Jake and I left from Detroit Monday morning to Taiwan with a short layover into Shanghai. It was a 13 hour flight from Detroit to Shanghai, but we never made it to Taiwan… Before leaving for this trip, I could imagine that Chinese authorities would possibly forbid us leaving the airport, but what actually happened is more than what I had anticipated. Once we landed in Shanghai, two police officers boarded the plane and removed us before letting other passengers off. Even though we showed them our trip to Shanghai was just a transit stop to Taiwan they detained us, searched through our stuff and finally boarded us on a plane headed back to Detroit, another 13 hours. By the time I got home it was early Wednesday morning.
We weren’t detained for a long time. For two hours we were placed in a small room with other officers waiting for certain ones to make decisions. They assumed that we could not understand them speaking to one another as I heard two men speaking, “they can’t understand Chinese right?”, “no” the other replies. Even though they had an officer who could speak some English, we were never given a reason for why we were being detained.
We were escorted by four police officer throughout the airport and it drew a considerable amount of attention from other travelers. There seemed to be a certain amount of confusion and indecisiveness as we maneuvered through the airport. At one moment we are treated as though dangerous criminals another the situation relaxed considerably. Jake remembers their superior officer saying to one of them, “stand facing towards them, don’t take your eyes off them.” This reminded me of Harbin police sending a swat team of armored police to one of the churches Easter morning, severe overkill.
On the plane, Delta seized my passport and didn’t return it until we landed in Detroit. I asked why they did this and she said she didn’t know the reason, it’s was just policy when the Chinese police escort somebody onto a plane. It was a little embarrassing to be looked at and treated like a criminal in public, and even by an American company Delta.
Jake and I are definitely disappointed that China seems out of reach for now., we will trust the Lord’s leading in this. We still anticipate trying for visas into China later, but now we can say with some confidence that Taiwan is on our immediate horizon this October Lord willing. Saddened about China, we are still very excited about Taiwan. We visited Taiwan shortly after we were deported the first time and we were surprised to find the mission field that exists there.
Pray with us going into Taiwan, seeking the Lord’s council above all others. There are certainly many things besides loss of liberty that threatens the ministry. We ask The Lord to protect us from all schemes the devil uses to complicate the Gospel message.