I’d like to share with you the inspiring story of a former refugee who arrived to Canada in May 2012. I was fortunate to meet with him recently and hear his story first hand. CLWR sponsored him back in 2010 along with the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Niagara Falls, Ontario. His story is truly remarkable and inspiring. He has given CLWR permission to publish it online.
Jennifer Ardon, Church Liaison and Volunteer Coordinator
CLWR Eastern Regional Office
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My name is Sohail Gill. I am a persecuted Christian from Pakistan. I want to share my testimony of how God saved my life from danger through The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Niagara Falls, Ontario and Canadian Lutheran World Relief.
My family and I were attacked in Pakistan because of our Christian faith. I moved to Sweden in 2004 after the murder of one of my family members, Firyall Naveed Gill, the wife of my youngest brother Naveed Tabasum Gill. In Sweden I completed a one year Bible school course. I lived in Sweden for about eight years, without any legal status because I was not granted asylum. It was a very stressful life because I was always hiding from the authorities so I would not be deported.
One of the largest Lutheran churches in Sweden is St. Clara Lutheran Church in Stockholm. The pastor there Carl Erik Sahlderg, Deacon Hams Hernderg, and the lawyer Carl Fradrick, and the congregation members helped me a lot in every step of my life in Sweden. At St. Clara I worked as a volunteer for over five years. Sometimes I assisted in the outreach ministry, giving Holy Bibles and other helpful religious books and guiding others about the Word of God. Sometimes I worked in the coffee room of the church. In the church garden we gave free bread, tea, coffee and other food to over 100 people every day. I witnessed that through this great mission work almighty God saved the lives of many people.
I lived alone in Sweden, very far from my father and brothers in Canada. With the great and blessed help of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Niagara Falls and CLWR, almighty God reunited me with my family here in Canada.
I am very thankful to Rev. Dean A. Willich, the pastor of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, all church members and CLWR for all of their help and prayers.