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!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Life and Death, R.I.P little Mary....

Mary came in Amecet in July 2017. She was 14 months old, but had the looks and the weight of a new born baby. Severe malnourished (2.7 kg) and very weak. We took her to different doctors, were referred to Kampala. There came out of the tests that she had a very rare chromosome abnormality and a severe heart defect, related to this chromosome abnormality. According to the doctors of the Heart institute, Mary needed a heart surgery. But her weight was just 4 kg, she was too small for the operation.. This was a big dilemma, but this morning the decision was taken, without us... at 9.15 Mary died very peacefully, surrounded by people who loved her. Mary was loved by every staff member in Amecet, she could react, made sounds, smiled so lovely to you when you talked to her.
A small coffin was bought and Emmanuel and Deborah carried the coffin to the car. We brought her small body back to the family, where she will be burried among her clan members.

Mary you will be missed so much in Amecet, but we are comforted, to know that you are in the arms of your Heavenly Father, who loves you and you will have no pain or fever anymore!!    R.I.P.
Yesterday, Mary and I were called to pick a baby from Soroti hospital. The baby was born on the street, the evening before. The mother was a mental disturbed young lady, the father (if he really is the father) a very confused street boy. We have had a baby from this street boy father before in Amecet. After the baby was born, people who had helped them, brought them to the hospital. There, both of the parents disappeared... leaving the baby in the hospital. And then Amecet was called....
We gave him the name Gideon, he is a beautiful baby, his weight was 3 kg, and he looked good. He drinks not so well yet, but we have to give him time. Simon, our social worker is looking in Soroti town for the parents. We do know the relatives from the father, but the mother is unknown in Soroti. the tracing will soon start, to find  the mother and her relatives. In the meantime little Gideon is safe and cared for. 
Life and death, so close together in our Amecet family.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How a sad, confused story can have a happy ending....

On December 22, 2017 we got a phone call from Soroti Hospital. There was a little girl of around 4  years old, whose mother was confused and staying in the hospital compound. They feared for the safety of the little girl. The lady has been staying there for 2 days, the story was that she came with 2 children, the little girl and a baby boy. But someone had taken the baby from her and nobody knew who. The lady could not tell her name or where she came from, she spoke Luganda, not the language of Teso. The hospital asked if we could take the girl for safety, while tracing would go on for the relatives of the lady.
The little girl also spoke Luganda, but several of our staff members can speak Luganda, so that was no problem. She knew her name: Ketula, but that was all she knew. Ketula was a friendly girl, talked to everybody and loved to play. In the meantime, the hospital called us that the mother had disappeared. But 5 days later, she suddenly showed up in the hospital, she was calm and looking for her daughter. Simon was called and he had a talk with her. She told him her name and her story. She had lived in West Uganda with the father of Ketula. But he send her away and had taken a new wife. She had only one child, the story about the stolen baby boy was not true..... She told Simon she wanted to go to her own village, where her parents were living....
One of the staff members of Amecet came also from that village, he knew the people, whose names the mother told us. Phone calls were made and we got a contact with the family, who was very surprised and happy, they had not heard from their daughter for 5 years, they thought she was dead. 
Ketula was picked from Amecet, she had received a doll, from a visiting team, and the doll went of course with her, she didn't let her go out of her sight. The sad side of the story is that we had tested Ketula for HIV, and she was HIV+. We talked with the mother, she didn't know that Ketula was HIV+, she knew that she, herself was HIV+, and she had been on ARV medication, but she didn't know where her medicines were...
Simon drove them back to their village, but stopped in the nearby health centre. They talked with the medical officer there and explained the situation. They were willing to take them in their ARV program and to help them with the treatment. 
When they arrived in the village, people were happy to receive them and also to help them with their ARV medication. It is a happy ending, they are safe with their relatives and also Ketula is in the right place, among their relatives.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

He was not ready for this world....

Sunday morning (31/12/2017)  at around 8 am in the morning, a small, tiny baby was brought from the clinic, next door. The mother had given birth unexpectedly, after only 6 months of pregnancy. The baby was in urgent need of oxygen and an incubator. Because they already had another baby on their oxygen machine and because of our incubator, they came to us. It was a little baby boy, his weight was only 850 grams!!! So tiny and so small..... We dressed him into warm clothes and blankets and put him on the oxygen.
We got help from Doctor Engulu and his nurse, later the baby was given a cannula and medication. Mary (on the background), Immaculate and I cared for him. We kept the room warm and the baby was laid  in the incubator.   
 It was intensive, medication on certain hours, every two hours a couple of ml. formula. The mother was discharged from the clinic and came to see him and she held him for a little while. She gave him the name: Godwin. I was touched, when heard her story. She had given birth to 13 children, there were 4 sets of twins among those 13 children. And 7 children had died, all were born premature, like Godwin and passed away. She was so happy that her child was in Amecet, she thought that now everything would  be okay. I felt bad, because this baby was at high risk and the chance that Godwin would live was very small.... I tried to talk with her, that we would do all we could, but that Godwin had still a long way to go.... She went home, full of hope...
Yesterday, Tuesday, Godwin was struggling, his saturation (oxygen in his blood) went down several times and his heartbeat went down as well. Every time it came back up, but after 4 pm, it didn't came back up anymore, slowly it went down and down. I had called the family, the auntie came with the father. We talked and I explained that Godwin was dying. They went back home and I promised to call them whenever it was necessary. Mary was on night duty, she was prepared and knew that it might happen during the night. She was with him when he died at 9.25 pm....
 Little Godwin, only 32 cm long, you were a beautiful little boy, with such cute black (not yet curly) hair. Your ears were a bit funny, not yet normally formed. But I loved your 10 little fingers, with those tiny little nails, those 10 cute toes, which we put in those big socks, because even our smallest socks were too big for them. I found clothes in size 44, but they were so big on you.... I miss your little cry, your alert black eyes, it almost looked, if you observed us. We cared for you and loved you, but this world was too big and cold for you. We know you are with The Father now, that is a better world for you!! 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It is hot.......

It is hot, so we put all the toddlers (+some bigger children..) in a basin with water. They loved it. And they played and threw each other wet... A good way to get cool. We are doing well, we have only half of our team working, but there is also a visiting YWAM team from the USA, who helps us for some days, which was good timing! We have not so many children in Amecet at the moment, but the toddlers are everywhere, you don't want them to be.. So extra eyes on them, is helpful. We got also some older children via the Police, on 24th of December, a little boy was brought, he was found in the local bus station. He is maybe, 3 or 4 years old and he doesn't talk. Nobody has been looking for him yet, so he will be in the local newspaper tomorrow. A little girl was brought on the 20th of December, she is 3 years old (we think). She was found in the hospital, her mother disappeared and has mental problems. For now she is safe with us, but we are looking for the mother. On Christmas day, Elias found a girl of 14 years old, just sitting at the Lira road, near our home. We took her to Amecet and the next day, we went with her to the Police, we helped her on the way, back to her relatives. We never know what will happen on a  day, we can get a phone call from the hospital, that there is a helpless baby, whose mother passed away after the delivery, or the Police may bring a found child...
I want to close this post with two pictures of Patrick. The first one is from the beginning of September and the second one is from today. Patrick is such a blessing to us he is just like a teddy bear, he loves to hug and is smiling a lot. When he came, he was severely malnourished, sick and weak, we feared for his life, but now he almost has to go on a diet!! He is doing well, he is talking and playing  around. The sad thing is that nobody came looking for him and all our tracing has brought no relative from him. He will be adopted into a Ugandan family in January.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!

Amecet staff and children are grateful for your prayers and support during the last year! 
We hope that you are with us in the next year as well! 
We wish you peaceful Christmas and a blessed 2018!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Giving is fun......

 Yesterday afternoon, we had our Amecet Christmas party with the staff. We had drawn names and we all prepared a gift for some one. It was fun to see everybody come with their nice, wrapped gifts! 
 One by one we gave our gift to the person we had drawn and there was a lot of hugging, laughter and applause! There were all nice gifts, shoes, shirts and even alive chickens!!! Have you ever got a live chicken as a Christmas gift??? I got, yesterday!!
 We had a nice meal, we ordered catering, so nobody had to cook or do dishes!! Thank you Figurant, we enjoyed it very much!!!
 Also the boys enjoyed it! The two at the left are the twins, Patrick and Noah. Their mother was hit by teargas in Soroti town and is treated in Kampala (read the blog of November 19) Then we have again Patrick he is doing very well, he was found in Soroti town, sitting at the road side at night (blog of September 3) And at the right is Matthew, he is only a few days with us. he is malnourished, HIV+, very weak and not (yet) so happy....
On Saturday, we suddenly discovered a big bee hive in one of our trees at Amecet. It was high and they didn't bother us, but we were planning to remove it, as if they had heard it, because Sunday morning they were all gone.... Amazing....

Then there was another celebration yesterday!! Michel went home, walking on both of his legs!!!!!
Michel came into Amecet in the beginning of August (read the blog of August 11) he had a leg which was broken for 2 years and had developed into osteomyelitis. He was operated and has been walking on crutches, with big pins into his leg. Every thing went well and the pins were removed on November 17. Today he can walk without his crutches and is declared healthy!!!! He was happy to go home for Christmas!
Half of our staff team has gone home for Christmas today, they will be back next week, then the other half of the team is going for new year! I pray they all have a refreshing time with their friends and family! At the moment we don't have many children in Amecet, several of them went home, healthy!!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Goodbye, till the next Amun week..........

 This morning it was a lot of commotion around our homes. Everybody had to pack and also to clean their rooms!!! The first group left with Simon, back to the villages. Everybody got a Christmas gift to bring home with them. They were very excited to receive the gifts...
 It is a practical gift, with food items for the family: sugar, posho, rice, tea, sweets and beans!!
 And the sweets were soon found, of course, they had to taste them! Children are everywhere the same!!
Another full car leaves the compound! Elias brings them to the different taxi stands, where the vehicles leave for the different villages. Elias pays the transport fare and so everybody gets back home! Even all the sick people were ready to go back home, so the peace is coming back in the home and we are going to prepare for Christmas. We can look back on a very blessed Amun week!