Last year we spoke to Ivone Sima’an, the Nazareth Village weaver.
I was at a church meeting, and Mike Hostetler told us they needed workers at the Nazareth Village. I approached him and said I’d like to work there. Back then, I already had two jobs: I was a seamstress manager at Abu Sna’an and Haifa.
I didn’t know what to do, but my dad said: “No need to be confused. Come, we will pray.” We agreed that the first phone call to ring would be where I should work: it would be God’s answer to prayer. Indeed, the first one to call was Maha Sayegh from the village, and that’s how I started working there.
There was a lot to do at the beginning, including planting, building and cleaning. We all worked hard every day until we could barely stand on our feet. When I look at the Nazareth Village from my home window today, I’m proud of how far it has come.
Life at the the village is such an enjoyment for me. I love to give from my heart because it’s not a top-down relationship: we are a family. We eat from the same plate and share all the small and big things. The management gives so much value to the workers. We all work with a joyful heart because everyone around us supports and encourages us.
The village has taught me three things: love, be generous, give it your all, and sacrifice. Working at the Nazareth Village as a believer, I could show love for the tourists and interact with kindness. I could greet everyone with an open heart. I love the village because it’s my second home.
I worked for 30 years in Kitan, a textile factory. I started as an employee and grew within the company throughout the years: I trained new employees and managed several departments. That job gave me strength and perseverance and taught me a lot about responsibility. However, something was missing: there was no fire of faith burning in my heart. I joined the Nazareth Village as a believer, and my life started to bloom as I learned more and more. I came here to serve with honesty and integrity. All the staff is generous and full of love. Even when I leave the Nazareth Village, I will never actually leave it because it’s in my blood, heart, and spirit.
I will always pray for the Nazareth Village. I will visit and support them; whenever they need me, I’ll be there. I will always be part of the Nazareth Village family. I wish that Nazareth Village grows year after year and has lasting success. I wish all the staff and management find strength and health to keep the bond that ties them together.
In 2023, I’ll come as a volunteer to meet my beloved friends and share their happy and sad moments. Share in their weariness because I’m one of them, and I’ll always be here for them.