Witnessing to Dracula chronicles the journey of Dr. Billy Ng to establish a church in Romania. It is an entertaining, often funny story of how Ng takes Romanian culture head-on. The chapters are short and offer poignant glimpses into Romanian culture. The book starts off with the recounting of his trying to break into the school where they were supposed to hold their Christmas Eve service, only to have virtually every detail of the evening go wrong. Ng takes us on the journey of how he got to this point and the lessons learned along the way, including some brief Romanian history sketches.
There are a couple of issues that I had with the writing. First, the book focuses more on the “Dracula” part than the “Witnessing” part – that is, more on the Romanian culture and Ng’s escapades than the actual ministry itself. The reader will learn very little of the church itself, even with a chapter highlighting a few of the believers at the church. I felt like the book would have been more accurately subtitled, “A memoir of culture shock in Romania.”
The second issue and perhaps a more minor point, is the matter of the time frame. As far as I could tell, Ng never mentions when he was in Romania. This made putting things into historical perspective difficult. Further, the events seemed to jump in time. One chapter has him in one place working on a crusade, the next has him finished with the crusade (with scant details of it) and working on something else. I was left with the impression that he wasn’t in Romania very long at all, which I know isn’t true, but that is the impression I was left with nonetheless due to the lack of time references.
The book overall is an entertaining, suspenseful, quick read. The stories about Ng’s encounters with the Romanians make you marvel at his tenacity to stick things out even in the face of incredible hardship. I imagine that his next book will be just as entertaining.
Recommended: Yes (4/5 stars)
(Thanks to Dr. Billy Ng for providing a review copy of this book. I was under no obligation to post a positive review.)
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