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, August 25, 2016

Renovation 4 + more babies.....

After our moving from Amecet home into our Amun home, the work started serious in Amecet.....
 Three men worked to get the floor out! There was a lot of noise and dust. I must say that it was a bit shocking to see our house like this...

After the floor was out they poured water on it. and that had to set for some time.  The kitchen looks not good like this, it really needs a face lift..

 Then the next thing was laying out the figures in the floor. This is the office, but in all the bedrooms they will make a star in different colors in the middle.
 All the materials for the Terrazzo floor are on our veranda, the men are working hard and we are looking forward to the end result!
The floor that came out of the house is now put in the garden, when it rains it is always muddy, this should help. The furniture is stored under the car park, packed and protected against the rain.

But in the meantime the work with the children goes on.... We could re-settle some children before the renovation started, but we got already 5 new babies and two older girls. Sad stories, all the 5 babies lost their mother, there are two twin girls, who gave us worries in the beginning. They were very small (2.1 and 2.4 kg.) and they didn't want to drink, they were too weak. So we had to feed them by NG tube and after some days, they started to drink better. Another little girl came from a very difficult situation, the father murdered the mother and he is now in the police cells. The little girl will go to a relative, after some time. Another baby was born and the mother passed away during the birth. Now the relatives of the late mother and the father are quarreling about the baby. 
 Paska is a almost 6 year old girl who is severely malnourished, besides that she is also handicapped, she is blind and is not walking or talking. She is very noisy in crying and shouting.So there is a lot going on and we are still adjusting to the new home where we are at now, we are still looking for things we don't know where they were put, but it is going well and the staff is doing so great!! Please pray for the new children, especially for Paska, we would love to see a smile on her face!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Richard has found a loving family...

It gives us so much joy, to see a child go to a loving family!!! Yesterday was such a day again.... On January 25th 2016 a little baby was brought into Amecet by the police officers from a neighbouring District, Ngora. The baby was stolen from Kenya, that was the story. the lady who was found with the baby, was in police custody. (read blog of 25/1/2016). A lot has been done trying to find the family of the boy, with the Ngora Police and Probaton officer, via Interpol to Kenya, up to now, nobody was found. So the probation office had asked us if we could find a fitting family for baby Richard. That family has been found!!! It is a lovely moslim family, and it looks if Richard even came from this family, same color!!! After all the paperwork was done with the Probation Office in Soroti, and the family has been visiting us regular to hold Richard and play with him, was yesterday the day to hand him over to his new, forever family!
The senior Probation Officer, Mr. Ekallam,  came to do the hand over. 
The father and mother with their first born son!
It was a happy time, the family will love him so much, Elias (right) will miss him, Richard was a special to him. But to know that he will belong and will be loved is such a reward!! And we will see him again, because the family lives in Soroti town.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Renovation 3: Amecet moves into Amun....

Yesterday, on Monday, was the big move..... Whole of Amecet had to move into Amun.... For the people who don't know: Amecet ministry has two homes, Amecet and Amun. Amun was in the past a home for older children, but because of the changes in the government and we also felt that it is not helping the children very much, when they are for longer time in an institution, we closed the Amun home for children. We use the home for staff housing and we have the Amun week (a training and encouragement week for HIV+ children) every year in the home. Of course we have organized and prepared the move before that. Here some pictures which shows the Big Move.......
The older children were bringing their clothes to Amun themselves: from left to right:
Abraham, Anna Grace, Humphrey, Charles, John and Charles.
The new children beds are being made ready the day before, ready for the babies....
The living room empty and stripped. Jackson didn't understand what was going on.. Where were the chairs and the toys? He cried a lot on Monday, but the next day he was fine!
All the bedsheets and mosquito nets were taken outside. A lot of laundry, but many hands make the job light, there were 6 people washing the laundry....
The moment was there, all the auntie carrying a baby, walked out the gate of Amecet.
They walked along the fence of the neighbours towards Amun. 
And into Amun they went......
The babies were laid into their new little beds (thanks to Lisanne and her family/friends).
The toddlers beds were also made up  and waiting for the toddler's after lunch nap. It has not been easy to make those beds, we wanted them higher, so that it is safe when the child stands in its bed. And we wanted the front part going down, so that we can take the child easily in and out the bed. With pictures from Internet the welders were able to make it in the way we can use it.
This is the medical room, we made that ready before the move. And we already needed it!! Our Ugandan nurse Deborah is treating little Susan, who fell sick the evening before. She took her to the clinic for testing and she has a very bad malaria, Susan needed IV injections. She was really sick, but she responded very well on the medication, today she was already playing around.
Elias and Emmanuel are still busy painting a bathroom. We made one big bathroom from two small ones. They look very cute in their light blue coat. Simon was very busy in Amecet. Every thing was going to be taken out of the house, we store it under the shelter where we normally park the cars, covered with plastic for the rain. And still many things were laying everywhere. There is also still stuff in the wardrobes, but we are locking them and taping them with tape (against the dust). Simon carried, together with Calvin and David all the beds and cabinets and tables outside. 
I was walking today through the empty rooms, with mixed feelings. memories about children we had fight for and whom we lost, others who had recovered so beautifully and are back in their families. I am so thankful to God, for all what He has done in this Home, There have been very difficult and painful times, but through it all, we could see His hand supporting us! And now we are getting an opportunity to repair and renovate this special home!!! So more can be done for children and for His glory!
The empty kitchen, this is a room which really need repair and painting. I am looking forward to it!!
This is the outside kitchen in Amun. Beatrice and Pauline are preparing for supper.
Our Kitchen Queen, auntie Grace ready for cooking. We have big round stoves in which we place the charcoal and the pots will be on top. We use special made charcoal, so not made from wood, but from sawdust and other waste.
Amun home doesn't have a big veranda like Amecet home. We always sit outside on the veranda, to feed the babies  and to play with the children. We use in Amun the hut, it is also rebuild, after the fire we had last year. And it is a nice place to sit and feed the babies. The toddlers are playing around and there is a lot of talking and laughter..
There is still a lot to do, we are constant looking for things, because the division in the Amun home is so different from Amecet home. But in a couple of days, I believe, everything has found its place and things will flow....

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Old friends meet again......

It is about 5 years ago that those 2 friends had to say goodbye to each other. At the left is Alibina and at the right Helen. They both lived in Amecet at the same time and they were always together.... They "survived" together!! Alibina is 6 months older than Helen, both couldn´t go back to their families. We tried, but it didn't work out. Then they were both adopted by Amecet staff members, Alibina by Stephanie and Helen by me. Stephanie went back to Germany and took Alibina and Julius with her. Alibina was 6 years at that time and Julius was 2 years old. (Julius also lived in Amecet before Stephanie adopted him.) Helen and Alibina were both excited to see each other again, but the language was a bit difficult, Alibina had forgotten all her Atesso and even her English, so talking was hard, but after a while there was laughing and Mama Stephanie translated for them...
It was so nice to see them again!!! Alibina is now 11 years old and Julius is 7 years old. It is so good for them to see the country they came from and meet the people who knew them from the beginning.
 That is why we went with them to Alibina´s village. Both her parents died, in the beginning the grandmother tried to care for Alibina, but we had to take Alibina back to Amecet, because it was too much for the grandmother who cared already for Alibina's older brother and sister. The grandmother disappeared suddenly, together with the brother and sister. But she came back after some years and we wanted to visit them today. 
 It was maybe 9 years ago that she had seen Alibina, it was really nice to see her joy, to see her grand daughter. Alibina is sitting at the right and her sister, behind her grandmother. Alibina looks very much like her sister.
Later, her older brother came as well and it was so special to see them together. There was a lot of talking, many aunties and neighbours came to see Alibina.The communication was a bit hard, Alibina only speaks German, so the Atesso was translated by Simon into English and then Stephanie translated into German. it was a good time and it will not be the last time that they will see each other, new friendships were made....
We drove back to Soroti and Julius and Catherine have become friends too. The communication is German and English, but never mind, they had a lot of fun together.....
And tomorrow... we are going to trace Julius' grandmother.......

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Two children went back to their homes...

Lazarus was brought In Amecet in April 2016. Both of his parents are HIV+ and the mother passed away when Lazarus was 5 months old. The father was struggling, so he asked us for help. We took Lazarus in Amecet and also checked how his HIV status was and that was good news, he is HIV free! He did well and gained, everybody loved the little man! We called to his home people, but only after several phone calls, the father and two family members came. He was not ready to take Lazarus back, he told us that he couldn't care for him, we should find a family for him.  We talked to him and asked him to go home and really think about it. And to talk with the relatives about Lazarus.
 Last week, Simon, our social worker, drove to the village where Lazarus came from. He found the home and the people were happy to see him. There was a lot of talking, but the outcome was so good: the father was now happy to welcome Lazarus back home, there were two ladies, neighbours and also relatives, who were willing to help him and there was a cow, who would provide the milk!!!
The next day they came to pick Lazarus! His father is holding him and after receiving a packet with clothes, mosquito net, some porridge flour, sugar and soap, they left happily back to the village!\

 It is sometimes very hard to trace the family, especially when children are "found". The boy on this picture was "found", we gave him the name Samuel, but the mother was found, two days later and we heard that he was called Joel, so we changed into Joel. The mother was living on and off on the streets and she didn't want the little boy, she refused to care for him and the police picked her up and now she is in the prisons. But.....the father was found, and he wanted his boy, he told us that his name was Tony.... But the father was a street boy and knew that he couldn't care for his child. That day the man, who brings us always the milk for the babies, passed by and heard us talking, we had a picture of the father and he said that it was a relative from him. He was very willing to help us and make us link up with the family of the father. Several talks were done  with the relatives and at the end the great grandmother of Joel/Tony came with an uncle to pick the child. We took them all to the Probation Office, so that everything was done proper, we picked the father somewhere from the streets and Joel/Tony went with his relatives to their village. He was welcome and they were very willing to care for the little man
Here is the family on the picture, left is our milkman, then the uncle and the great grandmother and the father with Joel/Tony. Also a story with a happy ending, it takes time and work and a lot of talking and searching, but the result is worth all of it!!! 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

We have a little dragon in our blood.......

We had a meeting with our older children today in the garden. We talked about their HIV status and used the little book "There is a little dragon in Brenda's blood.". It tells the story about a small HIV+ girl and the HIV virus is called a little dragon. You have to take your ARV medicines, than the dragon stays asleep and doesn't make you sick. It also talks about the stigma, some children don't want to play with Brenda, because of the little dragon in her blood and it talks about loosing your parents, Brenda's mother died of AIDS.... 
We had a good talk, they participated and were alert, auntie Lydia was there to translate for the children who do not speak so much English. 

After our meeting it was time to eat, they all ate well, for the people who have been with us, I made a picture from our pots, still the same and still nice and healthy!! 

But then we noticed one of the boys very quiet, we asked if something was wrong, nothing, he said. I followed him to his room and found that he was laying on his bed, sobbing... I got Lydia again and we tried to find out what happened, at first he couldn't talk, then he told us that he missed his mother and he felt that the other boys didn't like him. My heart went out to him, we talked to him and the other boys, who are sleeping on the same room, came in. They also felt for him and were really nice to him. We prayed for him and told him that nobody hates him and that he needed to take some rest. I stayed with him till he slept. Later he came to me, I was sitting behind the computer in the office, he wanted to know if he was going home already, I asked him if he wanted to go home, "no" he said, "my brothers and sissters don't want me to stay with them" There is much more going on, Stigma at home, rejection from his brothers and sisters and his parents died already from AIDS.
In our staff meeting this afternoon, we talked about it, and we prayed for all of them. We don't know how much they already have suffered and how often they were rejected. 
We need God to give us wisdom and a heart full of compassion........

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Renovation is going on (2)

In April I wrote my first blog about the renovation, we are  going to have. We have not rested, we are in full swing preparing for the renovation!! We are preparing our Amun home, for all the children from Amecet, who will live in Amun, when the renovation is going on in Amecet.
 The wall around Amun is finished! It looks very smart and it is more safe then the wired fence we had, The good thing is that also the snakes will stay out!!!!!
 This when you come into the gate, towards the house.
This is the new home for our staff member Dominique and her daughter Ruth. They lived inside the big house, but we will use her appartment for the babies. For the people who have been here, this is the little guesthouse and we made the store into a bedroom and added at the back 1,5 mtr. It is a nice little home and Dominique and Ruth are happy with it.

Maybe some of you remember that we had a fire at Amun and the big open hut burned down. We always used the hut as a shelter and as a meeting place. When we are coming with all the children to live for 2 months in Amun, we really need that shelter again, we decided to restore the shelter!!! 

We found some men to build the wooden frame again. The metal poles and the cemented little walls were still there.  You can see the man tying the wood, ready for the grass, which will be tied on the wooden frame

Simon and Elias went to the village with two cars, to buy the grass.

Two ladies are doing that job, one is tying the grass in the right size bundle and the other one is at the top, tying the grass down on the wooden frame

It is almost finished!! There are also two men repairing the cement on the little walls. Because of the heat from the fire, there were cracks. The hut is finished in a couple of days.
Amun house doesn't have a big veranda, so we will sit with all the babies in the hut, during the day.
Inside Amun we need new doors and the toilet needed to be changed, from two small ones we made one big toilet. I think we are almost ready for the big move.......... We keep you informed!! For those who want to help with the renovation, we can still use finances towards this big operation. You can find the details of our bank on the Home page of this blog.