I was interested to read about Brother Yun's son, having read his father's story. I have seen many children of pastors and missionaries hurt by their parents' dedication to the Lord and seeming neglect of their families, so I wondered how Isaac felt about all his father had gone through. Isaac does have some struggles with this issue which he describes honestly in this book. Yet he never loses his faith or his passion for sharing the Lord. Another reviewer mentioned the awkwardness of the writing. I agree. The book is translated from German, so it's not Isaac's lack of knowing English that presents the problem. Overall, the translator did a good job, but there are many places that are a bit rough - to our American eyes. Even so, the story is worth reading for the awareness of the price many people in other countries pay to follow the Lord. And to see God's faithfulness in action!
I was really excited to read this book because my mother-in-law had let me borrow The Heavenly Man two years ago and I loved it. I recommended it to so many people because I don't think many Americans have a clue about what life is like for Christians in other countries. Not only that, I think many Americans think that God is believed in half-heartily in other countries, as many "Christians" do so in America. With that said, that book left some questions for me. I had questions, such as, what do his children think about him being gone all the time and putting Christ first? How could he have influenced them in their lives if he was gone? How did his wife handle all of the persecution (which the book touched on a little, but I wanted to know more)? At any point, did they ever want to throw up their hands and say "this just isn't worth it?"
When I saw this book come up as a review choice, I immediately filled out the form and awaited its arrival. I was curious to know, from his son's perspective, how his dad influenced his life. Did he ever face persecution and did he love Jesus as much as his dad? Enough to give it all?
This book is short and can easily be read in a day (probably even a half of a day, with no distractions). That was refreshing in itself. Sometimes the best books say what needs to be said and then they end it. Throughout the pages, Isaac talks about the persecution he faces on behalf of his dad's name, how they had to change their names, their homes, and ultimately their lives to escape a sure death. He shares with the readers that yes, at times, he didn't want to believe in God. He didn't want to accept what God was calling him to do for the rest of his life, either. He talks about how he didn't want to be known as Brother Yun's son...he had his own life and wanted his own name.
Towards the end, he discusses their escape from China, the miracles God worked for them to get out of China, and finally ends with his deep love and deep desire to one day return to China and reach many Chinese communities for Christ. This is a book that all Christians need to read. Not only so they can become more aware of what is happening in China (and many other countries), but also so we know how to better pray for them. What a wonderful testimony of God's hand working in their lives!
I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.
Son of the Underground by Isaac Liu is about the son of the famous Heavenly Man, Brother Yun, who has a story of his own to tell. Isaac's father was in prison for preaching God's Word when Isaac was born. In fact his birth was just the first of many miracles in this young man's life. Growing up in Communist China, he faced persecution and disgust from his peers and people from his village because of his father's record as an "enemy of the people" for being a firm follower of Jesus Christ. Yun missed much of his son's life, on the run and in prison, but his influence was felt in his son when Isaac began teaching people about God's Word at a very young age. He has seen the staunch faith of his grandmother, Nai Nai, who raised him when he was very young, and his mother who never gave up on or turned on her husband or God. In this book, Isaac tells the story of his youth in China, flight to Burma and then on to Germany to escape persecution for his faith and his father's "crimes." The book is fascinating in its tale of life in Communist China as a Christian, and each of us should be very grateful for the freedoms we have. It's also the very personal story of one man's search for a faith and calling of his own, separate from the father who has shadowed much of his life. The book is compelling and inspiring, but the narrative jumps around chronologically at times. jumping from age ten to eleven and down to eight or nine within a few pages. Isaac's writing style is also a bit stiff (which probably comes from his not being as familiar with English), so the deeply emotional parts don't have the impact they should. It's a good read for anyone wanting to know more about the Heavenly Man and his family, or looking for the story of one man's faith in impossible circumstances.
His father was an enemy of the state. His mother was told to have an abortion. His teachers mocked him. He first met his father when he was four years old. He and his family lived for years on the run.
Yet Isaac Liu, son of Brother Yun, survived to develop his own faith and character, and today is serving the Lord from his home in Germany.
Though I have not had the privilege of reading the story of Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man, reading the story of his son, Isaac Liu, was riveting.
From the moment of his illegal birth in Communist China, to the harrowing journey to Germany, Liu's life was fraught with deprivation, hardship, hunger and fear. But in spite of all he and his mother and sister and grandmother endured in China, the Lord continued to be a source of light and life.
Reading about his grandmother reminded me of Timothy's grandmother, who was a godly influence in his life. She was a pillar in their village and would travel far to other villages to bring the Good News. Nai Nai actions and deeds in her Christian faith brought many people to Jesus. She would carry young Isaac on her back as they would travel to various villages to meet with other Christians.
I can't imagine what it must have been like for Isaac to have been ridiculed, mocked and tormented by his fellow students and teachers. They did that because his father spent so much time in prison for being a traveling minister. That made his father and his family an enemy of the state.
Many times he and his family had to deal with the state police searching their home, which wasn't more than an hut, looking for his father. When the danger of being arrested would arise, the family would move to another place and change their names.
My heart broke for this young man and all that he had endured. Yet at the same time, reading his story made me take a hard look at my own faith. Would I be able to hold onto the Lord's hand in such persecution? I can only pray I would.
In the United States of America we are still free to worship as we chose. We still have the freedom to attend any church we desire to. We Christians, still have liberties that our brothers and sisters in other countries don't have.
I am thankful for these freedoms, yet I believe those freedoms are going to disappear. By reading books such as Son of the Underground, and The Heavenly Man and For Those Tears, the Nora Lam Story, we can be encouraged to hold fast to our faith in Jesus.
Stories like Son of the Underground need to be shared. They help make those of us who are complacent and unaware of the persecution our brothers and sisters around the world are enduring to be mindful of them and remember them in our prayers. Their stories can help strengthen our walk with the Lord, bring about repentance in our lives and encourage us to live more fully for Him.
Son of the Underground was provided to me by Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. Thank you Kregel Publications.