June 17, 2013 Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope. (Paperback) I had heard of Christopher's life and the book that he and his mother wrote after I read Wesley Hill's excellent book, Washed and Waiting. I'm not sure, but I believe that after learning about Christopher, it was then that I searched and found video clips of him speaking on Youtube. I was impressed by the presentation Christopher made as an intelligent and obviously, spiritually changed person. There seemed nothing artificial about Christopher. He didn't propose to convince that some miracle had or would change his same-gender attraction, but he was obviously changed by the Holy Spirit to identify himself with his Saviour. He had set his priorities in order with his relationship to God as first. I decided, despite the piles of books I'm presently reading, to buy the book and read it. Coming from where he reports in his autobiography (with Angela Yuan, his mother) I doubt he could still follow the life he had before and either present himself as he does in the video clips or write the book. Having known many homosexuals in work (therapeutic) that I did and having attended conferences supposedly meant to sell that the "bent" gender attraction could change, I saw instead in Christopher a true follower of His Lord who desired, in the years left him (having been diagnosed as HIV+) to serve his Lord and reach out to many with the new life offered by Jesus Christ. The absence of pretence in Christopher should interest any who having become tired of identifying themselves on the basis of their sexuality or become tired of suffering the battles with the reality of their sexuality, may desire to experience what freedom God has provided before we join Him in Eternity. I'd highly recommend this book not only to any who know the struggles and recognise them as struggles and to those whose work is intended to help persons who've given up the play-acting that all is well as a homosexual, but also to any parent of a child (even an adult) who lives with homosexuality. Of course, this may be refuted by those who see homosexuality as "normal" and something that is a matter of "pride" (apparently mistaking the definition of what pride is about)--I cannot see how anyone can remain so deluded. We shall not experience perfection in this life and we shall deal with trials that continue. Christopher would seem to me to be one guy with exceptional integrity; however, as we have not come into perfection yet, if he sometimes is tempted or attracted by men, he is after all, as those who follow the Saviour, still "a work in progress." Neither temptation nor such attraction is sin, and even sin can still be forgiven by the sacrifice of the Lord.
Out of a Far Country is a book that each person should pick up and read--and it is an easy read, too! In a world where there is so much debate and argument about homosexuality, this book provides a biblical view on homosexuality in the stories of Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela. Christopher, a man with a gay background, provides an unbiased, truthful account of his life story. There are some graphic details, but their stories give a glimpse into the world of a gay man and his mother, and give a connection point with those who have a homosexual lifestyle. I really do think that each person should pick up this book and read it, no matter where he or she stands with regards to homosexuality.
Good read on the subject. Very helpful for witnessing.
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Review 4 for Out of a Far Country - eBook
From the heart of a mother and son
Date:September 21, 2012
This is a story of redemption through the precious blood of Jesus Christ and the journey of a mother and son and how they found that Jesus seeks and saves those that are lost! Such an emotional love story about healing and restoration and renewal of relationships.
I first came across this story at a conference in 2007, well before this book was written. After years of observing the Yuan's, I had the opportunity to buy this book a couple days ago. I finished reading it this morning and was surprised to read so much more than I already knew about the family.
Christopher Yuan, and his mother Angela, have done a great job in writing, explaining and demonstrating the idea that we must first Love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart, soul, mind and strength so we then can Love our neighbors as ourselves.
I expect to read through OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY a few more times as I let the truths sink into my life. This is NOT A PREACHY book, but is full of TRUTH and LOVE. This is a big deal to me, and one which makes me consider giving a copy to non-Christian friends and Christian friends alike.
In conclusion, I feel OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY is a must read, that will change lives in the short time it takes to read a mother/son perspective on 'a gay son's journey to God. A broken mother's search for hope.'
God can change us if we will let go of our sin and choose Him. This book proves there is so much power in the Word of God. It also proves the prayers of a mother can change her son. There is power in prayer and that is what I am doing for my own son.
What a good balance of love and truth on the subject of homosexuality. This book has parts that are not always pleasant nor encouraging but it is undoubtedly very real and honest. I read this book primarily to gain a better understanding of how to empathize with someone who is gay but I was surprised to find that the writing was quite good as well. It kept me wanting to turn the page to find what happens next. This is a look into the life of someone who considered himself gay from childhood. He had a deep disregard for Christianity which was sometimes reinforced by the insincere and misguided he came in contact with. Ultimately this is about God and his ways. It shows His involvement with those who believe even after several missteps. It shows there is always hope; even for a family broken into so many pieces that it seems impossible for them to be put back together. Only God could do what was done here.
Christopher is Angela's 2nd son and he has always been the one in the family she most understood in the. Angela had grown up very lonely and she had decided early on that she would make sure that her children would have a stay at home mom so that they would never have to come home to an empty house. She married the man of her dreams and set about to living that fairytale life. Her dreams start to shatter when her in-laws hated her and so following the Chinese life she found that she could no longer please her husband since he was required to support his mother. As her boys grew up the oldest grew away from the family but Christopher until college was always the one she most understood--until that day that she could no longer deny that her beloved son was homosexual. The story then goes on to tell of Christopher's downward spiral into a sexual crazed and drug influenced lifestyle. Meanwhile Angela discovers God on her way to suicide. She and her husband both start praying, studying the Bible, join a church and attending Bible Study. She has others join her praying for Christopher. Christopher gives her no reason to hope but God and the support she gets from others allows her to hope for her son's future.
I liked the way that this true story follows the prodical son in the Bible and shows that the Bible is still as relevent today as it was when it was written. This story tells of God's love for all of us and His never giving up on us. This story does go into multiple homosexual partners and though there is mention of HIV and its death sentence maybe should be read by older children of High School age or possibly Middle school depending on the child and any adult especially sinners of which we are all.
This book was provided free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for this review.
In Out of a Far Country, son and mother team, Christopher and Angela Yuan tackle what it means to be a redeemed sinner that is saved by Jesus Christ. Though the book discusses Christopher's struggle with homosexuality, Far Country focuses on the glorious fact that all who come to Christ can be saved from their self-induced cycles of harm.
Not shying away from the difficult, Angela Yuan tells of the disappointment and sorrow she feels at Christopher's announcement of his homosexuality. After this announcement, Angela deals with her lifeless marriage, Christopher's being expelled from dental school, and Christopher's eventual imprisonment on drug charges. However, rather than dwell on the negative, Mrs. Yuan discusses the Christians that came into her life and told her that Jesus Christ forgives and loves everyone, even her wayward son. Pledging not to give up on Christopher, Mrs. Yuan prays for him daily, and eventually Christopher comes to know Jesus Christ as Savior.
Not for the faint-of-heart, Out of a Far Country is a true-t0-life book that captures not only Angela's, but Christopher's struggles with same-sex attraction, drugs, and eventually an HIV positive diagnosis. What makes this book especially excellent is that it doesn't focus on Angela and Christopher's struggles, it highlights the truth that is found in Christ Jesus. From drug dealer to inmate to minister, Out of a Far Country captures the experience of Christopher Yuan's journey to a committed Christian in a world gone awry.
PS- The good folks at Multnomah's Blogging for Books gave me a review copy of Out of a Far Country in exchange for an honest review.
I just finished reading this book last night. It is not a very long book and it is an easy read. It also kept my attention. It was very interesting as reading this book and hearing about the life of a young man who had chosen the homosexual lifestyle, but later came to a saving knowledge of the Lord, learned that the Lord condemns homosexual sex and that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 make it clear that "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." The Bible does not say that God hates homosexuals; it says the act of homosexuality is an abomination.
It was also quite clear that Christopher, the young man whose life the book is about, was living in sin and searching for something that was missing in his life, but he was searching in all of the wrong places. Not only did he practice homosexuality, but he became a drug dealer and addict, and eventually, he ended up in jail.
The story is also about Christopher's mom and her own problems, which seemed to come to a head, when Christopher left in an angry state because his parents would not accept his homosexual lifestyle. She became so depressed, she planned her own suicide.
It is a blessing to read this book and see how God worked in the lives of Christopher and his mother, and eventually, Christopher's father, and how God saved each of them individually and the three of them as a family.
One of my favorite parts of the book is where Christopher shares that he came to a realization that his identity should not be his sexuality, but that Paul said in Acts 17:28, "For in him we live and move and have our being." God says, "Be holy, for I am holy." Holy sexuality is based on obedience, which means that no matter what his situation, no matter what his feelings, he must obey and be faithful to God.
I think this book shows that people are not born homosexual. It clearly shows that God seeks and saves people from this so-called lifestyle. It is a book worth reading, and I recommend that you read it to find out how God changed Christopher's mother and to see what God called Christopher to. It is a great example of God's love, grace, mercy and faithfulness.
Out Of A Far Country is the compelling story of Christopher and Angela Yuan's journey to healing and restoration, both in their relationship with God and with each other. The book provided both the son and mother's perspective as each chapter alternated narrative between Christopher and Angela. It gave the reader insight into the emotions experienced by the two.
The book gives a transparent look into Christopher's struggle with homosexuality, drugs, the party scene and ultimate search for love and acceptance. It reveals the heart of a mother who longs for the perfect family and sees that dream shattered as her two sons move away from the ideals she longs for them to embrace.
One of the most challenging aspects of the books was Angela's acceptance of Christ and then total dependence on Him to work in the life of her son. She shares how she had to release Christopher to God and allow her son's time in prison to be the tool God would use to bring her to son into relationship with Him. She continually prayed that God would use whatever He needed to bring Chris to Jesus, even as the cost of his degree, career and freedom. Rather than trying to exert her control as a mother, she trusted God to work.
Christopher's ultimate surrender to God affected every aspect of his life and shows how the pursuit of God impacts everything about us. Near the end of the book, Christopher shares his discovery: "God's faithfulness is proved not by the elimination of hardships but by carrying us through them. Change is not the absence of struggles; change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles (pg. 188)."
Out Of A Far Country would be a good read for any Christ follower, but also for anyone who is experiencing the breakdown of relationships or someone desiring into the struggle of same-sex attraction. The real struggles show how God is able to bring healing and restoration, while working through even the most difficult circumstances.
Life had to get really bad for the biblical prodigal son to get out of the pig sty in a country far from home and return to his father. It had to get really bad for Christopher Yuan to make his way home as well. And it had to get really bad for Christopher's mother to decide to take her life.
"Out Of A Far Country" (published by WaterBrook Press) is the riveting story of how these two modern-day prodigals, Christopher and Angela, come to terms with their ruined lives, and how discovering God changes them and their world.
For Angela, a lifeless marriage and trampled dreams were more than daunting to deal with. But when Christopher stated emphatically that he was a homosexual, it seemed as though all her hopes were finally crushed.
Christopher initially struggled against his feelings about men, then finally embraced them. When he left Chicago after coming out to his parents, he headed back to college to openly pursue the gay lifestyle. His mother followed him to Kentucky for one last face-to-face visit before she intended to kill herself.
But it's often when you're on bottom that the prodigal looks up. Angela did, and part of this story of redemption is hers.
Christopher pursued the gay scene actively, and his life would spiral downward quickly when that eventually included drug abuse, then selling drugs, and then prison.
Would Christopher ever come home a redeemed man?
This mother/son drama is one of the most compelling stories I've read in a long time. I started reading one day, and finished it the next. The Yuans tell their stories openly, including the raw, ugly truth of hurts, despair, dashed hopes, and a broken family.
This book is easily described by it's subtitle: "A gay son's journey to God. A broken mother's search for hope." And for the reader, it's great inspiration of what God can do today in the life of anyone who seeks Him.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Out of a Far Country is a beautifully written story of a modern day prodical son and his family. Chris is the youngest son and the most understood by Angela, his mother. Angela has married her true love but before the first month is even over her in-laws decide that they don't like her and so the dutiful son that is her husband following Chinese custom supports his mother over his wife. She had a very lonely childhood and had decided before marrage that she would be always home for her children of which she has 2 sons. The eldest is rebellious and she never sees eye to eye with him but Chris is very loving and caring. Chris continues this way until he goes to college and she can no longer deny that Chris is homosexual. She decides that she will make one last trip to see her son before she commits suicide and on the way meets God. When she goes home after that disaster trip she and her husband make some major changes. They start praying, attending Bible lessons and turning their life and that of Chris over to God. This story tells simultaneously of her transformation into Chritianity and of Chris's downward spiral into sex parties influenced by multiple drugs. With her husband she discovers hope in God. They get their friends to pray along with them for Chris.
I liked the way that this book compares our modern day problems with those of Biblical days and how we have different problems but that until we turn them over to God we continue to have crisis after crisis. I do however think that this book should be read by older children because of the subject content--maybe high school or even middle school depending on the child. The book discusses multiple sex partners as well as various drugs and how to use them.
I recieved this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for this review.
I was impressed with Angela's determination and her trust that God would work this thing out with her son. I was most surprised in the way God orchestrated it and still kept a very watchful eye on Chris thru it all. It must have been hard to write about his feelings toward his parents now realizing the heartache he caused them. This book has a too good to be true ending, but a very real one that is truly heartwarming!
This book perspective and mom's perspective through the journay down this difficult road. Very helpful to understand the dynamics occuring within the family which helped to shape this situation and how a loving mom can pray for her son and family. God is good.
This book was an answer to prayer that I had made a few weeks before to better understand the homosexual issue from God's point of view. I knew God loves us all and wants none to perish, but as the controversy grows around the homosexual issue, I wanted to understand it better, as I have little contact with any homosexuals. I felt I couldn't continue to have my opinion, so I pray out to God for insight. Out of a Far Country provided that vision I needed.
When I began this book I really thought that I was going to love it and recommend it to all of my friends. The foreword by Kay Warren is very thought provoking and the conversion experience of Angela Yuan brought me to tears. In fact most of the recounting of events by Angela was heart rending. As a mother I could relate to the desperation felt towards the helplessness you feel with your grown child’s decisions.
What I found myself growing increasingly annoyed at was the recounting of events by Christopher. I just felt such distaste at the way he told his story. It felt as if he were glorifying his prodigal years. The way he described his sexual encounters with complete strangers and his drug use made it sound like a recounting of his glory days.
The book is 204 pages long. Christopher’s story of his wandering years takes up the first 136 pages. In Chapter 22 he begins to tell about coming to Christ. Please don’t get me wrong, I do think that this is a story that should be told. I just don’t personally like the tone of it. I loved the parents’ part of the story, but Christopher’s part just seemed to dwell more on the illicit lifestyle he had than on the work God did in his life to redeem him.
I would have to classify this as one of those books that you will just have to read and decide for yourself how you feel about it.
Interested in genuine, thoughtful wisdom on homosexuality, I chose this book with great hope that it could "fill me in" on how God truly sees the issue. But this is so much more than a book on homosexuality. It's story is like a poignant, fast-moving, interesting movie, and yet is completely non-fiction. In the beginining I remember really liking how the chapters were set up: alternating one-by-one written by the son and the mother. It was cool, because you got to see both points of view of the son's journey this way.
I do remember in the beginning feeling a little disappointed by how the homosexuality was dealt with...as typical families do. However, this family transforms powerfully in such a way that is truly inspiring in a non-cheesy way. So stick with it!
Mid-story becomes very heavy for the sensitive in heart and spirit; however if one hangs on, in the end the weight no longer is beared (just as the character's burdens!). In hindsight I really feel the midpart of the book was necessary and actually allows the reader to consider shedding the honest, bright light of Christ on their own souls.
It really is a fantastic story and I challenge anyone who questions on how to deal with homosexuality (or any other "uncomfortable" sin) with the love of Christ, read this book! There is no way anyone can read this detached from relating to the story in some way, whether you're a convict or a nun. An emotional, but great read.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
I must confess that I was so incredibly leery about reading Out of a Far Country by Christoper and Angela Yuan. I am a fairly strong conservative and they last thing I wanted was to read a book that was trying to justify homosexuality, or any sin for that matter.
This book was much better than expected. Not only did it not try to justify, it didn't condemn either. I am a firm believer that homosexuality is one of many sins that displease God. I am not about to condemn a person for it when I am guilty of many others. I also believe that ALL sins are equal in God's eyes. Sin is sin.
That being said this book is a must read. I was very uncomfortable with the details in which Christoper Yuan described his life, but it was necessary for us to fully understand his torment.
Angela Yuan was ready to end her life when her son Christoper came out of the closet. She planned it all out, but turned to God instead. For several years she then watched Chris slowly destroy his life with horrible decisions and rebellious behaviour.
I could continue on but I am afraid of giving away too much of the story. I have recommended this book to a few co-workers, one that attends Moody Bible Institute.
Two great stories of redemption rolled into one book--great stuff!
Out of a Far Country was a book I had a difficult time putting aside once I started it. The authors did a great job being transparent with the readers. I have a limited understanding of Chinese culture; but I know enough to appreciate the openness and honesty the author’s allowed to shine through.
I found it refreshing that this book didn’t stop with the story of redemption, but gave the reader a glimpse into their lives as God continued to work in and through them.
God obviously has His hand on Christopher and is using him to shape the lives of others. I love his definition of sin and idolatry. I will use both of them as I disciple others.
“Idolatry isn’t simply worshiping a carved image; an idol is the one thing I think I can’t live without.”
“I believe homosexual (and any other sin, such as jealousy, pride, and gluttony) stems from a legitimate need fulfilled in an illegitimate way.”
Amazing read--check it out!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.