WHILE many of us here in America
are being blasted by cold air,
treacherous icy roads and
tons of snow - across the ocean in Sierra Leone; James Mansaray, our beloved director of Nazareth House Operations in Sierra Leone,
James investigating the wreckage one day after the accident. You can see his stiff walk & pain in eyes.
has made the long trip home from Kabala. It was a particularly agonizing journey back to Freetown as he is suffering back and neck injuries from the horrific automobile accident that
he encountered this weekend in Kabala.
While in Kabala, Mako, his younger brother (or as James says it "I called Mako" meaning James was first in his mother's womb and Mako came next, hence, James "called" Mako) - Mako stayed by James' side from the first news of the crash, following him all the way back to Freetown and now staying with him until he is satisfied that James is doing okay.
What a great brother, but then, we at Nazareth House have noticed these great qualities in Mako for a long time. He is a smart, caring, capable young man. He is much like his older brother, James.
For some crazy reason, I wasn't expecting photos of the accident.
Silly me, did I not consider who was involved in this wreck?Is not this the man who after escaping out of the wreckage, kissed his camera?
The initial photos were taken by Mako, while James was hospitalized in Kabala. This is at the scene of the accident.
You can see the road and get a good idea of the amount of times the car flipped before coming to a rest in this spot.
What is even more frightening to me is looking beyond where the car rested and seeing the drop off just yards away.
Had the car not stopped where it did, it would have continued to roll over the hill. A miracle, for sure!
The ordeal this weekend was horrific and the fact that he is alive and relatively able to function is nothing short of a miracle. But, those of us involved in Nazareth House are used to miracles - we find them quite loud in Sierra Leone.
There is something about when things are stripped away from you and the means to buy your way out of discomfort, troubles, etc are gone - that you suddenly are able to see miracles in action. Miracles you ignored before.
Miracles that with clever resources to get out of a bad situation, you can't recognize them.
James is in extreme pain but very aware and thankful that he is alive. In pain and mobility hampered, he gives thanks to God.
Make no mistake, it is a miracle that James is alive.
The car wreckage is, as you see, mangled and crushed. It is totally destroyed, the fact that people survived is truly amazing. When I see the Sunroof in which James was sitting directly under (he was a passenger, not the driver)
during the accident as the car flipped... sigh... Oh my gosh... what can I say but "Glory be to God".
A little over a year ago, for Kadija Jalloh, the situation did NOT turn out positively.
She was killed in the vehicle. This is the case more times than not in Sierra Leone. The reality is, James could have been, too. Roads are treacherous, drivers wild. After this weekends close call, Nazareth House is stepping up the campaign to purchase our own vehicle. This is in top priority, side by side with the purchase of a new compound. As we grow and bring more visitors over to help with the work, we simply must have a safe vehicle to transport them. An automobile that we are responsible to drive and maintain. For delivering supplies and medication, a vehicle of our own has always been a necessity and we hoped to eventually be able to purchase one. This weekend's events call for making that purchase with more urgency. We cannot rely on others, in transports & taxies to drive, especially since we have no control over their driving. We must protect our staff and the work of Nazareth House. We ask you to join in with us to raise the funds to provide both a vehicle and a place of operations.
Here it is almost mid-February. March is the end of our lease at St. Laurence House. We have been trying to raise money for this very moment for years, but the time slipped by. Now we are about to be "out in the streets". We must move fast to find a new place for our operations, staff and guest housing. As always, money is the issue and we don't have nearly enough. Please spread the word and invite others to join us, to become a part of something that changes not only lives in Sierra Leone but our own lives for the better.
As for today, our focus is on giving thanks for the sparing of James' life and the ability for us to continue the work we have started. Work that is very much necessary and growing to accommodate the needs of those we serve.
We thank all those who stepped up during this difficult time - in prayer, deed and love.
What a wonderful family this Nazareth House Apostolate is.