When Brother Yun got his first Bible, he read it hungrily, memorizing everything he could, even sleeping with it. He immediately began proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in small villages across China. From that moment on, he experienced persecution, torture and imprisonment by the Chinese government. Brother Yun recounts his imprisonments, tortures and escapes in graphic detail. Although there are those who question the extent of his reported tortures, his message is clear: Jesus is love. Jesus is everything. Jesus’ love is worth dying for. The way he handles his tormenters, never losing faith, is truly inspiring and heartrending.
China is a Communist country. Christianity is illegal and those who preach it are cruelly treated. If a family has one child already and is found to be expecting another, the mother is detained and the developing baby aborted. If the mother manages to escape and have her baby, enormous fines and other punishments are imposed. Bibles are confiscated and those who possess them are beaten.
In a country such as ours, where so many of us who call ourselves “Christian” are lukewarm at best, the mere thought of suffering torture, blood, pain and death for the sake of Jesus Christ gives pause. Would I? Could I? Or would I deny Him and hide, gradually losing what little faith I had? Not a dilemma I want to be faced with. However, Brother Yun’s story causes me to question whether I am witnessing to Jesus Christ in my everyday life. Do I hunger for the Eucharist and the Word? When presented with the opportunity to attend Mass or read the Bible do I respond with enthusiasm? Out of duty? Turn my back? Is my faith and hope contagious? Do I radiate peace and love? Good questions to keep in the front of my mind on a daily basis. In the end, don’t we all want to be greeted with those precious words, “well done, good and faithful servant. Now enter in and claim your reward.”? Brother Yun concludes by challenging the Western Church to return to basics. As the theme of this blog suggests, I think that’s a wonderful idea.
Christopher Jean gives a compelling reading as Brother Yun, with Jeannie Park as Yun’s faithful wife Deling. The readers lend warmth and truth to their characters and the audiobook (copyright 2008 by Hovel Audio) is a joy to listen to. The Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun, with Paul Hattaway, (c) 2002, was originally published by Monarch Books.
I would like to thank Christian Audio, for providing me with a free review copy of this audiobook. No other compensation was received for this review.