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November 2005
October was quite a month for Sarnelli House. We added a 6-month baby boy to our team of 5 babies, and took in two young girls with heart breaking problems. 8-year-old Miss Dtong was brutally raped by a friend of the family. Her parents didn't even bother to visit her in the hospital as she recovered. Villagers jibed cruelly when she returned home. One of her uncles is Catholic, and he asked me to take her where she would be happy and have another chance. She was very afraid of men when she came, but she joined in activities and began to smile and laugh. But within two weeks, she told me that she was happy here and loved me. God can call me home any time now!

The other little girl's name is Da. One of our Outreach workers, Miss Peh, found her walking down the lane and phoned me immediately. The girl was in Rosario Catholic school, and nuns from her home town told her they would pick her up during the school mid-year break, but they never showed up. So, the nuns at Rosario told a janitor to take her home with her. I sent Da to the hospital and she has AIDS. Now, we are waiting for a second TB test, since the first one was inconclusive. We have Da in isolation right now, and it is very hard on her. She is lonely, despite the fact that we let her run and play during the day. Her friends are back in school, and her education has been delayed. She never knew her father, and her mother took ff with some stud, and both are probably dead by now, from AIDS. She is a nice, responsible little girl who dearly needs love and attention.

I phoned the Rosario nuns (who were in Bangkok) to tell them. Da had been in their boarding school, and when the principal of the school found out, I could hear her yelling "Get her out of the boarding home! Get rid of her!!" This is the nun who told me last year to pull all my AIDS-infected kids out of school, so I maliciously informed them that they'd need TB tests, as would the teachers and kids in the boarding school. I think that nun has had 3-4 tests already. She is paranoid at best.

On October 29, the bishop came to Sarnelli, together with 6 priests and over 700 people, to bless our new volunteer house and little chapel that holds Fr. Dick Strass' ashes. Dick's 3 sisters came for the ceremony, as did people from the Lafayette area of Louisiana who helped raise money to build the "Charlene Richard" house. On Sunday, Oct. 30, they gave money for a Halloween party or the kids. The children responded by putting on a display of Thai dancing, and just wild dancing. Everyone had a great time. Then, Monday, October 31, the second term of school opened, and the staff and I gaily sent them off. Free at last. Praise God. Free at last!

This week, we moved the 5 babies and 8 older runts from the House of Hope nursery to another house, so as to make extensive renovations to the nursery. We have to tear out the kitchen, two bedrooms and bathrooms, and the ceiling. We will rebuild and replace. We have $6,000 (240,000 baht) for this project and hope this sum is enough!
Father Shea
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