December 2022 Update

Season’s greetings!

Here we are, after another year has shot by. For a change, we have all good news. First of all, Covid is lurking nearby, but not in our vicinity. Although some of our staff sill wear masks daily, hardly any of the kids need to. During the semester break in October, we were able to take the kids to movies and shopping, plus other fun places that they hadn’t visited in nearly three years.

We have a bumper crop of rice this year. The kernels are bigger, and each stalk had more kernels. This is an improvement over the past 7 years. Our gardens are furnishing loads of vegetables to the various houses and the fish ponds are teeming with fish.

Also, we are taking in many new babies and toddlers. They are either abandoned, or their parents are in prison so the government asks us to raise them until the parents are released from incarceration. But we have yet to see those folks ever come for their child or baby. So, we raise and educate them. Some of the babies were born of mothers who were taking drugs and drinking during pregnancy, and are brain damaged. Some are from mothers who take a new husband and abandon their children. Some of the babies have Aids, and are orphaned. I just took in a set of 5 year old twin girls and their 11 year old sister. Their mother is a long distance truck driver who met some stud in Laos, and abandoned her children and her sickly old mother, to shack up with the guy. So, the governor gave the kids to us, and, as usual in these cases, our Outreach team helps the poor granny.

Speaking of our Outreach project, they are busy taking people to the hospital, and delivering food, etc., to the old and infirm. During Covid, many villages wouldn’t let anybody into their village for any reason. Now, however, those restrictions have been lifted.

We are now preparing gifts for the kids and staff, and the village men are already decorating the churches, and making caves for the manger. They put the animal statues, but the Holy Family and shepherds are inserted the day before Christmas. For the villagers, another rough year has passed, and they are celebrating early. And the kids in each house are preparing for Christmas by putting up and decorating their own Nativity scenes.

So, this is the Advent news. Thanks so very much for your generosity, kindness and concern for the children of Sarnelli! Have a great Christmas and a Happy and blessed New Year!

Fr. Mike, Fr. James. Brother Keng and the children and staff of Sarnelli


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