December 2019 Update

As we begin Advent and the holiday season, we have abandoned our rice harvest. We cut the stalks and will bale them up to feed the cows, since the rice kernels are non existent, or too small to mill. Some local people have brought in rice for the kids, and other rice farmers with a bumper crop further south of us are selling us rice at a very cheap price. Thanks to people like you, the kids no longer have to worry about getting rice to eat..

Our tiny babies that we received from various hospitals in the northeast are beginning to grow. One tiny little creature we call “wee Mary” came to us from an incubator at two months, weighing 2 kilo (less than 5 lbs.). Other babies were a tad bigger, but not much. All four are little girl babies.

The children are decorating their houses and the chapel for Christmas.  A Thai lady is coming again to host Christmas dinner, and the kids voted for pizza! I remember being home for Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1985, right after my mother died. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and it was bitter cold and snowing. Pa and I were repairing and boarding up a wall down at the barn, so the cattle would be safe from the wind. Pa had a pizza thawing in the house, and relatives who dropped by were horrified at the thoughts of pizza on the day before Thanksgiving. We had no one cooking for us, so a hot pizza on a cold day seemed just right.

Father Ole, Sister Dominic and two of our staff went to Singapore to sell handicraft made by the girls at Our Lady of Refugee House. The sale was outside a Catholic church and everything was sold by the end of the second Mass. People also donated money, even though there was nothing to buy. The Singapore Catholics are a generous group of people.

Our main man Brian O’Riordan went home a bit early, since he ran into visa problems. His brother Kevin is quite sick, and is recovering from brain surgery. So Brian gets to spend some quality time with his family during this trying time. His wife Kate (our nurse) is going to join him on December 10, and then fly from Ireland to Australia to spend Christmas with her mother and family. They will return in January sometime.

Fr. Ole is spending Advent taking exams and writing papers for his University course. He is doing this in Bangkok. Brother Keng’s father is quite ill, and Keng is home regularly to care for his father. Brother Keng’s family lives in Nongkhai, about20 kilometers north of Sarnelli.

The children are mostly all healthy, and are preparing for Christmas. The boys are practicing for various soccer tournaments around the holidays. We, at this time, pray to the Infant and His Mother to bless you all at Christmas and throughout the New Year. May you have good health, happiness and peace. 

Father Mike

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