May 2010

Greetings from Sarnelli House! 

 This is the month that our web master, Brother Joe Ole, takes his perpetual vows as a Redemptorist, and is ordained a deacon in Minburi, just outside Bangkok. I am sure you will join all of us at Sarnelli House in congratulating Ole and wishing him a long and happy life as a Redemptorist priest.

Last Sunday evening (April 25), we took the children on a three day excursion to Pattaya, a city on the Gulf of Siam. We had 172 children and their handlers and stayed at the Redemptorist Center and the kids toured, ate and swam. The only tense moment was when the 3 buses were pulled over at night by gangs of Red Shirts. They mounted the buses but irate little voices told them to get off the bus and get out of the way. The Reds meekly did so and waved timidly as the urchins pulled out and moved on to their adventure on the sea. I never saw children so absorbed in having fun and they came back loaded T-shirts and other mementos of their trip, plus huge bags of junk food to scarf down. Today is reality as we get their school kits together. May 10 is the opening of the new school year, praise Jesus. The housemothers will then collapse and things will be routine until the rains come and we prepare the rice paddies for another harvest.

            Four of the wee ones from the House of Hope were too small to make the trip. Little 10 month old Miss Maggie cried as the older ones mounted the bus, and her favorite housemother also left her. Last Thursday I went to Nongkhai to offer Mass for the Good Shepherd sisters and I stopped to see how the troops fared on their return trip. Maggie demanded to be held and nearly ripped off my moustache off. She is learning to be mean with her men early.

            We scratched up enough money last year to buy more rice paddy. Now the weather people are warning us that we will be in draught for at least the next couple years, because of “el nino”. We dug a huge fish pond and hope we get lots of rain to fill it up, and it should hold water, being red clay beneath the top soil. All these rice paddies are to support the children and help keep them fed and watered. We will raise fish, pigs, chickens and gardens there. (We are also raising frogs, much to the great interest of nearly snakes. Frog legs are fine, as long as we are not competing with cobras).

            Our two latest acquisitions, are Miss Piyanoot and little Ben. Miss Piyanoot, a 16 year old girl who has AIDS and is on dialysis. She has kidney failure, and has a shunt portal in her lower abdomen to wash with bags of solution three times a day. She does urinate but I don’t know how much toxins she is passing. She always wants to eat peppery northeastern dishes, which she is not to even go near. She gets angry when her wishes are not fulfilled, and currently is in hospital with a bacterial infection in her abdomen.  The boy named ”Ben” (he is Ben III”) has a terrible case of TB and AIDS. He is a depressed little guy and very ill, and the virus has now attacked his optic nerves, etc., so he is in the University hospital. I hope he bounces back like little Boy did.

            I want to sincerely thank you for all your prayers and sacrifices toward these kids. The children in all 6 houses pray for you every evening! God bless you all!

Father Mike

Go Back