Though the life and work of NHA began way before Nazareth House met up with a worn-torn country named Sierra Leone, the humanitarian work in that nation became a center of our energy, expenditures and focus. The humanitarian aid work that has been accomplished was an outpouring of the prayer life and ministry of NHA and its supporters. The work of Nazareth House in Sierra Leone and throughout the world is prayer – linking man and God in all situations – be it need, turmoil, healing, grief, joy, glory or thanksgiving. The NHA prayer ministry – praying the Light of the Name into the darkness – has lead to some amazing results and many miracles.
In the course of our journey, the path has always remained the same. The soul of the apostolate lies less in the belief that we have something to contribute but in the simple willingness to be used by God. Our goal has always been to establish houses of prayer, quiet unassuming homes of prayer, infiltrating the darkness silently and unassumingly – in a village hut in Africa, an Adobe in the desert or an apartment in Chicago. As these resident forces pray, the outcome of their prayer is shown as Christ grows in their lives – Christ working as the leaven in the dough.
History teaches us that God raises up particular faith people for particular tasks as He works out His Divine Will. Sometimes other tasks are completed along the way, and when this task is finished, it is time to move on. Relative to our humanitarian work in Sierra Leone, we see it is time to pass the torch. Through the course of our 16 years in Sierra Leone, NHA has provided the tools, education, and resources for the local people to continue self sufficiently.
Looking back at all that has been accomplished, it truly is an amazing story. In early 2001, we provided for a school in Freetown that continues to educate children today with local teachers. Next, we provided for the War Widows to start a soap factory and left it in the hands of the women. This continues to be a major business and the women run, operate and make profit from this work exceedingly well. Working together as family, our supporters provided for Gardens and Rice Farms which have been established for food. These gardens continue to provide nourishment and employment for many in Kabala. One hut family has two strong buildings now and is growing daily. We built a second school in Kabala in 2008. Opportunities to succeed have been provided and given to hundreds and hundreds of families.
We’ve had wonderful adventures and memories in Sierra Leone. The people we’ve met will always have a special place in our hearts, however, having accomplished our work in Sierra Leone, we are convinced that God has continued to lead us with urgency to the work and ministry of St. Simeon Skete.
Interest in the prayer life of the skete continues to grow daily, and we are eager to serve God and his people in this unique way. As we see our own country, prayer is essential: people are divided, broken, confused, tired and battered. There is a need for a place to come apart, to refuel from the constant strain of secular overstimulation. St. Simeon Skete is that place, having some living in residence while also offering “training” to deepen the prayer and encouragement to take it back into the market place of your lives, your own space, living the life of prayer in the midst of a tumultuous world. In doing so, we experience the truth of God’s promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
We are grateful for God’s guidance and for your prayers, love and support. As we transition our focus we look forward to continuing this journey with you. Thank you.
We love you all.