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.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Face of Ebola

On November 11 this video was aired in the UK. At the same time NHA is desperately trying to get as many hospital beds as possible to Sierra Leone.  The inventory of surplus hospital beds is here, right before our eyes, waiting for us to send, we only need to pay $25,000.  This is an excellent price for the over $700,000 worth of equipment we expect to ship.  We've raised $8,000 already and are pushing ahead.  We need your help to meet our goal and get these urgently needed beds to Sierra Leone.

Kathy Webb remarks of the video "A very sobering video to watch. A women writhes in the dirt as she dies of Ebola in the hot sun. No bed. No wet washcloth to cool her brow. No touch to make her feel less alone. In a warehouse in Louisville there are a hundred beds. Nazareth House Apostolate will get those beds and other desperately needed medical supplies to this stricken country with our help. Also in the video: A man is sick; an ambulance has been called but they know it will never come. The man faces the same fate as the woman who lay dying in the dirt. His wife looks on, I'm sure wondering if she is next."

On Monday night, I couldn't sleep.  Its one of those things that happens frequently to us at the skete.  Up all night praying and many times - weeping.  This night I was so concerned with the overwhelming crisis in Sierra Leone and the abundance we have here that is sitting in a warehouse waiting to be used.  Surplus to Need.

Earlier that day, James had attended the opening of the Ebola Holding Center just 20 minutes from our NHA School where we have 300 students enrolled.  

The school is closed these days - ebola.  The students are with their families dispersed out in the villages.  Ebola is spreading fast in the district and the authorities expect it to reach the center of the Koinudugu District, Kabala Town very soon.
As the Ebola Holding Center opens, James informs me  via Whatsapp that there are only 7 beds and no supplies at the new center.  There is not even a box of gloves.   We have the beds, we have the gloves, masks, we have it all -  we simply must raise the money to pay for them.

Early on in the Summer, NHA began to plan this shipment and we've made all the proper preparations.  We've been in contact with the Sierra Leone Government and the Ministers of Health and Sanitations have granted it a Duty-Free Waiver.  We've applied through USAid for free shipping and have other back up arrangements to get this flown over.  We have the doctors at the Kabala Hospital ready and waiting to accept the supplies at the hospital and holding center.  James is set to receive and help the doctors sort and distribute.  Colonel Brima and the S L Army are ready to accept and transport.  We've done the necessary leg work and security measures.  Yet, the beds sit in Louisville, stacked up at a warehouse waiting for their journey.  For information on how to give to this project click here.   For more information about this project  click here 

As the needs become more critical and more and more lives in danger, especially that of our staff, students and loved ones in Kabala, I look at Lucy sitting in my living room.  We brought her here in June with her father, James, so that she can meet with the board and we can prepare the necessary sponsorship for her Medical Schooling.  She's going to be a doctor in her country, Sierra Leone.

One month after arriving on American soil, she has received unexpected heart surgery in Louisville, Kentucky

and within another month her father makes the return trip back to Sierra Leone (straight into the midst of Ebola) without her.   Lucy came here to prepare for Medical School in Sierra Leone.  She thought she was returning home with her father.  Her life goal is to save lives.  She didn't know that she'd be working on this end to raise money to save the lives of her people in Kabala.  She didn't know that Ebola would invade her country like it has.  And now her dad and mom are in the midst of it.

James was given every opportunity to stay in America but he chose to be with his wife and Lucy's small siblings and to be there through the crisis for his country.

James doesn't flee from danger.

He didn't during the war and he's not doing it now.  He stays and does what he always does - helps others.

Nazareth House Apostolate's work in Sierra Leone is simple - we run and operate a school for over 300 students, we feed people, we provide seed to grow crops, we fix roofs, we provide jobs for people, we are family - a part of the community.

We don't go to Sierra Leone to change culture or practices for anyone, we simply go to love.  Through that love we help one another.

James is on the ground in Kabala trying to save lives by preparing the acceptance of this shipment of beds.  Lucy is here in Kentucky trying to raise money to get the beds and supplies to her father so that the lives of her family and friends have a chance to survive the Ebola creeping their way.

The night before last, I had my "meltdown".  The needs are so great and overwhelming.  This is a huge task for us at Nazareth House Apostolate - trying to raise $25,000 in such a short amount of time is daunting.  But not doing it, knowing the beds are right here and available while doctors beg for them in Sierra Leone is unthinkable.

And now as I look at my phone this morning I see a text from Lucy.   She is talking about the beds, a sweet reassuring encouragement from a very courageous young lady.

So I say with Lucy.  "Let's do this thing, okay?"   Give to Nazareth House Apostolate today.