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Author Interview with Feby Chan and Naomi Reed

Aaron Lewendon - Category Manager

On the 27 April 2015, Feby Herewila married Andrew Chan. Thirty-five hours later Andrew was executed by firing squad.

Part of the Bali Nine, Andrew had been in Kerobokan Prison for ten years for drug smuggling. Feby was Andrew’s close supporter and confidante, a lay pastor who had met him in prison and had ministered alongside him for three years. Together, they shared a common vision and faith in a powerful God of love and restoration.

Andrew’s story made headlines, but now Feby tells her compelling story in her book Walking Him Home. After wrestling with grief and suffering, she shares how God’s healing and faithfulness is enabling her to step into her new life and ministry.

Feby, why did you decide to write Walking Him Home?

To reveal that God loves every person and that God has a purpose. Even in the most helpless situation there is always hope, and the world needs hope and destiny.

Feby, who have you written this book for?

Everyone, especially people who think they are forgotten, lonely, or feel they have no hope or no way out.

Naomi, how did you get involved in writing this story with Feby?

In early 2019, Feby was in Indonesia, thinking about writing her story. She knew that she needed help to do that. At the same time, a friend of hers was reading my book Finding Faith in Australia. The friend said to Feby, “You need to talk to Naomi Reed. She could help you!” So Feby got in touch with me, and we met in Australia a few months later. The first time we met, I was struck by Feby’s honesty and her trust in Jesus. She has such a prayerful heart and a deep dependence on God. So I said that I would be privileged to help her write her story.

Feby, what is the significance of the title?

Walking Him Home by Feby Chan & Naomi Reed

Very significant! That's the ultimate purpose of my relationship with Andrew.

Feby, the parts of your story about Andrew take place several years ago, making headline news around the world. Why did you feel that the time was right to tell your story now?

It takes time to heal, and I needed to send out the right message - not out of anger or bitterness. So, I think this is the time to tell the whole story.

This book shows you going through some very difficult times, even when you were being obedient to God. Feby, what would you say to anyone who is struggling at the moment?

Don't give up: trust in God, trust in his character. He is a good Father and his plans are perfect.

What was the most challenging element of writing the book?

Feby: Repeating the story again, going back over the emotional journey. I still cry a few times when I share the story.

Naomi: Feby and I spent a LOT of time together, talking and praying and going over the difficult and intense events in Feby’s life, as well as all the joyful ones. It was very difficult for her to share her last moments with Andrew and we both felt emotionally drained at times. But we also knew that in order to tell the story well, we needed to speak of pain and suffering. I’m thankful for God’s sustaining hand for us both, in the writing.

And what was the most rewarding element of writing this book?

Feby: Knowing and believing that this hard journey, which has blessed Andrew and me tremendously, will also bless others.

Naomi: Feby is a wonderfully prayerful person. She is very dependent on God, even in the little things. I loved spending time with her and absorbing some of her prayerful habits!

Have you learnt anything new / been reminded afresh about God/ your faith while writing this book?

Feby: One thing I didn't realised until I started to write the book was that God had actually answered my prayers. One of the most painful things for me was why God didn't answer our prayers when we asked him to raise Andrew back to life or to save him. I forgot that God had sent a lady to show me that he had answered my prayer but my pain and disappointment overshadowed the truth. Writing this book and thinking through it all again, it has helped me to see how faithful God is.

Naomi: Feby went from being someone who expected miracles from God and who had seen many miracles in her life and ministry, to someone who felt the darkness of not knowing or understanding God’s ways. It’s those moments of pain and searing honesty that we all share, in different ways. For me, helping Feby to write honestly about God’s love for her and his faithfulness, in the darkest days, was the best part of the book. It’s also the hope that we all share! It’s the reminder that God is still God, even within our unanswerable questions. And that gives us genuine and joyful hope today.

Feby, can you tell us a little about what you are doing now?

Yes, I have a ministry on Savu Island teaching children English and helping them to learn the Bible and know who God is personally.

Feby, what do you hope readers will most get out of reading this book?

I hope after reading this book people will find a sense of hope and purpose and see the goodness of God. I hope people will know there is purpose in their life with a good God.

Naomi, how would you describe Walking Him Home?

It’s a story of transformation. Not only do we hear about Andrew’s transformation as God brought him to faith in Jesus in Kerobokan Prison, but we also hear of Feby’s ongoing transformation – from her childhood faith, to a wider prayer ministry, and then to a calling to work with Andrew in the prison, and then to a deeply mature trust in God, who is always faithful, even within our intense struggles and ongoing questions.

Is there anything we can pray for you both?

Feby: Please pray for my ministry in Savu, and all the children there. Also please pray for everyone who reads the book to encounter God in a deeper way.

Naomi: Pray that the readers of this book would be challenged to continue to look to Jesus and trust in him in everything, even when the ways seems dark or unclear. He is faithful and good, always.

To find out more about Walking Him Home, click here.

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