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Letters from our readers

Issue: "All-American adoption story," Nov. 21, 2009

Real aid

We loved the Oct. 10 issue and were intrigued by the articles about Africa ("Africa, Inc."). I (Joel) grew up near Native American reservations and have seen how government "aid" in the form of handouts rarely works. We own a teachers' supply store and a specialty toy store and will look into obtaining hand-crafted products from Africa. What a thrill to think we could help out a business owner in Africa with real aid.
-Joel & Marcie Fenske; Kokomo, Ind.

The media have painted a scary picture of Africa-chaos and power struggles and violence-that discourages one from ever wanting to visit the continent. "Africa, Inc." presents a more positive picture of Africa as a land of potential and promise.
-Jim Craig; Richland Center, Wis.

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Thanks for the focus on African entrepreneurs. It was very hopeful. However, you didn't mention much about the many difficulties in Africa, such as fraud and corruption in the courts. We praise God for the great things entrepreneurs are bringing to Africa. We also pray that biblical principles will bring stability and righteousness to undergird those projects.
-Barbara R. Hoshiko; Ashland, Ohio

Sanctification, not legalism

I appreciated Andrée Seu's column, "Control that tongue" (Oct. 10). A desire to live a godly life that flows out from God's liberating grace in the sinner's heart is not legalism. It is sanctification.
-David R. Christenson; Lynnwood, Wash.

Any suggestion that we actually ought to do, or at least try, the things that Scripture commands are all too often criticized by some in the evangelical church as an affront to God's grace or as hidebound legalisms devoutly to be avoided lest we find ourselves among the Pharisees. Yet those commands stubbornly remain in the text, even in the midst of passages on grace.
-John Nelson; Roswell, N.M.

Campuses without students

Marvin Olasky aptly points to how higher education is about to reap the consequences of failing to serve its constituency well ("Class without rooms," Oct. 10). This sea-change may have other results. Many students who go to college "for the experience" but lack real motivation will have no place in an online system. Some may turn to apprenticeships and boost the thin ranks in blue collar trades. And for courses requiring lab time, do I see an entrepreneurial opportunity for franchised local laboratories that cater to students taking online courses?
-Gregg Baldridge; Palouse, Wash.

Leading to bondage

One should be more careful when comparing Evan Bayh and Mitch Daniels ("It takes a governor," Oct. 10). In Bayh's Wall Street Journal column he advocates fiscal restraint now so that "progressive government" can later spend more on the "pent up demand" for larger and more intrusive government. Bayh's progressivism leads to fiscal bondage and the theft of liberty.
-Jeff Singletary; Lebanon, Ind.

Not feeling it

As a minister's wife, my husband and I would feel the love of Clergy Appreciation Day much more without bonfires, plaques, or celebrity-style roasts (Looking Ahead, Oct. 10). May I suggest that more meaningful expressions of appreciation might be heartfelt cards, a thank-you for something specific, or a gift card to a restaurant that we cannot afford?
-Gretchen Mahoney; Newark, Del.

A mercy

Thank you for your article about Harmony Dust and her ministry ("Jesus & strippers," Oct. 10). As a survivor of sexual abuse, I often think of the paths I could have taken and thank God for His mercy that kept me from greater harm.
-Jenny Burgos; Worcester, Mass.

Distinct contrasts

It was a disappointment to read "Head of the class" (Oct. 10) about Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech. I agree that with Jordan, what you see is what you get, but we should note the distinct contrasts between Jordan's speech (in which he dissed some fellow competitors by name and neglected to affirm his own family, friends, and coaches) with that of fellow inductee David Robinson, who gave glory to God and affirmed his family, friends, and coaches.
-Doug Perkins; Wilmington, Del.

Blessed are the poor

My heart is softened by the verdant image in Sudan (Houses of God, Oct. 10) showing the bold, faithful, young, and old holding a church service beneath a sheltering tree. It is such a contrast with our church buildings, fineries, and programs. Amidst political unrest and hunger, they are blessed, indeed.
-Laura L. Lynn; Bunnell, Fla.

Keep it simple

I enjoyed "Low fidelity" (Oct. 10). I found it interesting that people value practicality over quality, and now that I think about it, I agree. It is a good idea to make things simpler and less expensive instead of spending money on more extravagant things.
-Brian Walsh, 14; Millis, Mass.

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