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.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Colossal Baby, Good Friends & Fellowship

Severe weather, storm damage, contractors & adjusters, well-diggers and builders, etc., etc. have kept the attention of this blog for a while now.  All that seems to be in the process of completion - some at the early beginning stages - others at the end stage - but all in all it is in some form of process.   Thank you to all those who assisted us in moving forward on these matters.
NHA would like to take a little time to catch up with the personal things of Nazareth House, in particular our beloved Mansaray family in Sierra Leone.  
What else would James' child wear but a camera? 
Little Vicki is getting HUGE! 
Vicki will be 4 months old on May 11th. 
Growing like a weed, she demands food 24 hours a day and whines when she doesn’t get it.   
Look at the chubby cheeks on this child
She also is very much in love with her big brother and expects him to carry her around.  
Vicki will be bigger than Roo very soon at this rate
But she is a heavy load and there comes a time when there must be an alternate form of packing her around.   
Roo and his sleepy-eyed, toothless smile.  
Roo continues on megadoses of iron with folic acid and vitamin D supplements shipped to him by NHA in Taylorsville, Kentucky and is improving greatly.  He’s had a few attacks but nothing like the merciless bouts of fever and pain he’s had before.  
Kadijah and little piggy Vicki
Poor Kadijah looks very tired and I certainly understand what is wearing her out.  
Kadijah and Vicki 
“Whoa Vicki, moderation my dear!”  LOL 
James’ childhood friend from the early days in Kabala, Emmerson Bockarie, a well known musician who tours Europe and the States with his music, was in Kabala and looked James up.  

Emmerson arrives in Kabala

They spent some good time together and Emmerson was able to see the NHA Compound and the NHA School and was very pleased to see all the work James has accomplished through Nazareth House Apostolate.   
Lucy, Emmerson and James at the NHA Compound

Lucy was in Kabala on a break from school during Independence Day and was able to greet Emmerson as well.  
Lucy and Emmerson

There is a lot of hard work going on at Nazareth House both in the States and in Sierra Leone, however, getting work done doesn’t have to mean no time for good fellowship and togetherness.   “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose” -  
James' brother, Joseph and Emmerson at the NHA Compound
Once the visit ended, a few hours later, James was in the process of taking students for government testing, ...back to work it was for him..... but it sure is nice to see old friends. 
Love to you all...
.....oh and by the way, if anyone would like to make a donation to the work of Nazareth House, that would be nice too... smile... (hint, hint)...  so many needs, so much to do ...
Nazareth House Apostolate
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071

If you like Reggae, you can purchase Emmersons music through Amazon.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And the work continues ....

Nazareth House Apostolate is about love - love for God expressed in His children, all over the world.  And as we hold each other up in prayer, we also keep one another's daily labor in mind.  
Waiting for James' plane to arrive, SDF (Louisville International Airport) Nov. 2010

What happens to those involved in NHA Kabala is of concern to those of us in America who give support to that work.   

Meeting James at the Airport: Nov 2010

And what happens in America at St. Simeon Skete is important to those we serve in Kabala.   

James and Archbishop Provence Meet:  Jan 2011

It is a relationship, a day to day, ongoing family bond.  This is a unique situation, where we are in tune with each other, knowing and praying for each others day - many miles and an ocean apart.  

Welcoming James to America:  November 2010

The NHA Supporters have provided the funding to complete the WELL at the NHA Compound.   

James and some children at the well in Kabala 

This well will not only provide water for use at the NHA COMPOUND but also the NHA SCHOOL and the neighboring villagers.   

well in back of Kabala NHA Compound 

Most of the wells in the area are dry, but ours is very deep and will provide water.   

We have hit water, our well is very very deep

We are looking at a few more weeks before the tank is in place and the job totally finished, however, our well-diggers are making excellent progress.   

well at Kabala NHA Compound
Our staff, our friends and family, the students and teachers, all send their thanks and love for your kind assistance in providing this well.  

March 2nd wall cloud as it developed into a funnel cloud. 
The people of Kabala are aware of the recent storms over St. Simeon Skete and the damage to the buildings.   

Louie Leger of Bone Dry Roofing examining the roof of the Kellia (white circles indicate hail damage) 

As we want the best for them, likewise they want the best for us.  Its that “family thing" of NHA.   So when they heard there was damage to our roofs and buildings by the excessive hail (golf ball to tennis sized hail), they worried.   They know that Seraphim is handy with tools and they were worried that he would be doing the repair work by himself.  When they found out we have a thing called “insurance” that enables contractors to do the work, they were relieved.  
One Hut Village thanking Bone Dry Roofing, especially Louie for all the work he has done for us

So when Louie Leger and John 

of Bone Dry Roofing 
Close up of the sign they are holding. 
came out to examine the roofs and give us an estimate, they were very thankful.   

And then when Insurance Adjuster Gene (Floyd) Braxton was called in by State Farm Insurance Company and came along with Joe and Kevin, 

Add caption

the people in Kabala knew that these people were here to help us, just as we all have been there to help them.  

Joe carefully watches Gene on the roof. Seraphim and Louie (Bone Dry Roofing) are there, too.  
They were fascinated by the ropes 
The Adjusters and our Roofing Contractor examining damage. 
and thought Gene looked like Spiderman as he clung to the rope and navigated the roof.

Roo, who is the Official Spiderman of West Africa 

Roo in (Freetown) in his Spiderman Costume

was thrilled to see that we also have a Spiderman at the Skete.  

He was wondering however, why our Skete Spiderman did not wear his mask!  ha ha.  

Roo in his "spidey" costume

Never the less the well, the roofs, all gave opportunity for the NHA Family to work together holding each other up while the exterior work is being done.  

There is no distance when you care for each other.   

And those in Kabala share their thanksgiving for the work being done at the Skete. 
Just as the NHA Supporters in America give thanks for the work being done in Kabala.   Togetherness, family  
Children thank the Insurance Adjusters for checking into our claim
The roofs are being repaired at the skete and the well being completed in Kabala is exterior tasks.  Conversely, the interior life is being worked on at St. Simeon Skete.  A life which seeks God in everything, a life of prayer - the practice of living in the presence of God is ongoing and growing.   

The whole picture comes into focus, inside and out, the Martha (busy about many things) and the Mary (chosen the better thing) blended together, existing side by side.
Thank you all for being part of 
Nazareth House Apostolate.  
We love you all. 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Vehicle Accident on the Road from Kabala

2 Timothy 3:1-5

The Message (MSG)
"Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people."

I like the punch of the Peterson Translation of the Bible - The Message.  It says it how it is.  The KJV is my favorite translation but I still love the hard-hitting, to the point of The Message.   

At Nazareth House Apostolate we certainly have no blind eye to the fact that "difficult times" are around and will always be around.  We are not overwhelmed, we are not discouraged - we live in the moment, dealing with each moment as it comes.  

That is where God is - in the moment and if we try to get out of that moment by taking a pill, going shopping, whatever it is we do to escape what is in the moment - we are also escaping God.  He is in the moment - good or bad.  

"I've never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion. With these bare hands I took care of my own basic needs and those who worked with me. In everything I've done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You'll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, 'You're far happier giving than getting.'" The Message (MSG) Acts 20:35

James must make a trip in Freetown each month to obtain supplies and receive the NHA Support.  Its a treacherous drive and even though roads may be improving (construction-wise) the drivers are not.  The better the road the faster they drive, the more chances they take.   I beg you to keep James in your prayers as he travels to and from Kabala every month.  

Just this week he encountered another accident along the way.   Two lives were extinguished in this mangled mess of metal.  James is at the added danger of not having his own vehicle. He must be at the mercy of the hired drivers - many simply out to make a buck in the fastest manner they can.  They have no regard for safety - only to acquire the fare.   The quicker they take a paid passenger to their destination the quicker they can pick up another passenger and make more money.  

It is imperative that we make headway on the fundraising to buy a vehicle for NHA's use in Kabala.  There will always be wild drivers on the roads, that is true.  

And having our own vehicle won't eliminate the chance of an accident caused by other drivers on the road, but it will eliminate the instance of James being in a car with an unruly dangerous driver in which he has no control of how the car is being driven.  Also, many of the cars that provide taxi service are unmaintained, unsafe - which account for many delays do to break-downs.   James has been in cars with virtually no stopping power due to bad brakes, etc.  

First things first: #1: we pray about all that we do or are about to do.  # 2: Next we catch up on the recent shortfall of support we've not been able to Sierra Leone recently.  With Christmas charge card bills coming in and taxes due for many, we've experienced a bit of a decrease in donations lately and haven't been able to maintain the monthly support we normally give.  So if you haven't made your monthly donation recently, if possible please try to do so as soon as possible.  And if you have never given a donation to NHA, now would be the perfect time to become a part of this good work.  

One time donations are very welcomed and needed, however, we are trying to build a dependable budget that shares the responsibility.  Everyone giving a little, rather than two or three giving a lot! Our goal is to get 1000 people giving at least $25 per month. #3: We begin to collect the funding to purchase a NHA Vehicle in Sierra Leone.  James thinks that he can get a decent 4-wheel drive for between $12,000 to $15,000.  We must have a 4 wheel drive to enable us to bring supplies deep into the hidden villages that we serve.  
"Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of "sacrifice"—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets."  The Message (MSG) Hebrews 13:16

So we have placed the needs before you, we ask for your help in providing for these hard working people that keep on day after day, making life happen in the most deplorable conditions. 

Together we can do this.