April 2023 Update


Happy Easter to all our donors and friends around the world. Our children are off school for the holidays and will participate in some of the Holy Week activities. We will have our regular Saturday mass with Fr. James and a donor from Atlanta has gifted small easter bunnies for each child. Kate has bought some pieces of candy to put in each one. 

We have accepted more new kids over the past month. The reasons are varied, with the curse of drugs affecting more families meaning the children need safe harbor. There is also the residual impact of Covid on the local economy. Parents leave for Bangkok to find work and leave their infants and children behind with grandparents or even great-grandparents. They leave on a promise of sending money home but it doesn’t always happen for very long. Contact isn’t always maintained. We often wonder why parents would leave their kids behind but they are often young and immature. It is toughest for the children left behind, consigned to a life of poverty, with the guilt of the grandparents unable to provide for the little ones. This is one of the reasons our Outreach program is so important now. I originally set it up to help families with AIDS, but Kate Introna and her team now support more and more older people who have no other type of help. We help the elderly and the young, typically the most neglected in our society.

The holidays have been enjoyable for our kids so far. The grade schools kids had a fun trip to a water park last week and there is another one for the teenagers this week. The children are fearless in the water so we had our volunteers and older kids vigilantly on lifeguard duty. We are grateful to generous volunteers who sponsor these outings. Debbie Willis from the UK and Jim Snell from Wisconsin have funded so much during their time here. We were also lucky to have Leon and Henriette Castermans from the Netherlands here to help with the pool maintenance and arts and crafts with the children. Almost ten of our teenage girls are helping at House of Hope and grade school houses during the holidays. They are all doing a brilliant job and are passing on the love they received from the house mothers when they themselves were younger.

I ran into a problem with long Covid over the past month or so. My mobility is a bit hindered – I’m feeling all of my 84 years! I am being well cared by the staff here and with some physio help and regular appointments at a hospital in Udorn, I hope to be back on my feet soon enough.

For Easter week, we meditate on how and why Christ lived and died for the poorest and most abandoned, and give thanks that we have the opportunity to do the same. 

Happy Easter to you all, 

Fr. Mike, Fr. James, and all the staff and children at Sarnelli House


Go Back