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'The Last Taboo'



Thanks to Thadeus Greenson for writing a fine cover story on Jeff Woodke: his time in the Sahel and reintegration ("'When the Lord Restored Our Fortunates,'" April 6). I'm a journalist, too; at this point in my life I write a monthly column for Senior News. I'm also a Christian. Unfortunately, I often see Christianity as the last taboo in journalism. It's hard for me to find any good — or even neutral — news about what true Christians, not just Christians in name, are doing in this community and the world. How can a person tell if someone is a true Christian or a fraud? 

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. — James 1:26-27, The Message version

It's easy to see that the Woodkes have worked with the homeless and loveless. "Guarding against corruption" also applies to the Woodke couple during their ordeal, since the original Greek in the verse means "not compromising with a system that hates God."

I really appreciated Thadeus' take on the story, giving background on how much Jeff worked with the people in the Sahel and his understandably fluctuating faith, as well as Els' unwavering knowledge that God would bring home her husband alive and well. Years ago I had a missionary friend in the states who went to work in the Sahel for the long term. Shen — also named Margaret — was helping the people learn new sustainable irrigation techniques. I imagine they may have met each other along the way. Thanks again for a heart-stopping story with a happy ending.

Margaret Kellermann, Ferndale

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