Courtney Van Horn – Southwest Missouri; Van Horn/Schartz Family Reunion, 4 Jun 2024
I’m at Dad (Mark Van Horn) and his wife Lora’s 40-acre ranch, atop one of the rolling hills here in rural southwest Missouri, sitting behind the 3000 sq. ft. ranch home on the stone patio surrounding the large, figure eight shaped in-ground pool. It’s a beautiful early-summer day; not too hot, with a light breeze, making the U.S. and Christian flags in the front yard flap just enough to notice. I am here with my 5 stepsisters and their families, along with a few special like-family friends, for what Dad and Lora want to establish as a biennial (once every 2 years) family reunion.
Dad had pulled their 5th wheel camper and pickup out of its comfortable spot in the polebarn adjacent to the house, and parked it alongside the 4-car garage to provide some overflow housing for those family members who would be spending more than just the day. They bought the trailer when Dad decided to slow down and enjoy the sites between the cities again instead of flying all the time across the country for business meetings.
There was a time before the network marketing success when Dad drove eighteen wheelers over the road for a living. I know that he enjoyed it, because he took me with him on a trip from Springfield, MO to southern California and back. We spent a day and a half at Disneyland, and spent the night, sleeping in the truck, in one of their huge parking lots!
In the last few years, four families have become very close to Dad and Lora, about as close as people can be without actually being “blood kin.” They are here at the ranch for the weekend also! Like Dad and Lora, these couples felt as if they were living lives of quiet desperation, as Thoreau says. They felt that having a little more money, time, peace, and joy in their lives was just a step away, but they didn’t have the knowledge to reach it on their own.
Dad knew that feeling. He told me not long ago that he had felt for years that he had a ‘calling” of some sort. His paternal great-grandfather, H.C. Van Horn, was a 7th Day Baptist preacher. Dad had read a family biography of H.C. and his wife, Abbie, and it was from that that Dad knew that he was supposed to do “something” to help other people. At first he thought that the “something” could be to be a preacher himself, of the gospel variety. But as it turns out, it’s become obvious that the calling is as a teacher, not a preacher. Dad learned the principles necessary to acquire riches and how to easily put them into practice. Now he gets to teach people how to have the “more” that they are wanting.
Dad’s success in his network marketing business seems to some people as coming pretty quick, and in one sense it has. I can remember even back in 1997, when I was just 10, Dad seemed like such a goof, talking to my mother about “multi-level marketing”. He’d get excited drawing circles, and talking about “downlines” and “residual income”. “If you help people get what they want,” Dad said, “they will help you get what you want.” Never really making any money, he used to sound frustrated about wanting to help people, and was reluctant to talk with them because in the end he felt he would fail them.
He sponsored a few people, sold some products, but Dad never gave up on the concept of multi-level marketing. The success finally came after he went through two personal growth programs in 2017 and 2018: the Master Key Experience and Go90Grow. Now he asks people what they want more of and less of in their lives, asking how that would make them feel, and talks about “building teams that build teams without you!”