“It cost him everything he had…but he gained everything that mattered.”
My grandmother loaned me a copy of this book when I returned home after my first year in China. She said that it was a novel that reminded her of me the whole time she read it, and she couldn’t be happier unless I, too, had the chance to read it. I would be lying if I said that Safely Home greatly didn’t change my perspective on why I was overseas.
I cannot go into great depth about where I was, what I was doing, or why I plan to go back, but I will say that God paved my way to the Orient originally, and He has continued to fill my way with signpost after divine signpost telling me that I need to go back. And so, of course, I feel a close kindred with Ben Fielding and Li Quan, the lead characters in Randy Alcorn‘s Gold Medallion award winning novel.
Spinning the tables on a “generic” missionary novel, Alcorn utilizes a unique method of discussing religion in China: rather than writing about an American Christian reaching Chinese souls in China, the author uses a strong believing Chinese man to reach his American friend who happens to be traveling to China on business. And to twist things even more, it was this once-nominal-Christian American businessman who had first led his Chinese friend to the Lord while they were roommates in America. And the gripping plot does not stop there. Alcorn fills his novel with the realities of the persecution still facing many Chinese believers, the degradation they face once arrested, and the faith they persistently show in the face of all these real-life trials. Martyrdom is not dead in the 21st century: it has just become more secretive. And Safely Home—which reads like any issue of Voice of the Martyrs—brings that light better than any novel I know of.
Many people have their own take on the realities of the religious abuses strewn throughout China, myself not excluded. And while I believe the extent of such abuse differs from province to province, I am 100% certain that the religious freedom of the best Chinese province is worse than that of the worst American state. I pray for China, and I encourage you to do the same. One way to start, and one way to understand what is really going on over there, is to pick up a copy of Safely Home. Both your prayer life and the souls of many Chinese will thank you for it one day.
[Note: I received this book free for review from Tyndale House Publishers]