Members of Mayflower Church slipped out of China in November 2019, expecting to leave behind the Communist country for good after entering South Korea. That plan fell apart because of immigration laws, however, so the 28 adults and 32 children went to Thailand and asked for help. They were detained by immigration officials there, however, and feared being deported back to China.
ChinaAid, the Texas-based persecution watchdog, credits the U.S. government, including the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, and numerous congressional lawmakers, for negotiating the church members’ release from Thai custody.
Jonathan Dingler of China Aid tells AFN the church members landed on Good Friday in Tyler, Texas.
“A lot of churches from the area in Tyler are pooling together their resources to help the church,” he advises. “And, as of right now, we're trying to get them a plot of land so that they can stay together as a congregation.”
ChinaAid founder Bob Fu, who himself escaped Chinese authorities three decades ago, called it a “joyful homecoming” when fellow Chinese believers landed in his adopted home of Texas.
Dingler says the safe landing in The Lonestar State ended three years of uncertainty.
“But we serve a God that does incredible and impossible things,” he says, “and we couldn't have done this without Him working on their behalf.”