Fundraising: Immigrant Support & Legal Needs
Our Growing Ministry and Witness:
Faith in ACTION!

The Community Church of Durham has been blessed in recent years with the opportunity to expand our commitment to living out our Christian values through the establishment of a ministry to asylum seekers. This began with accompanying Antony, an asylum seeker from Africa, on his journey from detention to a host home in our congregation to independent living while working a full-time job and serving as our church sexton. While continuing to support him in his quest for asylum, we began accompanying a second family over a year ago.

Xianlang and Elena (pseudonyms used for their safety) have devoted their lives to serving others and promoting social justice. These two individuals are both well-educated and have taught at respected universities in China. Nevertheless, they have suffered persecution for their religious and political beliefs. Several years ago, the couple had an opportunity to visit the United States, along with their daughter, in order to promote social change in their birthland. Simultaneously, Elena could study and earn her Master of Divinity degree.  During the years they have been in the United States, conditions in China have deteriorated with an increasingly strict crackdown on speech, religion, and political dissent.  Consequently, it is no longer safe for them to return home. If they speak out or if any of their existing data and research is discovered and reported, they face persecution, arrest, and imprisonment.

As a result, Xianlang and Elena are now in the process of seeking asylum in the United States and the Community Church has committed to supporting them. We have come to know them to be kind-hearted, honest people who dare to seek the truth and live in accordance with their consciences. These courageous people, who have spent their lives helping others, now find themselves in the position of needing help themselves.  We know from our experiences with Antony that this process takes years and significant resources for legal fees.  Until they can get work permits, US law prohibits them from taking a job to support themselves. 

The Community Church of Durham is providing significant resources to accompany these two families but our funds will not cover projected expenses to provide legal fees to both families and basic monthly expenses until Elena and Xianlang are able to work. We recently concluded a very successful online art auction thanks to the generous support of many local artists and bidders. We earned over $4,500 so now need to raise an additional $12,500. We know that there is an extensive network of committed folks throughout New Hampshire and beyond who support this work. If you can help, please write your check to Community Church of Durham with Immigration Ministry in the memo line and mail it to: Community Church, PO Box 310, Durham, NH 03824. To see a video where you can learn more about Elena and Xianlang’s story and our church’s immigration ministry or to contribute online, go to:
Please share this letter with anyone you think may be interested in helping this ministry.

With gratitude and blessings as we continue this important witness together,

Community Church Immigrant Housing and Accompaniment Coordinating Team members: Peggy Kieschnick, convener; David Grishaw-Jones, Pastor; Debbie Davis, Cheryl Hempen, Dale Hempen, Debbie Leavitt, Leslie Martin, and Cindy Nottage.
Make A Donation Now!
(1) Click on the “Online Directions” button above.
(2) Under the “Give to Stewardship” tab…click on “Give to our Immigrant Support Fund.”
(3) Fill out the form there, with your donation.
Or Write a Check!
(1) Make your check to “Community Church of Durham.”  
(2) In the memo line, write “Immigration Ministry.”
(3) The address is “Community Church, PO Box 310, Durham, NH  03824.”
Thank you, and God bless your generous spirit!
Volunteer for Team:
This is an amazing ministry, generated in faith by volunteers and committed friends!  And it’s growing.  If you’re interested in joining us, and participating in any number of ways, use the link below to let us know:
Check Out the Auction:
From February 11 to February 25, we’ve organized an online silent auction, featuring 63 stunning original works from 39 local artists and friends!  Here’s another way for you to contribute to our ministry.  Check it out:
We are offering a booklet (28 pages) with a sample of renowned photographer Becky Field’s photographs and Antony’s poetry and drawings for a donation of $25 (plus $5 shipping per order). All funds go into an account specifically for Antony at the Community Church of Durham, NH. Order your booklet below or contact Community Church of Durham at (603) 868-1230 to purchase in person.
If you have any questions about your donation to this ministry, be in touch and let’s talk about the dynamic impact you can make:
Debbie Leavitt at
Cindy Nottage at
Pastor Dave Grishaw-Jones at