Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from the generous and kind folks at Asia Harvest. I would definitely recommend checking out their ministry and joining with them in prayer! Thank you, Asia Harvest!
Guizhou, the second book in the China Chronicles by Paul Hattaway, reflects upon decades and decades of the history of the Bride of Christ in Guizhou Province, China. I have found that this book, despite being in the same series as Shandong, is unique in its own right, with its own elements I liked and disliked. Be prepared for an entirely different book with a similar writing style.
The Things I Liked
- The book was contrasted at one point with Shandong, which added some variety to the mix. Even though the names of Chinese provinces don’t mean much to us, you must remember that they are very different places, and thus these books are very different!
- Medical needs are shown more than once as being subordinate and significantly less important than spiritual needs, and there is often an emphasis that schools, medical work, etc. serve mainly the purpose of showing others Christ’s love and softening their hearts.
- Similarly, humanitarianism is shown as separate and distinct from Gospel-sharing, which I appreciate very much.
- Demon possession was not shown as a creepy thing, but as something Jesus has power over. Several people were delivered from demonic powers throughout the course of the book, so I thought that was great.
The Things I Didn’t Like
- This book, like Shandong, took quite a bit of time for me to read and was almost hard to wade through. Don’t get me wrong: I very much enjoyed the testimonies and stories, but, at a certain point, there’s a bit too much history, at least for me. But this book definitely serves a purpose, and I don’t think it could be written better for that purpose!
- There’s a heavy emphasis on statistics throughout the book. I very much appreciate the author’s dedication to finding these stats, and I realize they have a place, but it seemed there was a lot of statistics throughout the book and less of the testimonies I love to read. But, again, the stats serve a purpose and I am not here to criticize that purpose.
Note to Parents
This book has quite a bit of content you may find questionable for your younger child, including several mentions of suicide by various mediums such as pesticide, carbon monoxide poisoning, a whole chapter on martyrdom, a late sister being stripped and checked to see if her claims of being a virgin were true, a massacre of missionaries (including a small child), as well as various executions and martyrdoms, even by way of burying alive.
In addition to this content, you may find that this book is too historically dense for your child. I would definitely recommend sharing inspiring excerpts with your children, but this book is probably not suitable for younger or more sensitive children to read on their own.
If you enjoy history and have some sort of a connection to or interest in the Chinese Bride of Christ, I would recommend checking this series out! If you’re into an easy read, this book may not be for you, but if it sounds interesting, you could definitely get it and read it over a period of time, as I did.
How to Purchase
Consider getting Guizhou from Asia Harvest directly here, so you know you’re supporting their ministry. There may be other cheaper deals elsewhere online, but you may have to do some digging on sites like ThriftBooks or BookBub.
Have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this book/series or book review? Have you already read this book or want to upon reading this review? Join the conversation below and let me know!