Sanctuary/Asylum Committee Annual Report

July 2022 – May 2023

Last summer started with a Sunday Service put on by the Committee to highlight our two asylum seekers. Although Ben was not able to attend, his written remarks were read.  Chris spoke about his harrowing journey to the U.S.  Several notes of gratitude from our partners were read, thanking us for the work we do.

Ben applied for and was accepted into the UNH Carsey’s School of Public Policy, Master’s Program in Community Development Policy and Practice. Chris went to Kentucky for a visit to his brother and family.

In October, Paul Introcaso of our Committee, received the MICAH Award from GSOP.  His congregation nominated him for this award, which raises up members who demonstrate a passion for justice, who love mercy, and who walk humbly in service to others. Congratulations!

Ben began his classes at UNH.  His initial nervousness was quickly replaced by confidence as his first grades came in (A’s) and he began establishing relationships with his classmates. Meanwhile, he awaits the long process his family is undertaking to join Ben here in the U.S.  They have been approved to apply for asylum, and once they are interviewed and issued visas, they can finally be reunited.  When will this happen?  The timeline is torturously long and slow. We have no idea when this miracle will happen.

Chris’s brother has had health issues and needs help with the five children. His brother needs surgery, which was supposed to take place in April, but has not. So, Chris will stay as long as possible In KY taking care of his brother’s children. We continue to support Chris with money for food and incidentals. We have no word as to his asylum status.  So exasperating. 

In April, Curt Smith, Phoebe Stone, and Liz Alcauskas were invited to the annual meeting of Unitarian Universalist Action New Hampshire to present the work we do in our Sanctuary/Asylum program. 

In May, work on the final recommendation of Robert Cummings, to install a horn/strobe light in Chris’s room, is underway.

And now, exciting updates from both Chris and Ben. Chris has texted that his brother’s surgery went well, he is back at home! Ben is working on a paper for his Master’s Program, “Supporting Struggling Education in a Village Where Unemployment is on the Rise”.  Best of all, his family has obtained their passports! Interviews are next.

The balance of the Sanctuary/Asylum Fund is $3,453.74. Thank you to all our sponsors and donors who make this all possible.