June 2017 Update

Hi from Eden, Wisconsin!

I arrived in the U.S. nearly 5 weeks ago. Time is shooting by fast. I am done with my medicals, and am deemed in good health, and no sign of Alzheimer’s….yet.  Save for the infants and rug rats, the children are all in school, and the housemothers all breathe a sigh of relief. Seeing hordes of little boys walking the lanes of Don Wai village, armed with slingshots, makes everyone nervous, but especially folks who are lucky enough to have glass windows. The younger girls charge up and down the road with their bikes, and so far none have been hit by a car. The older girls won’t ride; they line up to use the few motorcycles the houses have. None of them have licenses nor will they use helmets. I guess they think helmets hide their beauty, or something. Our young lad, Choke, is learning to walk with crutches and to climb steps. I don’t know when he will be measured for his prosthesis. His leg is cut off below the knee.

 I don’t have much news about the kids or goings-on at Sarnelli. The folks there tell me only what they think I need to know, which is O.K., I guess. The Redemptorists at our International School in Minburi recently held a concert for charities to celebrate its 60th years of foundation, and from the proceeds, they gave Sarnelli House 300,000 Thai Baht (about $8,800). What with the influx of 6 new kids, and two infants about to be born from two mothers at the House of Hope, that money will come in handy.

From all reports, and what I saw before I left, the monsoons came in on time this year. The kids and staff are planting rice by hand, kernel by kernel! Even the most unlearned peasant knows there is a global change in the monsoons and the plant to harvest window. We used to have 5 months to grow good fat kernels, and now we have a little over three months for the cycle.

The government has put down the electric poles into the 12 rai parcel of land where we are going to start our experimental farm and fruit arbor. The building of the main house goes on, and we also will initially build two cottages for four boys, and see how it goes, until the project takes shape. Then we will add another cottage, and also a mess hall for the kids and myself. Needless to say, I am not about to eat some of the food the boys eat. They will kill something and cook it up to room temperature, and then grind it down. My meals are more like the curds and whey type.

This week, in Wisconsin and St. Louis Missouri, we are celebrating 50 years of priesthood of our beloved Fr. Chuck, and 60 years as a Redemptorist of Fr. Dave Polek, Both of these priests work tirelessly for Sarnelli House. I am privileged to be home and able to join in the Missouri celebrations.

Again, thank you so very much! May God bless you and yours with good health and happiness. We pray for you daily.

Fr. Mike       

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