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Letters from our readers


More money or more strings?

[ Aug. 31 ] Contrary to those who say any government connection threatens homeschoolers’ independence, homeschooling parents still decide how to educate their children and how to pay for it. Of course we must be wary of governmental intrusion, but that is nothing new and cannot be completely avoided. —Steve Shive on

Any program that limits the curriculum or requires submission of student work is something other than homeschooling. That’s not always a bad thing, but it should have its own designation. —Joellyn Clark on

This country should have universal education savings accounts so parents have full control over how their money is used to educate their own children. If they choose the local public school, fine, the money can go there. —Richard Siek on

Drowning in red

[ Aug. 31 ] What a fine piece! The treatment was thorough, fair, and informative. Pat and I are both alumni of Nyack College and I am also a former professor, so we could relate well. —Robert F. Davis / Ringwood, N.J.

Nyack’s situation appears discouraging, but I hope that it can rejuvenate itself by returning to its roots of urban ministry. —Ben Unseth / Audubon, Iowa

Labor days

[ Aug. 31 ] It is unreal how much pressure and expectation my oldest son faced to go to college. He is working full time and learning a trade, but so many people think that without college he will never truly be successful. Young people should have the freedom and support to thrive in whatever calling God has for them. —Natalie Weber on

Offering ‘the love of Jesus’

[ Aug. 31 ] Thank you to Sophia Lee for the tender portrayal of the refugee families showing up on our southern border, many full of “a faith that many Americans have lost.” May they be a missionary force in our nation. —Cheryl Irish / Bastrop, Texas

There are both thugs who have been coached by lawyers on sob stories, as Trump put it, and vulnerable families. Even if most families don’t have lawyers, many might still have been coached. And I’m sure some are Christians, but to describe these people as a coming “missionary force” is thinly veiled advocacy. —Brandon Windham / McDonald, Tenn.

Much of the news about the crisis at the southern border provokes despair, but this article highlights how the church is showing up where it is needed most desperately. It was immensely encouraging. —Josh Levin / Minneapolis, Minn.

Those binding up the wounds of these people ought to encourage them to return home and take the gospel with them. The Holy Spirit can change those countries from places that people flee to places where people want to live. —Dan Syme / Wilmington, Del.

That’s good news about churches assisting migrants at the border, but the comments about the president were unnecessary. It is our government’s duty to protect our country and its people. —Mike Kelly / Fishersville, Va.

Regaining a lost love

[ Aug. 31 ] My parents were in ministry and, like the Loomans, had a beautiful rekindling of their love in their later years after God spoke to them. It gave them strength to stay and serve each other when significant health challenges arose in their final years. It truly blessed us as their children. —Amy Green on Facebook

We didn’t need to regain lost love, but we discovered new depths in our marriage when we began reading Scripture, singing hymns, and praying together every evening after supper. We only wish we had begun sooner. —Marvin & Nancy Richter / Early, Texas

This is a hopeful story. Marriages restored and those that don’t need restoration are great things, and they have this in common: commitment. —Greg Mangrum on

A higher purpose

[ Aug. 31 ] Adrian Zenz’s comments about reeducation camps in China reminded me of a Jacksonville, Fla., school district. In August a math teacher refused to use a transgender student’s preferred pronoun, so the district is making all of its teachers receive additional sensitivity training. How far are we from China? —James D. Marshall / Concord, N.C.

Liberty at risk

[ Aug. 31 ] Marci Hamilton thinks Amish parents’ claims of religious liberty damage their children’s education. By whose standard? Amish children get a better education than many who go through public school and college, judging by their successful businesses, the demand for their labor, and their financial self-sufficiency. —Barbara Orsag / Quarryville, Pa.

Deporting to death

[ Aug. 31 ] Mindy Belz’s reporting is always excellent and full of mercy, but I suspect that immigration officials are so overwhelmed it’s next to impossible to do the right thing in all situations. Meanwhile, our legislative leaders have refused for decades to deal with the problems. —Sam Lochinger on

Life after chess

[ Aug. 31 ] I truly enjoyed this article, but you don’t need to be a checkers champion to see that comparing the number of neurosurgeons to the number of grandmasters says nothing about which is more difficult to achieve. What about funding, access to chess boards, or the global demand for brain surgery? —Stephen P. Lewis on

Blaine, Blaine, short-sighted briber from the state of Maine

[ Aug. 31 ] Great article. It is always good to review the history of things to remember the reasons, good or bad, for laws. Christians feeling anti-Christian bias in education should remember that there is nothing new under the sun. Or maybe, “What goes around, comes around.” —Janet Bell on


ELWA Hospital opened the first Ebola treatment unit in Monrovia (“Five years after Ebola,” Sept. 28, p. 50).

The secret letter was not from the man Kathi Higley dated while Hal was in Greenland, but from a subsequent lover. The Higleys began attending church again about four years after reconciling (“Two mended hearts,” Sept. 28, p. 59).

The Griffithses moved to the jungle four years after they married (“Gained in translation,” Sept. 14, p. 63).


Hatam Pastor Simson Dowansiba led the completion of the Hatam Bible translation (“Gained in translation,” Sept. 14, p. 63).

More letters, emails, and comments we didn’t have space for in the print edition:

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Aug. 31 ] We loved the film. It’s a story of friends, family, love, and resilience. The dog is just a tool to let us walk alongside the family. For those who know such wounds firsthand, it will be a good place to begin conversations of the heart and of faith. —Paul Austin on

Gamers in Queens

Aug. 31 ] You noted that some Christian colleges are offering “e-sport” scholarships. Even Christian colleges are becoming more like four-year posh summer camps where entertainment and extravagance dominate. At what cost? —Douglas Oliver / Toledo, Ohio

Drowning in red

Aug. 31 ] I know a pastor of a small church who will probably never be able to pay off his student loan. And I’ve seen people go to college to train for missions and then be rejected by mission boards because of their student debt. The cost of college defeats its purpose. It’s a bubble ready to pop. —JennyBeth Gardner on

Labor days

Aug. 31 ] We don’t necessarily know what we want to do at age 18. When I taught night classes at a community college, half my students already had degrees they had decided were of no use to them. Their desires, family, outlook, and so many things had changed with maturity. —F. L. “Pat” Jacobs / Redmond, Wash.

Notable new releases

July 20 ] Arsenio Orteza may be right that Billie Eilish’s lyrics are weak, but her music is extremely catchy. She has an interesting personality and an astonishing voice. —Emma Floyd, 14 / Chihuahua, Mexico