St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

See our website at

Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The 134th Kentucky Derby

There will be a lot of focus on Louisville, Kentucky this week as celebrations abound in preparation of the running of the 134th Kentucky Derby, Saturday May 3rd. Last year, 156,635 were in attendance at Churchill Downs for the “Run for the Roses”. Millions of dollars will be spent on food, mint juleps, partying and betting on the races. I love the city of Louisville and I truly understand & appreciate the revenue that the Derby generates to benefit our town...our State, for that matter. Its all wonderful and I am thankful the city has reason to celebrate.

Since the year 2000 when Sierra Leone and the plight of its people took over my heart and crawled under my skin, I can’t help but view these 2 Minute Sporting Events in a different light. It is difficult for me to join in the exuberance of the local festivities this week, after what I have witnessed in Africa. I do not begrudge anyone else the enjoyment, we all need a refreshing distraction from the tough world we live in. However, as I type this, I am aware of several people in Freetown, ill with treatable diseases, that will die because they can’t afford the medical treatment. I think of the little boy, 3 year old Ben, pictured above and featured on our YouTube Channel ( His mother leaves early to go to the farm each day to search for wood and supplies, she returns late in the Evening. Ben is left alone, undressed, to fend for himself, to find food wherever he can. I think of the children in the tiny Town of Robarrie who jumped up and down with excitement because Nazareth House provided their village with (not toys or ipods but) cold tablets and flip flops.

We, Americans are feeling the pinch at the gas pump and the grocery store. We’re having to tighten our belts and watch our pennies. This hurts us but it is not the same pain that Sierra Leoneans experience when there is no food for the family—when you are better off than most if you can provide ONE meal a day for your family!

I spoke with James in Freetown this morning. He is a bit discouraged, all around him is desperation. Even with our little assistance, his own family lives far below the American most impoverished level. As he goes about giving aid to those in need, he hears the news of the spiraling American economy and fears humanitarian donations to Nazareth House will suffer. He worries about those we serve. He also hears in the news that despite the economic crunch, we continue to spend - especially attending sporting events and gambling ... he doesn’t understand.

Monday, April 28, 2008

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"Sell that which ye have, and give alms; make for yourselves purses which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief draweth near, neither moth destroyeth". -Luke 12:38

Part of my job as the administrator of this global outreach organization named Nazareth House Apostolate is to raise funds. That is what I am required to do. Quite frankly, my job is to beg. I am a beggar. I do not beg for myself or for the organization—I beg for the people of Sierra Leone living in destitution.

It takes money to do the work. It takes money to feed, clothe, shelter, provide medical assistance and to visit the poor. Without the funding - it is impossible to grant them their needs.

Those of you who know me, know begging is not something I like to do. Yet, God has seen fit to place me in this position. (I love His sense of humor) The greater the needs become, the less I am embarrassed to beg. Besides that, the embarrassment is only my pride peeking out. There is no room for pride/ego in this work.

The poverty and hardship of these people is staring us right in the face, no way to hide from it. When we look at the photos that James takes of the people of Sierra Leone, the eyes ...the eyes in those photos are piercing right into our souls, begging for help.

Sure, any one of us would like to be in the position to fund this operation on our own without having to ask for a dime. But that’s not the case and its not the way it should be. We are called to help our brothers and sisters in need. All of us, not just a few.

The Bible tells us “It is more blessed to give than to receive” therefore the beggar allows a blessing upon the giver.
Acts 20:35

The first tax stimulus bonuses will be arriving this week, (for most automatically in your banking account). Understandably some people need it to pay past due bills. Others have not planned how to use it. So, quite boldly I ask you... - Have you considered giving it to Nazareth House? ... Or at least a portion of it? Think about it. Look at the faces of the people, think about their daily lives, think about how their whole day is spent struggling to produce at least one meal a day for their families.

The above photo is of James distributing alms to the needy as they stand waiting with their “begging bowls” extended.

Deuteronomy 15:7—"If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother”

Luke 6:38- “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, crushed down, full and running over, they will give to you. For in the same measure as you give, it will be given to you again”.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 April (1961)

Today is the Independence Day Holiday in Sierra Leone (likened to our American 4th of July). Family picnics and celebrations will go on throughout the country. Stores and Internet Cafes will be closed. Most people in Freetown will spend their time celebrating at the beach.

Fr. Bob Haux and his wife Su, created the above Hot Sauce and sell it to raise funds for Nazareth House Apostolate's work in Sierra Leone. They have already made $60 which has been received by Nazareth House. A bottle of the Hot Sauce was sent to me and Fr. Seraphim. I can't believe the taste...AWESOME!!! Best tasting Hot Sauce, we've ever experienced! Way to go Nazareth House, LaGrange GA. Thanks so much! If You are ever in La Grange, Georgia I highly recommend visiting Sammy D’s New York Style Pizzeria. You will find a bottle of this excellent hot sauce on each table in the restaurant.
Aleica & Eric Willis of Nazareth House, Louisville recently purchased some of the medical supplies (urine bags & catheters) that the doctor in Kabala requested. Here they are bringing the supplies in to prepare for packing and shipping to St. Laurence House. This is a big help to the doctor, but his requests are perpetual, there is always need.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

Malaria, up close and personal...

I have had some personal experience with the debilitating disease of Malaria, having had recurring bouts of it myself - as well as having held tiny babies as they suffer through it. If they are lucky they recover, many babies, already weak from hunger, cannot survive an onset of it.

I know well the snowballing effects of the illness. The horrible symptoms are enough to deal with... but it also keeps you from working the farm, providing a living to support your family, and doing your daily routine. In Sierra Leone, for most, that "daily routine" is an act of survival - scrounging for food,shelter, water and/or fuel for you and your family. When someone is knocked down due to malaria, the whole family suffers because it takes everyone (parents and children alike) working together to get through the day. If the family foot is affected, the family body can't walk.

To me, here in the States, it is an inconvenience - but I can be treated. I have shelter, I have clean water, I have healthy food. Imagine suffering this dreadful disease without a proper bed, no shelter, barely enough food and drinking only from a jug of water filled with bacteria. It is incomprehensible and no human being should experience this - let alone on a routine basis, time after time.

Nazareth House has no cure for malaria. We are aware there are methods out there of curbing it and preventing it. We are also aware that those actions of prevention are bottle necked somewhere and not made readily available to those in need. What Nazareth House is able to do is care for those who suffer it. Your donations will provide bednetting ($10 per net), food, shelter, medications to lessen the symptoms. Better still your pledged monthly donations will continue this aid month after month.

Nazareth House is in the middle of a campaign to purchase a compound in the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. This center will house a medical clinic, a small orphanage, our storage & distribution center for rice,medication,supplies, a Home for the dying, a guest house & teaching center and staff quarters. The compound is vital to our continued and necessary expansion work in Sierra Leone. It make it possible to bring ministry to those we've had to turn away because of lack of facilities. In Louisville there is a group that will teach your group how to build a water supply center to serve a village of 10,000 people. We want to begin having people trained and sent to do this work (A clean water source is invaluable to survival), but until we have the compound with its guest house to reasonably safely accommodate a group during their stay, it cant happen. What an experience this would be for a group of College Students - to build a water supply and help out 10,000 villagers! How often is an opportunity like this presented to make a real difference when the world around you is becoming more and more self centered? We must acquire a 4-W vehicle for access to distribute needs to villages in up country where roads are treacherous. The school we are building in Kabala is closer and closer to completion. We are accomplishing big things with very little. Our goal is $500,000 to complete the compound project. Not a million dollars, not two million dollars --for what we are providing from the compound, the cost is extremely low. Its up to you to get the word out to share your experience with Nazareth House. Scroll through the many photo albums of documented work that YOU've made possible, spread the word. We can do this, we can make a huge difference. Ask someone for their support today. Remember those who are suffering from the horrible effects of malaria and consider what you can do for them. It would only take 1667 people giving only $25 per month - less than a dollar a day - to meet this goal. God bless you.

April 25th World Malaria Day





April 25th is World Malaria Day and also Malaria Awareness Day in the United States.
In honor of those around the world and especially in Sierra Leone who suffer the burden that malaria imposes on their health, Nazareth House Apostolate stands committed to providing ongoing love, care and aid.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Email from James in Freetown

Good Morning Mama Hicks & All,

Thanks for the wonderful documentary DVD movie. I think it is an excellent job done. It is packed with all that we need to show people. I was in tears at the same time smiled in some part of it. The music was well selected. The Phil Collins song and the man hitting the rock matched well. I liked the Mende traditional song and you dancing on the beach.
Like i said yesterday, if only i had the money, i will help support the work here. But i am doing it in my own way now, wish i could do more.
Kadijah, Mako and the kids like it too. Roo was just shouting and pointing at me when ever he sees me on the video. The girls looked at it over and over.
It is a good collection you made and from the way i looked at it, it was too much job. You need a credit for this and hope and pray that people come in to help. There are many NGO's (non governmental organization) here DOING LESS than this but getting great attention and huge support why not Nazareth House Apostolate where we are making a big positive difference in many lives. I wish I could convince people to help us buy the compound and truck to keep this work going.
Thanks a million for that wonderful job.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Distressing News!

I just received this email from James in Freetown:

James Bombolia Mansaray to me

Hello Mama Hicks,

Just after sending the improving word on Mako's health few hours later Kadijah called while i was out of the house on the way to see Alimamy at the 34 Military hospital. I had to return meeting him throwing up at the bathroom. He is currently on Glucose drip. He is complaining weakness, dizzy and torment. Hopefully we do several tests tomorrow in a better hospital. He is in a private small clinic for now around congo cross since there are no doctors now in the big hospitals.
Sorry for this sad news but keep praying. He seems torment under this drip. The medical man used some of the medical supplies that came in today. Few of the hospital IV drip stuffs and bandages. They are among the stuffs you sent for the doc in Kabala.

More tomorrow and thanks for this. I must rush to see how he is feeling.


Emails to and from Vicki in Louisville & James in Freetown

PHOTO: Vicki & James in Freetown, enjoying a Star Beer.


Dear James
I am hoping that what I hear from you today is:

1. Mako has improved very much
2. You continue to feel better taking Benedryl/Allergy Medicine
3. Roo is getting over his flu symptoms
4. The Post Office called and they have your packages!

Tell me this is all true. If not, we continue to pray anyway, but give me report on how things are going.
Much love,


Good Day Mama Hicks,

Seems as if most of your wish and prayers did come true today. Mako, much improvement and better smiles this morning, i do not have the time to drop him off at all so he went on his own. Roo kind of fighting the flu and looks ok, Me much better with the funny symptoms and last of all, Post responded with two packages containing medication from Brittany and Savannah in Tennessee, Tooth Paste from Mr. James Kaprf and lots of food and vitamins from you. Guess what, the DVD was in it too! I now can watch what all the Nazareth House Supporters have been looking at this past few weeks.

Thanks a lot and we all look forward too see this DVD tonight when everybody is around. I will send pictures of medication tomorrow provided internet server went well when i go down town. We continue to pray for more post to come in. Before i forget, one of the post men who has been helping me there fell ill a week ago and is currently admitted suffering from stroke. See, thats why i could not know that mails were there. He had no chance to call me. His name is Pa Mansaray. I will visit him soon and report back to you. He is kind of an aged man now but he cannot stop working when he has to take care of the family. Pray for him
Oh well, this is all for now.
Love you and thanks for the sausage, screw drivers, snack bars, vitamins and all.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday, April 21 updates

Email from James Mansaray to Vicki Hicks

Good Morning Mama Hicks,

I just drop Mako off at the Fourahbay College campus. He must finish registration or else miss a whole semester. He is struggling terribly with it but managed to make it there this morning. We must see a better doctor soon. He is always quiet and sleeping alot.

This morning he had some of the nice herb tea (sent from you guys) and a piece of bread before i dropped him off. Sanu kind enough to let me use his car again to escape the morning rush here. Mako for now taking the few medications we have on hand at St. Laurence House and the fever less but he still so very weak.

Having taken the allegery medication, am beginning to feel better. Roo down with flu so am sure its just the same weather condition. The rest are ok and doing fine.

We hope medications comes in today. Post Office has been really slow the past few months. We need these medecines as soon as possible. Our supply is very low.

Thanks for the encouraging phone calls and prayers from all of you guys out there. Again thanks for the daily prayer updates.

One more thing before i go. So much rodents in the house so we are doing mass clearing on every corner today. You hardly see them day time and it seems as if they are coming from outside the street gutters. Scary heh? But we are taking good care of our food so dont worry.

I will talk to Pa Foday later. I might go this weekend as planned depends on how Mako is improving.

Have a blessed day and greetings to all.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Designs on Nazareth House Cafe Press Store

We've added new designs to the mugs, shirts, caps and tote bags on our sight ( Cafe press gives a portion of each purchase to Nazareth House to benefit the work in Sierra Leone. There are new designs in all of our stores on this sight, the above design was added to the Sierra Leone section. Look it over...

Teacher Lucy surgery completed yesterday!

PHOTO: The four Teachers of Nazareth House Kabala School. (Lucy far right)

Wow! What a difference from difficulties getting surgery performed in Freetown. Pa Foday has reported that the appendicitis Teacher Lucy developed has resulted in surgical removal of the appendix and she is recuperating in the Kabala Hospital. The charge for the surgery is $150 which I am sure we can come up with. This is a much more reasonable fee than what poor Gladys had to endure.

Lucy has sacrificed and been there for Nazareth House providing A-1 education to the students in Kabala for many years now - without pay! Day after Day, month after month, year after year.

update early Sunday Morning

I just got off the phone with James and he said that all at St. Laurence House had a good night sleep. He said Mako slept well and was able to eat a full plate of rice last night.

James has been suffering some discomfort which we determined to be allergy attacks. (We hope this is what is going on). The whole country is in bloom right now - flowers all around - hanging off trees, stemming from the ground - everywhere.

Nazareth House and especially St. Laurence House needs some heavy duty prayers of protection right now.

No word on Teacher Lucy yet. We will hear from Pa Foday later today, I hope.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mako relapsing...

Unfortunately, I received word from James that Mako has relapsed and the illness that plagued him last week has reared its ugly head again... Here is the email that I received from James in Freetown:
Hey Mama Hicks,

Mako here with us at St. Laurence House. He since yesterday beginning to sense same ill signs as he was in Kabala. Not too good at all, i had to drive to pick him up for he just cant feel too good at all. He will spend the night with us and we see what to do tomorrow. I am so troubled again and need lots of prayers.
This is a bad new but have no option but to share it. Its really crazy here. I thought he was resting but with sudden illness again, am so discourage.
Thanks and greetings to all.


I have talked with James & Kadijah by phone and they are doing all they can to keep Mako stable throughout the weekend until they can get to a doctor on Monday Morning. James will talk with Pa Foday tomorrow and find out news on Lucy's condition at that time. The picture is of Mako as he helped purchase the zinc sheeting for Robarrie Village.

Teacher in Kabala very ill...

Please keep teacher Lucy in your prayers. She is suffering severe appendicitis and will undergo surgery soon. The doctor is in Kabala and available. Lucy is a faithful teacher to our students in Kabala, Sierra Leone where we are in the construction completion phase of a new school building for the village children. We are extremely indebted to Lucy, who - along with the other teachers of Nazareth House Kabala School - have been volunteering their time to provide first class education to these village children. We have only recently been able to give some financial assistance to the teachers, but because we most depend on donations and the economy is struggling - it has not been as consistent as we wish. As soon as more details are in, we will let you know how she is progressing. Thank you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nazareth House: Louisville wakes up to slight earthquake

At 5:37 AM this morning, as I was preparing to go down to the church for the early morning Jesus Prayer Office, the hermitage began to shake and continued for about 30 seconds. The police helicopter had been circling since 4 AM, looking for some fleeing criminal, so I thought, at first it was flying low or something. But the shaking continued. If you have ever been in the hermitage- you know of all the books stacked on all the walls. I watched the books vibrate and worried they would soon fall off the shelf. Nothing fell, just a bit of vibration. Immediately my cell phone rang, it was Fr. Seraphim calling from the church to warn me that if it happens again - go outside. Reports are that it was a 5.4 earthquake, minor but widespread, centered in Illinois.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mako back at University

Mako is recovering quite well, although he still suffers some residual pains of the last illness. James sent the above picture of Mako (Mako is the young man in center of photo) as they were assisting him to the car when he was very ill, you can see the pain and anguish in his eyes. Those guys in the photo were getting him to the car for the long drive to Freetown to seek medical aid. Mako's picture brought back memories of when I was in Kabala a few months ago and "mysteriously" came down with a similar extremely painful illness. Pa Foday and Mama Fatu helped me to the car and I endured the long ride to Freetown, complete with check point investigations and all. Both Mako and I were lucky to have survived. There were times for each of us when we were not too sure of the outcome. I included the picture of me being helped to the car because the similarities are so pronounced. In fact, when I became "ill" Mako rode in the back of the car with me until we reached the main road in Kabala. He tried so hard to help me while I rolled around in pain. That is why it is especially difficult for me to see him go through the same situation, I wish I could have been there for him as he was for me. (Click on each photo to enlarge)

Nazareth Houses Springing into Action!

As the weather warms up and Winter thaws, Houses of Nazareth are springing into action!...working together to benefit those without.

In LaGrange, Georgia the Nazareth House Chapter headed up by Fr. Robert Haux is selling hot sauce:

Chef Sammy Deusch, one of Father Bob Haux’s parishioners at St Andrew’s Anglican Parish in West Point, Georgia recently opened a restaurant – Sammy D’s New York Style Pizzeria. All of the tables at this restaurant have a bottle of Fr. Bob & Miss Su’s Rose Farm Hot Sauce on them for patrons to use. It has become popular. So, Fr. Haux is trying out a new idea. He will make some and sell it. It’ll be the same Fr. Bob & Miss Su’s Rose Farm Hot Sauce, but will have a label that reads as follows:

Father Bob & Miss Su’s
Rose Farm, Georgia Hot Sauce
100% Of This Purchase Goes to
Nazareth House Mission
Nazareth House is a Christian Mission
working among the poorest souls on earth.
God Bless you for helping us to help others in Jesus‘ Name.

All of the proceeds from the purchase of the Hot Sauce will go to Nazareth House!

…And if you are ever in LaGrange, Georgia – I recommend a stop at Sammy D’s New York Style Pizzeria, 1601 Hamilton Road, LaGrange, Georgia. Fr. Haux sent me a menu, and there’s a Pizza a la Regina with Ricotta, Mozzarella, Spinach, Fresh Tomatoes & Kalamata Olives waiting for me to order on my next visit!

Nazareth House: Hendersonville, TN

A much needed assortment of medication was recently shipped to St. Laurence House which was collected through our Hendersonville Nazareth.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday News...

Our director, James Mansaray in Freetown Sierra Leone has reported that Mako continues to improve, thanks to Cipro. Mako, a promising law student in Sierra Leone, suddenly fell ill with a mysterious illness. He lost use of his legs but is now beginning to recover. His body desperately needs vitamins which we hope to send his way this week.

James also reports that Pa Foday (supervisor for the school we are building in Kabala, Sierra Leone) called Friday to say that the last sheet of zinc was placed on the roof of the school (completing the roofing portion of the project) just as a heavy rainstorm beat down on it; initiating it for its purpose - shelter from the weather! The walls and floors are the next work. Painting, furnishing and supplies will follow. We are getting there, little by little we are closer to the Grand Opening Day for Nazareth House School, Kabala.

Those who received a DVD, you will notice the hard labor (with no conveniences or proper tools) that this accomplishment has resulted from. The men having to break up all the large rocks from the land - huge boulders - by hand with a sledge hammer. It is amazing the tireless effort these people have put into this work - by their blood, sweat and tears. For more video coverage of the building work of the school click on this link:

Nazareth House Apostolate sees the news reported in the following article as seriously harmful to those we serve, and is in process of preparing ways to offset such pending doom for those already struggling to find enough food to daily eat. In Kabala, Pa Foday has been growing rice for some years, enough to feed the village. We are in process of working with Pa Foday to examine the costs of expanding the rice farm to provide daily sustenance to more people and also examine the statistics of his Kabala rice being used as a possible source of income - selling the rice at fair & reasonable prices to those who are able to afford to buy it. Local rice vs Imported rice -there is no comparison, the local tastes much better. Water is the next serious necessity that as scarce as it is in some places currently soon it will be unobtainable for those in 3rd world countries. We hope to eventually build a well for the school and the village it serves as well as other places.

World Bank echoes food cost alarm
Robert Zoellick - 13/4/2008
Mr Zoellick called for a "new deal" to help ward off a food crisis

The rapid rise in food prices could push 100 million people in poor countries deeper into poverty, World Bank head, Robert Zoellick, has said.

His warning follows that from the leader of the International Monetary Fund, who said hundreds of thousands of people were at risk of starvation.

Mr Zoellick proposed an action plan to boost long-run agricultural production.

There have been food riots recently in a number of countries, including Haiti, the Philippines and Egypt.

"Based on a rough analysis, we estimate that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could potentially push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty," Mr Zoellick said.

His proposal for a "new deal" to tackle the international food crisis was endorsed by the World Bank's steering committee of finance and development ministers at a meeting in Washington.

The World Bank and its sister organisation, the IMF have held a weekend of meetings that addressed rising food and energy prices as well as the credit crisis upsetting global financial markets.

Spiralling inflation

Food prices have risen sharply in recent months, driven by increased demand, poor weather in some countries that has ruined crops and an increase in the use of land to grow crops for transport fuels.

Wheat: 130%
Soya: 87%
Rice: 74%
Corn: 31%
Time: Year to March 2008
Source: Bloomberg

Food costs: facts & figures

The price of staple crops such as wheat, rice and corn have all risen, leading to an increase in overall food prices of 83% in the last three years, the World Bank has said.

The sharp rises have led to protests and unrest in many countries, including Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

In Haiti, protests last week turned violent, leading to the deaths of five people and the fall of the government.

Restrictions on rice exports have been put in place in major producing countries such as India, China, Vietnam and Egypt.

Importers such as Bangladesh, the Philippines and Afghanistan have been hit hard.

"We have to put out money where our mouth is now so that we can put food into hungry mouths," Mr Zoellick said. "It's as stark as that."

He called for more aid to provide food to needy people in poor countries and help for small farmers. He said the World Bank was working to provide money for seeds for planting in the new season.

He also urged wealthy donor countries to quickly fill the World Food Programme's estimated $500m (£250m) funding shortfall.

Mr Zoellick's "New Deal for Global Food Policy" also seeks to boost agricultural policy in poor countries in the longer-term.

On Saturday, the head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, warned of mass starvation and other dire consequences if food prices continue to rise sharply.

"As we know, learning from the past, those kind of questions sometimes end in war," he said.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mako improving

James in Freetown has been busy with photography work, his cell phone is acting up so communication has been limited. He did manage to get a quick email to me indicating that Mako is improving and WALKING, so we are very relieved to hear this. He also informed us that Alammamy (the medical assistant)is not doing so well and they are transporting him into a military hospital. It does not look so good for him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, KADIJAH

Today is Kadijah's birthday. She is the wife of James, mother of Lucy & Roo, and guardian of Ann Marie. They all live at St. Laurence House and care for those around them. Like James, Kadijah is a gift from God to Nazareth House. Her strength and faithfulness has been a driving force in tending to the tremendous daily stress and strain of meeting the needs around them. This being done when many times James and Kadijah are struggling to make ends meet for their own household. Kadijah and James are an inseparable team and we appreciate and love them very very much.

In the above photo, Kadijah is wearing a tank top from our online store. Each purchase kicks back a bit of money to Nazareth House and wearing it gets the word out about us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

High Food Prices hit poorest countries hardest

I found this article tonight and thought it worth reading, especially since I now see that Sierra Leone's rice has risen 300%!!!! Thank Goodness Pa Foday is growing rice in Kabala. I think we need to promote efforts to expand his rice crops if we want to be able to afford to feed the people. I can't believe it

Here's the article:

From The Times
April 8, 2008
Food prices rise beyond means of poorest in Africa
By: Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg

It has been called a “perfect storm” - a combination of apparently unrelated events that have come together to trigger soaring food prices. Millions of people, particularly in developing countries, are affected by rises that have caused riots and many deaths.

Increased energy prices, competition between biofuels and food, rising demand from economic growth in emerging countries and the effects of sudden climatic shocks, such as drought and floods, have combined to cause skyrocketing prices in some of the world's poorest countries, such as Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.

Peter Smerdon, Africa spokesman for the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), told The Times: “The people hit hardest by this combination of factors are those living on the razor's edge of poverty.

There is not one single country in Africa not negatively affected. Indeed, most countries in the world are affected.”

The “perfect storm” has arrived as global food reserves are at their lowest for 30 years and commodity markets volatile and vulnerable to sudden spikes and speculation.

The situation is exacerbated by the falling value of the dollar, the currency in which all main commodities are traded.

In Sierra Leone, the price of rice has risen 300 per cent and in Senegal and much of the rest of West Africa by 50 per cent. Palm oil, sugar and flour, all imported, have also surged.

Two weeks ago Josette Sheran, the new US head of WFP, made an extraordinary emergency appeal for $500 million (£250 million) to 20 heads of government to offset the increased price of food commodities.

As ever, the world's poor - those who spend between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of their budget on food - are hit hardest. These groups include rural landless and small-scale farmers, but the biggest impact has been on the world's increasing urban poor.

Mr Smerdon added that, dangerously for governments, it is not a question of availability as one saw in previous drought-induced famines. “People can suddenly no longer afford the food they see on store shelves because prices are beyond their reach. It is about accessibility and it is hitting hard populations who are reliant on the markets.”

African governments are watching nervously. Food riots have been reported in recent weeks in several countries. At least 40 people were killed in protests in Cameroon in February. There have also been violent demonstrations in Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal and Burkina Faso, where a nationwide strike against any more food price increases started yesterday.

Experts say that the only way out for Africa is greater self-sufficiency and alternative sources of energy to cut demand for imported food and oil. They praised an initiative by Sierra Leone to start producing rice from next year and to ban imported rice.

A bit of medicine

Thanks to the Butler Family in Tennessee, Nazareth House now has one shipment of o-t-c medication to send to St. Laurence House in Freetown for distribution to those who are sick. The collection of medication is precisely the most needed and could not have come at a more needed time! Thank you, Tim, Janet, Brittany & Savannah!

The above pictures show the medications just received from the Butlers (2nd & 3rd photos) and also those received a few months ago from Ashley & Mary Beth Landess of South Carolina(Top Photo). This might help if you, too, would like to pick up a bit of medicine for Sierra Leone. The Butlers purchased all of these at Dollar General.

Ashley & Mary Beth picked up their medications from a Drug Store going out of business and were able to find much needed Lice Control shampoos and all. Our biggest hope is to find a source for Pin-worm medications as well as hook worm, etc. We see so many deaths due to worms, what a tragedy. We'd like to find the prescription strength VERMOX that we are no longer able to receive. It really works on several types of worms and we saw such a huge improvement during our distribution of the tablets. sigh....

Watch for close-outs, sales & generic brands. Big Lots, Dollar General all have perfectly effective medications at reasonable prices.

Awaiting Doctor's results

We've waited all weekend to get the results of the tests taken for Mako and to get the doctor's opinion. We are hoping we will hear the word today and press towards a recovery for Mako.

Roo continues to improve. Hopefully this means we are all on the mend at St. Laurence House.

To my surprise yesterday morning, James found an open internet cafe and was able to chat with me. Also, after Mass at Grace Church we gathered around to share a phone conversation with him. He is well and was excited to hear our voices. My 18 month grandson has been practicing saying "how d bodi, James?" all weekend, but became shy when he actually had the opportunity. "How d bodi" is Krio for "How are you?".

The newest campaign packet was mailed out via US Post last Thursday, April 3rd. If you are on the list you should have received yours. Please watch the DVD when you have time. We are anxious for your response.

Blessings, for a productive and good week.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mako ill

Its been a crazy week for our staff in Freetown. Pa Foday had arrived from Kabala to take care of some dental problems (He has lost several teeth recently). James was excited to have his dad in town and things were going well. Then a phone call about James' brother, Mako, in Kabala. He had suddenly taken ill and had lost the use of his legs. Pa Foday immediately returned to Kabala. I never found out if Pa Foday actually got his dental problem looked after but he found Mako worsening in Kabala. James immediately took off for Kabala to find a doctor for Mako in Freetown, since none was available in town. They are at the doctor today and I should have word later on about his condition.

Roo continues to make slight improvements with his fever/malaria troubles. In the midst of all this, the work on the school building continues, and people are cared for thanks to the support from all of you and the hard work of those on the ground in Sierra Leone. WoW! What a team we all make!!!!!

ITS COMING, Its coming! Your DVD should be in your hands this weekend!