There was never any intention in my heart
For anyone to make the ultimate sacrifice.
We all wanted to live – and to live in freedom.
On June 4, 1989, the world watched in horror as thousands of peaceful student demonstrators and their supporters were brutally massacred by their government in Beijing, China. For many, the striking image of a lone man bravely warding off an oncoming stream of army tanks will remain forever seared in their minds.
What events led to the military crackdown against its citizens near Tiananmen Square? How do those events continue to impact the survivors, China, and the rest of the world today?
Finding someone qualified to answer these questions has been practically impossible – until now.
A Heart For Freedom is the gripping tale of the woman at the center of it all – Chai Ling, leader of the student democracy movement. As Ling shares her story – from her humble beginnings as a naïve country girl from a small Chinese fishing village to her transformation into one of China’s brightest students with a coveted spot at Peking University– we gain our first glimpse into a world that most Westerners find difficult to comprehend. The backdrop that Ling paints is at times fascinating and at times shocking, but it’s key to understanding the catastrophic events that lead up to that fateful day.
With great clarity, Ling describes the personal pressures and the political climate that destine her to become a freedom fighter – something she never set out to do. She reveals how circumstances spiral out of control and she is forced to leave the homeland she loves as a fugitive on China’s Most Wanted list. Ultimately, her journey brings her to America, where she discovers that even in the world’s foremost democracy, freedom – especially from one’s past – can be a difficult dream to achieve.
Reading about Ling’s role in the student democracy movement is fascinating – but what I liked most about this book is that A Heart For Freedom is much more than a first-hand recount of historical events. It’s also a highly personal and inspirational tale of how God can use evil for good (Romans 8:28) – and how He can use the most devastating events of our lives to turn our hearts to Him.
Today, Ling – a two-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee – has a new mission. Her goal is to bring God’s love to China as she fights for the rights and lives of women and children through her organization, All Girls Allowed.
I found Ling’s story compelling and moving. Once I started reading A Heart For Freedom, I could not put the book down.
If you are inspired by people who demonstrate courage and heroism when faced with great evil – if you would be encouraged by a personal account of how God heals and redeems in the midst of great loss – or if you could use inspiration, strength and encouragement to help you through your current struggles – read this book.
You won’t be disappointed.
Five Out Of Five Stars
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from Tyndahle House Publishers for review purposes. I did not receive any form of monetary compensation for this review, and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.