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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Email from James today...

Today I had the pleasure of speaking to James in Freetown via his cell phone and also finding the email below from him in my inbox. It is quite a shock (and disappointing) to open my inbox each morning and not have a greeting from James. I was happy to find the following today. Thanks to God through your prayers, James is improving bit by bit... He said he is resting and watching DVD's of OLD TIME movies sent to him by Father Haux. James also said that the emblem patches for the uniforms arrived today! See in picture above. There were 7 boxes sent about 7-8 days ago and all now have arrived safely. Many have important medical supplies in them. Here's today's words from James:

Hey Mama,

The pictures of me on this blog are great. Thank you for it especially the one of me and you at school site. I looked like a reggae music star. See the way I stand. I wonder where I took that step from. ha ha, I love it.

You continue to make my day better everyday. I love you so much for you coaxing spirit. I will be up soon, in fact I am up already and cant wait to have you here.

So much stuffs came in the mail today (4 postal boxes) that I cant remember all. I will see what pictures and uploading will do tomorrow (if energy stays with me to come to the internet cafe). My thanks to Pa James Krapf for the leather wallet. We wish him a speedy recovery from all the work on his mouth. Kadijah likes the blue bag too.

I am so grateful to you all for the love and concern you have shown to me during this illness, now I know I have a whole lot around me.
Oh well more later.

Love you lots and greetings to all.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Dear friends,
Thank you so much for all the prayers. Contact has been made with James. He is alive (praise God), although still in severe pain. He waited all day yesterday to see doctor, returning today he actually saw the doctor. Diagnosis: ulcers. Doc prescribed medication that James is on his way to pick up from pharmacy now. He will call me and tell what the medication is once he purchases it -BEFORE he takes it. St. Laurence House has been depleted of its supply, including ulcer medication, awaiting our return visit to re-supply it. James gave out all that he had to the people in need and didn't save out any for himself. I have scolded him about doing this in the past... (and he'll hear more from me on that point if he does it again...ha ha). He is invaluable to Nazareth House's work in Sierra Leone.

There was a SIM-card malfunction that created the lack of contact. James had to (while sick) fight with the phone company to replace a messed up SIM card for his phone so that he could make and receive calls. Kadijah's phone is broken and non-functioning. With new SIM card in phone, we are back in communication.

Your prayers mean so very much and they are what breathes existence into Nazareth House. Please continue. James is not "out of the woods". Having a diagnosis doesn't necessarily mean opportunity for recovery in Sierra Leone.

Because of the pain, James has been taking a lot of Bismuth, which can cause the stool to become black...this may be the explanation rather than internal bleeding. At this point, the pain has not subsided. The doctor is the same doctor that treated Pa Foday for ulcers; so I am hoping that (if this is indeed) what James' is suffering will be treated properly.

Again, thanks for wading through all this with us. God bless you.

Silence from Freetown continues

Please keep up the prayers... No word again this morning on James' condition. As soon as we know we will let everyone else know. Thanks for your care, love and concern.

Monday, July 28, 2008

James very ill...

Greetings this Monday Morning,
Your prayers are asked for James as he is very ill in Freetown. I had some communication with him last night - he is suffering some severe stomach pains and is not doing well at all. He will try to find a reputable doctor and facility today. As soon as I know something, I will update you. In the meantime, thank you for your prayers.

James has been doing over the call of duty recently....

from helping those in need to supervising and working construction on the school and preparing the uniforms. All the while continuing his camera work for the support of his family and being a great, caring husband and father. In addition to the illness, I am sure he is exhausted. Please pray for this remarkable young man. Thank you.

The photos above are of James purchasing rice to distribute to families in need, James w/ empty coke bottles for return on his head, James examining movie set "snow" made with ice water to feel more real and James on beach of Freetown - camera and tiny infant Roo in tow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Finished Product!!!!!!

LOOK at the finished Product... WoW!...As soon as more money for uniforms comes in, $25 buys 2 uniforms per student, Foday, James and the St. Laurence House Dye Crew can start the factory up again and produce more material. Send your donations to NHA (Nazareth House Apostolate) 2216 Goldsmith Lane, Louisville, KY 40218 Indicate "Uniforms" on your check. Or you can make a donation through PayPal on the website. Thank You.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Everyone joins in to make the uniform material for the NHA Kabala Students

Lucy spreads the newly tye-dyed material out to dry, Roo cheers everyone on, while the dog Simba shows off his newly dyed feet!....and so does Kadijah - poor lady - her entire body seems to be covered in blue!

This is the way it works at St. Laurence House, everyone pitches in to do their part. While everyone was dealing with the uniforms - Ann Marie was doing the regular household chores, including feeding the hungry workers lunch. A tremendous thank you to James, Kadijah, Lucy, Ann Marie, Roo and Simba and especially Foday for all the help in making the school a reality.

If we can only collect the money for the remaining students to have uniforms in the next few days (We need them for about 95 more students) we will have accomplished a miracle. Your Nazareth House is doing a lot these days - we have the worm medications in our possession ready to be delivered on our next mission trip, the school building is almost complete, the uniforms are being prepared...a lot is going on. Our current tasks are to raise funds for the rest of the uniforms and to get the air fare & needs money to enable us to deliver the medical supplies to Sierra Leone. Keep spreading the word - involve everyone you can.

The Dye Job Continues...

Once the dye has been poured onto the fabric, it then must be washed. Kadijah and James are doing this.... and hanging it on the compound walls of St. Laurence House.

More Photos of President Koroma visit to Kabala

While the uniforms are being created and St. Laurence House is being covered in blue and green (including Simba's (the dog)feet, I thought I'd add a few more of the pictures of the Presidential visit in Kabala last weekend.

The pictures are of the village Paramount Chiefs as they are waiting to meet with the President and shake his hand.

Uniform making in progress!!!!!!!!

All photos in this blog are the exclusive copyrighted property of Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and can not be duplicated or used without permission.

Report by James Mansaray, Freetown:

(Pictures of this post are of the beginning of the tasks of tye dying the uniforms)

As the preparation continues for the soon to be opened Nazareth House Apostolate school in Kabala, generous friends abroad have been contributing immensely to meet the 2 sets of uniforms needed for each student for the first academic year. A choice of green, white and blue representing the Sierra Leone National Flag was chosen to be the wearing attire for our precious children. To make it much easier and less expensive, we here at St. Laurence House, with the aid of Foday, a Tye Dye Specialist, we did it in our own way with the factory right at St. Laurence house and it we must say, they turned out quite well.

AS Foday was tearing off the huge pieces to yards, Kadijah was busy boiling up some hot water to mix the starch and ink. Whilst Foday was wrapping of the materials to meet the green, white and blue colour, I was busy washing the first set. With Lucy trying to dry the already processed material in the sun, Ann Marie was busy fixing lunch for us all. Simba and ROO kept messing around making it easy and fun for us all. It was a big mess at St. Laurence house for the last two days but it work out well and everybody seems to like it. Thanks to Guma Water Company for giving us enough water to do all this exercise. See pictures............

We are still in need of more donations to provide for all of our students. Thanks to you all who had contributed so far and we hope others will want to collect the rest very soon. We don't any child to be left without a uniform.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

NHA Kabala School Uniforms

James in Freetown reports to me early this morning that he has purchased the material for some of the uniforms (as we continue to collect for the remainder - $25 buys 2 uniforms per child). He and his family are dying the material the mingled colors of the Sierra Leone Flag (blue, green & white) today. He promises pictures of this activity. We are making progress, please continue to spread the love, tell your friends, co-workers, family...invite them to be a part of this great work.

Monday, July 21, 2008

President Koroma in Kabala, Sierra Leone

Photos property of Nazareth House Media, JBM, 2008


As the school construction draws near to conclusion, I have been spending more time in Kabala - not only to help them finish the work but also getting the students ready, finding the right seamstress who will do the uniforms properly, and again meeting our new President in Kabala for the second time. Unfortunately, one of our contractors, Mr. Foray Kamara, happened to lose his two year old child to illness in a nearby village so I had to spend more days waiting and have the other workers continue from where he stopped.

With the windows and doors all ready, Joseph, our long gone Carpenter (he made our altar at St. Laurence House), happened to visit Kabala so he, too, now is playing his own part - doing the whole ceiling of the school as part of his own contribution - letting the other guys concentrating on final touching and maintenance on this huge structure. I promise it will be all done soon. We are all ready for it.

Since Fr. Seraphim (Hicks) and I met the then Opposition Leader and now Head of State, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, a little over a year ago at the Parliament Building, I had been longing to meet him again. Fortunately for me this time, I had another chance and it happened in Kabala where Nazareth House Apostolate is building a school. He was opening a new community bank and as usual calling on all to work together to help build this nation. Speaking in our local dialect (Krio) at the Kabala Community Centre, the new President seems to be doing what Father Seraphim told him some time ago - bringing himself to the poorest of the poor. Kabala needs help like what we all have been doing and this was part of the President speech. Oh how I wish Father Seraphim was in Kabala at this particular time, but Fr. Seraphim & I look forward to greet him again in the next visit.

Thanks to you all for your relentless support and prayers while I was away. And to you, Mama Vicki, I must commend you for all the phone calls checking on my welfare. I must say this time I returned with less trouble only a bad flu, continuous fever and a few aches in my stomach. Not too sure what it is, I guess from a cup of water that I drank. Pa Foday recovering from his illness and with my presence there has more time (for him) in his farm planting rice.

Back home at St. Laurence house all seems well. ROO looks much healthy and happier than ever. This is how it should go - not only for ROO -- but for all poor kids here in Salone.

With part of uniform money in, I now start working on that project, too before the week ends. I get back to you all soon.

Once more - thanks to you all.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

NHA Kabala School Building Contractor loses child to malaria

Dear Friends,
I bring sad news from Kabala. I received an update today that the building Contractor of our school, Foray returned to his family this weekend to find out that his 2 year old child has died. Foray Kamara lives in a village many miles away from the NHA School building site in Kabala. He stays at the site during the week, working tirelessly constructing the school and returns home on weekends to his family. This weekend he was met with the sad, sad news. While he is tending to his child's funeral in his hometown village, a friend of ours, Joseph, the carpenter who made our altar at St. Laurence House, is offering his services free to complete the building. Please pray for Mr. Foray and his family, as well as all of those involved in working on the School.

It is my understanding from the phone call I received (reception is difficult) that the school windows and doors are completed (update July 20th: Windows done, doors almost). The ceiling is being worked on presently. I will confirm that when I receive my next report.

Please continue to ask everyone you come in contact for donations for the uniforms - we want to make sure that no child goes without a uniform. All they can say is no and you might be surprised at who says yes! It is a worthy that the results will be evident by photos of the child who received a gift from a caring donor. $25 buys two uniforms per child.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sorry for the silence....

I apologize for the delay in updates but NHA has been very busy.

I thank you for your donations and please keep spreading the word. We must involve everyone we can in making a difference in the lives of those who have NOTHING. Those we serve in Sierra Leone are in a critical stage of need and we must do all that we can to come to their assistance. There are many souls suffering of hunger, illness and other poverty related situations -- Nazareth House is their only source of aid. I am happy to report that we have successfully obtained medications to treat internal parasites, which is a great accomplishment.

The school building in Kabala has only a few incidental construction ends to wrap up before it is totally completed. This is going on as you read this. The children are currently being measured for uniforms and we have raised enough for 85 students to be clothed so far. Less than Two hundred more to go...sigh...don't despair, we can do it! Our children at the school have so very little clothing, this is such a great gift for these children to receive as they start the new school year in a brand new building- a gift from the Nazareth House Family - all of us working together to provide. $25 provides two uniforms per child. This alleviates the child from wearing the same uniform all week long in scorching heat or in the down-pouring, mud-soaked rainy season. Each donor will receive a picture of the child in which they provided a set of uniforms. A special thank you to Addresser Based Systems in Cincinnati who donated 20 uniforms. Have you asked the Company you work for or your church, or social organization if they'd like to donate a few uniforms????

NHA welcomes the latest addition to the Nazareth House family, The Church of The Holy Comforter, Montevallo, Alabama.

Now that we have a good bit of the supplies on hand; we must personally deliver them to St. Laurence House in Freetown. Many items are being shipped, but the desperately required items must be walked in and it is now time for us to go. We are presently collecting for travel funds and on the ground "cash". On the ground cash enables us to fill a need as we happen upon it, i.e. if a family has a leaking roof, we fix it. It allows us to provide staple household goods, food and whatever the need for those in our path as we search out those living in the cracks...hidden from most humanitarian aid supply. I have found some cheaper airfares that hopefully (if we collect fast enough) we can take advantage and save a lot. Airfare has been running about $5,000 per person (fuel costs have risen, of course) but I have found much better deals if we act fast. In fact, if I had $3,500 today, I could book both of our flights and that would cover it!!!! A $6,500 difference in travel costs!!!!

I know that I am always asking for money and I apologize for that...but I must continue. Lives are at stake. For every pair of begging eyes that flash over and over in my heart, my soul and my dreams at night - I will continue. If I had a million bucks I'd do it all myself, but I don't, you don't and therefore we must all pull it together little by little - each giving as they can. The people we serve have so little and we have so much in comparison. Raising funds is the fuel of humanitarian aid. It is what makes possible the gift - a gift of hope. We can make a difference, we can change lives -together! Give today!

Nazareth House Apostolate
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

Can you imagine fixing dinner in the conditions as the lady in the photo above is doing??

Friday, July 4, 2008

Roo investigates

Where else but in Sierra Leone does a child receive so much joy out of getting a bottle of pediatric diarrhea medication? Roo certainly is enjoying himself!

Kabala Hospital Medicine & Supplies arrive

3 out of 4 boxes in last shipment have arrived at St. Laurence House in Freetown, Sierra Leone. In these photos above, James shows the contents which also included his Official Press Photographer vest. There are several toothpastes (thank you Jim & Glenda) to distribute as well as hospital supplies (from our doc & Eric & Aleica) that will go to Kabala as soon as possible. Our staff works hard to help those in need, everyday so I threw in some jiffy pop for the staff at St. Laurence House to enjoy and Fr. Haux sent some DVD movies. Maybe tonight they will have Popcorn and a movie!

Official Media Vest Arrives

The Official Nazareth House media vest for James to wear at events in which he will cover and report for Nazareth House Media has arrived and fits him nicely.