Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kregel Publication’s Blog Tour (with review): “Son of the Underground” by Isaac Liu with Albrecht Kaul

Son of the Underground: The Story of Isaac Liu, Son of the “Heavenly Man,”  released on June 1 here in America.  It  focuses on the life of Brother Yun’s son, Isaac—himself an evangelist. Written by Isaac with Albrecht Kaul, this story tells the tale of Isaac’s path and struggles with his decision to follow in his father’s footsteps.

After a miracle birth, he was mostly raised by his grandmother while his father sat in prison and his mother worked the fields. Young Isaac was exposed to great faith and dedicated Christians throughout his rural Chinese town and surrounding villages. He accompanied his grandmother—or Nai Nai—as she traveled to secret house church meetings, often many miles on dangerous roads, to spread the good news of Jesus. Her telling of Bible stories became legendary in the village square, and Isaac soon knew them all by heart as well. But more than stories, he learned true faith from his family, and saw the power of prayer and the name of Jesus firsthand.

After years of persecution, and the knowledge that they could not stay in China, Brother Yun’s family fled to Burma, where Isaac met his friend Ming. Raised as a Buddhist, Ming became the first person Isaac evangelized to—and led him to a life in Christ. It was a life-changing moment for both boys. Eventually, the family followed Brother Yun to Germany. Isaac struggled not only with the new language, but with his awakening desire to become an evangelist and to lead others to Christ as his father does. It was his mother’s most fervent prayer that this would never be the case, but even she understood the power of God in her son’s life, and how powerful his message could be in the lives of others.

Son of the Underground is a beautiful story of struggle, hope, and the ability of faith to overcome obstacles. Not only is it the story of the coming to faith of a Chinese boy, one whose life was already made more difficult by the role that faith had played in his early life, but it exposes the struggles of an entire nation of believers who have made the dangerous commitment to a life of Christ.

BOOK INFO:  Son of the Underground: The Story of Isaac Liu, Son of the “Heavenly Man”/Isaac Liu and Albrecht Kaul/9780857211996 /$11.99/Paperback/Monarch Books, distributed by Kregel Publications

Authors:  Isaac Liu is a pastor in Germany.   Albrecht Kaul, an experienced writer and editor, has traveled extensively in China and knows the country and its people.
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. This is his story …

Pictures of Isaac Liu and his family:

My Review:

Here in America we have little personal comprehension or experience of physical persecution or death for the sake of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Son of the Underground, the story of Isaac Liu, his parents and his sibling, Yiling, is told in first person about their life in China, before they escaped with their very lives to Germany, for preaching the Gospel in China between the years of 1950 and the early 2000′s.

We know from the New Testament that when persecution becomes extreme, the Gospel spreads and flourishes.  You will learn firsthand from Son of the Underground how God used persecution to grow Isaac’s own personal spiritual life, as well as his family’s, in the midst of these circumstances.  The times were horrific, scary, and sometimes discouraging.  Yet God worked behind the scenes through fellow believers to bring them through.  The dangers were real, personal and frightening, but the grace of God moved them forward.

The underground churches had to hide in order to worship and study the Bible.  Sometimes they shared pages of the Bible to get the Word out to fellow believers. Isaac, himself, memorized the whole Bible in order to preach without being caught with a Bible.  When their hiding places were found out, the leader/preacher was usually taken to prison.  This happened often with Isaac’s father, Brother Yun.  So frequently, in fact, that Isaac did not meet his father until he was four years old and saw little of him until 2001.

Son of the Underground is also an encouraging book, full of hope and faith in Jesus Christ to overcome persecution and struggles while preaching the Word of God, whether individually or as a group of believers.  Isaac preached his first message at the age of thirteen without the aid of a Bible in hand.  Though he later questioned his decision to become a preacher due to the horrific obstacles, he eventually surrendered his life to the Lord’s will and committed his life to preaching the Gospel.  How Isaac came to this decision, after all the struggles of persecution and being on the run, is the meat of this book.  Let it encourage you in your walk!

Isaac’s book will also show you specific ways to pray for the persecuted Church in other countries, as well as how to get involved in helping financially to fund the many underground churches and children’s homes.  Though American believers currently live in a free nation, we are held accountable to help the persecuted churches through prayer, finances, and even personal involvement.

This book is a challenge to each of us to do God’s will whatever the cost—to live out the New Testament command to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  This English translation was done in early 2012.  You may find a few subtle sentence structure errors, but the message comes across loud and clear.  God reigns!

This book was provided by Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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