September 2023 Update

Hello, everybody!

It seems like everyone, even up to now, has been hit by some terribly hot weather in their areas of this world. Here, we have that same hot weather, accompanied by lots of rain, and our rice paddies have plenty of water and are nice and green. We are blessed by all this rain and hot weather. We just hope it stays raining up to harvest time and stops at the appropriate time!

We have picked up more babies and curtain climbers, plus a few older children as well. Some were abandoned babies, others are children whose parents wound up in jail for a few years for selling drugs. In the old days, children would have to go to jail with their parents, especially nursing mothers. When I built Sarnelli House, we wound up accepting those babies and older children. The idea was and is, to teach them they are special in the eyes of God and have to learn to walk tall and proud, and not to spend their lives marked as children of dope peddlers. Some come as babies, so this is usually not a problem as they grow up. Once they get out of the slam, their parents hardly ever come back to pick them up, which can be a good deal for the child if the parents are no good. Here they are in a loving atmosphere, eat well, and later get to choose to study where they want and what courses they want to take. Many of our children have already taken college courses. Most opt for commercial colleges or vocational schools. It is up to the student as to where they want to study. If they come to us as babies or small children, they don’t know their parents anyway.

There is an awful germ that got to the children and even the adults. It had Covid-like symptoms, Kate, our nurse, was running from one house to another taking care of sick children. Haew, who drives for me, and helps with my therapy, had it bad, but insisted on me doing my twice daily workouts. I was very lucky not catching the bug from her.

As for me, people keep asking what was wrong with me. I caught Covid in July, and afterwards, about 3-4 weeks, noticed I had difficulty climbing stairs. Donors in the U.S. bought me a lift. I finally was paralyzed. Doctors at a local hospital injected me with something resembling rat poison. I came home from the hospital to find a nice wheelchair and a hospital bed. I swore to all the living gods that I’d never get again another shot of whatever they gave me so started therapy with parallel bars. I have worked my way to a walker, but am far from walking again, if ever. But I am 85, and am lucky to be who I am, and where I am. 4 people I raised as children who now work at Sarnelli House, come in to care for me each day.

God bless you all!

Fr. Mike, children and staff of Sarnelli    

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