Stories Of Transformation

Paulin Sefu

My Name is Paulin Sefu, Born in the east part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I would like to give thanks to God by the privilege of knowing him as my lord and saviour.

I was born in a Christian family and  I fully gave myself to Christ in a Pentecostal church, at the age of 18 I got baptise and became a full member of the church.

My Gratitude to god is to protect me from all the atrocities I went through from back home in the Congo, after the so-called death of my dad, My Dad was a high ranking officer in the intelligence in the North East of the Congo. He was to be assassinated by the rebel just because he was defending the integrity of the country from the enemies. After his assassination I under went several persecutions, which led to my incarceration to prison by the rebel, wanting to know more information on how I knew my dad’s work. I claimed innocence of not knowing anything to do with his work and information he had related to his work. But God was with me during all the hardship I faced, Until I was put into an extradition list to a different prison held by the rebel in an unknown place. When that was to happen, the person who was to sign for my extradition never showed up, and that delayed my extradition, 2 days after I managed to escape from that prison with the help of my aunt who paid a jail guard to let me go. Fortunately, the jail guard accepted and paved way for me to escape. From prison I only had one direction was to get out of the country not really knowing where I was going.

I Left my country the same day and took a boat and fled to Tanzania the closest place I could go to. From Tanzania I proceeded till I saw myself in Botswana. I was welcomed in Botswana as a refugee, where I spent 15 years in a refugee camp. Thanks to God, who gave me that strength to endure the refugee of life for such long time, not knowing what the future hold for me. It was not an easy life being a refugee where by just basics things as a human being became difficult to find one. Including local people considers refugees as if they’re not human being and have no right for anything.

During my time in Botswana I could still see the hand of God upon me. I could easily find solution on whatever hash time I endured by then. I became a man when I got married to my wife, who was criticized by her own people and other colleague of hers saying why she had to  marry a refugee, what will a refugee give to her in life, But my wife stood by myside for all those years we were together in Botswana.

I was always praying to god to find for me the right place to be, where I will be able to worship him without   any fear. After some times I was called at the office of United Nation High commission for refugee, just to be told to get ready for interview with the Australian Embassy for my resettlement to Australia. The interview went well, after few weeks our names came out for medical check up. And there things went wrong. UNHCR chief of mission said to me he will not let me go medical check up saying I was still having responsibility to attend to people in the camp. Despite my effort to go to Australia nothing happened. It was so sad to see that my future was shattered. I just said Thanks to god he knew the reason why he made that to happen to me

I continued living there and giving thanks to god all the time, because there were refugees who could not tolerate the frustration of the camp and ended up taking they life, I witnessed many of those who took their lives due to hard life of being a refugee with no hope for the future.

God is faithful is you worship him whole heartedly, 12 years later, one of the  good days I was told my name was posted at the office for the interview to Canada. I said again? Thanks God to see that my case still being considered for a solution. We went for interview with a Canadian immigration officer from Winnipeg, after few weeks we were sent for medical check up. And 2 weeks after that, I received a call from UNHCR that I should be ready in a month I’m leaving, my visa is ready from the embassy, I was waiting for my ticket.  I gave thanks to God for such news.

We left Botswana to Canada, not knowing where in Canada we were going. We got to Toronto thought we had arrived they told us to wait to connect to saskatoon, we connect to saskatoon to a big surprise of a big crowd of families waiting for us outside from this church. That brought lots of joy and smile to me being welcomed by people I was not even aware of them waiting for me, some of those families are, Cynthia Froese with family, Dave Nielsen with family, Heidi Klassen with family, Sara and Jayson, Dallas and Shalisse, Mitch and Brook, Janeya foth, and many more. That was mind blowing.

We were taken to our place, and being shown lots of love form the people who received us from the airport. We Gave big thanks to god for taking us out of the refugee cage and we could see ourselves free at last.

Life started a fresh, and within few days we started learning how to cop with Canadian life, Cynthia froes took all her time to run around with us, Showing as around and what to do, and she made as have our sin numbers and life was good.

To show that God had purpose for us to come here, the 1st summer camp 2 months after we landed here, I took my son downtown to the polytechnic summer program, Miracles started showing up. I met a lady who approached me speaking in my language and asked me if I know her, I said know and she asked if I was not from Congo, I said yes. She wanted to go but she turned again and asked me what was my name, I told her my name, Big shock the lady started to cry, I was wondering what was happening, then she mentioned my uncle’s name as her husband. I was shocked to see her because she had put lots of weight from the time I new her. That was my first miracle here to discover my Aunt here.

A week after One more blow came to me, I received a phone call from my uncle in Tanzania telling me that my Dad he is alive, I was blown and asked my uncle if he was out of his mind or what. He confirms to me that he had been assured of my dad’s life. So, he went to Congo where he was called and for his surprised, he saw my dad alive, who was kept for almost 20years in the caves with no sunlight and there he was still alive. His Body guard had made sure not to kill him as he was assigned to do so, and brought a different dead body full of blood to be shown to us and the public that he was killed, just to protect him. Now he became tired of looking after him for all those years, he decided to locate members of the family who could look after him. That when now he contacted my uncle in Tanzania and shared such information. They called me when they were together with my dad. And I spoke to him. Then he was moved to Tanzania together with my Uncle, that where up to date he lives there. I asked myself what was happening in my life here in Canada, I informed my sponsor group of the news and they really helped me out with the help of the church, I was able to get a passport go back to Africa and see my dad. That reunion was really a big surprise. My dad thought I was dead and I knew he was dead, But God is so wonderful and since then my dad he has improved a lot Healthwise, because being in caves for such long time he became weak, but now he is much better. with the helps of a close friend such as Dave Nielsen who always assist me to help my dad back home.

My Life in Canada his just from one miracle to the other. I remember praying always since Africa for god to give me a place where he will see my prospering and improving. I’m proud to be a member of FGCC, because the people of this church took me like one of theirs, showed me love, embrace me with all open hands, That the reason I opted not to be a spectator in the church, but to be a full member of this church where I will be committed and serve the church, and worship my God freely. I have no way of giving thanks to God to all what he has done in my life than worshiping him and being a full member of his church.

I got work 2 months only of my being here. And Now I moved from my first job to another one which gives me opportunity of being at church every Sunday, because I do not work weekend. Within a Year in Canada we became first home owner, which is a miracle to us.

I would like to let this congregation to know that you have all the benefits of giving glory to god, because what other people sees around the world, you’ve not yet seen a thing, People spend days with no hope of meal, no shelter, not knowing even if tomorrow will cone. But those people still give thanks to god for their life hoping one day to push it through. Insecurity becomes a daily bread, the only hope in life is God to spare their lives. It’s high time you glorify God Peace and stability and freedom of worship. Thant the most important thing.

Isaiah 41:10 Says, (Don’t fear, because I am your God, I will Strengthen you, I will surely help you with my righteous strong hand.)

My Last word is just to encourage others knowing that we as human being we want things to be done as we wish, but God’s time is always the Best.