Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

The Heavenly Man

The Heavenly Man is the inspirational and dramatic true story of Brother Yun.  Since his conversion to Christ in his mid-teens, he has been no stranger to a life on the run from the authorities, arrests and imprisonments.  Brother Yun writes a compellingly honest and humble account of Jesus’ dealings with him.  Many of the chapters read like the book of Acts; each story has been verified as true.  Interspersed through the book are short contributions from Yun’s wife Deling and various Chinese house church leaders, which give fresh insights from different points of view.

Early in his Christian life, Yun learned that God’s Word is powerful, and when it is shared from a burning heart, many people will be touched.  Yun’s devotion to the Lord stands out.  His periods in prison were times of coming closer to the Lord and enjoying Him in a deeper, more real way than ever before.  In the most horrible of stinking, overcrowded prison cells, Yun experienced rich fellowship with Jesus.  He writes:  ‘Don’t pray for the persecution to stop!  We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure!  Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.  This is true freedom.’

Yun was a radical for his time.  He urged house church leaders not to neglect their wives and children for the sake of doing ministry.  When he started a missionary training school, each candidate was taught 1) how to suffer and die for the Lord, 2) how to witness for the Lord, and 3) how to escape from prison for the Lord.  This was the real deal!

Through Brother Yun’s testimony, I have learned better how to pray for persecuted Christians in other parts of the world.  To pray for strength and grace to endure, and to be salt and light in their prison cells.  To pray for provision and strength for the prisoners’ families, who are often left completely destitute and penniless when the main breadwinner is taken away.  Also, to remember the strong bond that develops between Christians in prison – something that is precious and unique in a cell, and emotionally traumatic when broken by a Christian being released.

Although it is graphic in places, this book shines with Yun’s deep love for Jesus, and it’s hard to put down.  You have to keep turning the pages because you must find out what happens next.  Miracles, hardship, supernatural prison breaks, ups and downs of ministry – this book has it all.  I highly recommend it to you.


  1. Catherine M

    12/03/2012 at 8:54 pm

    Love your review Mandy! I’m reading this at the moment 🙂 x

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