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.
Though I have not had the privilege of reading the story of Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man, reading the story of his son, Isaac Liu, was riveting.
From the moment of his illegal birth in Communist China, to the harrowing journey to Germany, Liu's life was fraught with deprivation, hardship, hunger and fear. But in spite of all he and his mother and sister and grandmother endured in China, the Lord continued to be a source of light and life.
Reading about his grandmother reminded me of Timothy's grandmother, who was a godly influence in his life. She was a pillar in their village and would travel far to other villages to bring the Good News. Nai Nai actions and deeds in her Christian faith brought many people to Jesus. She would carry young Isaac on her back as they would travel to various villages to meet with other Christians.
I can't imagine what it must have been like for Isaac to have been ridiculed, mocked and tormented by his fellow students and teachers. They did that because his father spent so much time in prison for being a traveling minister. That made his father and his family an enemy of the state.
Many times he and his family had to deal with the state police searching their home, which wasn't more than an hut, looking for his father. When the danger of being arrested would arise, the family would move to another place and change their names.
My heart broke for this young man and all that he had endured. Yet at the same time, reading his story made me take a hard look at my own faith. Would I be able to hold onto the Lord's hand in such persecution? I can only pray I would.
In the United States of America we are still free to worship as we chose. We still have the freedom to attend any church we desire to. We Christians, still have liberties that our brothers and sisters in other countries don't have.
I am thankful for these freedoms, yet I believe those freedoms are going to disappear. By reading books such as Son of the Underground, and The Heavenly Man and For Those Tears, the Nora Lam Story, we can be encouraged to hold fast to our faith in Jesus.
Stories like Son of the Underground need to be shared. They help make those of us who are complacent and unaware of the persecution our brothers and sisters around the world are enduring to be mindful of them and remember them in our prayers. Their stories can help strengthen our walk with the Lord, bring about repentance in our lives and encourage us to live more fully for Him.
Son of the Underground was provided to me by Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. Thank you Kregel Publications.