I have great respect and love for Dr. Kyung-Chik Han. But I take exception with David Swartz’s disturbing theory that he deserves equal credit with my father for World Vision’s founding. For 30 years, Bob Pierce traveled the world preaching the gospel. He also met hundreds of “heroes of the cross” who, like Dr. Han, were doing great things for God without sufficient funding. The first seeds of vision that grew into World Vision were planted in my father’s heart by missionaries in China, not Korea. He determined to help them, and if not for the Communist invasion, World Vision would probably have begun there. So when Swartz points out that Dad “plugged in” to something Dr. Han was doing to help refugees in Korea, he is right. My father founded World Vision to advocate and raise support for those working to bring hope to their own people in their own countries. Today, World Vision’s ministry model has changed, but it continues to honor my father’s vision by helping people help themselves through child sponsorship and community development.
Marilee Pierce Dunker
I was deeply moved by this article. The fact that pastor Han was already on the ground engaging in important work among his people should be known. I wonder how many more stories like these are floating around.
Patricia Simpson Newton
There are so many “ ‘nobodies’ who paved the way for the ‘somebodies,’ ” as Chuck Swindoll says, referring to the five groups of unnamed heroes in Nehemiah’s story. God’s work can truly succeed only as the forgotten heroes faithfully do their part. It was the way Nehemiah’s wall got built!
A faithful Gideon witnessed to my alcoholic military father in 1971. I was 15 then; now I have completed 31 years as an Army chaplain and five with the VA. My sister served over 30 years as a missionary in Indonesia. My youngest brother served as a youth pastor and Word of Life staffer. My other brother, a retired Air Force pilot and police officer, served faithfully in his church as musician, deacon, and encourager. All because a Gideon loved an Army warrant officer and shared Christ using a personal worker’s New Testament.
To even contemplate the idea of an Easter Bunny in church betrays an adulterated concept of Easter that is totally incompatible in any church. What kind of mixed message would that be to children?
Vern A. Hannah
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The author was incorrect in his comments regarding Orthodox practice. While it is true that on Saturday of Holy Week, we celebrate the Harrowing of Hell by Christ, we do not sing the Resurrection hymn until midnight or early Sunday morning, depending on the parish. Orthodox practice during Holy Week tends to do things “by anticipation.” Friday evening is when we remember Christ in the tomb with a several-hour service called the Lamentations. I always tell people that if they want to understand Orthodoxy, go through Holy Week with us.
Pickell captures the importance of dwelling awhile in our suffering before proceeding to glory. Jesus died between two thieves: One scoffed at salvation; the other embraced it. The latter chose to dwell awhile in his suffering, while the former wanted to pass suffering into glory. By doing so, the latter discovered that Jesus’ suffering affirmed his mortality. By extension, we are called to embrace the suffering of Jesus. If we refuse to crucify our sins on the cross, our sufferings would be meaningless, not meaningful. When we refuse to die, we refuse to live.
I generally am very grateful for the theological articles and chronicles you propose, and I find they make me grow as a believer and a pastor. Many times I have been prompted to preach upon texts I came to understand a bit more deeply because of you.
Revealing and transparent personal struggle. I run to the Psalms, especially Psalm 131. It melts me.
Peter K. Johnson
Saranac Lake, NY
Your [online] title, “The ‘Over There’ Era of Missions Is Over,” is misleading, because nowhere does the Q&A suggest that the church should now leave behind the “all the world” and “the uttermost parts of the earth” aspects of the Great Commission; and false, because the great need to reach our own post-Christian culture should in no way imply that overseas missions, like Bible translation, should be “over, over there.”
David M. Coombs
This testimony brought tears to my eyes. It was so eloquently written and captures what it means to know Christ, to know forgiveness and perseverance. Please relay my thanks to the author who dared to risk his safety and reputation in his Muslim community to stand for Christ.
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