Kevin and Julia Garratt worked passionately in China & North Korea for 30 years. And then they disappeared. Throughout this 775-day political tit-for-tat imprisonment in China from 2014-2016, their unwavering faith, the persevering prayer of Christians worldwide, and God’s plan to bring hope to many through their ordeal, challenges everyone to a deeply intimate relationship with the living God.
Kevin and Julia met at the University of Toronto and first went to China in 1984 as English teachers. Over the next 30 years they lived in 7 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. On August 4, 2014, they were “arrested” by the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) – the FBI of China - and charged with spying and espionage. They spent the next 6 months in isolation being interrogated by 3 investigators up to 6 hours a day. Then Kevin 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 - because of the prayers of many thousands around the world. The Prime Minster of Canada, Justin Trudeau upon their release, in a statement to the press, said; “We remain deeply impressed by the grace and resilience of the Garratt family, especially Kevin and Julia.”
Their dramatic story is documented in their 285-page memoir, Two Tears on the Window, released in November 2018. The fast-paced descriptive and riveting account of their 775-day prison ordeal (2014- 2016) at the hands of the Chinese Ministry of State Security is told as a parallel journey, artfully drawing readers into their experiences in a way that is both enlightening and deeply human. The book received all five star reviews from Goodreads and Amazon and is available in softcover, kindle and kobo versions.
Now based in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, Kevin and Julia continue to share their hope story and work in creative access nations including Myanmar, North Korea and restricted areas of northeast India. They assist with community development, social enterprise, and encourage pastors and national believers through training, mentoring and teaching on spiritual formation. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.