An American couple detained in Qatar before being cleared in the death of their 8-year-old daughter is attending a church service in Southern California.

Matthew and Grace Huang are at the Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. Worshippers stood, clapped and cheered when the couple and their two surviving children were called up to the dais. Matthew Huang briefly addressed the congregation, saying he was thankful to be home. He said the two years spent in Qatar were extremely difficult.

The Huangs gained international attention when Qatari authorities arrested them in January 2013 on charges of starving their African-born daughter to death.

The Huangs spent nearly a year in jail and they were convicted of child endangerment. An appeals court judge overturned their conviction last week and said they could leave.