Susanna Rose

Redemption in a prison trashcan

Susanna Rose
By Susanna Rose
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September 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Redemption is not always found where you might expect it. For Christopher Yuan, a former drug dealer who had been living the promiscuous homosexual lifestyle, the new beginning he so desperately needed was found in one of the unlikeliest places on earth: a prison trashcan. 

It was in that trashcan that Yuan, who was just three days into a six year prison sentence for dealing drugs, discovered the Gideon’s New Testament that was to completely turn his life around.

Ever since he could remember, Yuan says, he had always been smaller than his peers and was frequently made fun of.  His size combined with a studious, nonathletic demeanor meant he felt out of place. 

“Kids are always cruel, and they pick on kids for being different,” Yuan told the Christian Broadcasting Network in a video interview.

At nine years of age, he was exposed to pornography at a friend’s house and was surprised to find he was attracted to the men as well as to the women. This confused him, but he kept his feelings to himself.

After high school, Yuan began visiting gay bars and actively pursued a homosexual lifestyle.  Before enrolling in dental school, he came out publicly about his sexuality.  His parents were blindsided and told their son he had to choose them or his lifestyle.  He chose the latter.

“I believed homosexuality was at the core of who I was,” Yuan told CBN.

Yuan started using drugs and then moonlighting as a drug dealer, living as a student by day and a dealer by night, while engaging in numerous homosexual encounters.  It was only a matter of time before his double life caught up with him.  Yuan was expelled from dental school and from then on, his life spiraled out of control. 

For a while he felt like he was on top of the world, making big money and having as much sex as he wanted; but his lifestyle was brought to a halt one morning by a knock on the door. Twelve federal drug agents stood on his doorstep. Yuan was caught red-handed and arrested for possessing the street value equivalent of 9.1 tons of marijuana. 

Ironically, a jail sentence would be the best thing that happened to Yuan. 

While Yuan was in medical school, his parents had become Christian. They both prayed regularly for Yuan. Those prayers were to pay off.

Three days after arriving in prison, Yuan saw a book out of the corner of his eye as he walked past a prison trash bin.  He retrieved the book out of the filth and discovered it was a Gideon’s Bible.  He had never read the Bible before but Yuan, who was at the end of his rope, decided to open it up. That night he read the entire Gospel of Mark. 

But though it seemed that Yuan’s life could not get any lower, several weeks after discovering the Bible, he was called in by the prison nurse. She told him she had some bad news: he had tested HIV positive. One night, some days after receiving the devastating news, Yuan was lying in his cell, in despair, and while looking at the graffiti in his prison bunk, he noticed graffiti that encouraged bored prisoners to read Jeremiah 29:11. Yuan did so.  Verse 11 says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”

Yuan devoured the Bible over a yearlong period, and the words began penetrating his heart until he was convicted that he was not living rightly before God.

In the process he searched the Scriptures for any justification for his homosexual lifestyle. “I never found anything,” Yuan says.

After serving only three years, Yuan was released from prison and from then on, he says he has desired to live each day before God with purpose.  His positive HIV status has contributed to this sense of urgency. 

Now Yuan teaches at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and is pursuing his doctorate in ministry.  He also travels the world to speak about his past and has written a book with his mother entitled, “Out of a Far Country.” 

He encourages young people to live what he calls a holy sexuality.  Yuan believes Christians should not speak in terms of heterosexuality or homosexuality, as all, whether married or single, are called to live lives of purity and faithfulness.  Yuan says God told him, “Don’t focus upon feelings. Don’t focus upon your sexuality, but focus upon living a life of holiness and living a life of purity.”

There is also another challenge Yuan gives his audience.  He says there is a tendency to think individuals can make an easy switch from living as homosexuals.  This is not the reality.  Yuan say recovering homosexuals need to be treated with the same grace as recovering drug addicts or alcoholics. There is no easy road out of the homosexual lifestyle, and often, the homosexual inclination will remain.

Yuan states, “Being a Christian is not an easy thing. I may still struggle, but God has given me the grace. God has claimed the victory on the cross. Though I may still have struggles, I’m not going to be bound by them.”

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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