While many were decked out in green celebrating St. Patrick’s Day,
in Kabala at our Nazareth House School the children were celebrating another saint - St. Valentine.
In America we are attached to our chronos time, measured time - as on a clock. “...got to be here by 10, appointment here at 2, meeting at 4, dinner at 6, soccer at 7...” That’s not how things are in Africa. Oh, they try to be at work, school or church at a specific scheduled time, but being “on time” is not always the result. In Africa, they are more “event” oriented, not time oriented.
When the shipment of Valentines from the Anglican Parish of St. Mark’s, Portland, Oregon was delayed in its journey from Portland to Freetown
and arrived a month later than expected - it didn’t matter.
And the fact that our students were celebrating St. Valentine’s Day on St. Patrick’s Day -- well - our student’s didn’t think there was anything odd about it at all. It was a joyous event regardless of its timing.
What DID matter was that so much love was shared.
It mattered that people thousands of miles away, across an ocean, all the way to the West side of the America were praying and thinking about children in Kabala, Sierra Leone.
A church family (children and adults alike) joined together to cut, paste, color, glue, and decorate handmade Valentines with handwritten messages of love to send to children in a foreign country - children they have only met through this blog.
Not only did they make these messages of love but they sent them, paying and arranging the shipping on their own, in coordination with the NHA headquarters in Taylorsville.
And in these pictures you see another example of what our mission in Sierra Leone is all about....
and to the Parish of St. Mark’s in Portland we say THANK YOU, we love you and are so grateful for your prayers and love.
...and to you all - we say THANK YOU for being a part of the Nazareth House Family!
The unity brought about by such love and care for one’s neighbor is amazing.
I don’t know how many times as we give to the people in Sierra Leone,
the provision is shared by someone in another jurisdiction or another denomination that shuns the other.
They are apart in their daily lives but united in their gift (donation) to Nazareth house expressed in bags of rice for the hungry, medicine for the sick, water for the thirsty.
They stand unified in the love for those in need.
We love you all!