Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blog Tour: Out Of A Far Country (Review)

In just under 250 pages, Christopher Yuan and his mother, Angela, tell a griping tale that puts a modern spin on the Biblical story of the prodigal son.

Written in tandem, the this book marks Yuan's journey as he struggles with his sexuality, becomes a drug dealer while in dental school, embraces the gay lifestyle, ends up in jail on serious drug charges and eventually discovers his HIV+ status.

It also highlights, simultaneously, the process his mother takes as she struggles to give up control (of uncontrollable situations) and instead rely solely upon God.

Sometimes in books where the "voice" jumps between two individuals can seem, well, jumbled. However, this book, written so you get both Yuan and Angela's perspectives for each time period, is written so smoothly that the dialogue is easy to follow.

This book doesn't read like a simple memoir, but rather is a  written testimony to what God did (and continues to do) in both of their lives. Through their narratives, it shows how someone can get to the bottom - in Yuan's case, landing in prison and an HIV+ diagnosis - and find redemption and grace through Jesus. It also shows how a mother simply refused to write off her son, and instead found a way to rely upon her faith and prayer, to see her to the end of the journey.

This book is not preachy, it is not a "bash gays over the head" with a Bible. Instead it's simply the story of how God worked in the life of one man, and his mother. It's good, it's powerful and it's honest, which is all you can ask for in a book like this.

It does includes an eight session study guide on prayer, redemption and holy sexuality - which Yuan says everyone should strive to have, regardless of attraction.

More About The Yuans
The Yuans Introduce The Book

Christopher Yuan's Testimony

Author Bios
Christopher Yuan
What many would consider their worst nightmare has become a reality for Christopher Yuan. While attending dental school, he began living promiscuously as a homosexual and experimenting with illicit drugs. Within a few years, he was expelled from dental school, imprisoned for drug dealing and discovered that he was HIV positive.

But God has turned his nightmare into an exciting and inspiring story of redemption, grace and transformation. Christopher has an understanding heart for and a desire to minister to those working through issues of sexuality and to those living with HIV/AIDS. He speaks locally and internationally to youth, on college campuses, in churches and in prisons.

Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005 and Wheaton College Graduate School in 2007 with a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and is currently pursuing a doctorate of ministry at Bethel Seminary. He now teaches at Moody while continuing his speaking ministry which has reached four continents around the world. Christopher has spoken at both Saddleback Church and Willow Creek Community Church in America and at many conferences including InterVarsity's Urbana and the Moody Pastors' Conference and Men's Conference.

He is featured in the award-winning documentary, "HOPE Positive: Surviving the Sentence of AIDS" and has co-authored with his mother, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God, A Broken Mother's Search for Hope (forthcoming May 3, 2011 by WaterBrook Multnomah a division of Random House).

Angela Yuan
Angela Yuan has experienced much heartache in her life; absentee parents, a broken marriage and a prodigal son who was hopeless and unreachable. But on the brink of despair, Angela found a God who knew her deepest need and she began a journey with Jesus which carried her through the valleys and mountain tops of life.

Born in Szechuan Province, China, she immigrated to the United States in 1964, later marrying Leon Yuan and raising two sons.

Angela has spent countless hours volunteering as the founder and president of I-CARE (Illinois Chinese-American Residence for the Elderly). In addition, she has been highly involved with Bible Study Fellowship International, serving in leadership for more than thirteen years, and was a part of the pioneering team invited by the Chinese communist government to start BSF in Beijing.

Angela is considered by many to be a prayer warrior, interceding for her children and countless others. Angela's experience comes from years of trials and knowledge gained from her failures and mistakes.

Through all of this, God has given her the grace to rely upon His power to change the unchangeable and focus upon her own daily renewal and transformation. It is this familiarity with the storms of life and her sensitivity and compassion for mothers that attracts many to seek the comfort and counsel of Angela Yuan.

Online Resources
Learn More About Yuan on his Website
Follow Yuan on Facebook
Find Yuan on Twitter
Read an online excerpt of Out of the Far Country
Buy Out of The Far Country on Amazon
Find Out of The Far Country at Barnes & Noble

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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