November 2020 Update

Happy Thanksgiving Day!
    Granted that there is much to NOT be thankful for this miserable year, we can at least thank the Lord for survival, so far. It seems the world has lurched from pillar to post the whole year, from one crisis to another. Anyway, in Sarnelli world, we are hopeful for simpler things. Right now, we hope for good first semester grades for the kids. We look for a good rice harvest; or at least as good as our late start allows. We pray that the wee babies we took in from AIDS infected mothers all test negative. We pray that the borders open and Brian and Kate can return, together with people who volunteer to come to help with the children.
    The children continue to roll with the punches. While there are no cases of Covid reported upcountry, people are still very careful. Masks are mandatory to get into stores, banks, malls and government buildings. Hands are sprayed. Social distancing is required, even in city churches. What I found interesting is that you go through the same protocol to get into a hospital. Masks, spray, and temperature all checked, etc. If something is wrong or missing, you can’t get in; no matter how sick you are.
    Some of our rice has headed out, and a lot of the rice is tangled with weeds. Harvesting will be difficult, but if there is rice, the kids will prevail. The gardens are doing a super job with supplying the houses with fresh vegetables and papayas and bananas. Fish are plentiful.
    We have noticed, in the last two months, an increase in the number of babies who have been abandoned by HIV infected mothers, and wound up with us. Also, we have taken in two mothers with their children. One mother was one of three girls we took in years ago, who were orphans, and nieces of one of our Thai priests who had died. The middle girl phoned me to tell me she has two young girls and breast cancer, and could I take her back to send her to treatment and send her girls to school. I had bought and renovated a house a couple years ago, and they are living there. Another mother is a girl with a 5 month old boy, whose husband is in prison in drug charges. We will send her to vocational school. Our latest acquisition is a 3 month old girl, whose mother and grandmother have AIDS. She is a lovely little thing who smiles, eats and sleeps a lot; a very quiet baby.
    A Thai Redemptorist priest was supposed to come and take Fr. Joe Ole’s place in January. This priest is currently living and working in Milwaukee, but he has renewed his contract for three more years. He is of Hmong origin, and speaks Hmong, Lao, Karen, Thai and English. So, now we are promised a newly ordained Redemptorist priest; each coming in for 6 months. There will be five of them trading off. 

    We hope and pray that all will be well and safe from the clutches of Covid. We pray for all of you, every evening at night prayers.
Father Mike

Go Back