Tuesday, August 03, 2004

ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Many Africans now languishing in the refugee camps in Kenya have visas to come to Australia but not the money to make the flight. Their fate totally depends on the random acts of kindness by individuals and groups.

Now, as luck would have it, the Maughan Uniting Church in Adelaide, South Australia, has come to the rescue. The great act of human kindness began in 2003 when the church welcomed its first group of four Sudanese refugees; and has since assisted 38 others to come to Australia. And more are on the way.

The church Minister , the Rev Dr. Elizabeth Vreugdenhil is on record as saying that “the church has found the need to reach out and help bring refugees to Australia” after hearing stories of their great suffering, extreme poverty, and deprivation.

And reaching out to help those in need is what Dr. Vreugdenhil does best. Through her insightful approach, the church’s action has helped save a lot of lives; and has also lifted a lot of people out of poverty. In fact, it has opened up numerous opportunities for African refugees in Australia.

In actual fact, the church does more than helping to facilitate the passage to Australia. It has worked hard to provide a support network for a congregation of about 200 Sudanese who use its facilities for worship every Sunday.

Thus, with a great deal of compassion and humility, the Uniting church groups are actively seeking opportunities to assist in the resettlement of African refugees in Adelaide.

Indeed, this is a great act of faith in humanity and the best gift ever to the emerging African community in Australia.
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