A Letter of Gratitude
Greetings to each of you. I am altering the names of our asylum seekers because of the nature of their legal status.
Chris spoke to the congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester on Sunday. He told of his brutal journey from a happy family life in the Republic of the Congo to the welcoming doors of our Asylum support network. Below are some of the things Chris told us.
Chris grew up in a large house, with two brothers and a sister. Their father taught them the importance of education, and Chris was attending University when he left the Congo. His father also believed in justice and truth. As the government of the Congo became more and more oppressive, Chris’s dad became more and more active against it. So, one night, the police entered the house and killed his stepmother, his father and his two younger siblings. The murderers were not aware that Chris and his older brother were asleep in their bedroom in the back of their large house. They were not detected. Chris fled to South America, but the corruption, brutality, and violence from the government there was not a place he wanted to stay. So, he began his long walk from there to the United States to seek asylum. We are grateful that he arrived here in Manchester, and that we can help him begin a new journey in his life.
The shooting of Thamba Mbungu at Derryfield Park has been devasting. Those who attended the memorial gathering were deeply moved by the love and loss expressed by his family. I talked a bit with Chris about his feelings. He knew Thamba, played soccer with him in the local soccer league. I asked if he now sees Manchester as a not particularly safe place to be. He still feels safe here and is grateful to be here. Thank you all for helping us support him and helping him feel safe here.
During these difficult times, we hope each of you will find things in your life for which you are grateful. We on the Sanctuary/Asylum Committee are truly grateful for all you do to help us support our asylum guests. We could not do this without you. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. And Blessed Be.
Here are some of the ways you can continue to support our Sanctuary/Asylum network:
We accept Market Basket gift cards and checks to help support Chris as his case slowly works through the courts. Gift cards must be bought in-store, but then can be mailed to UU Manchester c/o Asylum Committee at UU Manchester, 669 Union St. Manchester NH 03104. Or, the cards can be dropped off at church during our new church administrator’s hours, M-F, 8am-12 noon. Her name is Amy.
Checks can be sent to the above address. Designate Asylum in the memo line and if your donation is for general support, specific support for legal fees, or specifically for food. We are a 501(C)3 organization, so your donations are tax-deductible. If you have any questions, contact our new church administrator, Amy (603-625-6854) or Liz Alcauskas (703-447-5701).
You can make a credit card donation through the Mealtrain site at https://mealtrain.com/nkogwd. Paul Introcaso can help you with that (603-505-1149).