November 2017 update

Happy Thanksgiving holidays to whoever celebrates, and Thanksgiving week is traditionally the time that the Redemptorist Brother and priests, plus some seminarians, join together for a week of meetings, retreat and a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I came to Thailand nearly 52 years ago, and the tradition was already in place. Now, there are only four American Redemptorists stationed in Thailand. But our Thai priests and brothers continue the Thanksgiving meal tradition, albeit with some fiery Thai food and sea food mixed in.
The rice is harvested now, and we will begin baling straw so as to feed the cattle during the year. We sold our young bulls for breeding purposes, and young heifers will soon replace aging mothers. In June, we had replaced one strain of rice with another, and the kernels came out looking a tad peaked. But when the rice was milled and cooked, it turned out just fine. We plant sticky rice, since this is the favored rice in the northeast. When our thresher goes out to hire with our farmers, they usually give us regular rice, which we use for the wee ones at the House of Hope. Speaking of which, we have 14 little creatures there now. The latest is a 4 year old boy who has AIDS and is crippled. He was in a government orphanage, but concerned workers at that orphanage begged us to take him and give him the help he needs. He is a really nice little guy, and several of our girls at Jan & Oscar make a point to take him walking to strengthen his legs, and fuss over him to his astonished delight!
              Our experimental farm out on the 12 rai piece (6 acres) is struggling along. We would like to begin planting fruit trees and begin the vegetable beds, but harvest has slowed us down, and we still have work to do to finish the two cottages for the boys. We do have electricity, and have the road repaired from the monsoon season. The priest’s house is not quite done, but I am sleeping there to watch the building material so it does not get stolen.   
              Fr. Ghee has moved from Sarnelli to the pastor’s house in Pai Si Tong. Brother Keng has completed his college course, and is waiting for word on graduation. Fr. Ole had a very successful and fruitful trip to Ireland to raise funds for the children at the House of Hope. Fr. Chuck is giving talks at two parishes in the States where he works, to tell people about Sarnelli House and the children. And Brian and Kate are as busy as ever, with fund raising and curing sick kids and Outreach work. Our German and Swiss volunteers are doing yeoman type work with the kids; living and eating with them.  
              We pray for you all; thanking the Lord for such good friends for the children and Sarnelli House!
God bless you all!
Father Mike

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