Released from Chinese jail - couple shares story

Kevin and Julia Garratt.

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A Canadian couple, accused of and jailed for being spies in China, will be coming to Winkler to share their story.
Kevin and Julia Garratt were detained for 775 days in China, much of it in prison before finally being released in 2016.
They will speak at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church on Jan. 16.
Their resume reveals a shared passion for improving lives.
Kevin and Julia first went to China in 1984 as English teachers. Over the next 30 years they lived in seven different Chinese cities and worked in various capacities including teaching English (ESL), starting consulting companies, a training Centre, translation Co. and a Family Centre.
They also operated an orphanage in conjunction with Chinese authorities, founded a bilingual kindergarten as well as working with both House and Government churches.
In 2007, they moved to the Chinese border city of Dandong on the China – North Korea border and started Peter’s Coffee House. They participated in aid projects in North Korea since 2008.
Then it all came crashing down.
On August 4, 2014, they were arrested by the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) and charged with spying and espionage. They spent the next six months in isolation being interrogated by three investigators up to six hours a day.
Kevin then spent the next 19+ months in a prison with 900 other inmates while Julia was placed in quasi house arrest – bail pending trial. They were detained for of 775 days in China.
Julia was released in August 2016 and Kevin, after being pronounced guilty of spying and espionage, was deported on September 15, 2016.
Their struggle drew attention around the world and the pair were recognized by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We remain deeply impressed by the grace and resilience of the Garratt family, especially Kevin and Julia,” he said publicly.
So why were they accused? Were they spies?
The public is invited to come and listen and find out a bit about their story.
They will be sharing at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite church at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 on 252 6th street. The event has no admission.
For more information, call the church at 325-9563.
“All are welcome to come to hear their amazing testimony on how God answers prayer in a difficult situation,” a press release stated.