Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest Is Coming

Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest is Saturday, Feb 16, 12:30-4:30 p.m. at... Details Here

During Kevin and Julia Garratt's incarceration, it was their faith that gave them hope when things felt hopeless.

"If we didn't have that, I don't know how we would survive. It was moment by moment, every few minutes, every hour whatever, and that peace would come back, and a word or a song would be dropped into my heart," says Kevin.

Though the fear of never being freed from prison would come back, Kevin says the peace from God overwhelmed everything else.

In 2014, Kevin and Julia, who were working as Christian aid workers for 30 years in China, were suddenly abducted and accused of being Canadian spies.

The Garratt's abduction is widely believed to be a retaliation against Canada for the arrest of Chinese citizen Su Bin in British Columbia, who was later charged in the United States for his role in organizing the hacking of technical data on military aircraft.

Though the reasoning might have been political, it was all too real for the Garratt's shares Julia.

"You're trying to cope with something that you've never experienced in your entire life; thankfully we had our faith which made a huge difference. On the other hand, you are fully human, so, therefore, you still have panic, fear and all these things, and I think one of the most difficult things is you have no idea from minute to minute, and that continued on the whole two years."

China has a 99.9 conviction rate or higher, says Kevin, when he was entered into the prison system he saw people who were hopeless, people who were told they were guilty even if they weren't.

However, people took notice of the determination and peace Kevin felt, asking what was giving him this peace. Kevin believes that his time in prison might have been an opportunity from God to share the message with those hopeless souls.

"I had to choose to participate. I can say, and I saw that God was always at work, but I still had to make that choice. Am I going to join God in this or am I going to look down at my feet and pity myself?"

Now that the Garratts are free they are incredibly thankful to be back home. Looking at the current situation involving Robert Schellenberg, it's evident how quickly a situation can escalate and how the blur between the Chinese judicial system and the government continues.

The entire experience has been an eye-opener to the connection the family of God has for each other. Julia says people will often walk up to them and share how they prayed during their time overseas. At one point during their imprisonment, Julia says they received a message through the embassy, which told them thousands were praying for them.

"Our interrogators questioned on that and said, are you that famous? Of course, we weren't famous. Some of the people knew us, but most of them didn't. We just said that's how Christians act as one family."

Julia adds it wasn't just Christians who prayed for the Garratt's safe return.

The Garratts now belong to a community of people who have suffered this kind of injustice, and they are a voice to represent those people and for God.

The experience hasn't turned the two Christians away from international work and ministry, recently working in Thailand, as well as releasing a book about their experience titled Two Tears On A Window, covering the importance of engaging the government and the power of prayer.

Julia says the book aims to educate and help people who may find themselves in a similar situation as well as the people working to free political prisoners.

"I hope not just listening to us but maybe reading that there will be things in there that talk about the resilience God gives you... the power of persevering prayer... and about God with us. What does that look like in the worst situations in life?"

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