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.

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

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Latest Update on New Born in Freetown

Email received this morning from James in Freetown:

Whats up Girl( Mama)?,

Sorry I was away & silent again yesterday. We were dealing with Binta and Baby. Lil' boy has fever, throwing up and not feeding well on breast so Kadijah and I had to escort a nurse to a doctor at Congo Cross twice yesterday. There was a first appointment in the morning, but the Dr. was not there. Can you imagine that? We had to make another appointment again in the afternoon, again the poor angel baby had to wait for another hour before he was seen. He is under medication. Two of the last cold,cough fever baby medication you sent, the doctor says will workout well for him and Binta now using it to help him out. That did saved some money.

This morning Kadijah made some nice soup for Binta, which I just took to the hospital for her. Both Binta and the baby are ok and still admitted there.

See this was why I was away and I was doing all this sneezing and coughing around with malaria as well. My voice took on a new level and I sound very odd. No time for any singing at all for it will break the walls.

Girls back in school and so is ROO in pre-school. We are all busy and trying to fit into the New Year. More later.

Hope you have a nice day. We keep you in touch.

After reading this email, I immediately called James, concerned that a baby so new would be given medications, especially cold medications that are banned for children under 4 in the States. James assured me that the infant was only taking the fever medication to relieve the high fever it had yesterday. It is not taking the o-t-c cold medications we had sent for older children. He said the child is better today and fever is down considerably.

The baby's father, Anthony, is out trying to secure enough money to pay the increasing hospital fees. Dad is so busy that he has not yet named the child (James joked that the child should be named after him since he is caring for all the baby's first days needs, ha ha.) James and Kadijah are doing all they can to care for Binta and the baby while dad is doing his chores raising money. In Sierra Leone, food, drink, etc is not provided by the hospital for the patient. You must bring your own. Kadijah is tending to Binta's needs, cooking for Binta and sending it with James along with bottled water daily.

The baby's symptoms, to me, do not seem to be flu or cold, yes.. maybe respiratory, but not flu. It is throwing up, coughing as if it has fluid in the lungs, possibly amniotic fluid. I had a problem like this with my second child, she had swallowed amniotic fluid during delivery. They sucked it out and she was fine. I worry that this may be causing infection in the little boy's lungs, hence the fever. This may also be reason for not feeding well. I have informed James of this possibility and he will share it with those treating the baby.

This is part of the frustration, dealing with understaffed, under equipped medical establishments. Many of the medical teams are doing all they can to care for the patients with no ways or means. They struggle moment by moment, case by case to give aid. And there have also been cases where there is a level of dishonesty - untrained medical personnel making random diagnosis in order to collect fees. I'm sure this is a problem in all cultures, all societies, however, when you are struggling day to day to survive - an inaccurate diagnosis can send your hopes and pocketbook spiraling further downhill.

Please keep Binta and the baby boy in your prayers as well as prayers and support for Nazareth House Apostolate so that they may continue and expand their work in Sierra Leone, especially providing much needed medical supplies to hospitals & clinics. At this point, our hands are limited to what we can do since the lease is running out on our rented St. Laurence House on March 1, 2009.

Our storage of supplies & food for the needy, the housing of our staff (James, Kadijah, Lucy, Ann Marie and little Roo), the hopes of providing a Lazarus House for those terminally ill, the hopes of providing a guest house for those to come assists us in giving aid, ...all these are in jeopardy unless we purchase our own property. A dwelling that is not restricted at the control of a landlord (St. Laurence House not allowed to put sign up since we don't own building, limited number of people allowed to visit house, these limitations- which are normal for rental- can and do inhibit our work at times). Proper rental facilities are hard to come by and very cost prohibitive. Ownership is a much more practical route. We have not given up, we are waging an all out campaign to raise the funds before March to accomplish this goal. We've come too far and the work TOO important, we must not back down. We need your prayers and support. Thank You.