For three years, the 64 members of the church were on the run from the Chinese Communist Party – first fleeing to South Korea, and then to Thailand where they sought permission to come to America. Stacey Nichols, a nurse and medical ambassador for the church, traveled to Thailand on behalf of Freedom Seekers International and began her trek with church members.
“They didn't show a lot of fear outwardly because their faith is so strong,” she tells AFN, “but that didn't mean that they didn't question what was going on. I would say most of the time they were taking everything in stride and just putting their faith in God that He was going to see them to completion.”
As Chinese Communist agents were about to close in, the group was able to fly out of Thailand to freedom in the United States, arriving in Tyler, Texas, in April. They currently are attending English classes – and older teens in the group already are applying for college admission.
“They're just thriving, let me just put it that way,” Nichols shares. “They're doing very well. And it takes so many volunteers; it takes a lot of people [and] a lot of teamwork to help these individuals of the church. So many people are coming together to make sure that all their needs are met.”
For the July 4th holiday, members of the Mayflower Church celebrated freedom – partly because of their struggles to obtain it, but also because God made it happen.