Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope.

Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope.

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by Christopher Yuan

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Coming Out, Then Coming Home
 Christopher Yuan, the son of Chinese immigrants, discovered at an early age that he was different. He was attracted to other boys. As he grew into adulthood, his mother, Angela, hoped to control the situation. Instead, she found that her son and her life were spiraling out of control—and her own personal demons


Coming Out, Then Coming Home
 Christopher Yuan, the son of Chinese immigrants, discovered at an early age that he was different. He was attracted to other boys. As he grew into adulthood, his mother, Angela, hoped to control the situation. Instead, she found that her son and her life were spiraling out of control—and her own personal demons were determined to defeat her.
Years of heartbreak, confusion, and prayer followed before the Yuans found a place of complete surrender, which is God’s desire for all families. Their amazing story, told from the perspectives of both mother and son, offers hope for anyone affected by homosexuality.
God calls all who are lost to come home to him. Casting a compelling vision for holy sexuality, Out of a Far Country speaks to prodigals, parents of prodigals, and those wanting to minister to the gay community.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”  - Luke 15:20
Includes a discussion guide for personal reflection and group use.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Chuck Colson
“Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan have told the story of their miraculous journey from broken lives, relationships, and dreams to a place of hope and healing.Out of a Far Countrybrings home the living truth that in the midst of a broken and hurting world, God is at work to redeem, renew, and reconcile his beloved. I’m particularly happy to endorse this book because Christopher, like myself, was broken in prison and redeemed by Christ.”
J. Paul Nyquist
“Out of a Far Countryreads like a modern rendition of the prodigal son parable, only it is more gripping. The journey taken by Christopher Yuan is rarely documented. Be prepared, for the raw emotions of both mother and son authentically mark every page. The spiritual lessons to be gained from this book are many. May it gain a vast audience!”
Lisa Espineli Chinn
This is a moving account of how an Asian mother’s fragile love turns into a prayerful, patient, and tenacious force of forgiveness. It is also a gripping narrative of a son’s search for belonging and meaning.Out of a Far Countrybreeds hope in every despairing heart.”

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The End of My World
Angela: May 15, 1993

It was May in Chicago. The warmth of spring was starting to wrap its arms around the city we had called home for twenty-four years. But that night we sat in silence, picking at our stir-fry with forks as cold and hard as our hearts.

Dinner was miserable, and it had nothing to do with the food. You’d think that after so many years of living with my disconnected but often argumentative husband, Leon, I’d be used to misery. But this night was unusually dismal.
Our younger son, Christopher, was home for a visit. He had just finished his junior year of dental school in Louisville, Kentucky, after transferring from Loyola University School of Dentistry in Chicago the previous fall. Leon, a dentist himself, was glad that Christopher was following in his footsteps. It was expected that in a year father and son would be working together in our new dental office.

Of course, I too had been looking forward to Christopher’s visit. Like any good Chinese mother, I doted on our two sons, but Christopher and I had always been especially close. Normally his being at home would keep the tension in our home from boiling over. But Christopher’s presence at the dinner table tonight only elevated our family’s permanent state of emotional strain.

A few days before Christopher had come home, Leon was checking the insulation in the crawl space just off  Christopher’s bedroom. On his way out of the crawl space, the beam from his flashlight landed on something
tucked away on top of the small access opening. He discovered an unlabeled VHS tape in a worn cardboard case, which he brought downstairs to show me.

As soon as I saw the dusty videocassette, I froze. I knew what it was, but everything inside me hoped it wasn’t. The truth was, for six years I had feared that Christopher’s problem had never really gone away. I couldn’t bring myself to watch what was on the tape, so I asked Leon to do it. He took it from my hand and went into the living room to play it. Finally, he walked back into the kitchen, dropped the tape on the counter, and said, “Yes, it’s that.”

That. He couldn’t even say the word. It was gay pornography. I immediately thought back to when Christopher was sixteen years old and I found out from his brother that he had had a sexual relationship with a thirty-year-old man. Christopher had contacted the man, who then invited him over. Sure, Christopher may have sought the man out, but no matter how you look at it, this man had used and soiled my son. Words cannot express what I felt at that time. Sadness and deep anguish overwhelmed me. But I was also furious at the man who took advantage of my son. Christopher was robbed of the chance to be a normal teenager, and what’s worse, I couldn’t tell anyone about it. I wanted to see this man brought to justice, but that meant making a horrific private matter a public one. And I would not allow Christopher to go through that humiliation. We decided not to press charges, choosing instead to keep the heartache and shame a secret.

Added to the terrible disgrace was constant anxiety. During Christopher’s teenage years, my days were filled with fear. I worried about what people would say if they found out. I worried about how much Christopher was scarred, and whether his future would be affected by this incident.

I especially worried about whether he would become…gay.

Even though this was a very private matter, I knew we should do something to find help. That same day, I had been flipping through material from a dental-office management company. This company helped us better manage our practice in order to increase the dental-office income. In this literature, I read about a counseling program offered by the parent organization. It promised resources for dealing with life’s problems, and the sponsoring organization was the Church of Scientology. I had never heard of Scientology. I was skeptical, but desperate. I would do anything to fix my son.

So Christopher and I traveled from Chicago to the Scientology Mission of San Francisco, where we enrolled in a program that required us to be there mornings and afternoons for two months. Certainly, their techniques were a little bizarre—sitting in a sauna for hours or holding metal cans during counseling, or “auditing,” sessions. But I was determined to beat this—for Christopher’s sake. Failure was not an option that I was willing to consider.

After two months and move than fifteen thousand dollars, we finished the purification program. More important, Christopher assured me that he was over that phase and ready to move on with life. I thought we had it all taken care of.

But on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in May 1993, I sat picking at my stir-fry. I was waiting for the right moment to say something, but I had no idea what to say. I glanced to my right at Leon, trying to read his dark eyes. Was he going to confront Christopher as I wished, or wasn’t he? He briefly looked at me, then resumed his eating, oblivious to my agony. Leon wasn’t going to say anything, and as always his indifference drove me crazy. Once again, we weren’t on the same page. Once again, he had no idea how I felt.

I could tell that Christopher knew I was upset. Our relationship had been strained in recent months. He’d been acting rudely to me—more like a resentful teenager than a twenty-two-year-old doctoral student. And this night only added to the tension. He kept looking at his watch and seemed to be contemplating a quick exit.

Leon still hadn’t said anything, and Christopher was about to leave the table. I needed an answer from my son, and I knew I had to speak up. If homosexuality was still a problem for Christopher, then we needed to take action.

“Christopher, Dad found a videotape in your crawl space.” My voice was shaking—with fear, with despair? I never shied away from confrontation, but this was different.

Christopher looked at me with a blank face. No emotion, no guilt, not even surprise.

“Dad watched it,” I whispered. I swallowed hard, wishing this were a nightmare and I would wake up and everything would be okay. I wished my son would tell me what I wanted to hear—even if it wasn’t true. Besides, how could Christopher still be that? After all I had done for him. But he just kept giving me that empty look.

“Christopher”—I forced the words out—“are you…are you still…?”

The question hung there, but only for a moment. Christopher sat up straight, looked me in the eyes, and with a voice full of resolve said, “Yes I am. I am gay.”

He spoke confidently, without disgrace or apology. I couldn’t believe my ears. There was such boldness, as if he were proud of it. But shame swept over me. This couldn’t be true. Not my son, not my Christopher. At that moment, I wished the house would fall down on us and put an end to this mess.

I’d always had our lives all figured out. Christopher and his brother would grow up and accomplish important things in the world. They were both studying to be dentists. They would return home when they earned their degrees, join their father’s practice, and ultimately inherit the family business. Leon and I were just then completing a brand-new, state-of-theart dental office. I would be at the helm, managing the office and making sure everything ran like a well-oiled machine. It would give me the life I longed for—spending time with my family and keeping us all together. But now this.

I looked from my son to my husband and back again. I was as disappointed with Leon as I had ever been. Even though our marriage was totally lifeless, at least he should be concerned about his own son. So today, with Christopher announcing he was gay, why wasn’t Leon stepping in to do something? Why didn’t he say anything? Why wasn’t he outraged? Why wasn’t he telling Christopher that he was not, could not be…gay?

It was obvious to me that Christopher was not thinking clearly. Didn’t he know that he couldn’t choose both—to be a dentist and to live like that? If people knew, Leon would lose his patients. If people knew, no staff would work with us. If people knew, they would be afraid of getting AIDS. Christopher needed to come to his senses and be reminded that
this family practice was everything. It had been our one dream—everything we had worked toward—for almost twenty years.

“Christopher,” I blurted out his name in frustration. “You must choose. You must choose the family or choose homosexuality.” This ultimatum would wake him up. He would have to choose his family and not throw away this bright future in our new office.

My son looked at me and said, “It’s not something I can choose. I was born this way… I am gay.” He took a deep breath and looked away. His neck tightened and his jaw clenched as he looked back at me with an expression I had never seen before. “If you can’t accept me, then I have no other choice but to leave.”

He backed away from the table and uttered one last cutting remark.

“I expected you’d react like this. But that’s okay. I have a family. A real family of friends back in Louisville who accept me”—his voice cracked— “for exactly who I am.”

He went to his room. In a few minutes he came back through the house with his bags and walked out the door. It was as if he had planned this all along. There was no room for discussion, no time for negotiation. That was it. This was the end.

My knees gave way, and I fell to the floor. I felt as if my blood drained out of my body. My arms, my hands, my legs were cold as ice. The weight of shock and disbelief weighed so heavily on my chest that I had to strain just to breathe. This couldn’t be happening.

I began gasping for air. I was choking on my tears, knowing without question that I was a total failure. My marriage had been a failure for years, and now my parenting was a failure. My husband refused to stand by me. My older son had rebelled. And now Christopher, the one I thought would never do this to me, had rejected me.

I wanted to make Christopher stay, but I was out of options. And Leon still hadn’t said anything. He didn’t yell at Christopher or argue with him. Neither did he put his arm around me or hold my hand. He just walked away, leaving me lying on the floor alone, gasping between sobs.

A thought entered my mind, a memory of something Leon’s mother had told him. My mother-in-law had said a wife uses three tricks when she doesn’t get her way. First she cries, second she throws a temper tantrum, third she threatens to hang herself. On that day, I was not playing any tricks. I was certain that I had nothing left to live for.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan travel nationally and internationally to speak at churches, conferences, youth conventions, and colleges about God’s desire for prodigals of all types to return to him. Angela is a businesswoman and advocate for Chinese-American cultural causes. Christopher teaches at Moody Bible Institute (MBI). He holds a bachelor's degree from MBI, a master's degree in biblical exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School and a doctorate of ministry from Bethel Seminary.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Asfoora More than 1 year ago
I receieved this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. I must say, in some ways this book was not what I expected it to be at the outset. First and foremost, to my great relief, it was not another Christian writer's account of getting a gay man into good therapy and thereby "curing" his homosexuality as if it were some sort of mental disease. While this book definitely has some positives, one of the things I don't like about it are the subtle implications that Yuan's experience is representative of all gays in the US. If you don't happen to know any gays or lesbians personally, you might well walk away from this book thinking that they all slip slowly and steadily into the hard-core drug scene simply as a part of the overall lifestyle. I don't have statistics on the matter or anything, but I can say that I have a few gay friends, and none of them have a drug problem. The two are by no means synonymous. Another thing that really bothered me in this book was the way that the Evangelical understanding of conversion to Christianity is presented. On page 44, Angela Yuan, Christopher's mother, mentions that her husband, Leon, "had been baptized Catholic in college," then goes smoothly on a mere 14 pages later to indicate that despite that baptism, Leon was not yet a Christian. "In the fall of 1993, Leon began attending a Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship, and it was there that he surrendered his life to Christ." The implication seems to be that one can only come to faith in Christ through the authors' particular type of Church, through one particular culture's views of what it means to be a Christian. Several times throughout the book, the authors seem forced to renounce their traditional Chinese values, because they directly contradict Christianity. Surely one can be Chinese and a Christian simultaneously. We convert to a faith, not a hemisphere. The phrase "surrendered his life to Christ" is also very characteristic of this short book, as it seems to constantly consider a person's coming to faith to be a battle between that person and God. Angela Yuan routinely talks about trying to trick or coerce her son into accepting Christ by surrounding him with Christian radio in his parents' house, or taking him to hear a dynamic speaker who might be able to persuade him. Moreover, she insists on stridently working her faith into conversations where it is not necessarily appropriate, such as a visit to the dean's office at the university her son attends. As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I can say honestly that it is this sort of combative attitude from Evangelicals that often turns me off ?, and one reason I reviewed this book was to discover what the middle ground was between my Church and other Christians. The negatives having been mentioned, however, I did find some of that middle ground. I was especially impressed with the fact that Christopher Yuan made clear that his mother's only attempts to "cure" him of homosexuality ended in abysmal failure, and he came instead to understand human sexuality in a different way altogether than I would have expected. Let me be clear; this book does not endorse homosexuality as being compatible with Christianity, and neither do I, and nor does my Church. However, the perspective on sexuality which Yuan finally reaches is one that I as an Orthodox Christian can accept, and I was not expecti
edivietro More than 1 year ago
I am a harsh critic of Christian books. I don't like books designed to give warm fuzzies and a false sense of security to a bloated and yet anemic market of Christians clammering for mediocre works that don't focus on Jesus Christ and his revolutionary Way. I don't like most Christian books, Sam-I-Am! That being said, when I saw Christopher Yuan's Out of a Far Country at Waterbrook-Multnomah's Blogging for Books site, I knew I needed to read it. Yuan's book, which is co-written with his mother Angela, is the story of his redemption from a particularly dark journey. It is the story of his family learning how to forgive, how to walk in truth, and ultimately how to be transformed. I have gay and bisexual acquaintances and friends. They have been classmates, students and coworkers; but most importantly, they have been human beings and that means God loves them. The typical evangelical responses to homsexuality are usually either a kind of awkward patronization or a reactive hatred. We are not really equipped to handle the idea of someone having an alternate sexuality. (It is perhaps bigger than evangelical circles, but I will restrict this statement to that niche for the time being.) Yuan's entire point in telling his story is not to condemn homosexuals. In fact, he still considers himself a homosexual. He tells his story to demystify this idea of "sexual identity" - a pop pyschology concept that does far more damage than good. He explains quite plainly that we do not get our identity from our sexual preferences. We get our identity from God, and a heterosexual who is not committed to God is just as lost as a homosexual. Christopher Yuan is still gay. He teaches at Moody Bible Institute. Wait - think about that one for a moment. Christopher Yuan has chosen God's definition of holiness over his own sexual identity. God did not zap him straight, anymore than God zaps an adulterer married. Christopher has submitted his will to that of the Father, and he has chosen to be celibate. As he puts it, "The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. The opposite of homosexuality is holiness." I won't say that this book is perfect. It gets a little bogged down in the middle where you get the impression that every homosexual is sexually wreckless, drops Ecstasy every day and travels the country going from rave to rave. (They don't. Most homosexuals live and work just like their heterosexual counterparts.) I felt that a little bit of a disclaimer in this section would have been in order, because it really does convey an inaccurate image of gay life. You can imagine the uproar if a homosexual author used Wilt Chamberlain as an example of the average heterosexual! That aside, this book is an excellent starting point for evangelical Christians trying to wrap their minds around homosexuality. I would also highly recommend Who Is My Enemy? by Rich Nathan. The chapter on homosexuals is worth its weight in gold. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. There was no requirement placed upon me for the content of this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly very genuine read and one of the best Spiritual insight I have ever read. God is sovereign and has done incredible things in Christopher and Angela's life. So grateful for all that God is and will do through this book. MUST READ!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and kept thinking of Corrie Ten Boom's quote " There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." What an incredible story of God's redemptive power. The One Who is capable of absolute redemption...wow...flexes His muscles once again. Amazing book. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThomasRFellerJr More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of books over the years, some good and some bad, and Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan is one of the best. This true story chronicles the journey of Christopher as a gay man who experiences redemption in Christ and the parallel journey of Angela, his mother, as she experiences rebirth in Jesus, including a renewed marriage and new hope for the future. I read this book in less than a day - I simply could not put it down once I started it. Page and page I wanted to see what happened next in the story - the story both of Christopher's journey into deep and devastating sin and its consequences, and then the beautiful story of hope, restoration, and redemption. It was not an easy story to read, nor did the authors hold many punches when describing the life lived by Christopher; with frankness and honesty we read the stories of experiences that led to suicidal thoughts, anonymous sex, involvement with drugs, and even trouble with the law. Chapters were written by either Christopher or Angela, offering each person's perspective on the journey, each chapter switched from one to the other author. While many books I read in this format are hard to follow and frustrating to read, the flow of the book and the transition from one author to the other was absolutely seamless. One of the most insightful chapters in the book was the one entitled, "Holy Sexuality". In a world where both secular and sacred authors struggle with how to address the entire issue of homosexuality, Christopher re-focuses the discussion on what is important: Jesus Christ. He writes, "I had always thought that the opposite of homosexuality was heterosexuality. But actually the opposite of homosexuality is holiness. God never said, 'Be heterosexual, for I am heterosexual.' He said, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'" He then concludes, "So the question is, if I continue to have these feelings I neither asked for nor chose, will I still be willing to follow Christ no matter what?...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." Overall, I'm giving this book a 5/5 stars - it's a must read for everyone. It offers hope and truth rather than condemnation and judgement for anyone willing to listen. For the record, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily favorable, review.
itvln02 More than 1 year ago
Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan is a very powerful book describing the incredible transformation precipitated by God in their lives. I appreciated the level of honesty and transparency in the writing. At times the descriptions of life as a drug addict/ dealer and homosexual did not leave much to the imagination, however,they were essential to conveying truth in the story. I feel I have gained a greater understanding of the lifestyle and compassion for people that struggle with homosexuality. This book is worth the read, in fact it is the best book that I have read in the past year. "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"
NikoleHahn More than 1 year ago
Did I want to read this? That's the thought that first came to mind. What angle will it take? What's the agenda? Out of a Far Country is the classic story of the Prodigal Son with a twist. It's, "a gay son's journey to God and a broken mother's search for hope." It's Christopher and his mother, Angela's journey to God. It's more than just a son who chose a gay lifestyle, then drugs, before finding God in prison. It's a mother struggling in a broken marriage with a past that has impacted her future. It's a son struggling to find acceptance and love in all the wrong places. It's the story of a mother trusting her son to God and loving her son in spite of his sins. I was struck by this paragraph written by Angela. Leading up to this moment, Christopher had neglected his college courses so much so because of his drug dealing and drug habits that the dean of the college was going to expel him. Christopher called his mother thinking that his mother would do everything to prevent it and enable her son's bad behavior. Instead, this is what she said to the dean. I doubt many parents could have the courage to say this: Dr. Robinson was uncertain of what to say. There was a pause, and I continued. "I'm sure that few parents have met with you who didn't try to influence the school's decision. But we want to do what is right for Christopher." I took a deep breath. "Actually, it's not important that Christopher becomes a dentist. What's important is that Christopher becomes a Christ follower. Leon and I have flown down to Louisville to tell you"-I looked over at Leon- "that we will support whatever decision you make. I only pray that my son will turn to God." - Pg. 75, Angela "Let Go, Let God." Book Given by publisher to review
bigotime More than 1 year ago
I think this book isn't too bad. It's different from what I usually read. It's short, light and inspirational.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
S_Mama More than 1 year ago
Out of a Far Country is the journey of two prodigals: a mother and son, finding their way to the love of the Lord. Angela Yuan was in a loveless, lifeless marriage with rebellious sons. She was so lost and felt so alone that she was { } this close to committing suicide. Then she started to read a pamphlet about Jesus and how much He loved her. As Angela began to live for the Lord, her prayers turned to her wayward son, Christopher. Chris was living a homosexual and drug dealer's lifestyle. His description of his life just breaks a mother's heart!! As the book takes you through years of this family's life, I am astounded by the prayer life of Angela - for a redemption of a broken home. The Lord proved that He works miracles by answering her prayers. Angela spent much time on her knees in despair for her life - and not a second was wasted! I love hearing stories of redemption and the power of prayer! I think too often we are too focused on DIY and self-help that we forget that there are things we cannot fix, but the Ultimate Healer can! I recommend this book to anyone with a prodigal child, who is or was a prodigal, and anyone wanting to minister to those dealing with drugs, homosexuality, or in prison. I couldn't put this book down! It was amazing, truly.
Writer7688 More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderfully well done story that is so inspiration to all who can read it. However, it will especially reach out to those who are struggling with their sexuality as well as the loved ones who are struggling with someone else's sexuality. It is a great story to inspire those who are homosexual and struggling with their relationship with God. The story is told in the alternating voices of Christopher and his mother Angela. This way of narrating allows for the reader to understand the situation from both perspectives and allows for a better understanding.
freesamplequeen More than 1 year ago
A topic surrounded with debate among the Christian community and the world at large, homosexuality is often a topic of heated discussion and raw feelings and emotions. Being a part of a family where this issue is faced, I was intrigued by the topic of this book and drawn to read it out of curiosity. I am so glad I did! Out Of A Far Country tells the story of a journey for mother and son from the time Chris Yuan "came out" about being a homosexual up to the present day. This story is thick with deep emotion, turmoil, intriguing story line and honesty like few other books. Through the course of the past years, Yuan shares about the man he became, the struggles and ideas he embraced, the results of the chosen paths and the surprise and encouraging ending that leaves the reader thinking deeply about the world around them. Every other chapter is either by mother or son, following the life of Chris from different perspectives and giving insight to living with a homosexual family member as well as finding love and peace for all members involved. A definite must read for any Christian family facing the idea of a member who is homosexual, this book does not encourage full acceptance of the lifestyle, but instead shows how one family, with God, overcame great turmoil and came to find peace and love amid the misunderstanding. I was thoroughly encouraged and came away with a new understanding and greater love for my family member. On the top of my list of recommended books for it's complete honesty and personal growth inducing thought. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated for writing this review.
scarletRP More than 1 year ago
Its a good story about homosexuality. I have some family and friends who's battling in their sexual identity thats the reason why I picked this book. I want to know whats going on with their life. I want to understand their own world. How the family accept the truth and manage the situation. This book will tell you everything you want to know. It's definitely worth reading, if you knew someone who have same issue like this suggest this book.
harmonyturtle More than 1 year ago
Angela Yuan, and Christoper Yuan tell their inspiring journey to God in Out of a Far Country. Both of them consider themselves prodigals who ultimately found the belonging they needed to after discovering that God could redeem their lives. This story is very encouraging to anyone who feels like they are beyond any redemption in life. The story begins with Angela Yuan sharing how the majority of her life was as a Chinese Imigrant, and instantly shares the changing point for her family, when her son, Christopher, revealed he was gay. The remaining chapter's point of view switches between Christoper and Angela as they share their personal struggles, and how Christoper's addiction to drugs tore apart his life. Out of a Far Country is a powerful story, that will leave you wishing they would have developed the story even further. It seemed short for story with such a huge impact. The time span is easy to follow since each chapter tells you at what time you're at. Without this help at the beginning of each chapter it would have been difficult to follow since the time seemed so close together in the chapter. The story deals with many issues, but never loses focuses on the most important thing, which is seeing two people lives changed by Christ. If your life, or someone you know's life seems to be spiraling out of control, then this book will give you hope that things can still be turned around through Christ. The book is much more than a story about a broken family. It's a story that shows you shouldn't ever give up on someone turning their life around. This complimentary copy was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a review.
bergamotbooks More than 1 year ago
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.
BabsBonMots More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for my free copy of "Out of a Far Country". I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but found it to be interesting, informative, sad, and hopeful. The book is actually two stories in one. The mother's journey to Christ, healed marriage and unconditional love, and the son's journey from rebellion into a relationship with Christ, and healing and reconciliation with his own family. I honestly don't know if I as a mother could have exhibited the grace that Christopher's mother exhibited towards him. His lifestyle of same sex relationships, drugs, and journey to self destruction would be enough to kill any hope one might have for reconciliation and wholeness. Chris was blind to the risks involved in his choices--it is actually surprising that he's still alive today. It is amazing to see how God uses our brokenness to bring us back to Him. Thank goodness He does. One thing that was missing for me. Christopher has a brother Steven. Although Steven is mentioned early in the book,we don't get to hear what happened with Steven once his parents and brother became Christians. I also liked Christopher's reasoning of Holy Sexuality. How many of us don't use sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual, as a replacement for living a holy life for God. Or, take away sex, just any covetousness, or idol, to fill our emptiness other than God. To learn about Christopher Yuan's ministry, just do a google search on Christopher Yuan.
AAR More than 1 year ago
OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan with foreword by Kay WARREN is an interesting christian liveing/sexuality.It is the story of one family's struggle with homesexuality and coming home to God's amazing grace. It is an inspirational story of one son's struggle with his homesexaulity,his mother's search for hope,years of heartbreak,confusion, God's endless love,grace,a prodigal son returning home and surrender.This book is a great resource for anyone or any group who minister's to the gay community.With an eight- session guide and discussion at the end. This story shows how with prayer,redemption,forgiveness,God's loving grace,mercy, and his love we can overcome and return to him from "Out of a Far Country".What an enlightening story of homesexuality.This is a recommended story for any and all who has or knows someone in the homesexual community and wishes to minister to them.This book was received for the purpose of review from publisher and details can be found at Waterbrook Press and My Book Addiction Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Walter Brook Press, but I am giving an honest open review of the book from a young straight Christian female persepctive. The chapters are about a mother, Angela, and her gay son, Christopher. The first chapter belongs to the mother. The second chapter is from the son's perspective. And they continue to alternate thoughout the book. Christopher's view describes his life growing up and going through school, entering the gay lifestyle, partying and becoming a drug dealer. When he tells his mother that he is gay, she throws him out with the choice: choose being gay or choose your family. He crashes on his drugs and gets arrested. This is where his mother's prayers help lead him to Christ. Eventually, he works through his issues and becomes a Christian minister. He figures the opposite of homosexuality is holiness and he strives to lead a holy life for God. When I picked up this book, I thought it might be too preachy or might not be kind towards gays. My hope was that the boy might find God and find a godly acceptance of his lifestyle, but I should have known better. Of course, a Christian book has to make the gay lifestyle unacceptable. I guess I should have expected this. I think most Christians will enjoy this book. This book did handle the issue pretty well and better than I worried it might, so I would recommend people read this book. I think it will give some hope and won't discourage others too much.
morrisonmission More than 1 year ago
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".
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Didn't know what to expect when I chose to read this book. The subject mater is not warm and fuzzy, it is written by Christopher [son]and Angela Yuan his Mom. Angela and her Husband Leon are immigrants from China. At the beginning of this book Angela is an atheist and her husband a nominal Catholic. Their 2 boys are agnostic...Christopher admits in the book that he believed in God, but did not worship him. Love the way the Lord worked in all of their lives. Angela and Christoper alternate the chapters and give their points of view. In the beginning Angela is so depressed and suicidal. She and her husband have nothing in common, and her Son has come out of the closet as being Gay. Christopher goes to Dental School in Louisville KY. There he gets heavily into drugs and the Gay Scene. He gets about a low as one can go. Until he ends up in Atlanta and there his life will start to turn around when he is arrested. Actually Angela was hoping for this...she told the Judge not to let him out until he accepts Jesus as his Savior. Christopher had to hit rock bottom, and finally began to find his way. Wow!! Loved his Chapter 30 on "Holy Sexuality". Not at all what I was expecting...he has turned his life around and now lives to serve Christ. Don't miss this amazing book! There is an Epilogue included and will bring you up to date in their lives! I was provided a copy of this book by Waterbrook, the opinions are my own.
hollie89 More than 1 year ago
Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope by Christopher and Angela Yuan Christopher Yuan was a Chinese-American born to Chinese immigrants that discovered at an early age that he was attracted to boys. In his early adult years, on a visit home from college, Christopher finally admitted to his parents he was gay, and his mother, Angela, gave him an ultimatum: choose homosexuality or choose his family. Christopher chose homosexuality. And so started a journey for the Yuans as they struggle through years of trial after trial. Angela Yuan struggles with her new-found faith in Christ while praying for her son, and Christopher falls into a life of that of a party boy. This coauthored memoir tracks Christopher's and Angela's story of a prodigal son life, and was a captivating read. While it is a story about a homosexual son and his mother, it felt as if it could relate to any person, regardless of their sexual orientation. People of all sorts struggle with falling into "prodigal son" lifestyles at times, and to read the story of the Yuans was to catch a glimpse into the patient love of God. Of course, I'm a sucker for a well-written memoir that reads like a story. I was worried when I got this book that it might turn out to be horrible and unGodly, but it was not. On a technical level, the way Christopher and Angela wove their separate memoirs into one was masterfully done. The book works by the son and mother writing alternating chapters, and they all work together. It was interesting to see the different ways the two reacted to the same situations throughout the journey of their lives. If Angela is talking of how she went to visit her son for one reason, Christopher would follow up flawlessly in the next chapter with how a visit from his mother irritated him. They wrote as if it was not a coauthored book, simply explaining their individual thoughts and evolution through time. Yet it worked. *I acquired this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers*
cjdoppler More than 1 year ago
Wow! So many of us have struggled with our faith in various ways and this book will be able to reach almost anybody at some point. From a non-believer to total transformation of an entire family, have plenty of tissues on hand for this read. "Out of a Far Country." demonstrates the struggles of watching someone you love self-destruct right before your eyes and the rewards of fully surrendering your life to God come to life. This book is for anybody who doubts that God still performs miracles today and is a refreshing reminder that He delivers what He promises in His own glorious and mysterious ways. "Out of a Far Country." is about never giving up hope, perseverance and patience. The story of the Yuan Family is proof that God does not need us, but seeks us for His Kingdom because of His unconditional love He has for us. I had a hard time putting this book down because it's so easy to read and was finished in a couple of days. May you be just as blessed reading as I.
BuiltbyStory More than 1 year ago
Out of a Far Country: A gay son's journey to God. A broken mother's search for hope by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan In the fall of 2010 I heard Christopher speak at my university, where he told his story as well as telling a bit of his parents' story. His parents are Chinese immigrants to the US and did their best to raise him with values of a Chinese household. Not only was he a strong speaker but he told a powerful story, one especially relevant to today's world. Then I learned he wrote a book with his mother, going even deeper into the story. The book is set up to two sides of the same stories, alternating between his mother's side, and then his side. Angela especially held high hopes for the family. But her marriage was failed, and her son came out as gay, something that went against all Chinese values that Angela believed in. Believing her son had contracted some sort of sickness, she tried to cure them. In one case, she took Christopher to a group of Scientologists, who promised to heal Christopher, even those the Yuan family was not a religious one. She thought that worked, until Christopher was an adult. So she gave him an ultimatum: choose his family, or choose his homosexuality. He chose the latter, and she was devastated. But her search for hope led her to Christ and she learned to love her son, despite disagreeing with his choices. So Angela sought to show her son love at every opportunity so that he too could find Christ. Christopher felt he was a misunderstood child. He could not understand why his parents couldn't accept him the way he was, and so he left his family, preferring the company of his friends, who supported his lifestyle. It wasn't long before his friends introduced him to drugs. Addiction soon followed, and then dealing-rather heavy dealing, which led to his arrest and imprisonment. Out of a Far Country is in many ways a modern and true life story of the prodigal son, a story which includes both mother and son as they each have their own prodigal ways. It is a story of unconditional love. It is the story of grace and redemption. This book is very much a memoir. Though it is not meant to be instructional, there are many lessons which can be gained. It is a good resource for parents who may be unsure of how to approach the subject of their child's sexuality, especially when they disagree with the child's decision. It is a great book for those who want to minister to the gay and lesbian community. Christopher mentions many times when his mother's attempts at converting him failed, and why her approaches weren't effective. Out of a Far Country is a fast read, as well as a thoughtful one. One of the key points hit on, is Christopher's view of "Holy Sexuality." It does not try to answer every question regarding homosexuality, nor does it claim to speak for everyone who is homosexual. This is the story of one son and his family. If you read this book and try to pull a political agenda out of it, then you have completely missed the point. 4/5 stars I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books 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