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Dragon Ride: True Stories of Adventure, Miracles, and Evangelism from China Paperback – June 9, 2017
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Twenty-year-old Peter, when threatened with incarceration in a mental institution for his faith, refused to let Grace fight for his release. “If leaving me in the mental institution will further the gospel, then leave me there!”
The first time Doris, an orthodox Buddhist, heard about Jesus, she whispered to Grace, “Don’t tell anyone that Jesus died for us. This will be our secret!”
The police were interrogating 19-year-old Hope every few days—pressuring her to disclose Grace and Justin’s ministry to university students. With tears in her eyes, she told Grace and Justin, “I’ll never betray you two, no matter what they do to me!”
Leah, an idol-worshipper, longed to become a Christian, but she was afraid. “If I believe in Jesus, the gods I worship are going to retaliate. They’ll hurt me really bad. Is Jesus powerful enough to protect me from them?”
In the kick-off meeting of a discussion group Grace was leading for atheist university students, Carol burst out laughing. “Grace, you can’t be serious! You actually believe God exists?”
In Dragon Ride, the beauty of the Lord is seen through the eyes of Buddhists, atheists, idol-worshippers, Muslims, and an animist as they encounter Jesus. Dragon Ride records the actual conversations Grace had with her friends, and many of them embraced Christ as the answer to their deepest longings.
Grace writes about persecution, evading the police, saving lives, helping the homeless and disabled, and she even writes about the murder of a friend. But more importantly, she writes of a God who acts on behalf of His children, of a faith that grew in the crucible of China, and of learning how to effectively share the gospel.
Grace’s stories are raw, personal, and humorous, and she openly shares about her own spiritual struggles and growth.
“Dragon Ride is the most exciting modern mission book I have ever read. It is a lively narration of how God used a former atheist to reach atheists and others in one of the greatest mission fields in the world—China. It is realistic but positive, a God-centered, and God-empowered view of outreach work that will rekindle the desire to reach the “unreachable.” Pastors, youth leaders, teachers, parents, Christian apologists, as well as students, will profit greatly from the techniques learned from three decades of on-the-job experience.”
Norman Geisler, Ph.D.
Apologist and co-author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
“There are books that we should read, and books that we want to read. This book is a rare blend of both. Grace Jacob has written an important book about her 29 years as a career missionary in China with her husband and family. The stories are riveting, and it is literally a compulsive page-turner. Jacob’s writing style is clear, descriptive and emotionally-accessible, and I could hardly put it down. It challenged me in how I need to address the felt needs of people I want to share Christ with, in my own sphere of influence.”
Dr. John Townsend, New York Times bestselling author, and co-author of Boundaries, from the Foreword
“Buckle your seat belts for an adventure at every turn (of the page) and in multiple dimensions! I could not put it down. Grace, the author and guide to this adventure, has chosen vignette after vignette to immerse you into the ‘not-for-the-faint-of-heart’ challenges and realities of living and working in China and following a God-given north star. And, the adventure is made even more vivid because it is told with truth, grit, wit, wisdom, and heart. Yet it gets better than that because of Grace’s blessed awareness of physical, spiritual, cultural, and biblical contexts. Grace’s battle-tested journey—and the journeys of those she loves—are on view. You’ll be boldly encouraged and inspired to answer God’s call for your own life.”
Dr. Benjamin K. Homan
President, Langham Partnership (formerly John Stott Ministries)
“As an American pastor I’ve always dreamt of spending time in a far-away culture as a gospel carrier … But the reality is that I probably never will. And yet, after reading Dragon Ride, I feel that I have. I feel as though I’ve been a missionary in China without ever stepping foot on its soil. Every fear, tear, struggle, adjustment, joy, relationship, conversation, and gospel triumph recorded here became mine. Honest, sincere, human, and accessible. I found this work extremely easy to pick up and hard to put down. But what inspired me the most was the gospel-centered intentionality and heart of Grace. She was a woman, a wife, and a mother on mission, to the glory of God. I will be putting this book in the hands of everyone in our church, that we, too, may be diligently committed to tell the good news of him who saves all people everywhere. Evangelistically inspiring!”
Pastor, The Door, Three Rivers, OR
“You will laugh and be inspired as you witness this bold family live out their faith.”
Pastor, Richvale Evangelical Free Church, Richvale, CA
“Having lived for 20 years in China, one observes a range of people who come and go. Some, and rightfully so, are there for only a brief season, know little of the people and culture, and leave with an interesting life experience. A very few others integrate into the culture and become vital contributors to the expansion of God’s kingdom in that great land. The Jacobs are most definitely in the latter category. Observing their lives and ministry was one of the great privileges of our life in Asia.”
Tom Lowder, ThM, PhD
“This is a beautifully written story of a courageous American woman who, along with her husband and two sons, made her home in China for 29 years. It describes her unsettling journey as a young person through atheism, and then traces her extraordinary life in coming to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. Why should any of us pay the cost of being an authentic follower of Jesus? Dragon Ride shows us that a lifetime of overcoming hurts and obstacles in loving obedience to Jesus is never a waste, but is a doorway to the most fruitful, adventurous, and meaningful life possible. This amazing, life-changing story of one who gave up everything for the sake of giving voice to Christ’s culture-embracing love beautifully illustrates the words of Jesus when he said ‘For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.’” (Mark 8:35, NASB)
Pastor Emeritus, New Hope Church, Winston, OR
Ministry Resource, Emmanuel Reformed Church, Castleton, NY
“I never imagined I’d see God moving in a Communist country like China until I got to know Grace and Justin. They worked underground, secretly sharing God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Dragon Ride is an inspiring story of God’s call, his equipping, and his faithfulness to carry out the task.”
Area Director, Charlotte/Knoxville
Joni and Friends International Disability Ministry
“This is a thrilling account of the grace of God demonstrated in the lives of humble servants who were called to a seemingly impossible assignment in China. Justin and Grace Jacob shine with the beauty of Jesus when facing danger, stress, illness, persecution, trials, and spiritual warfare.”
Dr. John H Munro
Senior Pastor, Calvary Church, Charlotte, NC
“Dragon Ride is a well-written and insightful look into the lives of missionaries serving in a creative access country. It is filled with true life experiences shared in an easy-to-read short story format. I also found the author's candid honesty about her personal challenges refreshing, particularly as they demonstrate what God can accomplish through fallible human beings who obey God’s directions and courageously follow him. In short, an inspiring book.”
Dr. Jim Isaacson
Pastor, Portland Avenue Evangelical Free Church, Tacoma, WA.
“When I’m not laughing, crying, or repenting, creepy chills are running down my spine.”
Suzette, a homemaker, while reading Dragon Ride
About the Author
- Publisher : XP (June 9, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 278 pages
- ISBN-10 : 069287917X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0692879177
- Item Weight : 14.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #298,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2017
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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This is an amazing book. A 21st century missionary is making missions real for today. Read it aloud with your family – from your mid-elementary aged children to the oldest senior in your home, everyone will be drawn into the struggles, intrigue and suspense written here. You will share in the fears, disappointments, rejection and humiliation of Chinese Christians who are arrested and often jailed for their faith. Ministry was slow, cautious; demons were real; threats were daily; prayer was imperative.
The author’s own background as an atheist, and her own search for truth, became a starting point for conversations with university students during those years in China and Hong Kong. Grace Jacob doesn’t pretend to know all the answers. She shared her doubts, imperfections, anger, questions, and the heartache of having to leave China for the safety of her family, and the safety of the Chinese believers. In all the years spent living there, this truth stood out: God was faithful. He could be trusted. He always answered prayer.
It was fascinating to read her ways of sharing the Good News with secular atheists, Buddhists, Muslims and others, by learning "to think like they think in order to make the gospel appealing." As Grace wrote: "I couldn’t start from my way of thinking and expect them to make the transition—almost definitely they wouldn’t. I had to make the switch and think like they did."
The book is filled with engaging personal testimony, accounts of God's miraculous works, and lessons learned in many different ministry settings. Grace writes in a sincere, naturally interesting way that drew me into the book and kept me eager to read what would come next. I particularly appreciated the splendid imagery, to let me visualize the country & people.
I thought the author's use of her 48 vignettes was masterful. If ever I were to take on writing to share some of my own life stories & lessons-learned with my kids & grandkids, this is the way I'd try to do it!
Oh yes: you'll have to read the book to learn why "Lazy waitresses are ideal for secret Christian training. "
Top reviews from other countries
The book is an easy read, with short chapters, each a self-standing story, but all hanging together in chronological order over the 30 plus years of Jacob's life covered here. The reading is easy, but the issues treated are deep. Readers of all ages and abilities will find the book engaging.