Kevin Garratt is “thrilled to see the two Michaels returned to Canada” – and he has some idea how they must be feeling.
He was interviewed on CBC Radio’s As It Happens September 27.
Here is a portion:
You were in the same prison as Michael Spavor, right?
That’s correct, yeah. Probably just down the hall from him [if] I’m not mistaken. I understood he was in cell 315, I was in 318. So I know very well what would go on in that area.
You and your wife not only dedicated all that energy, you love the country. And from what we’ve heard of both of these men, Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor, they were very fond of China. . . . So how difficult is it to come to terms with the fact that a country you loved had treated you that way?
I separate the system, which is not a good system, and the people. You know, we work with tremendous people, had lots of friends in China. And I’m sure both Michaels did as well.
But the system has some flaws and they don’t value people really. They want to get their own way, so . . . . hostage diplomacy is a thing they use right now. . . .
After all that time and the effect it has on you to be incarcerated like that and not to even know what’s going on, what advice would you give to Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig as they try and readjust to being home?
It’s going to take some time to readjust. I mean, it probably took me a year and a half to really fully readjust. And there’s still, you know, things. You know, when I see, you know, Chinese [people walking behind] us or something it’s like, oh, what’s going on here again? You know. So there are things that will always be there. . . .
And what helps you get past that?
Just doing regular things, you know. Spending time with family and friends, doing the work that we enjoy doing. We’re still helping people overseas. We haven’t stopped that kind of work. And we spoke a lot and continue to speak about our story and about really how God took us through it.
And that’s very healing as well. Our book, of course, Two Tears on the Window, details all that. But, you know, speaking about it, sharing our experience, sharing the depths of what went on is really healing.
Go here for the full interview.
Though the Garratts do spend time speaking and writing about their 775-day ordeal as hostages and prisoners in China, they have moved on as well. Based in Metro Vancouver, they are now involved with international aid:
The Garratts and their Nation to Nation team now focus on vulnerable conflict-distressed communities in Myanmar. Offering a powerful Christian hope message along with vocational training & replicable, sustainable ‘seed to market’ solutions with coffee, soy and clean water systems, they partner with nationals to make a lasting difference.
Go here to learn more or to support them.