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Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope. (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. Mai 2011

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Praise for Out of a Far Country

“Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan have told the story of their miraculous journey from broken lives, relationships, and dreams to a place of hope and healing. Out of a Far Country brings home the living truth that in the midst of a broken and hurting world, God is at work to redeem, renew, and reconcile his beloved. I’m particularly happy to endorse this book because Christopher, like myself, was broken in prison and redeemed by Christ.”
—Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview

Out of a Far Country reads like a modern rendition of the prodigal son parable, only it is more gripping. The journey taken by Christopher Yuan is rarely documented. Be prepared, for the raw emotions of both mother and son authentically mark every page. The spiritual lessons to be gained from this book are many. May it gain a vast audience!”
—J. Paul Nyquist, PhD, president of Moody Bible Institute

“This is a moving account of how an Asian mother’s fragile love turns into a prayerful, patient, and tenacious force of forgiveness. It is also a gripping narrative of a son’s search for belonging and meaning. Out of a Far Country breeds hope in every despairing heart.”
—Lisa Espineli Chinn, director of International Student Ministries for InterVarsity/USA

“The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and calls them by name. Christopher Yuan, trapped in a life of drugs and sexual addiction, heard that call and rose to follow Jesus. His and his mother’s account of that rising is a profound story of redemption that all of us in this broken generation need to hear.”
—Duane Litfin, president emeritus of Wheaton College in Illinois

“Relevant, courageous, fascinating, and much more. I have known the Yuans for many years, and their walk is in line with their talk. This important and needed story goes against the wind, but it is one hundred percent in the right direction.”
—Dr. George Verwer, founder and former international director of Operation Mobilisation

Out of a Far Country is a true-life parable of saving grace for a prodigal mother and a wayward son who needed God’s forgiveness. Their story will warm the heart and lift the spirit of every parent who prays for a wandering child and every believer who needs to be reminded why the gospel is good news.”
—Dr. Philip G. Ryken, president of Wheaton College in Illinois

“At one point, Angela and Christopher were living worlds apart. I have heard their story countless times, and it never grows old. I know you will be amazed by the God who did the impossible to bring this mother and son back together.”
—Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International

“This is the story of God’s persistent chase of a wayward son through the prayers and love of a determined mother. But even more, it is a testimony to the fact that loving God is a far more satisfying pursuit than following our own desires. I am thankful that Christopher and Angela are willing to be so transparent about their journey. Christopher’s desire to follow Christ regardless of the struggle stands as a model for all who desire to love God with all their heart.”
—Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, president of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan

“God snatched Christopher Yuan from a desperately empty life and offered him the hope of Jesus Christ. This is a story of God’s redemption, love, and mercy in the midst of overwhelming sin and a heart that was far from God. Get two copies of this book—you will want to give one to a friend who needs Jesus.”
—Dr. James MacDonald, senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois

“The story of Angela Yuan and Christopher Yuan, Out of a Far Country, will minister rich grace and hope to mothers who are praying for the return of a prodigal, to the prodigals they love, and to anyone battling a sinful addiction that seems impossible to overcome. This is a deeply moving account of God’s amazing power and love.”
—Nancy Leigh DeMoss, best-selling author, host of the Revive Our Hearts radio program

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan travel nationally and internationally to speak at churches, conferences, youth conventions, and colleges about God’s desire for prodigals of all types to return to him. Angela is a businesswoman and advocate for Chinese-American cultural causes. Christopher teaches at Moody Bible Institute (MBI). He holds a bachelor's degree from MBI, a master's degree in biblical exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School and a doctorate of ministry from Bethel Seminary.

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I have heard of the youtube and facebook speaking engagements of C. Yuan but the detailed account in this memoir is even more compelling. I love the interchanging format of accounts of both authors (mother and son).

Many times I was caught crying and praising through the pages of this book. I was just in awe how God can see through everything. How His ways are higher than ours, his plan for us to have good future. To have not fear, to believe in His words and His timing.

Christopher talk about the holy sexuality and talk about his struggle about his sexuality and his diagnosis of HIV. The mercy and love and faithfulness of God was elevated with every page of this book. I highly recommend it.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 von 5 Sternen 517 Rezensionen
81 von 88 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Lovely writing, compelling story 7. Mai 2011
Von Concoriul - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In this joint memoir, mother Angela Yuan and son Christopher Yuan alternate chapters in describing Chris' prodigal son experiences, in parallel with Angela's experiences as a mother moving from suicidal depression to Christian community, along with hope and prayer for her still-troubled son. Their voices trade off as describe Chris' early successes in grad school, his growing identification with the gay community and embrace of a partying lifestyle, and his movement into success as a drug dealer. His crash when busted and jailed, along with his mothers' prayers and involvement, leads to his conversion to Christianity and eventual role as a prison minister. Now, it seems, he and his mother speak at Christian events about his transformation, a role which I assume has produced this book.

I got this review copy for free from WaterBrook Multnomah (full disclosure!), and was initially quite skeptical and concerned with how the book would portray homosexuality. Because the book is written within the conservative Christian social field, it probably will not be appreciated by liberal or secular readers. But for its intended audience, it strikes the right note. Addressing this social issue with both grace and truth has been a difficult issue for the American church, and it would be easy to turn this story into a polemic about sexual identity and the church.

But the Yuans, in general, refrain. While their story clearly fits within the cultural genre of "Christian testimony" (with overtones of Augustine's confessions as well as an identification with the specific trope of the prodigal son, moving from pride to fall to faith to restoration), it is well-handled, emotive, and lovely -- a good example of the genre. In his chapter on Holy Sexuality (182-189), Chris is frank about his long-standing desires and rejects movements which focus on trying to change a person's sexual orientation:

"But now, as I searched the Scriptures for the way I should live, I began to ask myself a different question: Who am I apart from my sexuality? ... I had always thought that the opposite of homosexuality was heterosexuality. But actually the opposite of homosexuality is holiness. God never said, 'Be heterosexual, for I am heterosexual.' He said, 'Be holy, for I am holy.' ...Holy sexuality is not focused on becoming straight -- orientation change -- but on obedience." (p.187)

Chris recommends that Christian sexuality remain within cross-gender marriage or celibacy, the most predominant framework within the Christian faith. In acknowledging his inborn nature but reframing the discussion from sexual identity to Christian identity, Chris moves away from sexual identity as a central social marker for the Christian and towards the question of what it means to be a Christian. This seems to be one appropriate stance within the Christian context -- I would love to hear others address Chris in dialogue about this. I know that Jenell Williams Paris has recently written a related book, The End of Sexual Identity, and hope to review her book soon!
61 von 66 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Prodigal and His Mother Come Home 6. Mai 2011
Von John H. Armstrong - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
On January 16 I attended a Chicago area seminar titled: "A Conference on Faith and Sexuality." The topic was same-sex relationships and the church. The host church invited four speakers to give biblical and theological presentations. The speakers clearly held widely different perspectives. The last of the four speakers was Christopher Yuan. Since I did not know Chris at the time I as not prepared to be moved to my depths by his story of a life of homosexual practice and drug dealing followed by a powerful conversion to Jesus Christ. After three years in prison, an HIV-positive blood test result, and an obvious transformation in Christ, Chris entered his new Christian lifestyle, a lifestyle that has been tested and proven for some years now. Our of a Far Country is a unique book in so many ways but one of the most unique aspects is that it is the story as told by both Chris and his mother, Angela. This means parents will be especially grateful for insights they can gain on how to respond to a prodigal child.

Christopher Yuan is one of two sons of Chinese immigrants. His father, as my father was in his professional career, is a dentist. Angela assisted Dr. Yuan in his dental practice. Chris' dad had a nominal Catholic background but Angela was an atheist. Chris was thus raised in a context without the church or any real expressions of faith around him. At an early age Chris discovered that he had an attraction to other boys. He tried dating girls but still felt strongly attracted to guys. His mother was, in her own testimony a "controlling mom." The more she tried to control her own life, and that of her son Chris, the worse things got in the Yuan family. Then Chris returned to Chicago from dental school in Louisville, Kentucky, and "came out of the closet" about his sexuality. Prepared by his homosexual friends for total rejection this is exactly what he got thus he stormed away from his family looking for love, acceptance and a new family identity in the gay community. Angela's life then spiraled out of control even more then ever once she began to deal with her feelings about her unresponsive husband and her gay son. She determined to take her own life in despair. In his mercy God intervened and Angela became a devout follower of Jesus as Lord. She had a lot of things that needed changing. She began to absorb the Scriptures and grow in God's grace. Her marriage was turned around, hope became her spiritual strength and Chris became the focus of her regular prayer and fasting times. She learned to accept Chris and love him without conditions.

Hearing this story from the perspective of a heart-broken mother, and a rebellious son who finally came home to Christ, makes it one of the most unique accounts of a prodigal's conversion that I've read in modern narrative memoir. I would not hesitate to give this book to parents or even to older (young adolescent) children. Some may question the wisdom of older children, say 12 or 13, reading a book like this but this is a book that explains how sexuality identity can destroy lives. And it explains how God's grace puts them back together again. It is not so much a book about homosexuality, as such, but a testimony that homosexual advocates should be encouraged to read since the story truly rises above the various debates and takes the reader into two human hearts longing for God and his glory above the clamor of modern disagreement.

Does Chris have a view about homosexual identity? Yes, and it seems that he accepts the fact that he has homosexual desires regardless of how this happened. (He doesn't address the debates about how a person becomes homosexual, simply saying he was drawn to boys and men.)

Does Chris have a view about homosexual practice? Yes, he does. He shares it in only a few pages without the typical polemical rhetoric. He tells of searching the Bible soon after his conversion asking "How should I now live?" He began with the feeling that it would be pleasing to God for him to remain a practicing homosexual and a follower of Christ. He ends, without telling you all the turns in the road, saying he came to believe that he was called to a higher standard of sexual purity thus he should stop practicing same-sex intercourse. This has led him to become a celibate in the years that followed his conversion. He says nothing about desiring marriage, about changing his sexual identity per se, etc. What makes his story so compelling to me is that he never engages in attacks on other views and people but very simply allows his story to stand for what it is, the story of a remarkably changed man. The reader can judge what they will about Chris and his life but you can be sure of this - he is a man who knows who he is in Christ and is clearly following holiness as he understands it in Scripture. Honestly, this makes the book unique since it is a story, not a biblical defense or apologetic in the normal sense of these terms.

Chris and Angela cast an extremely compelling vision of God's love, God's grace and God's holiness. Their book really speaks to prodigals of all kinds and to the parents of prodigals. And yes, it speaks to those who want to minister to the gay community in a way that is not based on rancorous polemical stereotypes and arguments.

After attending Moody Bible Institute Chris did an M.A. in biblical exegesis at Wheaton College Graduate School, as a Charles Colson Scholar. (This is a program designed for ex-convicts). He is currently pursuing a doctor of ministry at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul (MN) and is teaching at Moody Bible Institute. He also travels with his mom speaking to churches, conferences and youth groups about God's desire for all prodigals to come home to him.

I recently had lunch with Chris and can tell you that he is the real person this story presents him to be. I love him as a brother and friend and hope you will read his story and pray for both Chris and Angela. You can follow Chris on his blog. You can see his amazing story, from Saddleback Church, on YouTube.
34 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Touching and Compelling 16. Mai 2011
Von Mark Lattimore - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In the 1990s, Christopher Yuan was a gay man who worked hard and played harder. After an experience with the drug Ecstasy, Yuan quickly became one of the top drug dealers in the major gay clubs of the Southeast, living the glamorous lifestyle marked by cars, clothes and the adoration of his new family in the homosexual community. As spectacular as the story of his life in the 90s is, it is not the subject of this book.

Yuan's world eventually came crashing down. Arrested for conspiracy and intent to distribute illegal drugs and later sentenced to six years in prison, Yuan was abandoned by all but a very few of his supposed "friends". To add insult to injury, Yuan learned, while wearing the tell-tale orange jumpsuit of the Atlanta Detention Center, that he was HIV positive, likely the result of one of his sexual encounters of the previous several years. As dramatic as the story of his Yuan's fall is, it is not the subject of this book.

In recent years, Yuan, now a Christian speaker and HIV/AIDS activist, has garnered a fair amount of notoriety for his frequent speaking engagements in which he talks about HIV and issues surrounding sexuality and Christianity. For this he has been both praised and roundly (and often angrily) criticized. Though one of this book's thirty two chapters is entitled "Holy Sexuality", neither HIV nor questions of Christian faith and sexuality are the subjects of this book.

What is Out of a Far Country about? It is a modern-day prodigal son story, about a son who rebels against his parents and effectively abandons his natural family in favor of living life on his own terms. It is about an awkward boy whose struggle to fit it and to make sense of his attractions led him on a journey into manhood defined by rises, falls and, ultimately, redemption. It's about a God who says to us "I created you in my image and, for that reason and that reason alone, I love you. Period." It's a story that demonstrates that God's ways are not our ways and that God uses whomever He wills, however He wills and does so perfectly. Yuan's journey from outcast kid to drug dealer to HIV statistic to Christ follower is, at bottom, simply a story of God's unconditional love for even "the least" of us.

More than that, Out of a Far Country, is about a mother's struggle. In alternating chapters running roughly chronologically with Christopher's story, his mother, Angela, tells her own story of redemption through the trials of a rebellious son, a lifeless marriage, and lifelong scars that haunted her inmost being. From her childhood in Shanghai and Taiwan to her life in the United States with husband, Leon, Angela describes for us her journey from atheist to Christian, from staunch anti-religionist to powerful prayer warrior, from suicidal mother to child of God. Hers is a story not only of redemption but also of the power of a praying parent who asks God not to bail her son out of whatever situation he might be in, not to allow him to remain in a school threatening to expel him, not to spare him from prison, but to do "whatever it takes" to bring her son to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. It was a bold prayer. It was an instructive prayer. It was an effective prayer.

At bottom, Out of a Far Country is a story of hope. No matter how far from God we may think we are, God pursues us in the most unlikely ways and in the most unlikely places, in a swank Atlanta apartment, in a prison bunk--even in a trashcan. Read the book. You'll understand.
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Incredibly Inspiring 20. Januar 2012
Von Jordan H - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Having struggled with homosexuality myself, I have read many books to help me on my journey. However after diving into the realm of psychology numerous times my brain began to become exhausted and weary from all of the self-analyzing. This book is far unlike any other however. This story has refreshed me! This book has inspired me! It has given me the faith to believe that, in spite of all of the mistakes I have made, God will never give up on me. It goes into great detail, displaying both the mother's and the son's perspective. It has helped me to see how God can take any situation and turn it around for His glory! This book is a must read!
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen God's redemption, from a Chinese perspective 15. Juni 2012
Von Chris$man - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is a heart-wrenching book about the life of the Yuan family, every member of which is a trophy of God's grace and redemption!

One of the "most helpful" reviews says that it's obvious they are not writers, and is "a dry read" at times, but I found it to be anything but that! This is an incredible page-turner with poignant and down-to-earth language. I personally learned a lot about the prison system and even drug dealing because of how detailed they were in their descriptions.

One thing that makes this book unique is that this story of drug-dealer/homosexual turned born-again Christian is from a Chinese immigrant perspective, not White American. I believe that the Yuan's story will continue to be used within the Chinese community and immigrant community in general, and is an example of how universal sin is -- but how powerful Christ is, and how the God of the Bible is the God of all mankind, not just White middle-class people.

I lived on the same dorm floor as Christopher for two and a half years at Moody. This guy is the real deal, he is a walking miracle, and you will be blessed if you are familiar with his story.
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