October 2018 update

Dear Friends of Sarnelli House,

              Thank you so much for tuning in for the latest news of the children of Sarnelli! They are 153 of them, and they eat like wolves. Our rice fields have so far received sufficient rain, and now a hot sun is enabling the rice to grow fast. Also the weeds grow right with the rice stalks. I don’t allow spraying, and like the gospel we harvest the grain and let the weeds die in the dry season before burning them. This, however, has not lessened the weeds in the paddies, so we have to go back to the basics to try to solve this problem. But we should have enough rice to feed the kids and their housemothers and other workers for a year. We grind our own rice, and feed the grist to the fish, poultry, cattle and pigs. The rice husks we mix with manure to use for garden fertilizer.

              The roads here are a total mess. Driving on dirt roads is like driving through a mine field, and there is no promise of blacktop from the government. The poor kids from the farm and Sarnelli House, plus Our Lady of Refuge girls and Nazareth girls, all get a bumpy miserable ride to the highway.

              This year, we are dealing with kids with AIDS who left us and shacked up and stopped taking their medicine. One girl, Pob, died last year. Another girl is currently in terrible shape in a hospital in Bangkok. All she thinks of is getting back to Sarnelli and getting well, and it is looking like it is too late for her. She has TB in the lymph glands in her neck, and TB medicine usually is not able to cure those who did not take their anti-retroviral medicine. Other kids have returned on their own, and in time. We yell at kids who refuse to take their aids meds, knowing that they will die if they don’t listen.   

              Our nurse Kate is working hard with sick children, and Brian is working miracles in the finance and fund raising office. Both of them teach English at the Redemptorist School for the Handicapped in Nongkhai. Fr. Ole is still stationed in Bangkok, but comes upcountry to help us become a Thai Foundation, as well as solving all our internet woes. Brother Geng is working with our college kids and with the Outreach program. I am responsible for tearing down the pavilion in Viengkhuk and its re-construction at our 12 rai farm.   

              Next month, the kids, save for the college crowd, have their midyear school break for nearly a month. The housemothers of the little kids look forward to a month of mayhem! The older kids will work on the farm and in the bakery. Rice will not be ready to harvest this October, and I hope it is finished by Christmas!

              Again, thank you and we pray for you and your families every day.


Fr. Mike

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