Victory Report: Relief for Ola
Dear Friends and Partners,
We would like to extend a special thank you for all your prayers and support for Ola and Alice after our alert on September 9th. You may recall that Ola has lived in sanctuary at her church for almost two years in order to avoid deportation to Nigeria and separation from her Canadian daughter.
On the afternoon of Monday, September 22, 2008, we received word that Ola had been arrested after a neighbour of the church complained to police after seeing Ola outside in the church’s garden. After many anxious moments for Ola, Alice, and their pastor, and a flurry of telephone calls with immigration and border services officials, we are pleased to report that, although Ola spent the night in detention, she was not deported. Instead, she has been allowed to leave the church to wait for the decision on her humanitarian and compassionate application. She is free to live at home and no longer has to fear being arrested as long as she abides by conditions placed on her by Border Services.
A final decision on Ola’s application has not been made, but this new development is worth celebrating in the meantime. It means that Ola can attend Alice’s school functions and spend time with her doing mother-daughter things and living a fairly normal life. As a result, we would like to acknowledge the support and understanding that Ola has received throughout this ordeal from Peel Regional Police as well as immigration and border authorities who showed compassion even as they did their jobs enforcing Canadian law. We would also like to express a special thanks to Toronto immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges who spent much of Monday afternoon on the telephone to secure this result.
Due to this surprising turn of events, the support rally we had planned this Sunday has been changed into a celebration. Please join us on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 2 p.m. The event will take place at Trinity Anglican Church at 26 Stavebank Road North in Mississauga (in Port Credit at Stavebank Rd. and Lakeshore Rd., west of Hurontario).
Despite the celebration, Ola’s ultimate outcome is still uncertain. Please continue to pray that her application will be approved and that she will be granted permanent resident status so that she can stay in Canada and live in security with Alice.
Remember, that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.
"They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream" in the Lord’s name.
Be with God and may God be with you.
Rev. Majed El Shafie President and Founder One Free World International El Shafie Ministries