We had a great Valentine's celebration, with Fr. Chuck Beierwaltes, who joined us in January, shelling out money for a pizza party. The Great Unwashed back-hoed pizza, pop, ice cream and cookies with great gusto, and little ones carefully put left over pieces of pizza in plastic bags to eat later on. Friends from England were here, Carl and Ann Gross, plus Derek from Pattaya Redemptorist Center. The head of the Thai Children's Trust, Andrew Scadding and his wife Sally were to be here as well, but Andrew's father was very ill, and he was summoned home by his
brother. We keep Andrew's father and his family in our prayers at this difficult time. We also were honored by the visit of Laurence and Alessandro from Switzerland.
Laurence is the head of the Jan & Oscar Foundation. The foundation is named after her two small sons who drowned in the tsunami Christmas 2004, here in Thailand. Laurence and her friends have funded the Jan & Oscar home for teen age boys with AIDS. We hope the boys can move in there sometime in late May. This foundation also purchased a big 6 wheel truck to take the Sarnelli and Nazareth kids to school. The older truck will be overhauled so as to be used at St. Patrick's, the House of Hope and Jan & Oscar people.
Together with the new building for teenage boys with AIDS, we are building a kitchen/dining room/ storeroom for all three buildings at Pai Si Tong. We will have only one kitchen for all three homes. This is made possible thanks to the generous response of priests and parishioners of St. Michael's Church in Wheaton, IL. Fr. Chuck preached an appeal for funds there early last fall.
In January, we took in a 15 year old girl named Jum. It turned out that Jum's parents died from AIDS, and somewhere in her short life she was sexually abused and wound up with a virulent case of AIDS herself. Relatives brought her in; a thin, crippled girl with no appetite and only wanting to die. She was shunned at school and scorned at home. I have never seen a child so hopeless, sick and in utter despair. She refused to go to the doctor or the hospital, and asked me to give her something so she could die. I asked her for 10 days. I carried her off the back of the truck, and despite her anger and tears, to the hospital for blood transfusions, and then on to the University hospital for treatment for bacteria, paralysis, and AIDS. Within 10 days, she was able to eat, and was on her feet trying to walk, Today we have a lovely girl, 2 months from her 16th birthday, who is piling on weight, can't get enough to eat, and is walking and active and happy. Her teachers saw the treatment she is getting, and invited her back to school so she can take her final exams for junior high school.
Several weeks ago, we were given a two month old little guy, named "Tan". His parents are living together after having their first marriages fail. They did not want the baby, and it was either we took him in, or he would be at the mercy of professional beggars, who sometimes maim the child to elicit sympathy while begging. On February 15, we accepted little 10 day old Mr. Min, whose Mom was talked out of an abortion. When I met him and his Mom, I pinched his fat little cheek, and the little rodent exploded with two huge, loud farts, followed by a booming, wet poop! Nothing wrong with his digestive tract! His mom was embarrassed to tears! I will let him grow a few months and then take him to the Whistling Pig Pub, and feed him some beer and let him entertain the crowd with his gaseous explosions! The mom has a job in Bangkok, and did not want the baby. Both are cute little runts. I think, what with the economy ailing, that there will be more of these little runts turning up unwanted.
I want to thank everyone for their kindness and concern during this time of economic upheaval. I was prepared for the worst, but so far, the wolf is being kept from the door, thanks to you!
God bless you all!