June 2024 Update

Here, at Sarnelli, the latest news is that the new school year has begun, and every morning our school trucks and vans ferry the kids to school, as the staff can relax a bit, after a long two-month school vacation. It is hard to witness anything so pitiful and depressing as a weary housemother trudging around, with a small herd of rug rats tagging along behind, whining “Take us someplace! Let’s get some action around here”!

And the good news is that in the third week of May, which should announce the beginning of the monsoon season, we had long rain that turned burned out grass and shrubs into vivid green colors, and cooled down the rice fields, which soaked up the rain. Farmers who cast the rice seed have to be happy since most of them were anxiously awaiting rain to awaken their dormant rice seed. We just hope and pray we have a good monsoon season, despite warnings that Thailand will be in drought this year.

Work on the home for disabled and handicapped babies and small children who were abused and abandoned is nearly finished. We already installed two air conditioners and now have to furnish the building with beds, cribs, blankets, and kitchen utensils, etc. We also have to hook up to our water pumps. Right now, we are blessed with our husband & wife therapy team from Holland, but from June to October, they will return to Holland for 4 months. They have been training staff with the four physically disabled wee ones we have with us, plus other disabled kids in our Outreach Program. But the ladies don’t have the expertise of Ben and Angelique. Our three German youth, a girl from the Lutheran APO church in Oberhausen, and a boy and a girl from the Redemptorist church in Bonn, will be returning home within a few months, also, to prepare for college. They are tremendous kids, loved and treasured by children and staff alike. They will be sorely missed.

Kate and Brian have taken over most of the work I used to do, with greater professionalism and efficiency than I ever had. God has blessed us with such great people, and we are in awe of them both, witnessing their interest and enthusiasm dealing with staff and runts alike.

As for me, I stumble around trying to look alert and on top of things, but secretly fear I am the object of mirth and scorn in my old age. Memory sometimes embarrasses me or trips me up, and my eyesight and appetite are fading. But, at 86 years, I am not complaining!

God bless you all with good health and happiness!
Father Mike, the children, and staff of Sarnelli


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