In November of 2017, 10-year-old Landon Solberg of West Fargo received a terrifying diagnosis: He had an aggressive brain tumor with a life expectancy of two years. Many people and organizations rallied around Landon and his family. Landon rallied around his faith in Christ. In the midst of ongoing treatment and surgeries, he read his Bible every night, volunteered at Prairie Heights Community Church, and remained calm and steady building memories with his family and friends. Family members, teachers, fellow students, pastors, other church volunteers and thousands of people near and far were inspired.
In February of 2019, as Landon’s health was regressing, I had lunch with his dad, Travis. Travis shared stories of Landon’s light, faith, and determination and how Landon inspired him to grow spiritually.
Immediately after lunch I called Teri, my wife, and told her we had to film Landon’s faith story. While I struggled with why (Why does cancer exist? Why did a young child get such a devastating tumor?), after hearing how Landon’s faith spurred on growth in his dad, I focused on what (God, what are you wanting to teach us through Landon; what stories must we be diligent in continuing to tell; what do you want us to do to keep his light on?). It was clear, God was writing an epic story through a young boy of great faith.
We hired Preston Sternson from Grassfire Studios to write, film and produce Landon’s story. Preston spent hours connecting with and listening to the family; several themes emerged. Preston finished the project in August.
On Sept. 8, I started a new teaching series called, “The Art of Living a Significant Life”. After watching Landon’s video I knew it needed to be part of the significant life series so we showed it Sept. 15. The week before, Landon’s health took a drastic decline. He was unable to leave his house when his video testimony was shown. There was not a dry eye in the room and every person was moved emotionally and spiritually. God’s Holy Spirit came close and moved among us. After the service, many people said that was a Sunday everyone needed to attend.
The powerful line that Landon said as his physical body was wearing down was: “The reason I am so positive is because I know that God has something planned out for me. It may not be what I want, but even after I die I will have eternal life in heaven.”
Billy Graham never gave a more compelling case for the difference receiving Christ as your Savior makes, both now and in your eternal life. When Landon’s family got home they told him how God used his faith story to impact people. The next day his video was posted on the Prairie Heights Facebook page and was watched over 280,000 times! It was highlighted on two local television stations. Landon could not verbally respond when his mom shared this with him, but he raised his eyebrows and squeezed her hand to acknowledge this great news.
She told me, “It was as if once he heard again how his faith was impacting people he realized his work was complete.” Landon passed away the next day. Faith is not blind….faith in Christ is the most logical decision a human can make.