The South Sudanese Nuer Faith Community recently commemorated 20 years of shared spirituality and fellowship at St David’s Uniting Church in Cooper’s Plains.
The event provided a chance for individuals of South Sudanese heritage and their friends from all corners of Brisbane to experience a warm and inclusive atmosphere.
Andrew Demack, a church council member, said the Nuer Community is dedicated to helping fund and establish many projects across their homeland.
“They opened a school which has been in the pipeline for over five years,” he said. “Nuer Faith Community Pastor Moses Leth has just returned after spending a few months in South Sudan.”
As reported in a 2014 Journey Online article, Pastor Leth narrowly avoided violence to safely reunite with his family in Brisbane in December of 2013.
Nuer people across South Sudan and Sudan face conflict-driven violence, displacement, limited healthcare and education, food shortages, rights abuses, political instability, interethnic tensions, and disrupted livelihoods.
Andrew said many people in the Nuer Faith Community have faced these hardships.
“Even while being in Australia, they have continued to suffer because things aren’t easy when you’re a migrant,” he said. “In terms of the practical living out of faith, we learn so much from these folks. We’ve grown alongside each other, actively listening to one another’s stories and learning from one another.”
The Uniting Church fosters inclusivity and diversity by offering environments where individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds can assemble for worship and cultivate spiritual bonds.
Andrew said the enduring 20-year bond between the Australian congregation and the Nuer community has proven mutually beneficial and is flourishing.
“The wonderful thing we’ve discovered is that they felt genuinely welcomed and chose to stay,” said Andrew. “It’s not merely an act of kindness from the Australian congregation; it’s a mutually enriching relationship.”