlo Mission League is collecting email addresses of Marilyn’s friends and donors so that they can be notified and be able to watch her funeral and home-going celebration online. In the meantime, Marilyn is very comfortable and very well taken care of.

March 2018:

Today, Marilyn is suffering from an aggressive case of Alzheimer’s disease. She is being taken care of in a private home with just a few Alzheimer’s patients in Chesteron, Indiana, just a few miles from the farm where she grew up. Members of her home church, donors, and the staff of Laszlo Mission League regularly visit Marilyn. She loves to sing and have messages read to her from her friends and donors. Because her memory is fading, she watches her videos almost every day.

The LML Board of Directors established the Marilyn Laszlo Legacy Fund. This fund has been set up to primarily take care of Marilyn for the rest of her life and then to do something, probably in Hauna, in her honor. Please give to this fund here.