“Let us always greet each other with a smile,for the smile is the beginning of love”.
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
November 1, 2016
ALL SAINTS DAY
My dearest Brothers and Sisters,
So much has happened since last year’s newsletter. On March 26th, my dearest Mother past to her
eternal reward. May she rest in peace. I was not able to be with her in her dying moments nor
attend her funeral. When I received the news that she was taking a turn for the worst, I had
seventeen youth in different hospitals and I had used all my donations for their medical care.
I had no money to fly home. When I emailed my situation to you, many of you sent help right away.
Thank you so much. But by the time help arrived, my foot and lower leg had swollen to such a
degree that I couldn’t wear shoes nor walk properly. The skin broke around my foot and cellulitis
set in while I was in a dirty hospital. After going to a good hospital, I was also diagnosed with
a blood clot. All this began because I was toxic on a medicine that I had been taking for many
years. The toxicity caused foot drop, and I was falling often with injuries to my head and leg.
On May 16th I was able to fly home, even though my foot was still swollen. While I was home, 10
doctors checked my foot with various tests and found that my nerves were severly damaged-if not
dead. I was fitted with a brace so that I could walk and given intense physical therapy in the
hope of bringing that foot back to normal. I am still doing the therapy, praying that, if it is
God’s Will, I will one day have normal use of my left foot.
Recently, the Sisters of Mother Teresa asked me to serve their sisters in Semera, Ethiopia, where
they have not had a regular priest for a year and a half. I did not know that it is the hottest
place on earth (the highest temperature was recorded here at 500 degrees Celsius which is 1060 degrees
Fahrenheit). Since my foot is still in a brace and I have very limited use of that foot, I brought
Joshua along to help me travel to Ethiopia, which boarders Kenya. Joshua has been my best youth in
Kenya for over 10 years, and he was very willing to help me. We arrived in Semera on Oct. 6th, and
the heat was very overwhelming. Joshua quickly said to me that he would have to leave the next day.
It was too hot for him to stay any longer.
We are in the state of Afar (Northeastern Ethiopia) which is in the desert. Afar has only 28 towns and
it is just above and below sea level. It had been a land of volcanoes, so there is very little soil,
no gardens or crops, no cows, pigs or chickens (it is TOO HOT), only sheep, goats and camels and a few
trees. There is very little rain. The ground is covered with volcanic rocks and ash. It is VERY
DUSTY, yet one has to keep the door and windows open lest you are overcome by HEAT. Afar is considered
to be the origin of human life since a 4.4 million years old humanoid was discovered here.
96% of the people here are Muslim, very few Christians, but Mass on Sunday is full of life, love and
great devotion. When you are so poor, you must depend on God for the very little you have. People
sleep outside on the ground with their little container of water begging for food. The thinnest people
in the world live in Ethiopia, a land tortured by war and hunger where poverty is extreme. The Sisters
have a home for sick men and another for sick women (100 beds in each home). Most of our sick have
tuberculosis. The Sisters also run a day school for 74 preschool children. There are 90 Semitic
tribes/languages in Ethiopia of which Amharic is the common language. It has 154 characters (letters)
in the form of Arabic script-a real challenge for me to learn.
I live in a very small room (9 3/4 feet by 12 1/3 feet) with one small old cabinet for clothes and
books. No closet or sofa, just one small table, chair and cot. I have a toilet with no seat or
running water. Water is carried in to flush toilet, bathe from bucket and fill my water filter for
drinking. It is a very simple life and I am very happy to pray, offer Holy Mass and assist these
poorest of the poor (my room is right next to our classroom for the preschoolers). Please pray that
the heat will not become intolerable for me as it has been for most of the priest who have visited
here. I am the only priest living in the whole state of Afar. This diocese includes other states
and has only the bishop and one other priest. I will still help my younger children in Kenya with
your donations, but I’m finding the conditions here in Ethiopia to be much more serious. And please
pray for the healing of my foot. It seems to be slightly improving. Doctors say that it takes about
2 years for the nerves in the foot to recover-if they are not dead/
There is no internet here. I have to travel 12km to a bigger town to do email and the connection is
very poor. I try for hours. The power is off and on. There is only one network here and it is
controlled by the government (dictatorship). On Oct. 10th, after months of anti-government protests,
Ethiopia declared a state of emergency. Protests took a more violent turn after 55 people were killed
during an Oromo festival. I look forward to keeping in touch with you but I CAN’T DO FACEBOOK HERE.
May God bless you all for your kindness and love. Our Father, Our Brother Jesus and Their Holy Spirit
will reward you as we continue to pray for you every day. “You are precious in my eyes and honored,
and I love you”. (Isaiah 43:4)
For sending financial contributions, USE: Fr. Ted Hochstatter
c/o Donella Anderson
15765 N. 1150th Rd.
Macomb, Il. 61455 USA
Donella will deposit your gift in my US account and then she will wire it to me here in Africa.
***IT IS NEVER SAFE TO MAIL MONEY DIRECTLY TO AFRICA***
Casey Ladowski and friends, set up a website for us: frtedskids.org I am really proud of their work.
YOU CAN SEND A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO ME by making your check out to and mailing to :
Fr. Ted’s Kids Mission in Kenya, Ltd.
1200 Gleneagles Ct.
Lake Geneva, Wi. 53147 USA
We also have an account with PAY PAL:
My Masses and sacrifices are offered every day for all of you. Please know that we need your prayers.
In praying for each other, we are united in the Heart of Jesus, united in doing His work. Thank you
again for all you are doing for us. We greatly appreciate any help you offer us. As we prepare for
the birthday of Jesus, let us share His Love with all we meet through the Heart of His Mother Mary.
WE LOVE YOU!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!