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.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Preparations for upcoming mission

It is organized chaos around me here as we prepare for the upcoming Mission Work in Sierra Leone. Medical supplies, documents for registering the school children, etc. etc. I understand from James, that it is the same atmosphere in Sierra Leone as the school is preparing for Opening Day.

We are very close to reaching the goal we set for Humanitarian Needs; today we lack $1025. This is a must. It would be shameful to travel that far and not be able to give special assistance tailored to the needs of the individuals we find as we travel through the country. Many are the very ones pictured above, like little Adama who has had to step in and take her mother's place in the household since her mother, Gladys, passed on several months ago...and there are hundreds more in the same situations.

Thank you for what has already been accomplished. The Nazareth House Family is truly awesome.

Please be a part of helping these beautiful people. Give Today.
NHA, 2216 Goldsmith Lane, Louisville, KY 40218 or donations through our website via paypal link found on each page.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NHA Uniforms, Desks & Benches...

Work at the NHA Kabala School continues in a flurry to make the OPENING DAY deadline. Local Seamstresses are actively sewing, adding the NHA emblems and ironing the uniforms. Area carpenters are creating Benches and Desks. It is all hard work and makes for a long evidenced by the totally worn out Pa Foday asleep on some freshly made benches in one of the classrooms. EVERYONE from USA to SIERRA LEONE is doing their part to bring this project to a reality.

If you haven't contributed to this project, wont' you consider doing so TODAY?

Tax Deductible donations should be sent to NHA, 2216 Goldsmith Lane, Louisville, KY 40218 or be made through the paypal link on our website. Thank you.

Photos: Top: Desks being made (notice someone's laundry drying on the grass & rocks)
Next: Pa Foday, drained of energy takes a small rest on benches in classroom, Next: Lucy shows off a completed uniform. Bottom: Carpenters prepare desks and benches.

Greetings and Thanks

Greetings from Kabala. Mako says "Hello" and remembers with a warm heart all the prayers from you guys while he was so ill. He is better now and has been volunteering his time working on the NHA Kabala School.

Baby Ruff also sends greetings from Kabala. We have watched her grow up through the years. (See earlier post this week). The photo above shows her in the NHA School Uniform waiting to start the first day of school in a few weeks. In the close up photo of her at the bottom, I look into her eyes and she didn't look well. I questioned James about this and he said "She is hungry." ...sigh....

Hungry Boy

While in Kabala this weekend, James ran into this young man at the school sight. He was hungry and James happened to have brought a few cans of Pediasure (The Pediasure was sent to St. Laurence House from the Nazareth House Breeding, Kentucky Chapter) along. James finds it helpful for him during his recent ulcer difficulties. This starving little boy guzzled the Pediasure down in one gulp. He didn't stop to take a breath, just drank and drank. From the looks of his belly, he will be one of my candidates for the worm medication.

Baby Ruff

Since my last post, I have received several requests to re-post the photo of Baby Ruff. Baby Ruff is so named because of the hard life she has endured. The above adorable photo endeared her to us as she poses in her tattered dress, hat & sun glasses. It is amazing to see her now in a NHA School uniform...scroll down to previous post..

Wednesday, August 27, 2008





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Today, I was very excited to hear that James had returned from Kabala. I am always delighted to hear he has safely returned. I received a text from him earlier today and knew he was on his way. He's been silent this trip. I had suspicions that he might be wanting to surprise me, I've been waiting, patiently for his words. James doesn't say a lot in words...he say TONS with pictures.

As he uploaded photos to me and I began to receive them in my email inbox, I began to cry. You work hard to get something accomplished...and then something jolts you and you realize...IT IS REAL! It's happening! LOOK AT OUR SCHOOL! I say OUR SCHOOL and I mean OUR! We've all worked very hard in whatever way we have to offer to make this work. We may be separated by an ocean, but Nazareth House Team (USA & SIERRA LEONE NAZARETH) works great together. Each complimenting the others gifts and talents to bring it into reality. WOW!

The colors of the school may seem unusual to us in America, but each color was picked for a special reason.

Yellow- promotes creativity
Blue- represents calmness
Green- represents growth

Green & Blue are also the National Colors of the Sierra Leone Flag.

I can't believe the uniforms. I was blown away when I saw these pictures. Something once sketched out on paper and doctored with Paint Software, now is a uniform on a student. Planned and implemented miles and miles apart...WOW.

The little girl in uniform in the photo is Baby Ruff...many of you remember her dressed in the Pink dress, hat and sunglasses several years ago.

The other picture is Lucy, James daughter, on the school porch. She joined her father on the last trip. Ann Marie stayed home to help Kadijah with chores.

The bottom photo is James checking out the work on the school. I noticed he is still sporting his Georgia cap!


We are still working towards the funds for "on the ground needs" while we are on the ground in Salone. Please consider giving TODAY.

Mail donations to NHA; 2216 Goldsmith Lane, Louisville, KY 40218 or donate from our website through the paypal link. Again, thank you for all you are doing and have done...this is tremendous! God bless you all!

Providing Education...


All week long, Nazareth House has been checking off goals that we have completed thanks to compassionate individuals who dug deep to make it possible.

Today, we received the final funds needed to pay off Lucy and Ann Marie's tuition for this Semester of the new School Year. Lucy wants to be an accountant and Ann Marie, an attorney. Both girls have received top honors from their schooling, thus far. Both young ladies, also, scoring in the highest percentage in the nation on final testing. They are amazing individuals (like their parents, James & Kadijah). Thank you for helping to continue their valuable education. It is exciting to know that we are providing quality education to so many in Freetown and beyond. The NHA Kabala School construction is now complete with only a few minor details that are now being given attention.

We are also inching towards completing the uniform project for the students of Nazareth House Kabala School. Bit by bit. There still remains a few children without uniforms. $25 buys two uniforms for a student (for most, this is their only proper wardrobe). Send to NHA; 2216 Goldsmith Lane, Louisville, KY 40218 or for electronic donation use the paypal link on our website.

We were pleasantly surprised to receive another batch of Medication to treat internal parasites. We will, literally, save many, many lives with this medication.

We have yet to reach the "on the ground needs" money to supply the people we meet while traveling through the country of Sierra Leone. The funding is happening and we are making a strong headway in the right direction. There is still time to help out... GIVE TODAY.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Rec'd Shipment Photos

Above are a few more photos from the previous post. Some of you will notice the items that you sent into Nazareth House in Louisville. They have arrived in this shipment. More boxes are on the way and should be arriving any day now. NHA is thankful for all the donations and very thankful to the Freetown Postal Workers for helping us to receive the much needed supplies for the Kabala Hospital and area needs. Thank you, thank you.


Once again the postal workers have come through for NHA and we have received a large shipment of postal packages. Many of these items were shipped months ago, but they did arrive and they came intact. This is fantastic.

Roo goes with James to help at the POST OFFICE in collecting shipments. (love is wide-eyed look as he exams the boxes)
Boxes are carried to St. Laurence House
Lucy sorts and figures out the distribution. (I am happy to see that Lucy (our soon to be accountant - when schooling is complete -) is actively accounting for each piece that has arrived and categorizing and documenting. Wonderful!

Not popping, still sizzling

Thanks to your generous donations, we are coming closer to our goal for the mission needs in Sierra Leone. We are continuing to "sizzle" but still have not popped the goal. NHA continues to be in need of the "on the ground" money to make repairs, feed the hungry, give medical attention to those suffering. Our deadline is fast approaching. Let's work together to make complete this goal in a "jiffy".

Thanks for your continued prayers and support. Invite your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers to be a part of something bigger. Please GIVE TODAY

Nazareth House Apostolate
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

St. Laurence House receives new Refrigerator!

Thanks to your generosity, Nazareth House Apostolate Operations Center, affectionately known as St. Laurence House has received a new refrigerator to store medicines that must be kept cold (infant amoxicillin, etc).

The above photos show the front and back of this cooler.

In looking at the backside of the frig, I began to grin as I noticed it has been labeled. Labeling articles of clothing, items that we own - are standard process these days, especially when packing kids off to camp or school, lunch boxes, backpacks, etc. I can't remember ever labeling a refrigerator... its not an item that someone could easily become confused over its ownership. At least, I don't think so...but then I remember one Fall in Freetown when our neighbor came to us and informed us that "Thieves are presently at my house". We looked out the window only to see this man's mattresses being hurriedly carried down the street. So maybe someone could evoke ownership confusion over an item as large as a refrigerator. My first time in Sierra Leone, I did see a man carrying a refrigerator (only a bit smaller than the one in the above photo) on his head down a busy Freetown street. He had a small towel curled up on his head to help ease the weight.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Post Office on Strike.

In preparation for our next mission to Sierra Leone we have begun shipping much needed supplies that are too heavy to pack. UPS goes into Sierra Leone, but only as far as the Lungi Airport which then requires either a helicopter flight, ferry or hovercraft to get to where you must pick up your package. Therefore, it is difficult and cost prohibitive to use UPS. DHL is in Sierra Leone and delivers at doorstep...HOWEVER, they charge for the service...and they charge BIG TIME. Years ago, before we understood how to work the high costs of providing things to those in need. We sent a few cans of tuna, a pair of jeans and a jar of peanut butter to our staff in Sierra Leone via DHL. Our staff was hungry and there was no available protein (the war was not officially ended). We opened a credit account with DHL, shipped this tiny little box & next thing we knew we were receiving a bill of over $400 for the shipping and duty. It didn't matter that it was a humanitarian aid gift. After much arguing on the phone, DHL did drop the charges but we never used them again.

Instead, we use the USPS flat rate Priority boxes. We can cram up to 20 pounds into a box and it is never cost over $50. And we mostly use the $39 boxes which also allow 20 pounds.

Recently, the Sierra Leone Post Office has been on strike due to non-payment of their wages. These workers go to work day after day and receive no pay! The only money they receive is the few tips they get from those collecting their mail.

Today, James went to collect a few boxes that have been sitting at the Salone Post during the strike. They contain medical needs for the sick. Hopefully, paid postal workers will be common practice, eventually, in Sierra Leone. I know they work hard to get the post to the people and the workers need to be paid. Nazareth House certainly appreciates that they diligently see that our supplies are received. Thank you Freetown Postal Workers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Medications supply doing well...

Nazareth House Apostolate received a shipment of o-t-c medicines for our Sierra Leone Mission via US Post on Monday from St. Charles Anglican Church, Huntsville, Alabama. Last week we received a bag full of o-t-c ulcer medications for James, as well as tums and vitamins from Donna A. in Louisville. Liz H. & Tom O. both of Louisville brought a good variety focusing on Diarrhea medication. With what we have already shipped and what we have now packed to take, we are not doing too bad at all on our medication collection. Thanks for what has been collected and also for the donations which enable us to purchase specifically requested over the counter medicine.

Monday, August 18, 2008

starting to sizzle....

The fires are heating up, the charcoal becoming hot... we are rising to the challenge of making our goal before our next mission to Sierra Leone. We have begun to sizzle but we've not yet begun to POP. We anxiously wait.

You are doing an amazing work...keep spreading the word, don't let up...what we are doing together as Nazareth House is so important. If we continue working to reach our fund raising goals...we'll meet the needs in a jiffy.

Several new contributors have recently joined us in becoming a part of something bigger, something giving, something loving: Nazareth House Apostolate. We are making a huge difference. If you haven't become a part of Nazareth House, please consider doing so today. We are in critical need to raise enough funds to provide on the ground needs for those suffering in Sierra Leone. GIVE TODAY.

make checks payable and sent to:
Nazareth House Apostolate (SL mission)
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

or visit the website for electronic ways to make payment

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Woodchopper still in Kabala Forest

Good Day!

Many of you have watched our Woodchopper Youtube video about Abu living in the forest of Kabala, chopping and selling wood cheap to those who need it for fire to cook. The link to this video is: or click on the SaloneNHA videos at the right and find the video labeled "woodchopper".

James bumped into the Woodchopper again on his last visit to Kabala a week ago.

Anyway, Abu is doing well, except, unfortunately someone has stolen his bag with all of his belongings in it. We hope to meet up with him when we are next in Kabala.


Email from James received this morning (15 August)


Here are the best eight in Lucy and Ann Marie's class.
This pic was taken at St. Laurence house a day after the
exams. They made some snacks to have a little girl's "End
of Exams" party.

Bottom Photo: From left to right, Kinia, Matilda ( She took first scoring 360) Saio, Ann, kaday, lucy, saffie and josina.

Middle Photo: Matilda (highest score of school)

Top Photo: Highest Scoring Students of school with proud teacher! Lucy, Teacher, Ann Marie and Matilda.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lucy & Ann Marie Results from Elementary School

The final results from Lucy & Ann Marie's Elementary School are in and the girls proudly display them with their father, James and with their teacher in the above pictures. The girls now go onto High School. The girls have worked very hard and are very bright. We are all so very proud of them!

I received this email from James just a few minutes ago. It explains the girls results:


I just returned from Lucy and Ann Marie's school to pick up their results. They did extremely well with Lucy scoring an aggregate of 340 and Ann Marie 339. Any Marie took second in Mathematics in the entire school with a score of 88% and then Lucy took first in English Language with a score of 97%. The kid with the best result scored and Aggregate of 360. The best result in the whole country is 370. So you see how well the girls worked.

Here are few pictures of them with. We are all so very very happy today. I make the next school move next week. Thanks to all those who have helped contribute to educate these beautiful girls. Love from all of us at St. Laurence house.


I hope we can successfully pay for their next semester's tuition soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Report from James in Freetown

My dear friends,

It is with great joy and happiness for me to again be near this computer writing yet another report on the situation on the ground in Freetown.

Yes, I was seriously ill the last few weeks and I am aware of how concerned all of you were when this was announced. The bad news was, I had this intense hurting pain in my stomach that sent me to tears all night long and the good news now is, I am alive again and kicking. I was a bit scared with the doctor's report but it seems as if big change is happening down there with your prayers.

I had to skip the doctor's second appointment for an urgent call to Kabala. I was on the road again last Sunday afternoon just after Mass; bundled with several buckets of paints and other building materials. Thanks to Pagay a young business man in Kabala who gave me a nice ride to Kabala in his truck but i had to be his driver as he ate and slept comfortably all the way. As usual, several stops and breakdowns on the way but all that could not stop us from reaching our destination late that evening.

With just a little bit of makeup work left, i am pleased to let you all know that the school is all done, ready and set for opening come September 2008. It took us six good days to paint both the interior and ceiling of this huge school. Despite my poor health, I had to spend more time with the workers this time helping and directing how it should be done. I promise to send you all the final and last picture of this your sponsored worked come next week. Thank you all very very much for a job well done.

Now, we have this desperate call for the presence of Fr. Seraphim and Mama Vicki to present this gift from YOU to the Kabala community. I had answered so many questions on their behalf and it is time for me to invite them to come and do the rest on this school open day. Everybody is asking and needing their presence here. This I assured the people even before I learnt of your success in securing their air tickets. Pa Foday and I cant stand alone with a ceremony like this and it is with this that we ask you all to help do whatever you can to support the transport Fr. And Mama Vicki to us before the said date.

Mama Vicki & I will be involved with the school opening, distribution of medications to the Kabala Government hospital, giving of rice and help to those desperately in need around us etc. Mama has the much needed internal parasite treatment that we must give to the sick kids immediately. Such trips happen just once every year so please help us make it happen successfully.

To crown it all, we at St. Laurence House need a day or two with mama Vicki who had been very very busy begging; trying to makes sure to meet all the needs here. I wish some day you all could come and be part of this.

With your continuous support, we have come this far and would like to thank you all for making Nazareth House Apostolate school successful in Sierra Leone. I ask you again, to please give today to make a better tomorrow possible for these children.

God bless you all.


Note: Please see our website ( page titled "NHA Education" and click on the link at the top of that page for the Photo Web Album to see the latest pictures of the school taken this past week. Use the slide show option.

Monday, August 11, 2008

James & Pa Foday painting

James and Pa Foday in front of the NHA Kabala School. Painting of the school was the priority all week and should be completed this week.

James has now arrived back in Freetown.

...And the paint goes on....

Last week, much to my concern, James, weakened from the ulcers, purchased lots of paint for the school building and took off for Kabala. The journey to Kabala from Freetown is a long one. Traveling with many buckets of paint and other supplies makes the trip even more troublesome. It seems to be the custom to have your vehicle break-down along the way and this particular trip was no exception.

James has now returned safely to Freetown and photos on the latest work at the school will be uploaded to the blog periodically.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Treasures of the Church

August 10 is the Feast Day of St. Laurence, the patron Saint of our Nazareth House
in Freetown, Sierra Leone is named.

The account of St. Laurence (sometimes spelled Lawrence) follows. You will understand why St. Laurence House was named for this martyr...Sierra Leone is full of the
"treasures of the church", the poor.

James and Kadijah named their little son in honor of this saint. Although we all lovingly know him as "Roo", his full name is Laurence Thomas Mansaray.

Saint Laurence was one of seven deacons who were in charge of giving
help to the poor and the needy. When a persecution broke out, Pope St.
Sixtus was condemned to death. As he was led to execution, Laurence
followed him weeping, "Father, where are you going without your
deacon?" he said. "I am not leaving you, my son," answered the Pope.
"in three days you will follow me." Full of joy, Laurence gave to the
poor the rest of the money he had on hand and even sold expensive
vessels to have more to give away.

The Prefect of Rome, a greedy pagan, thought the Church had a great
fortune hidden away. So he ordered Laurence to bring the Church's
treasure to him. The Saint said he would, in three days. Then he went
through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people
supported by the Church. When he showed them to the Prefect, he said:
"This is the Church's treasure!"

In great anger, the Prefect condemned Laurence to a slow, cruel death.
The Saint was tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that
roasted his flesh little by little, but Laurence was burning with so
much love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. In fact, God
gave him so much strength and joy that he even joked. "Turn me over,"
he said to the judge. "I'm done on this side!" And just before he
died, he said, "It's cooked enough now." Then he prayed that the city
of Rome might be converted to Jesus.

May you have a blessed St. Laurence Day and remember the poor and the hungry.

In one of the photos above a child is holding a Holy Card of St. Laurence...