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.

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.

Friday, October 23, 2009

DAY ONE, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Good Morning Freetown! I slept in this morning, woke up as Fr. Seraphim was saying his morning prayers but I went back to sleep and didn't get up til 7:30 AM this morning. The night sounds were at a minimum last night and there was a bit of cool breeze. It's the wonderful little unexpected gifts that are so much appreciated... oh yes, and I've yet to have my first mosquito bite...

We use sugar cubes here, in this kind of humidity this works best. My chore this morning was to shake off all the ants and place the cubes into a tupperware container.

We have plans to talk with the landlord today. This place is so perfect, tiny but situated well amongs those we serve. We love this neighborhood, in the heart of the poor and would like to stay here. So say a prayer for us, we are going to approach the landlord to see if he might consider selling it to us. It's one of those against all odds things, but hey, you have to ask, right?

"Buy Cold Sausage" "Buy Cold Sausage" I am listening to these words as I type this. A merchant is walking down the street, selling his product from off the top of his head. I love it.

The icecream man visited St. Laurence House last night. His traveling Ice Cream Shop consisted of a baby stroller equipped with a cooler.

Yesterday morning, Fr. Seraphim was sitting on the porch when a lady passed by in a taxi. She saw him and instructed the driver to "stop". She jumped out of the cab and ran to Fr. S. She explained that she saw him and at first wondered "Is he a Muslim or Christian?, then she saw the Cross". She asked questions of him about the spiritual life, eager to learn. As she left she thanked Fr. S for his time, promised to return and said she "felt good" as if she "had been talking with Christ, himself!"

I saw a REAL Sierra Leone "diamond" the first night we were here. As we drove to St. Laurence House from the airport, we passed by a woman huddled up against a building. She was crying and as we passed, a tear streaming down her face reflected in the car headlights and the tear glistened like a diamond. I can't get that scene out of my head, the shining tear, sparkling brighter than any diamond I have seen. I wished we could have stopped and helped her but we were in the midst of check point activities and had to stay in the car. Maybe I will find her. I hope so.

James, Kadijah, Lucy, Ann Marie and lil' Roo all look well but thin. James is especially thin as is Ann Marie. We took them to a little Chinese Restaurant last night along the beach. It's food is alright, nothing great, nothing terrible. It just is. The building is basically a garage. The large doors are opened and you sit as if you were in a garage with the doors opened. It has awnings, etc and the ocean is right across the street. We were entertained by the security guard who was chasing a rat with a rock. He'd throw the stone at the rat, he'd miss and the rat would scurry away. (Note the rat was not in the restaurant - which was very clean - but outside under the awnings).

In the mornings before school the children come to Fr. Seraphim for a blessing. Not only those of St. Laurence House but the neighboring children as well. This morning Sanu brought his daughter, Adama. I was happy to see that she was wearing some of the shoes that we sent from the Shoe Drive that Maria had orchestrated. A few of the shoes were sent by mistake to NHA and we used them as packing material for some of the medical supplies.

Maria informs me that the container has set sail and should arrive in Freetown on November 17th. We've been told that the drive gathered about 3000 shoes. I am aware that many of you supported this project and although I don't know exactly who all gave, NHA is very appreciative of your cooperation with One Love on this venture.

Today promises to be a Steamy one, hot and humid. We've already been to the post and collected 3 boxes, all filled with supplies for Kroo Bay. The postal workers were so glad to see us.

Keep checking the blog often. We will update as much as possible. Thanks for your continued prayers....

James javascript is down, so I cant upload photos to the blog, so you will have to wait until we return, but at least you will be able to keep up with our activities for now.