This podcast is only a brief introduction to Marilyn Laszlo, and I encourage you if you haven't already, to learn more about this extraordinary lady and her life of adventure, overcoming and enormous, enduring impact. Read on for show notes from the podcast episode. Or click the button to listen to this episode.
Listen to Episode 12
Listen to Episode 12
EPISODE 12 - Show Notes
Today, we take a peek at the life of one Legacy Lady - the life of Legacy Lady, Marilyn Laszlo, missionary and Bible translator.
Imagine you're one of a couple of women in the 1960s arriving in a remote jungle village in Papau New Guinea. You've just landed and are soon greeted by many canoes filled with natives . . . none of whom are wearing clothes . . . and who spend the first half hour you later learn . . . trying to determine (since you are wearing clothes) if you are male of female!
Today's legacy lady spotlight is Marilyn Laszlo who arrived at Hauna village with her partner in 1967 to learn the unwritten language of the people. From creating an alphabet to a completed Bible in their own language she spent over two decades building an eternally lasting legacy.
Marilyn Laszlo has not only impacted the Hauna people but has inspired many would-be missionaries throughout her life. She passed away recently at the age of 88. Christianity Today reports the following:
"Marilyn Laszlo always considered herself a “Hoosier farmgirl.” The 88-year-old died last week just a few miles from her family’s nine-acre property outside Valparaiso, Indiana. But the news of her death was felt most deeply in a village on the other side of the world.
A missionary and Bible translator known for her bold faith and powerful storytelling, Laszlo spent 24 years living in the Hauna Village in Papua New Guinea. There, she formulated a written language and translated the Bible for the once-unreached Sepik Iwam people, starting by carving words into banana leaves.
When she passed away from Alzheimer’s on September 9, village leaders launched a five-day mourning ritual called a “house cry” in Laszlo’s honor, covering themselves in mud, grieving, and planning commemorations for a woman who changed their community forever.
The ministry efforts she began in Hauna more than 50 years ago—including a church, school, and clinic—continue to this day. They have turned the riverside village into a hub for the region. Up until the COVID-19 outbreak, Lazslo’s sister and ministry partner Shirley Killosky taught and served in Hauna full time.
“Marilyn’s legacy is still touching lives in Hauna Village and across the world,” said John Chestnut, president and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Laszlo was sent to Hauna through Wycliffe in 1967 and later served as a speaker for the ministry, before launching her organization, Laszlo Mission League, in 2003. “Praise God that this faithful servant is now in the presence of her Savior.”
Laszlo’s story of persistence in the face of a challenging mission field was retold in documentaries, memoirs, and, most poignantly, her own speaking appearances in churches and colleges. It was used as a testimony of God’s work in faraway places and as inspiration for Christians to dedicate their lives to the Great Commission."
I've heard this quote but hadn't realized who it was from. I'm not 100% sure it originated with her but haven't heard it attributed to anyone else either.
When asked about risks of living in a remote jungle community Marilyn responded, “I have learned that the safest place in the whole world is to be at the center of God’s will.”
I encourage you to look up Marilyn Laszlo, that's L-A-S-Z-L-O, and listen to her tell her story in her own words as I have. She'll impact you too!
You can learn more at LaszloMissionLeague.com
Also see: Books and other resources
Meet Marilyn & Shirley