Today marks a week since we have returned from Sierra Leone.
The re-entry into fast-paced America from the slow downed pace of Africa
can dull your thoughts and experiences; but its only a temporary situation.
The minute you arrive home, so much to do, people to see, long work days, schedules, appointments - you seem to shove your time in Sierra Leone in the background and jump back into the old routine.
But our experiences in Sierra Leone aren't able to stay hidden for long, constantly bubbling forth, Salone becomes a part of you.
I've caught up enough to sit and ponder the whole adventure, process it all, and share it with you. Keep watching this blog, There is much to say.
There is no one-lined statement or phrase to sum up this recently completed Lenten Mission Trip. It is richly facetted with many thoughts and memories.
Did we do what we set out to do? Most definitely!
Did we serve the poor as we encountered them and their needs? Yes! to the best of our ability.
We fed the hungry, aided the sick,
visited the lonely - from every point of view, we can say this trip was a great success.
Even so, I always coming away from Salone feeling as though there was much left undone. Nothing new, its that same ole' feeling every time I leave Sierra Leone and return to the land of the plenty. Though NHA has made a tremendous difference in the lives of many, there are so many more that we haven't reached yet. People who are living their lives in deep poverty, going about it the best they can, looking for ways to make improvements, hoping for something to make a change in it all. This is what haunts me, when I come back to the States, to all the muchness all around me and I think of those with so little, struggle to have the simplest of existence. In the circle of people we encountered, for every person we treated for worms in Sierra Leone,
there are 10-12 people going without treatment (children and adults).
We are one of the few that are in Sierra Leone fighting internal parasites, effectively.
I guess, I am lamenting because I know how much more we could do given additional support.
Even the poorest of the poor in America can be treated for an illness by a qualified doctor without money .... but in Sierra Leone - its a gamble. This bothers me. Maybe, if a Sierra Leonean can scrape up some money, they might get treatment, but chances are its a wild guess and not a real diagnosis.
This Billboard Sign on the side of a Freetown road says it all ....
As I type this, James' brother, Joseph is recovering at St. Laurence House in Freetown.
I am thankful for this, I feel comfortable knowing that our little compound "St. Laurence House" is a safe house for people to be cared for and loved.
Nazareth House Apostolate has come very far and accomplished a lot but there is so much more we must do, so much ahead of us. Its time to take the next step, moving to Kabala will set us in that direction.
Freetown served its purpose for a time, but the high costs, the jammed streets, have become prohibitive of our work. We will make regular visits in Freetown to care for those who have become part of the Nazareth House Family. We won't forget them, but our work will now center in Kabala.
We found a nice 3 bedroom house
looking at the NHA school from front porch of house
to use as a compound.
The house is directly across the road from the school -- our school, The NHA School.
View of NHA School from Front door of House
The builder has only a few more finishing touches
to complete this building.
We have agreed upon the price of $55,000
however, we realize there may be some last minute additions that may raise the price a bit
but it will remain generally in the $55,000 range. This is a fair price, especially since it includes a well.
We will be able to help supply the school with water (right now they are hauling buckets up from quite a ways away).
Back of house
However, for the same structure in Freetown, we could not have touched it for under $175,000 or more.
Living Room of House
There is also a stretch of several acres of prime land
view from backdoor
behind the house which rises up the hill
the cell tower in the distance provides adequate ZAIN internet for our communications.
that was offered to us for $24,000.
This is important ground for farming
and Nazareth House expansion. I am thinking a mango grove and banana farm! Throw in several plots of pineapple, cassava and rice.
We can feed and provide work for many. We would be able to eventually build a retreat house up on the hill
and other structures conducive to our work. This is an awesome opportunity.
Directly behind the NHA School is a very small house that backs up to our property line.
The owner has also agreed to sell it to us and we are negotiating the price at this time. We are considering this building for faculty housing and school office.
The acquisition of the two houses, the land,
view from property behind the house: you can see the house, the school & small house
behind the school.
This would all belong to Nazareth House Apostolate.
and a proper 4 wheel vehicle will fall right at or under $100,000. In Freetown, it would have cost (for less space and less property) well over $300,000.
Kabala is growing and its growing fast. Since our last visit in November 2009, we were amazed by all the houses being built and growth. If we don't buy now... it won't wait on us. The time is now.
Its going to take all of us, adding more to the fold daily, spreading the word. The future is very exciting! Don't keep it to yourself, invite others to join us. Together, we can do more and more to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Having the compound and surrounding land in Kabala provides NHA with unlimited possibilities to do our work, providing for the poor, caring for the sick, being there, loving the people. We are told that the poor will always be with us, but we are still called to make a difference, one person, one village at a time. Please join us in our efforts. Support Nazareth House in your prayers, your donations and your actions.
Donations can be made through The Nazareth House Apostolate website (paypal donation button) or by mailing to:
Nazareth House Apostolate
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
All photographs on this blog are the exclusive property of NHA and its photographers, all rights reserved, and cannot be used or copied without written permission from NHA.