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.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dressed for Success

After Easter this year, Wanda Karen Thompson of Athens, Georgia began collecting materials and sewing Pillowslip Dresses for the girls at our NHA School in Kabala. 
Wanda and friends in Athens meet together to pack dresses for Sierra Leone on Chloe's birthday.  
She organized the Facebook Page  Granny Pearl's Trunk to spread awareness of the needs in Sierra Leone through Nazareth House. 

Bit by bit, the dresses were sewn, donated and packed.
Dress sewn by Misty Willis and donated by Courtney Closet, Athens, Georgia.
Three of these dresses were in the shipment. Two are size 10 and one is size 8.

Pillowcase donated by the Lathe-Shaffer family, Stone Mountain, Georgia.
 Dress was sewn by Wanda Karen Thompson, Athens, Georgia.

Pillowcase donated by the Burns family, Hoschton, Georgia.
 Dress was sewn by Wanda Karen Thompson, Athens, Georgia.

Pillowcase donated by the Meka family, Athens, Georgia. 
Dress was sewn by Wanda Karen Thompson, owner-operator of Karen's Clothesline, Athens, Georgia
Dress sewn by Misty Willis and donated by Courtney Closet, Athens, Georgia.
This dresses will be in the May shipment. Size 2.

Dresses sewn by Misty Willis and donated by Courtney Closet, Athens, Georgia.
Three of these dresses will be in the May shipment. They are in sizes 4, 5 and 10.

Wanda's son and daughter-in-law with their daughter completed the packing and off the dresses go via USPS Flat Rate Priority.   

Shannon, Laura and  little Soleil Thompson 

The Athens NHA Team added in a few medicines and food supplies to round out the shipment. 

It took about 15 days but the boxes arrived, just as James and his family were moving to Kabala to the new NHA Compound.  

Once James and family arrived, the next morning, they wasted no time in distributing the first  batch of dresses.    

One by one the dresses were sized up 

and placed on an excited little girl.  


After putting on their new dresses, the girls hurried over to show their friends at the NHA School.

This is what NHA is all about, helping each other.  Let's continue it by finishing the Compound.  We are  still in need of paying off the Contractor debt so we can move on to concentrate on the personal needs of the people of Kabala and surrounding villages.   If you haven't committed to a monthly donation, please consider doing so today.   Our goal is to have 1000 people giving $25 per month.   Seeing your work in action, the care and love that you give through NHA - I'm sure you will want to be a part of something that visibly makes a difference in the lives of others?   Join us today.

 As you can see, these girls are very happy and show it with a Thumbs Up!  Thank you Athens NHA Team!  

Note from Wanda (& NHA): Thanks to David & Misty Willis at Courtney's Closet in Athens, GA for donating dresses to the children in Sierra Leone. I appreciate Carol Strickland Williams for being our photographer today. And last but not least, thanks to the Akridges for sharing Nazareth House Apostolate's story with me.   (Photographs of the dresses once received in Sierra Leone were taken by James Mansaray - all rights reserved.) 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NHA School News

Mako Mansaray has from time to time given us a report on our NHA School and he has decided to introduce us to the life of individual students.   Today we meet Kumba Zeneme

By Mako Mansaray:

Education always plays a major role in the lives of children. The 11years long civil conflict in Sierra Leone contributed to holistic devastation of both the social and educational structure of the country which in turn made its children vulnerable, and jeopardizes the future of these children debarring them from their basic rights of formal education and psychological development.

There are still some communities where children do not have proper school infrastructure which and is preventing the delivery of quality education.

At Nazareth House Apostolate school in Kabala, there is a girl student by the name of Kumba Zeneme.  Born to a family were her late father had three wives and her mother's only source of livelihood is through a back yard garden to support and take care of her  children.

  Mother Yaneh, as she is called, has four children three boys, and Kumba is the only girl child.

In Kabala most of the girl children are not allowed to go to school, only boys are allowed to go to school.
Other girls including Kumba stay in the house doing domestic work. Now, things have changed for  Kumba and her three brothers, for three years now, they are attending NHA School in Kabala free of cost with Uniforms, shoes, and other learning materials provided for them through your donations and supports.

She is very much happy now in school with her friends.

For us at NHA School, we believed that Education is the best gift you can give a child.

If we give more support and helping hands to the work of NHA out here in Kabala, more children can benefit form our education programme, as education is the key to success for every child.  Educating our youth also builds the future of an entire community.

Thanks to our supporters, and the good work of NHA.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The move continues

James is running back and forth taking bit by bit to begin the move into the new NHA Compound.   There is so much left to be done to put it into proper "live in" condition.  With the latest news that Kadijah is pregnant, the need to finish the Compound is more urgent.

Congratulations to the Mansaray Family, new life, new joy.

  Kadijah works very hard to give aid to those around her, fixing many meals for those in need, distributing medication, generally taking care of the sick.

I think Kadijah loves to wear this shirt.  We see her in it all the time.

With the added stress of pregnancy (she is suffering severe morning sickness),  we just can't allow her to walk the great distance to the stream to bathe, wash clothes and carry water back to the Compound for cooking, etc.

We have so much to do, the students need new uniforms the next school season, the school building needs painting...

people are  hungry, people are sick.

  It is imperative that we build up our team, adding new members to the NHA family.  With an enlarged support base we can get closer to the goal of 1000 people giving monthly.

Please help us pay the debt ($12,302 in total) on the NHA Compound and move forward, working to change more lives, providing new opportunities for a healthier life.

This past week, James was in Kabala unloading furniture when a Government Hospital nurse approached about giving Worm Medicines to the NHA students at our school.

This is the first I've ever heard of anyone but NHA giving out worm pills

and to think that they considered our students AND brought the medicines to our School.

This is amazing and we are so thankful!

We are not alone in our work, its a team effort.

Lucy was in Kabala with James and was able to help the nurse distribute the tablets and measure and weigh the children.

Education is such an important measure in providing a better life for these children.  Please consider helping Nazareth House Apostolate make a difference in their lives which ultimately changes the lives of those who give as well.  

Thank you!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Sacred Heart and Empty Cups

Nazareth House Apostolate
The Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
July 1, 2011

Dear Friends,

I have told this story before but it bears repeating.   It should be pondered with an exposed heart much like Jesus, as represented in the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” artwork. 


Jesus’ heart is not hidden or protected, its right out front, exposed, vulnerable so that it can absorb our pain, our sorrows.  It is that kind of heart that will hear this story and understand.

Some years back while Fr. Seraphim and I were in Kabala, Sierra Leone we had purchased rice to give each child a cup or so to take home to supplement their families food supply.  The children were lined up to receive their allotment of rice.  A child was given a cup of rice and then moved on as the next one received theirs.  As the line grew and the supply of rice began to shrink, the unthinkable became reality.  We ran out of rice—and there stood 20 or 30 children with empty cups in hand.  These kids were hungry and there is nothing sadder than the faces of hungry and sick children being told there is no more rice.   Standing there we looked on in horror.  We didn’t have the resources to buy more rice, there was nothing we could do.  I began to cry.   I thought, “How could this be?”  and I thought “God never runs out”, and then I thought again, “at a certain level, God does run out when he runs out of: 

  • · Our Generosity
  • · Our Sacrifice
  • · Our Trust and faith

And when this happens, then God becomes the hungry and sick child who runs out of rice.  (Matthew 25:35...) and He is also at the same time, the rescuer in us, because at the moment I was feeling such pain for these hungry children with no rice, something beautiful happened.  Without any adult prompting, the children who had already received their rice turned back and began sharing their rice with the children who had empty cups.  They, without any thought, just instinctively began dividing what they had with those without. 

For sixteen months now we have been attempting to raise the funds to complete the compound and move NHA to Kabala.  The city of Kabala and the surrounding villages are in great need.  There is much to be done to assist the people.  In order to dive into  meeting those needs we must first finish the construction of the NHA Compound.  We still need $12,380 to pay off the contractor.  Then we will never have to pay housing again, nor rent!  Goal accomplished.

I am aware that with such great need, there will never be enough to come to the aid of everyone we meet.  However, I pray that your heart will be opened to generously give so that we are not facing empty cups but instead sharing what we have with those who have not. 

Our plan to accomplish this goal is to enlist 1000 people (family units) giving at least $25 per month.  This would enable us to continue and enlarge our humanitarian aid work, better equip and expand the NHA School as well as feed, clothe and shelter those who have yet to be reached in the villages.  If you are not already part of the monthly donation for Nazareth House, please consider doing so today.  Whatever you decide, whatever the amount - we are in great need of your help today.

If you are already pledging and contributing monthly support, thank you very much. We ask that you see your way clear to give a little extra this month to help complete the NHA Compound while Nazareth House  continues to provide the humanitarian aid, pay teachers salaries, open doors through education and spread a little love to our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone.  Thank you for your prayers and support.

May God bless you, always.
Being absorbed into His mercy,
Vicki Hicks

 Mail checks to:
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071 

make  a donation with your credit card
through the PayPal link on our website

Monthly donations can be made through your online banking "BillPay:.  Simply sign NHA up as one of your automatic monthly deductions.   You only need our name and address, your bank does the rest including mailing the check and paying the postage!   

Dresses, Dresses and More Dresses

As James and Lucy returned from yet another moving trip to Kabala, two USPS Priority boxes awaited them.

The two boxes were from Granny Pearl's Trunk ,

The follow is the words from the creator of the Facebook Community Page of Granny Pearl's Trunk, 
Wanda Karen Thompson of Athens, GA:

This project is an effort to help the mission of Nazareth House Apostolate in their work in Sierra Leone. I want to spread the word about the amazing work they do while also providing dresses for the little girls in Sierra Leone. I named this project in memory of my precious grandmother, Pearl Phillips Thompson. She was a talented seamstress and a loving Christian woman. Granny Pearl never had much in life in terms of material things but she had a trunk and you never knew what you might find in there! I hope to fill it now with hundreds of dresses to send to the little children in Sierra Leone.

Roo anxiously gets ready to open the boxes

Lucy and Roo begin to sort through the boxes

Dresses and Medication and Tuna Fish were enclosed

This project was a team effort from several in Athens, Georgia.   Currently, James and the family are in the middle of moving to Kabala.   You'll see more on this story in detail on this blog once they are able to unpack and distribute the dresses and medicines.   For now, we wanted Wanda and those who put this together to see that their gifts of love have arrived all the way to Sierra Leone and will be given to needy little girls very soon.   Thank you all!

Lucy holds up a dress

Roo models a blue dress that he has named "BLING CATS" .