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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mako: NHA School Report,

By Jerry Mako Mansaray, Kabala, Sierra Leone:

Greetings to you all from Kabala,we are very much happy as a school for all the help and support you have been given to us all this while.

We want to thank God for another good week in our school.We continue to teach and help the children,as these children means much to us as well as you all.

Pa. Foday with support from the school staff, continues to do the home visits. As a part of the school activities,it is really helping us as a school to build good relationship with the parents and the community around us.

This week in the school has also been very important to us especially in the area of prayers.We have offered special prayers for Mama Vicki and Father Hicks as they went to California to in the name of Nazareth House Apostolate.

This week also witnesses the 49th Independent Day celebration of our country. In Kabala, as all other parts of the country,people celebrate this great day in various ways.The tradition in Kabala includes :a general March Pass (parade) from all works of life,especially government institutions.Schools, both primary and secondary, took part in the March Pass as well. It was a good and happy sight to see our Nazareth House School Kabala take part in the march pass for the first time.What a joy and blessing you have given this children to have there rightful place in society through your help and support.To you all we say keep up the good work.

The Independent Day celebration was climaxed with the launching of the Free Medical Health Care for suckling mothers and children under five.The Kabala Yogomaia Town field was the scene of the programme. The programme was well attended,as the free medical health care means a lot to us out here. The health status in Kabala and the country as a whole is nothing to write home about as we have the lowest life expectancy rate in the world,in fact infant mortality is still the highest in the world. On average it is about 500-1000 people to one doctor,also poor condition of service climax the recent strike by medical staff.With this free medical system in place,all sierra Leonean are hoping for the better especially the poorest of the poor. Poverty rate is also very high about 80% of the people live on less than $ 1 a day.With such a move by the government,we hope the lives of our mothers and children will be save.

It is our responsible as a school to pray,so that hearts and minds will be willing to help and support the good work of NHA.We strongly believe in prayers,as it's the key to our very survival on earth.
May His love and Grace keep us together.
With love,
Jerry Mako.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hot, Hot Days in Sierra Leone

Last night I was talking with James on the phone, he says it is very hot in Freetown. In Kabala, Mako tells me it is so hot, he cannot sleep. I know what he is talking about, the hot nights, mosquitoes buzzing around, it definitely is too hot to sleep.

But during the day, its a different story, the heat makes it hard NOT to fall asleep.

Last month, while we were in Sierra Leone,
there were days that it seemed like the heat had put a spell on us.
We'd go out, do our work, come back to St. Laurence House and "knock-out" for an hour. After a little rest, we'd go out again.
This made our days long and delayed but with the hot sun zapping our energy,
it was the only way to get through it.

Along the streets, you'd find people who had succumbed to the extreme heat, sleeping right on the ground.
Even the animals, searched out shaded spots to rest in the heat.
The rainy season will come in a few months, but for now
The sweltering days require periodic "napping".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mako's Weekend NHA School Report

By Mako Mansaray, Kabala, Sierra Leone

Greetings to you all from NHA School Kabala,
We as a thriving school are happy to thank you all for the continuous help and support you are giving to us as a center of the Kabala children's education.

The education Superintendent Rev.Foday Mansaray (loving known as "Pa Foday), the teachers and pupils want to thank you all in our varioius ways for helping us with the motorbike. The motorbike was shown to the school this morning byPa.Foday. Everybody was delighted. This will help the school greatly in our 'Home Visit' programme.

Schooling for this week was very good. The turn out of the children was 95% as compared to the first week of the re-open of school. Parents are really supporting us as a school.They make sure the children are there on time for the morning devotion and normal school classes.

We continue to help the sick children to get medical treatment at the Kabala Government Hospital.Although this is not easy, as most of the time parents have to go find a pharmacy to buy the drugs themselves as there is little supply of medications in the hospital.We thank God as the school is always trying to help. Pa. Foday will also use the motorbike to take any of our sick children to the hospital, as this is the most easy and fastest way to move in and around Kabala.

The Kabala township yesterday witnessed some political unrest that resulted in violence. This caused the disruption of schools,businesses and the peaceful lives of the people in the town.Parents had to rush out to various schools to collect their children. Shops and other businesses were closed down until the situation was put under control by the security forces.

We at NHA chose to keep our children in school under lockdown until the problem was brought under the full control of the security apparatus.I am happy to report that none of our children were hurt in the process,and our parents' this morning came to the school thanking the school management for keeping their children safe.It was a plus on our side. We really thank God for that.

Life returned to normal later on in the day,and everything is fine today as the township is back in it's activities and kicking around.

Once more we want to thank you all for the help, prayers and support.Your support is making great boys and girls out here who in the future will help in building a better Sierra Leone.

May the good Lord continue to bless us all.
Much love from us all in NHA Kabala,
Jerry Mako.

Our latest video on You Tube

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

THE WAITING IS OVER! The motorbike is in possession of our beloved Pa Foday!

We did it!

Paying for the motorbike

Our work in Kabala has just taken another step towards more effective ministering to those in need.
The support of NHA has enabled us to purchase the motorbike, necessary for this work.

Not only will the bike enable Pa Foday to make the home visits, checking in on the students and their families throughout our school district, but it will save many steps for Pa Foday as he travels miles to work the farm which provides the food for the village.

It will also save the wear and tear on Pa Foday as he makes the journeys to bring in supplies to other area villages that NHA cares for and supports (such as Kamasorrie).
We at NHA have been hoping to purchase this bike for Pa Foday and the work of NHA for a long time, many, many years. It is a dream to finally be able to accomplish this goal.

Because several individuals and families are now giving regular monthly donations we are able to continue our monthly obligations to the people in Sierra Leone (purchasing of rice for families, salaries of teachers of NHA School & staff, educational fees for students in college in Freetown and other Freetown Educational Facilities, doctor fees for the ill, etc. etc.) and also purchase this bike. Can you imagine what NHA could do for the poor if we had more people giving monthly?
This is the reason the monthly donations are so important. If you have not committed to give regularly on a monthly basis, please consider doing so. It allows people in the communities of Sierra Leone that we serve to not only exist, but thrive. Remember, it is God, through your generosity that lives are changed for the better.

Our work now is to finish paying off the compound. Not an easy task, but one vital to the continuance of our work. Please invite everyone you know to be a part of this great work. Share the word, spread the love.

now, lets get the compound...

NHA wants to thank the Miller Family of Kent, Washington for their generosity in providing this motorbike.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day in Sierra Leone... OH YES!

Fr. Seraphim, Emily, James, Kadijah and I
were at the Nazareth House Apostolate School
in Kabala on St. Patrick's Day.
I really hadn't any idea whether they celebrated the Irish Holiday in Sierra Leone or not.
What happened at the top o' that morning, proved that they do indeed remember "the Day of the Green", at least at NHA School.

A few days before, at one of the Freetown area beaches, we noticed several fishing boats. One, in particular seemed like it was rocking, even though it was on shore. The words written on the boat read "RAINBOW'S END".
The closer we got to the boat, the more we saw it shake. However, once we got close enough to it, whatever was inside vanished. Strangely, the rest of the time at the beach and even back home at St. Laurence House, we all had a weird feeling as if we were being followed. Could it have been something in the boat?

At the NHA Kabala School, the studens hurried in to begin classes.
There was excitement in the air.
Suddenly we saw a little flash of green whiz past one of the classrooms. What was that? Could it be...was that a leprechaun?
It is, it is... although to some of us
he looks more like Elton John!
Much to the student's delight,
the wee little creature visited each classroom
and handed out
shiny green foil covered chocolate coins from his bag.
Not the traditional gold coins said to have been found at the end of the rainbow,
but to students who rarely have candy, especially chocolate
... this was better than gold coins.
This little African/Irish Leprechaun appeared out of nowhere and
boldly began to go about his work.
But his boldness quickly waned as he noticed
that the children were much larger than he is.
The Leprechaun became a bit timid.
Not wanting to forsake his gift giving;
he chose Mako
to escort him throughout each classroom - for encouragement and protection.
With Mako by his side, he resumed his coin gifting.
As each student received their candy coin
from the little guy,
they smiled and giggled.
The children were amazed and happy at his presence.
Student to student, classroom to classroom
the Leprechaun handed out the coins.
Thinking back at the shaking boat at the beach, we wonder. Could this have been where this little Leprechaun lives, was this the famous Rainbow's End?
Who knows?
All that we at NHA know is that somehow this
sweet little leprechaun
showed up at Nazareth House Apostolate School in Kabala
and handed out chocolate coins
and in doing so,
he brought lots of smiles.
After all the students had received their treats, the wee little man went outside
to deliver candy coins to the parents and
younger children that had gathered outside of the school.
He didn't leave out anyone ...
he distributed his goods well.
Towards the end of the morning,
the leprechaun was tiring and ready
to return to where it is he returns.
But first, placed in the lap of sister Emily
he took advantage of a quick loving snuggle...
then it was off to Leprechaun land. He vanished as quickly as he appeared.
As we looked around to see if we could catch another glimpse of him, we noticed
he'd left a little "Ireland" behind in Kabala.
What cheer this guy spread around.

Maybe next year, he will show up again? All of us at the Nazareth House Kabala School certainly hope so.

The Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation

Join us at Nazareth House Apostolate. Be a part of an organization where the people that make it up are more than simply supporters, we are a family, working together to help each other get through the day, the week, the year. Its all about the love and at Nazareth House, there is plenty of love both given and received.