June 2019 Update

The kids are now all in school; the college kids are finishing their second term, while everybody else is weeks into the new school year. Brother Keng has found a two story building in Nongkhai, and older boys who have found jobs in town will rent there, and go to their places of occupation. One boy lost his leg in a motorcycle accident several years back. He would have difficulty going to the second floor, since the steps have a steep pitch, and there is no handrail. The toilet is a squatter style, which he would not be able to navigate very well, so he will stay at a one story boarding house; alone. All the boys have jobs, save for one, and there is an opening at Tesco department store, if he can find his graduation diploma. Two other boys are going to batch it at the village of Nong Song Hong, and travel the 5 miles in to work on the farm. One of the two plans on finding another job once he turns 18, in November. In the meantime, we have two boys who finished junior high, work hard, but are mentally slow, ready to move into the cottage at the 12 rai. That cottage is one of two in front of my house and office there. This frees up 7 beds at the Gary and Janet House for boys from Sarnelli who are studying senior high school, or at vocational school in town. We just hope the lads in town stay out of trouble.

The girls who returned to Sarnelli House after bad experiences outside, are working at one of our 7 houses for children. One girl, who was studying in Bangkok and stopped taking her ARV medicine returned after suffering from shingles, and also got a fungus in her bone marrow. She has since had two life threatening occasions since she came back, but now seems to be out of danger. She has to take a hand full of pills three times a day, plus I have been giving her injections of Neurobion, an American drug that aids in the cultivation of red blood cells. She helps in cleaning and cooking at Our Lady of Refuge House, and is a cheerful girl, despite her close calls with death. I am ready to strangle her for her lackadaisical approach to taking her medicine. Two girls who are HIV positive work at Charlene House, doing laundry, cleaning, and cooking. Two other girls work at St. Patrick’s, which is the house for boys in kindergarten. One of our returnees is a sweet girl who picked up a boyfriend on the web, and wound up on a big vegetable farm, where she was raped and beaten. Even though she is mentally slow, she was smart enough to save her “escape” money I give girls who venture out to seek their fame and fortune.  

The latest girl to return to us studied to be a hotel worker, at the Pimali School, started by a Swiss couple to help poor kids get a job. The girl completed her course and got a job at a nice hotel in Phukhet, south of Bangkok. There, she managed to get pregnant, and felt she had to leave. We tracked her down before someone talked her into an abortion, and brought her to the House of Hope, and she is back taking her AIDS medicine, and is under a doctor’s care. She is a sweet, pretty little airhead. We have her helping with the wee ones at the House of Hope, since we have 14 runts there already. I will give her $100 a month to buy candy and whatever else she craves.

There is never a dull moment, and more and more in my old age, I marvel at folks who raise children; especially teenagers.  Please pray we have a sense of humor and do all we can to help these kids. God bless you all!

Father Mike 


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