International homeschool leaders’ tributes
Taking it to the World
In 2001, Chris addressed the first conference sponsored by School Instruction at Home in Southern Germany.
We have lost a man of enormous courage, zeal, tenacity, and foresight, and—above all—we have lost a dear brother. My wife and I spent precious hours with Chris and Tracy in Germany and at their home in Virginia. It seemed like he was always in good spirits in spite of all physical restrictions already visible back then. I deeply regret his going home. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tracy and the kids.
Dr. Ronald & Christiane Reichert
Chris had quite an impact on us here in New Zealand by his outspoken faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, his work, example, humility, newsletters, etc. These things and more were brought into sharper focus when we met with him at a leadership conference in Philadelphia. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Craig & Barbara Smith
Home Education Foundation
Since our family first met Chris in 1997, he has not only been an outspoken advocate for homeschooling in Latin America, but also a dear friend and faithful supporter of the Hispanic homeschool movement. In 1999, Chris spoke at the national homeschool conference in Mexico as well as our small rural church. At the church, he spoke on suffering in the life of a believer. After the service was over, Herminia said, “Now I have learned to trust God more!” Chris’s message, born from the many struggles his own family has faced, applied to everyone.
After Chris spoke, I had all six of his conference sessions transcribed. Here is an exact quote from one of them:
“We have learned, from the suffering that we have endured, that home education is not something we are doing to simply teach our children at home; it is rather a means towards the goal of raising our children to love the Lord, obey the Lord, and one day to be at our side in heaven!”
Chris has gone from the presence of those he loved the most on this earth directly to the presence of the One Whom he loved the most.
Mike & Pam Richardson
El Hogar Educador
Chris addressed the Homeschool Support Association of Japan’s first seminar in July 2000.
As missionaries in Japan for 23 years, we have been so thankful for Chris Klicka and his help for the recently emerging homeschool movement here. The homeschooling movement (and Christian school movement) in Japan face huge challenges. Fewer than 0.5% of the population profess to be Bible-believing Christians. Homeschooling and Bible-based Christian schools are technically illegal. My wife Carol and I thought we were courageous pioneer homeschoolers in the United States 27 years ago when we only knew one other homeschooling family (and, sadly, were often proud and self-righteous about it). But in our conformist society here in Japan, with so few Christians, virtually no full curriculum in Japanese, and a legion of other challenges, our Japanese Christian friends who choose to homeschool are really the courageous pioneers. What we did was relatively easy.
Chris came into this difficult situation and was a tremendous help. He came to speak. He modeled courage. His writings were translated and so helpful to our movement and to the Kingdom advance here.
I personally appreciated his love for God, his trust in God’s absolute sovereignty, and his example of personal witness for Christ to those who haven’t heard.
We pray God’s blessing on the Klicka family. Their husband and father has a legacy here in the Land of the Rising Sun, helping families of the small, weak Church to grow in depth, that this land might someday be the Land of the Risen Son.
Mission to the World
Many home educators in Australia have been inspired by Chris Klicka. As a leader and a pioneer in the modern home education movement, Chris provided encouragement to us by the example of his life, his family, his legal work, his conference addresses, and his writings.
The thing that most impresses anyone who knew Chris, however, was his zeal for Jesus and for sharing the gospel. Chris will be missed by a great number of people, from all around the world. However, Chris’s leadership has inspired many to stand on his shoulders and to take the message of Jesus Christ, of family, and of home education to greater prominence well into the 21st century.
We thank the Lord for Chris. We remember Tracy and the family in prayer, and we give God the glory for His gift to us of Chris Klicka, a man whose life was well led.
Australian Christian Home Schooling
Chris helped us here in France for many years. He was always gracious to allow the French to “do it their way” when it came to how to present the case before the government, but he was there to lend a hand if they asked. Thank you, Chris.
In July 1997, Chris met with members of the South African parliament and homeschool leaders, including Graham Shortridge (second from left), to discuss expanding homeschool freedom.
We are so sorry to hear this sad news. Our sincere condolences to Tracy, family, and all those whose lives were so richly blessed by this great warrior of God.
When homeschooling was illegal in South Africa, Chris came to our rescue, and with his help, homeschooling was legalized. With the help of the African Christian Democratic Party (and some other interested parties) and armed with Chris’s book (Home Schooling: The Right Choice) and piles of HSLDA newsletters and articles, we were able to “educate” national parliament about homeschooling, with the result that it was legalized in 1996. My wife Alison and I had started Theocentric Christian Education and were the first providers of curriculum to homeschoolers, and now, 16 years later, there are thousands of homeschoolers in S.A. and dozens of curriculum providers.
When Chris and Tracy visited S.A. in 1998, we had the privilege of hosting them in our home in Cape Town. They returned this by hosting us in their home in May 2000. Chris’s email newsletters were always a blessing to us in the way he always praised the Lord right through his illness.
The first time we had contact with Chris was when a family was jailed here for homeschooling (early 1993). We asked Chris for help and, with his help through HSLDA, they were released from jail with no parole conditions. We then asked him to help us get homeschooling legalized, and he did.
The world has lost a great man of God.
Graham & Alison Shortridge
Theocentric Christian Education
Chris and Tracy Klicka and their children have been an inspiration and encouragement to homeschoolers worldwide. The first time I met Chris, he was running with his suit bag to catch a flight to his next speaking engagement.
I have always been impressed with the energy, integrity, and vision of Chris Klicka. He has been a tireless advocate and campaigner for the liberties of homeschooling families worldwide. In literally thousands of legal conflicts, he has worked for the freedoms which many hundreds of thousands of homeschooling families benefit from to this day.
For two decades, Chris has been a personal friend, and as we began to homeschool our four children, the Klicka and Hammond families became firm friends and were regularly in contact.
When Chris was healthier, he and Tracy visited our home in Cape Town and inspired many of us to homeschool our children. We will always be grateful for his inspiration, encouragement, and example. Home Schooling: The Right Choice continues to be a vital resource.
In 2007, when our whole family visited the U.S., the Klickas welcomed us at the airport, and their home was the first to host us. We will always remember the joy of our two families exploring the monuments and museums in D.C. together.
On behalf of homeschooling families in South Africa, we praise God for the life and legacy of Chris. We praise God for all that he has already accomplished through this remarkable, courageous, and sacrificial life. We praise God for all that he is continuing to do through the solid foundations laid, legal battles won, and through Chris and Tracy’s precious children. We praise God that Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life.
Peter & Lenora Hammond
Cape Town, South Africa
Our deepest sympathy and condolences go to Tracy, the children, HSLDA, and friends of Chris Klicka. I have known Chris for five years via email and finally met him last year at the international leaders conference in Buffalo, New York. Chris was always so kind and concerned for us here in Nairobi, Kenya. He has been the face of HSLDA to me, and I will miss him dearly. However, I know he is in a better place. May his soul rest in eternal peace with our loving Father. Amen.
Greetings from Miskolc, Hungary. We now have homeschooling going in three countries (Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine) among Hungarian nationals. It is hard to imagine any of this existing without Chris’s help and influence—as a teacher, motivator, defender, and helper in many ways with his email alerts and raising of funds for critical efforts, including the publishing of his book (The Right Choice) in Hungarian for people in Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Slovakia. We will miss him tremendously and will pray that the Lord will raise up many others to take his place—because we know one person cannot take his place in all that he did to help us.
Hungary Home School Association
We find it hard to picture homeschooling existing in Romania without Chris’s assistance. He has helped us in so many ways—teaching, inspiring, defending, sending email alerts, and raising funds. We miss him greatly and pray that God will bring others to take his place—it will take many people to fill his shoes.
Romania Home Schooling Association
Chris was a mentor and an encourager to many. He touched lives wherever he went. Chris was instrumental in helping to organize HSLDA in Canada over 18 years ago. He had struggled with multiple sclerosis for a long time, but now he is rejoicing in heaven, totally free of pain and suffering
Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to Tracy and the family at this time.
Home School Legal Defence
Association of Canada
We thank the Lord for Chris and his ministry to international homeschooling families, including those in Canada. He has been a very significant resource legally and spiritually to homeschooling leaders and families. Chris’s example in his fervent love for the Lord and sharing the gospel to “the ends of the earth” was the first driver for families that were focused on their own challenges. By watching and listening to Chris, the effect was that we turned our eyes to where they should be—“focused on Jesus.”
HSLDA of Canada
During the 11 years that I was the executive director of HSLDA of Canada (1994 to 2004), Chris Klicka was a dear friend and a constant ally to assist in defending parents and their right to homeschool in Canada. In the long view of history, 48 years is a fairly short life. But Chris’s life, ministry, and legal career will have an impact on the lives of thousands and multiple generations that only our heavenly Father knows.
I first met Chris just before he was diagnosed with MS, and I watched him deteriorate physically, but I never knew him to lose faith or courage to defend what was right. His reservoir of energy seemed limitless even though he had physical limitations. His enthusiasm for sharing the faith and for talking about the goodness of God made fellow followers of Christ marvel. His pleasant demeanor and joyful spirit were always an encouragement to me as the sole lawyer defending parents in Canada. We spent long nights in hotel rooms at conferences talking about God’s word, theology, our families, the culture of our two countries, and legal strategy to defend the right to homeschool.
Now, as I trial judge, I see the importance of strong families and the devastating effects of the breakdown of the family unit in a more direct way. I also see now more than ever, the importance of constitutional protection for parents. I have Chris to thank for sharpening my focus on these issues and for clarifying my thinking in these areas. Chris will be missed, but I am sure he would be the first to say that God is good, that He is sovereign, and that God will raise up others to take his place! And it will take more than one person to take his place. The last time I saw Chris was about 18 months ago in Virginia, and he was struggling to do so much—things that we take for granted. He is not struggling anymore. Praise God, he is with his Savior, with no wheelchair, cane, or crutch!
Thanks be to God for the thousands of people that Chris touched in the homeschool community. This community will uphold Tracy and their children as an arm of the Church of Christ.
the Honourable Dallas K. Miller
Court of Queen’s Bench
of Alberta Courthouse