(5 / 5)
Safely Home is a book that you will have a hard time putting down! A story about two friends, one from the USA and one from China. Ben Fielding is a vice-president of a global corporation with offices in the USA and China. Li Quan is his former college roommate who lives in China. Twenty years after they first met, Ben’s work brings him to China where he will be staying with Li Quan for 6 weeks. In China, Ben witnesses Christian persecution first-hand. He has an internal struggle that is common in the USA. When push comes to shove, what takes priority in our life? For Ben it is work, making money and prestige. For Li Quan it is a total devotion to spreading the Gospel. This book will have you considering your own life and how your priorities are arranged.
What I Loved
- The characters are realistic. Li Quan is a devoted Christian and family man. He cherishes his wife and son, he works diligently for a low paying and humble job even though he has the intelligence and skills to do much more. Ben Fielding is a typical businessman whose life is focused on climbing the corporate ladder and making as much money as he can to the detriment of his relationships with family and friends.
- The setting is well described. The story occurs mostly in China and it is easy to imagine yourself in every place that is written about in the book. I could see myself in the crowded streets in Shanghai with opulent buildings towering in the sky. I could also see myself in Li Quan’s modest one-room home with an outhouse and chickens out back.
- The information about the persecution of Christians lines up with what I have read in other books. Persecution happens in many countries and the information about informants, sneaking off to house churches in the middle of the night and threats of imprisonment are similar to what I have heard and read about in other countries.
- Chinese proverbs abound in this book. I love the wisdom of the Chinese and Li Quan does a great job sharing this wisdom with his friend Ben. I loved quotes like, “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” and “A book holds a house of gold.” ~Safely Home
- The Bible is seen as the precious gift it is. The characters spend time hand copying verses because there aren’t enough Bibles to go around and when they meet in house churches, each person brings one verse that the preacher will use when giving the message. This way if the house church is raided, only a few verses will be taken and not an entire Bible.
What I Struggled With
- The story is mainly set in China but it does have some scenes that occur in Heaven. Some of these scenes can be a little confusing. A lot of Li Quan’s family members are already in Heaven and I had a difficult time keeping track of them. The scenes in Heaven also popped in, sometimes in the middle of the story, and it would take me a minute to realize that we were no longer in China.
This is one of my favorite books that I have read this year! It does a great job showing the reality of persecution in other countries and made me think about how much I take for granted. Especially, that I can go to church anytime I want to and own as many Bibles as I want to without fear of being thrown in jail. This book is a hard one to put down and I was sad when it ended. Definitely one to put on your list to read!
If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought! Have you known any Christians that have faced persecution?
Use the affiliate link below to grab your copy of this book.