The Nazareth Trust

Healing in the name of Jesus since 1861
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Meet Ivone Sima'an (74)

Nazareth Village Weaver

Ivone Sima’an

“I love the Nazareth Village because it’s my second home”

Last year we spoke to Ivone Sima’an, the Nazareth Village weaver.

Nazareth Village Weaver: Ivone Sima'an

Ivone Sima’an

How did you end up working at the Nazareth Village?

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.

What do you enjoy most about working at the Village?

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.

How has this workplace contributed to your personal life?

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.

How is the Nazareth Village different from your previous workplaces?

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.

Nazareth Village Weaver: Ivone Sima'an

Ivone, Nazareth Village weaver in action

What would you wish for the Nazareth Village?

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.

Now that you’re leaving in January and will work much less, how do you feel?

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.


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