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Letters, feedback, etc.

Issue: "Tsunami," Jan. 15, 2005

Giant steps

In Joel Belz's column "Lifetime giants" (Dec. 11), he asked, "But why does this roster always seem to get shorter?" A biography of Adoniram Judson quotes him saying that "Christianity will advance over the earth with long, swift strides when the churches are ready to send their best men, and their best men are ready to go." In this age of materialism, very few of our men are willing to step out of their comfort zones to suffer for Christ. May those who call themselves Christians be willing to do as He bids.
-Brittany Buchman; Spring, Texas

Dave and Mary Seel were our fellowshipping neighbors for 35 years on the Presbyterian mission compound in Chonju, South Korea. Across the gully were the Jesus Hospital and the Jesus Nursing School, where I worked. Dave gave hope to countless Koreans and established a cancer research center, a cancer treatment center, and the Bruised Reed Foundation. Mary traveled abroad to obtain grants, produced large photo essays, published news reports, and designed buildings. They did all this despite many physical setbacks. To God be the glory for the "music" of our co-workers.
-Ruth Folta; Fenwick Island, Del.

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I couldn't agree with Mr. Belz more regarding short-term missions work. I suspect that the high turnover rate in missions is mostly because workers know they can go back home when the going gets tough. If we instead used a Marine Corps Boot Camp policy and told prospects that we don't want them unless they take up their cross and follow Him, then perhaps our numbers initially would be smaller but those out on the field would truly be the Chosen, the Equipped, and the Tested. Two weeks building an orphanage outhouse won't reveal it.
-Patrick Winter; Saginaw, Mich.

It is not that "giants" necessarily serve God overseas; that attitude can lead some people to miss their true calling. We need to start teaching people to follow God's purpose for their lives, and stop putting tags on "location."
-Elizabeth Kays; Atlanta, Ga.

"Lifetime giants" rang the bell so well. When equating stateside service with missionary ministry or substituting a few weeks abroad for a lifetime of foreign missionary labors, we are in essence saying, "Let the heathen perish in their sins."
-John James; Prairie Village, Kan.

Wrapped up

Thank you to Marc Davis for the wake-up call ("Waiting for the Son," Dec. 11). How often I find myself wrapped up in the busyness of high-school life. I settle for gratification and overlook the important things in life: eager anticipation of Christ's return, work dedicated to God, and sincere, purposeful prayer.
-Callie, 16; Texas

No, Virginia, . . .

It doesn't surprise me that Christmas is portrayed everywhere as a holiday for getting more and more of everything ("Empty bromides," Dec. 11). The Christmas season does not need the perfect tree or present or home. It just needs the right attitude toward Jesus.
-Kristen E. Maynard, 14; St. Peters, Mo.

No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus, but one dare not try to argue that professing that there is is a lie. We wonder why the world doesn't seek Christ-why should it? There's the spirit of Santa to make things better.
-Robert Kite; Montezuma, Ga.

It should be clear to believers that Christmas is missing someone, just like that abbreviation "X-mas." When I was younger, I didn't like those "good-for-you" gifts like socks or underwear, but if I had been in serious need they would have been very valuable. When people realize their desperate need for salvation, they will seek Christ, the ultimate "good-for-you" gift, with all their hearts.
-Rachel Melchers, 18; Florissant, Mo.

Different leaders

I would hope that the politically correct in America, who say that Islam is just another peace-loving religion, will understand the differences between Islam and Christianity. Marvin Olasky's point about the differences between terrorists and the Crusaders was very good ("Beyond wishful thinking," Dec. 11). The Crusaders, in their zeal to free the Holy Land, went against the foundational teachings of Jesus while Muslims, in their zeal to rid the world of infidels, are following the basic teachings of Muhammad.
-Natalie Nill, 15; St. Louis, Mo.

I question whether any significant dialogue is possible with Muslims. The recent killing of van Gogh in Holland was a wake-up call for Europe and only the beginning of trials there. Islam will contend for Europe, and it is not clear that Europe has what it takes to resist the onslaught. Dialogue will be a means for Muslims to buy time and strengthen their position but will not change much else.
-Henrik Lind; Shoreline, Wash.


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