July 2019 Update

Dear Friends of Sarnelli House,

              June is always time to plow the fields, and prepare the beds in order to scatter rice, so as to have the seedlings grow to about 6-8 inches, and then in July pull up the stalks and transplant them in the rice paddies. Thus, it takes time to plant this way, and the growing rice needs lots of rain and fertilizer. (We have begun planting, and with all of our kids, we have enough willing hands to help!) Thanks to our cattle, we make fertilizer pellets with our fertilizer machine. This year, we have stocked 350 bags of fertilizer for our rice paddies and vegetable gardens.

              As the kindergarten, grade and high school kids settle in, the college kids are just about to have their summer vacation. Some will graduate this year, but more young people will begin college, which will be a big financial hit to our education fund. But with some kids graduating, one girl whose mother has AIDS, and also her younger brother and sister, finished nursing school. She came in her nurse’s uniform to get her photo taken and to write and thank her sponsor. Her mother sat, sobbing quietly, saying that they would not be poor anymore. Scenes like this make it all worthwhile.

              Our older boys have moved to town and they have all found jobs, save for two kids still on drugs. We send them to a government clinic to get them off the drug, but they found a way to pass their pee tests without being detected. I now have them working close at hand, and they work well, and time will tell if they can stop ingesting drugs.

              One of our girls returned to us dangerously ill from not taking her ARV medicine, and had fungus in her bone marrow, but she is doing better now. The bone marrow could not produce red blood cells. She is, without a better way to put it, a very sweet young airhead. Another girl had left us and got a job in a hotel in Phuket, subsequently wound up pregnant and was fired. I was able to get in touch with her, thanks to a staff member, and brought her back to the House of Hope to have her baby. She has AIDS, and wasn’t taking her ARV meds either, which was dangerous for her and the baby she is carrying. The doctors at Srinakarin Hospital at the Khonkaen University are treating both of these kids, and I have hired them to do tasks part time, so they have clothes and snack money.

              We pray for you every evening and at Saturday Mass with the children and staff. God bless you with good health and happiness.

Father Mike

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