Amecet n'ainapakin (Shelter of Peace) is a ministry of Youth With A Mission (YWAM)in Soroti, Uganda. We are reaching out to HIV infected and affected children. We also are caring for new born babies, who lost their mother after the delivery. The third group of children we help, are children who need a safe place, they mostly come via the police. In this blog we want to share with you our stories, our pictures, our needs and blessings!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Amun week is almost starting......

 Yes you read it well, it reads Amun week 2016...and it is 2017...... We have the Amun week every year in the December, but because of the moving back to Amecet, after the renovation, we could not make it in 2016. It is still school holidays, so the Amun week 2016 will be hold in January 2017!!
We have been meeting together with some of the YWAM Soroti staff en today we had our last meeting.... I can't say that we are ready for it yet... but almost!!
In the office is the pile with Amun T shirts waiting. Our theme for the week is from Isaiah 43:2, where God says that He is with us. we will get a group of 45 children coming, the children have all been in Amecet in the past and they are all HIV+. This year we invited a new group to be part of this event. During the last years we have been graduated several of our older youth and when we looked through our list of children, we saw that there is a whole new group getting ready for this  Amun week. Children who are now old enough to receive and understand the teaching, children who were in Amecet as babies or toddlers, but are now 8 or 9 years old and they also need to get more understanding about their status. So it will be an interested week, I think....
I am looking forward seeing them back and we are all in for a great week!!!
All the children will be sleeping in Amun home, a tent will be put up in the garden, for the meetings. One thing where I am also happy with is that we have now three of our older youth, who graduated from the Amun week, are in the Amun staff to help disciple the younger children, They want to be a example to them and to encourage them in many ways. It is not easy to be HIV+ and many of them are orphans, but He is with them!!

PS. the operation of baby Esther was successful, we need to see her gain her strength back....

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Baby Esther will be operated ........

This morning, Deborah and me took baby Esther to the surgeon. When we got the results of the abdominal scan, we went back to the pediatrician. She advised us to take the baby to the surgeon. He looked at her and told us to come today at 4pm to the hospital, where she would be admitted and he will operate her tomorrow morning.......
So we went back to Amecet and this afternoon we drove to the hospital. I called her family, but they were not ready to sit with her, her mother is also sick again and the father we have never seen... But I asked our staff Sarah, Sarah  loves baby Esther, and she was very willing to stay with Esther in the hospital. I took this picture from Sarah and baby Esther in the car, when we drove to the hospital, I know that Esther in the best loving hands is this night....
We saw the doctor and we got a bed. They are going to empty her stomach and put her on IV drip. so she will be ready tomorrow for the operation. Please pray for this little girl....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A trip to Kampala....

Yesterday morning we left at 5 am in the morning to Kampala. because we had to leave so early, we took  Benjamin the day before home, to sleep in our home, so we could leave really at 5 am. Our nurse Deborah also came and she slept together with her daughter also in our home on the night of Tuesday/Wednesday . My daughter Sarah was (over)due for her checkup at the Heart institute, so we combined it all. And since it is still school holidays, Helen and Cathy joined us as well. We picked up Elias in Soroti town and he drove the rest of the journey.
We arrived at 12 noon in  the special clinic where we would see a Pediatric Neurologist for Benjamin. It was a special clinic and they took us first (after waiting for 3 hours) for the EEG.
                                     
You can see Benjamin laying with all the sensors glued on his head. He was so amazing, he just slept.... did not wake up. We had to get some medicines, in case he would wake up and be restless, but we didn't use it. 
 The technician was very friendly and explained a lot to Deborah and me, while Sarah, Helen, and Cathy looked after the daughter of Deborah.
While we were watching, Benjamin had several seizures and it was good to see on the monitor. After this, which took another hour, we had to wait to see the doctor, to hear from him the diagnosis. This took again almost 2 hours, but then we could talk to the doctor, who went to see the EEG results. It is a certain way of Epilepsy, but it is curable!!!!We were early, he said, so with simple medicines can Benjamin be cured!! This was very good news, the doctor said that if you do not treat this it can give serious problem in the development of the child. we have to come back in three weeks and we got the medicines to start with. This will be a lot of work and commitment from our side, it also cost a lot of money, we are used to the Soroti prices, but this were Kampala prices and the "specialist" prices. i was a bit shocked ... But we give with all this, Benjamin a chance for Life!! 
By the time we were finished in the clinic, it was 6.15 pm. and we had not eaten since snacks in the car. we were all very hungry, thirsty and tired.... I was very impressed by the children, who did not complain, but they were not as happy as normal. So we all jumped in the van and Elias drove us to a place to eat. But now it was too much for Benjamin, he started to cry and cry and cry. Screaming and he was the only one who had been fed regularly. We couldn''t go with him into a restaurant... but we really needed to eat, so we found a kind of fast food restaurant where we could sit outside... We ate and Ben screamed.. people asked us where the mother was, why we didn't feed him. Later I thought that people might have thought that we stole the baby....After eating, we drove to the simple guesthouse where I had booked 3 rooms. And Ben still screamed, whatever we tried, we could not get him quiet. Sarah would share the room with Deborah and her daughter and Helen, Cathy and I were looking after  Benjamin. we joked that the boys should share together, but Ben came with us. I gave him a bath, we even had warm water (which is not always happening) and now he became a bit calm, feeding him another bottle and he slept... I was soooo happy, because I was very tired too. He woke up twice and cried again, but I was able to get him to sleep both times.
The next morning (today) we had some breakfast and drove to Mulago hospital, where Sarah had go go for her 6 monthly checkup. when we arrived there, the whole building was under renovation and people gave directions where to go now. Mulago Hospital is build on a hill and very big, every where are building, there are not many storey buildings, we found it, after some time, and there I saw many people, lining up and every where patients sitting, all outside. We found a place where the others could sit, while I tried to get an understanding of the system. I was so lucky that the ladies who work there, know Sarah and me, as we are coming there now for almost 12 years. They also had understanding that we had to go back today to Soroti, so we were seen by a doctor after 2 hours, and everything was fine, we could buy the medicines and we found Elias and we were ready for the journey back. Again 7 hours in the car!!!
Benjamin was sleeping, most of the time and was very content in his little car seat. Sometimes he can just start to scream and cry, out of nothing, we think he has pain, but when you just carry him or feed him, he goes back to sleep.

I want to ask you a favour, if possible, are there some among you, the people who read this blog, who would be willing to help us in the medical costs of the children, we have at the moment. We would be so thankful. Next time the doctor wants a MRI to be made from Benjamin, the consults and also the transport costs are high. Than we have several other children who are in need of medical help.
Please consider if you are able to help us. Our bank info is on the blog, there is a special arrangements for Dutch readers, via YWAM Holland.
We all came back in Soroti happy and tired, Benjamin is back in Amecet, sleeping... I hope..

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day.....

Yesterday: Deborah (our nurse) and I took George to get a biopsy. George gets his ARV's via an other organization than most of our children. We have been calling them and we could come yesterday to have that biopsy done. They took it in the hospital, in the same building as where the theatre is. This biopsy will be sent to Kampala. they want to confirm their diagnosis, a certain cancer, which is more common with HIV+ patients. It was so sad to se him crying and fighting the injections, knowing that there is a long way ahead of him, with many, many more injections....
Today: I took baby Esther for a scan of her abdomen. I wrote about her before, a small cute little girl of 4 months and weighing just over 3 kg!! She still not doing well, vomiting a lot and hardly growing. The doctor who did the scan, saw an obstruction near the place where the stomach goes over in the intestines. We have to go back to the pediatrician, who will send us probably to the surgeon... But as he was talking to us, Esther gave the doctor such a beautiful smile, the biggest I have ever seen of her, I was almost jaleous of him....
Tomorrow: We will leave very early (before 5 am!!!) for Kampala. we have to go to a pediatric neurologist with Benjamin, the baby I wrote about in my last blog. They can also do a EEG there. So Deborah (the nurse) is sleeping in our home, Ben is also sleeping here and tomorrow morning we hope to leave before 5 am.
Everey day: We have real problems with Anna Grace and John Peter, they are refusing to eat. and we are in a real battle with them. They are 13 and 14 years old, HIV+, on the ARV medicines and very, very malnourished. They get angry at us, they go and vomit etc. etc. this goes on every day. they cry, they lie, they throw their food, it is not easy for the staff. They are really in need of help, but they refuse the help we are giving. We ask your prayers for yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day.....

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A CT-scan for Benjamin



In the last blog, I wrote about some of our children we are worried about. I wrote about Benjamin, a 3,5 month old baby who has convulsions. We were advised by the pediatrician, to take him for CT scan of the brain. So today we drove to Mbale (1,5 hour drive), because in Soroti is no place where you can do a scan like that. Benjamin is a super baby to travel with; he mostly slept....... didn't cry at all, we had even trouble to wake him for feedings. Good for travelling, but it is not normal for a baby........ 
Deborah, our nurse, came along, here she is waiting for instructions in the room where the scan will be taken.
They lay the little Benjamin in the machine, they already had given him a cannula and later they injected the contrast fluid. Benjamin didn't wake up during the whole process... Even when he went in the machine, he was just sleeping and didn't move.. a model patient!!
we got the results, there was nothing found in the scan what was abnormal, they advised us to find a pediatric neurologist, and they are only in Kampala... so that will be our next move...
Poor little Benjamin....

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Everybody is back to work...

Today was everybody back from holidays, it was great to see everybody again. They all had good times in the village or with their families and were ready to start work again!
I am very happy to see all the staff back, and to have the rota "normal" again and to be able to have the right number of staff working every day. 
 Almost everybody made it today at lunchtime. Is it not a great team here under the tree??
 Of course there was Pilau to eat, Elias had the supervision, he is our official "Pilau Cook" !
First the children were given food and after that the people stood in line to serve themselves with the Pilau. It was really nice and it was a good way to start the year and to appreciate everybody for their good work in Amecet!


Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year.... new challenges.....

A new year, what will it brings us??? We welcomed the new year yesterday with a nice meal. But we already start the year with challenges... We have not so many children, and during the last 2 weeks we did not get many new children. I am glad about that, we have half of the team on vacation, the staff goes to the villages to celebrate Christmas or New year with their relatives.
We don't have many children, but we do have some very sick children.......
Anna Grace, she is still not doing well. If I see pictures from the time that she just came.... she looked much better than now.. We try, but she is just not picking up.... we need a miracle for her. Yesterday we had to put her again on IV fluids, she was dehydrated....
Baby Benjamin, he is 3,5 months old. His mother was "on the road" and asked some people if she could rest a bit on their veranda. and she gave birth there..... They brought her to the health centre, but she escaped, leaving the baby behind. And now the baby is with us and after one month the baby got convulsions, without a reason. We have been to several doctors, they did a Lumbar Punction twice, and that is painful... now we are advised to go for a CT scan, we have to go to another city to do that, it is not possible in Soroti. We are planning to that his week. But yesterday he was in a lot of pain, it is so sad.....
Abraham got suddenly severe convulsions, was even unconscious for a while. After a Lumbar Punction we got the diagnosis: A certain meningitis, which comes more often in HIV+ people. The treatment is 8 hours on IV medication every day, for 2 weeks. In the beginning he was really confused and saw scary things, now he is doing so much better. I am so proud of him, the way that he  is handling the IV every day, he is so patient. Two more days to go.....
Friday John Peter was brought into Amecet. He is 14 years old and his weight is 18 kg. Very malnourished and also sick and he has anemia and is HIV+. He is very sad, doesn't talk. yesterday he had a lot of pain in his stomach. He was crying of pain. We took him to the doctor and we had to give him pain medication. Today we went back again and we got anti TB medication and he needed blood transfusion. So we made our living room into a hospital room....
At the right Abraham is on his IV medication, he is smiling and cheerful, at the left John Peter is on his blood transfusion. Not so happy, but at least he didn't have much pain. We pray and hope that the medicines will help him and that he gets some of his strength back.
Then we still have Baby Esther, I wrote about her in my last blog. We have quite a number of children where we have worries about......
Please stand with us in prayers, that God will have mercy on them and that He will give the doctors and also us, wisdom....