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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

One Hut Village suffers great loss.

Years ago, on the way to Kabala, James stumbled upon a little village with a single hut for all to live in. The hut was crowded but sheltered the family from the harsh sun and rains. The people were so kind to James and treated him so well. They eagerly offered him of their food, eager to give him the best of hospitality. He immediately fell in love with the family and affectionately named the village "One Hut Village".

Since that time, NHA has done whatever we can to help out the family.
James regularly brings them rice, medicines, supplies, etc.

A few months ago, Emily and I treated the whole 'village' for worms.

Some of the younger children were suffering extensively with bellies full of parasites.
Year after year, month after month, day after day this "One Hut" family struggles to survive.

NHA does what it can to assist them,
but as soon as one need is met, another need appears.
Like many in Sierra Leone, One Hut Village hangs on by a thread. However, in all this turmoil, all this struggle - I have yet to encounter this family without a smile on their face.

Always thankful, always joyful for what little they have. They really are an amazing group of people.

During James' recent visit to Kabala, he again made his traditional stop at One Hut Village to bring rice and supplies.

His heart was pained by what he saw.

A few days before James' arrival, a storm had blown the thatched roof off of their only place of shelter.

So here is the family, keeping on, making life happen

despite another important necessity taken away from them.

What you see in these pictures are their only possessions, all that they have.

Nothing else to do, they live out in the open, no roof over their heads.

The Rainy Season is pressing harder and harder upon them.

This comes at a critical time for Nazareth House as we struggle to meet the deadlines to purchase the Compound in Kabala. It is extremely important for us to secure our continuance in Sierra Leone. Daily we deal with people who are used to having things they depend on taken away from them.
Many, many people depend on NHA in Sierra Leone.
It is important for them to know that "we are not going away", that we are here to stay, seeing them through these times of poverty.
We are here for good or bad and wish to establish a permanent residency in Sierra Leone, centering in Kabala, yet being available for all.

So in the midst of our struggle to raise money for the Compound, land etc comes yet another emergency. These are the constants in Sierra Leone, it seems the country is crisis driven. One step forward, eight steps backwards.

These are hard working people, gentle and kind, working their hands to the bone to simply exist. I am so appalled by those who say, "they are waiting for handouts, they need to work harder". There are always those who become lazy in a culture but for Sierra Leone, I don't see that as often as I do in First World Cultures. Men, women and children working with empty bellies all day just to provide themselves and their families with one evening meal.

These "emergencies" are why NHA asks for the monthly, regular donations. We need a dependable budget allowing us to have a reserve for the emergencies that will creep into reality, week after week. We keep pressing to accrue those 1000 supporters giving at least $25 per month. That averages out to about 84 cents a day, not even a full dollar. With a thousand donors giving at least $25 each month we'd be enabled to purchase the NHA Compound in Kabala, the land and property within a few short months. If 50 people would enlist 20 of their friends to join in a monthly donation - we'd be set and ready to do the work so vitally needed. This monthly budget would allow us to do the work already before us and add more and more to aid those left behind, stuck in the cracks. It would allow the expansion of our NHA School which is already overloaded with more and more students requesting entrance weekly. We are at a point of having to turn children away, this is not good. NHA could begin construction of new schools in other villages who have no school structures.

A working budget enables us to prepare for the mission trips, and be ready to handle all of the emergencies that are always popping into play. It would provide for all of this work.

Our annual income remains under $40,000. I continue to be amazed by how much we can do with very little. You need only scroll through this blog to see all that is accomplished. This is a credit to the NHA Team that includes you, me, all of us - working together.

With your support, Nazareth House Apostolate WILL get the Compound and land paid. ...AND we'll expand the school, bring education to more villages, add medical clinics ....AND put that new, sturdier zinc roof on the One Hut dwelling.
The needs have been placed in unavoidable plain sight before us, we have only to accept the responsibility to actively make it all happen.

"Nazareth House Apostolate depends entirely on God
as He expresses Himself
through your prayers,
and generosity"

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week Ending May 28: Kabala School Report from Mako

Greetings from Kabala, the land of powerful mixture.

Nazareth House Apostolate School, Kabala wants to thank God for seeing us through yet another week in the school calendar. It is a great blessing for us all, as this is the last Friday in the month of May.

This week has been a very busy and a quiet one in the school, as the students continue to write their mid term-test. However, I am glad to report that the exam has ended on Thursday successfully. We are now preparing the children for the final examination of the school year come mid June.

As a school we are happy to get back in full attendance the three children that were sick as a result of Malaria. They are looking much better and stronger. The Home Visit Team along side Pa.Foday did their best to see that these kids return back to school. We are a family at NHA,and we believe in the good spirit of Unity. The school administration is now putting in place mechanism to see that these children are able to write their exams so as to complete the year with their classmates.

With the return of the rains in Kabala, comes the time for the working and planting season. Today is a working day at a plot of land in the school compound by the children. We are going to work on the school garden as we try to develop it. We are going to plant corn, and other green vegetable. Pa .Foday, the master farmer, will also be with us in attendance this morning.

If all goes, Pa. Foday in collaboration with the school is planning to have a bigger garden this year at his farm. He has already shown me the plot of land he will like to give to the school for our “SCHOOL GARDEN”. As a school we want to see how we can grow our own foods such as cassava, sweet potatoes, ground nuts and green leaf vegetables. We also as a school want to take great advantage of Pa .Foday's knowledge and experience in farming over the past years to teach our children the practical aspect of agriculture, and to see how we can as a school in our little community be able to contribute to the national call of our president for self-reliance and food security. There is lot to do as a matter of fact, as we need tools, seedlings, among others to do the work. The task is ours and we are going to do our best to see this project a reality as we believe we can.

As a school we need your continued support and prayers to see us through this project and all the endeavors of the Nazareth House School, Kabala. We, in turn, will do all we can to make it work. We will be working in close partnership with the parents to see how they can also play a part.


Once more we want to thank you all for all the help and support all these years. May we continue to love, support, and pray for all at all time, for we love to see the unbroken chain of our Unity In Our Diversity. Working together as a family, a family in which no borders, no oceans, no language, no race, no tribe, - nothing can hold us back - working towards Peace, love and unity for all - helping each other out, making life a little less difficult for our brothers and sisters.

With Love,

Jerry Mako.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NHA Compound Update

By James Bombolia Mansaray, Freetown, Sierra Leone

I have been somewhat apprehensive as to whether this whole New Compound for NHA will be a reality or not. We at Nazareth House always worry about funding for our projects and this campaign for paying the Contractor for the Compound seems a bit overwhelming.

My recent visit to Kabala encouraged me a great deal and I am convinced it will all be a reality.

Seeing the ongoing construction of the compound was a great joy to me.

They say seeing is believing and I saw many things coming into place.

You, out there, have supported NHA through all our efforts and I continue to have faith in you as we take these forward steps in the life of NHA.

The contractor also has great faith in you and is completing more and more of the house with each installment we make to him.

You see, he is not a rich man. He is trying to provide for his family like you and me. He dumped all his wages into building this Compound, hoping to make a decent profit to sustain his family.

Then he met Fr. Seraphim and Mama Vicki and got to know the work of NHA. Now big profit is not his quest, he is focussed only to help NHA with an extremely fair price for extraordinary quality work on this job.

He is proud to now be a part of continuing the work of NHA by building this compound for us.

But, like I was saying before, he has no extra resources to complete the work, he must wait for our installments. The quicker we pay him the quicker we can make this all a reality.

In the meantime he is working with the funds he has received from us, paying the workers and providing quality craftsmanship on the building site of our compound.

Our workers, in turn, are eager to help out both NHA in this project while also providing for their own families through the wages the contractor pays them to do this job. So even in purchasing the Compound, NHA is helping people out who may not have had an income before ( Stimulating the local economy).

These workers work very hard in the hot sun with no machinery, to speak of, and very few tools.

I commend you on your efforts and support so far on this task. We have paid over $10,000 towards this event so far but we still have at $45,000 to go.

It is a huge amount of money when you think that our average donation is about $25.

However, NHA has always done BIG with very little. We couldn't imagine that we would be able to afford to build the Nazareth House Kabala School - but now hundreds of students are getting a great education daily within its walls. We always say "NHA depends entirely on God as He expresses Himself through your prayers, compassion and generosity." We only need to listen to God speaking in our hearts to know the right thing to do. I trust you to hear the call. My family trusts you. The people of Sierra Leone trust you. NHA trusts you, too.

Please make people aware of this project, tell them about what is going on here because of the work of NHA. Peoples' lives are changing daily for the better. Because of the work that you support of NHA, people are healthier, children are being educated, people are finding housing, people are able to improve their lives all because of the loving help and encouraging nudges provided by Nazareth House Apostolate.

A work that you are a part of. We are all in this together, working together in peace, love and unity.

These three words are the constant prayers of the great teacher, Pa Barrie, it is what he left us, what he left NHA. Pa Barrie also said that the good deeds that you do on this earth will be the skin that you wear in Paradise.

I like that and I want to be wearing good skin when I meet my maker. I am sure you do to - Please give to NHA today!

God bless you all,

Donations can be sent to:

Nazareth House Apostolate
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

or made using your Credit Card
through the PayPal Donation Link
on our website:

Friday, May 21, 2010

The School has toilets

Last Fall 2009, Maria Stianchie of One Love provided the funds for the NHA School in Kabala to have toilets. They were completed and now fully functional. Thanks Maria, Thanks One Love Foundation.... Thanks everyone for seeing a need and making sure it is filled. God Bless you all.