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Oktober 2008
(12.10.2008)
Dear Friends of Sarnelli!

The children, both Outreach and at Sarnelli, are all healthy and right now they just finished first semester exams. They will be out of school until the end of the month. I need to think of something for them to do, quick! The natives are restless!!

Over two years ago, the police and courts gave us a lovely girl and made us her legal guardian. She was nearly 11 when she came to us, and was regularly raped by her father for 5 years. The father, a tough looking guy, went to jail. Thai law for juvenile cases suck big time. This guy got out within two years, and came for the girl on September 26. As usually happens, people who should have taken care of this were not around. I received a frightened phone call, and jumped in the truck to go to Our Lady of Refuge, Viengkhuk. Thank God, one of our people is an ex-Redemptorist brother now married to our treasurer, and he was firm with the guy, getting him out of school. He demanded to see the girl and talk to her. He had been caught in the past, and both times he was able to persuade the girl to go with him. This time, the girl didn't want to talk to him. By the time I spoke my piece, the cops had arrived. After learning what would happen to him if he ever showed up or tried to contact the girl again, he was happy to get on the train and head for Bangkok. I don't think this will be the last time we see this guy. He will try to keep this up until he gets her.

Other than that, Miss Da (Darling), had her hair hacked off by the nun who runs the St. Paul school, and then kicked out. Another girl, Palm was kicked out of school at St. Joseph's Sakolnakorn. Both schools are run by the same order, and the nuns involved are born again psychos. The girls were in senior high. They will go to a secular school next year. I have one girl helping in the scholarship office and the other will help at Our Lady of Refuge. One girl is orphaned and the other has a mother and sister who have AIDS. Right now, we have 136 kids with us. We just picked up a little girl named Oop-Up, about 18 months old. Her mother took off when she was a baby, and the father was running around, begging, using the baby. Two aunts brought the baby in yesterday, a really cute little thing. I talked to the father. The aunts wanted me to hire him, but he looks like a real loser, and I expect we will have trouble with him in the future. He kept insisting since she was his girl, he could come and claim her any time. The government is going to give us a 9 year old boy with AIDS, sometime this week.

Our OUTREACH Program is growing rapidly. We have 47 children in this program. It sure doesn't seem that the virus has slowed down any. We had a new 29 year old lovely young lady, whose husband's sisters brought her to us. She runs a shop in a big department store in Udorn, and her husband has a bad case of AIDS. She just tested out positive a few days ago, and the doctor told her to find medicine on her own. This week we took her to be re-tested and to have her CD 4 blood test, etc. We have loads of kids in the program. Some are ashamed of their AIDS parents or of their being orphans, so we are trying to address that issue. Society looks down on them, and it is especially difficult for teen age girls when people know their parents are infected.

We hope you are well, and thanks so much for all the prayers, concern, interest and help. We figure it is going to get a tad grim here, what with the financial mess wiping out people's savings. God bless you and yours!


Father Shea
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