by Dr. D ~
By Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway (London & Grand Rapids: Monarch Books, 2002, 351 pages)
The incredible true story of Chinese evangelist Liu Zhenying known to his Christian friends as Brother Yun. It is his own personal testimony along with the reflections of his wife Deling who supported him in the ministry and though many trials and tribulations. The ups and downs, the joys, the victories, along with the low points, failures, and all of the warts. It is there for all to read.
The story begins with the conversion of Yun and the healing of his dying father of cancer in 1974. In the process Yun, age 16 at the time, dedicates his life to Jesus and through a series of miracles is prepared, trained, and sent out as an evangelist to establish new churches and support the very few Christian groups that were still meeting in secret at the time.
The Communist government did everything they could to destroy the Christian church in China beginning in 1949 and very little visibly remained by 1970 and during that time frame Mao’s wife Jiang Qing actually proclaimed to foreign visitors that:
“Christianity in China has been confined to the history section of the museum. It is dead and buried.”
Today it is said by many including the government that there are at least 100 million Christians in the country. If the communist authorities are admitting that number than there are probably far more than that. In fact it is growing so fast that it is impossible to come up with an accurate number. What happened? The House Church Movement happened.
The story of brother Yun gives you a small taste of how that must have happened. How the Christian church relegated to the dust bin of history meeting secretly in homes rose up out of the dust and became the force it is today. It was entirely a move of God.
It really isn’t just about Yun alone but his story demonstrates how God reached out directly to thousands of people and prepared and called forth a whole generation of leaders that worked secretly and many times independently in rising up the church to where it is today. As the government would jail one leader the Lord would raise up another to replace him and the work would go on. It reads like the book of Acts.
Yun was arrested and tortured many times by the government who attempted to get him to reveal all of the leaders that he knew. On a number of occasions he refused to identify who he was and even where he came from in order not to expose others. He told them:
“I am a Heavenly Man! My home is in heaven!”
That is how he became known as the ‘heavenly man’.
The torture and prison conditions that Brother Yun suffered through and survived is beyond comprehension. During those bleak times Yun not only kept the faith but reached out to his fellow prisoners and made life more tolerable for all. He prayed for others, bringing healing to many, and brought hundreds of fellow prisoners to Christ. Not only that, he followed the example of Paul and Silas and sang songs of praise during the worst of times and conditions.
On several occasions Brother Yun miraculously escaped from the authorities. Nothing is more storied than his incredible ‘walk away’ from a maximum security prison when his legs were crushed and crippled yet in an instant he was able to walk through the numerous gates that blocked the way and right through the midst of dozens of guards who miraculously didn’t see him. later he was able to leave China for Germany on a plane when the entire country was looking for him. An incredible story.
Later in Germany he reaches out and begins a ministry to the Western church and is amazed how weak the Christian church is in countries where the church buildings are so large and Christians are actually free to follow their faith.
He is currently raising visibility and money for the house churches back in China. Also he is supporting a long time vision of the Chinese church called the ‘Back to Jerusalem Movement’ to raise up and train missionaries and send them through every Buddhist and Muslim nation all of the way from China to Jerusalem.
However in the process he has also unfortunately become the target of critics within the Western church. Many have a hard time believing all of the healings and miracles he testifies of here.
An incredible life changing book, one that I highly recommend. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you though this book and you will never be the same. Hereafter that comfortable pew you sit in on Sunday will never be quite so comfortable again. Beware, you could actually receive a new calling and a new vision of where the lord wants to take you. *Top