I love biographies, especially Christian biographies. They nourish my soul. They give me hope and help to confirm my faith in Jesus. So when I saw the title to Christopher & Angela Yuan’s book, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope, I was instantly hooked.
See, Christopher’s struggle has touched those that I love and pray for on a regular basis. God has given me a heart for homosexual people, and yet I know that they are often the most difficult to reach with the Gospel. They literally have to give up their very identity and deeply-ingrained sense of community to follow Christ. Still, as a pastor, I love to read and share “nothing is impossible with God” stories with my congregation.
Out of a Far Country did not disappoint. First of all, it reads like a fast-paced novel. I had a hard time putting it down. I am a TERRIBLY slow reader, but I finished the book in about 2 days. Also, the book is written in a “he said/she said” style. Angela writes one chapter and is then followed up by Christopher. The combination of their differing perspectives on the story was quite engaging.
Neither Angela nor Christopher came from a Christian background at all, and both had somewhat of a disdain for Christians and Christianity in general. God is to be praised all the more highly for this as He was able to take two (actually three, including Angela’s husband) unbelievers with very little exposure to Christ and draw them to Himself!
This book is fairly raw in the details that Christopher provides in his search for relationship with other men and with drugs. I am grateful for the candid nature in which the book is written. It helps to reveal the depths of Christopher’s depravity and the overwhelming grace of God. Still, those who struggle with either homosexuality or drug use could potentially find some of his descriptions alluring. That is my only caution about those who would read the book.
Otherwise, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Angela’s faith story is prevalent throughout, and God’s sovereign hand is seen clearly as she is contemplating taking her own life when God saves her. God bless the woman in Louisville who discipled her! Angela was able to get solid encouragement and guidance early on in her walk. She becomes a prayer warrior for Christopher who lovingly endures his harsh mistreatment. May the Lord raise up more Angela Yuan’s in this world!!
Without spoiling too much of the story, the utter patience and love of God is shown in Christopher’s sin-sick life. God is saving His own, no matter how far we have fallen, and Christopher fell very far and very hard. Yet, I walked away from Out of a Far Country with renewed worship and faith in the God of the Impossible.
Thank you Christopher and Angela for sharing your wonderful testimony with the world. I pray that God will use you and this book to lead many to His gracious Son.
Read the book. You won’t be sorry you did.