By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
BREA, CA (ANS – October 18, 2015) – Jack and Jeannette Walker, who for many years worked with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), have suffered the sad loss of their 46-year-old son, Mark Douglas, who recently took his life with his Bible besides him.
In a message to the ASSIST News Service, Jack Walker, who is now working with Titus International (http://www.titusinternational.org/) and also regularly visits Cuba to encourage the believers there, said, “For some time he had been severely depressed and dealing with mental health issues. Early last week, forced to put down his beloved dog Morgan, it seemed to be more than he could bear.
“Mark was our 2nd child – first son – born in small clinic in Chiapas, southern Mexico, during our 6th year serving MAF. Being a Mexican citizen was always a point of pride for him. After serving with MAF in Colombia, South America for two years, our family moved to Placentia, California, where Mark began elementary school. When MAF asked us to go to Costa Rica, Mark adapted readily and enjoyed making new friends, learning Spanish, and living a boy’s life to the max! Later our family relocated to Yucaipa, CA, near MAF’s new headquarters.”
Jack Walker said that Mark attended Yucaipa Middle and High School, however in his senior year graduated from Teen Challenge in Sundance, Wyoming.
“During those years, Mark, who was a free spirit, relished collecting reptiles, riding dirt bikes, and pushing the boundaries in all aspects of his life,” Jack continued. “Many of the friends he made at school and while attending Yucaipa Community Church, would prove to be life-long friends. From age 18 when he moved out, he fully supported himself, a successful gardening business, working for a carpet cleaner and built small business enterprises.
“In 1991 after 30 years of MAF service, we returned to our home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to care for our elderly parents. Subsequently, Mark spent three years in Chattanooga, learning the house construction business with his uncle Don Walker and cousin Brent. During his time there, he bought and refurbished six houses on his own, converting them to rental properties. Thereafter, he returned to California where he attended Pasadena City College, and thoroughly enjoyed a semester of study-abroad in Florence, Italy. This experience developed in Mark a passion for art, architecture, snow skiing, and travel.
“Afterwards, he returned to the Redlands area, and drawing on his TN experience launched his own custom woodcraft shop, creating fine, exquisite cabinetry and interior woodworks. People who saw his wood crafting marveled at his gift and talent for bringing out the best in fine woods. Word-of-mouth was his only advertising. He took pride in designing and creating the custom kitchen cabinetry, doors/windows, and entertainment built-ins that he passionately made for his clients.”
Jack Walker said that in his personal time, he was a dirt biker and enjoyed “hanging out with friends.” The list of activities that thrilled him is endless; surfing, snow-boarding, hang gliding, etc. — he was a daredevil … always pushing the boundaries … seeking adventure.
“Despite all Mark had going for him, his restless spirit could not be tamed by his addictions which became obvious just recently; symptoms of something much more ominous… his mental health. After months of seeking answers and enduring constant internal pain and turmoil, God allowed Mark to end his suffering.
“We mourn and weep his loss in our lives, yet stand firm on God’s promises that Mark is at peace with the Lord, reunited with Grandparents and friends … free at last from his increasingly unbearable pain.
Walker also said that Mark loved a favorite song called “When I get where I’m going” by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, and can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbFz2F_YYzI&feature=youtu.be
Mark had a brother, David, who lives in Redlands, California, and sister, Angela, from Fullerton, California.
Some of Mark’s close friends are to hold a Memorial Celebration to share and celebrate Mark’s life experiences on Saturday, October 24th starting at 4 pm at 13880 Meadow View Lane, Yucaipa, CA 92399.
Jack and Jeannette Walker says that the words found in Revelation 21:3b-5a, have been a great encouragement to them. “…God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making all things new.”
Jack concluded by saying, “Many have asked if there was a designated charity in lieu of flowers. Our mission agency has established a Memorial Fund, for any who wish to carry Mark’s generous and helping spirit forward, with eternity in view. It is being called ‘Mark Memorial Cuba Fund’. It is in support of CUBA777 projects, which will be used for equipping and empowering Cuban church leadership, especially their study and verse-by-verse preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word.”
Walker said that you may send your love gift (tax deductible) donation to: Titus International, 1515 McBrien Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37411. The phone number there is 423-867-7679. He added that you should include your own note and say “Mark Memorial Cuba Fund”. He added, “100% of your love gift will go to vital projects; with no deductions of any kind.”
For more information of the Walkers, please go to: http://www.titusinternational.org/who-we-are/missionaries/79-missionary-bios/121-missionary-walker.html , where you can also learn more about Titus International.
If you would like to send a message of encouragement to the Walkers, please e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Photo captions: 1) Mark Walker. 2) Jeanette with Mark. 3) Another picture of Mark, Jack and David. 4) Jeanette working with Mark in the garden. 4) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of some 45 books and has a radio show and two television programs all based out of Orange County, California.
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