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!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Epietu's metamorphosis......

Emmanuel Epietu was born on Christmas day, last year.  On March 1, he was brought to the Police by "a good Samaritan" as the Police  wrote in their referral letter to Amecet. He was in a bad shape, his weight was 2.6 kg (while 2.5 month old).  The mother was later found by the Police, but disappeared again. She even never visited her son in Amecet.
We called him Epietu, because by that time we had already 2 Emmanuels in Amecet. Epietu was a very tense crying little boy. We heard from neighbours that he was most times left alone in the house, and hardly fed. He cried than for many hours, alone in the little hut. 
We don't know where this little boy had gone through, but you just felt for him. He was always so tight and tense. Feeding was a problem, he didn't want the bottle and we tried out several cups until we found one that he would want to drink with. And even than, we had to take time and sometimes he just refused to drink. Slowly we saw a change, he could lay in his bed and not be all stretched and tense, he could grab a toy and he would start smiling a bit ( not to everyone).  He started to respond when we called his name and we could see that there came a peace over him. His eyes were not big, wide open and fearful anymore.
In the meantime, our social workers, Elias en Simon, went to search for relatives and they found........the grandmother!!! She had been visiting Epietu several times now, she has been feeding him and we saw that it went really good. It is a sweet lady, who is very willing to care for her grandson. Her daughter, the mother of Epietu, is gone and she wants to take Epietu!!
Today was the day, I feel so happy about it, Epietu is smiling to her and I know that she will be caring and loving him. We prayed for them and she will come back every 2 weeks for check up and we will give porridge flour, sugar and soap to her.
Dear Epietu, we are so happy you got a loving grandmother and please keep smiling!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thomas got his eye operation...

In the previous blogs I wrote about Thomas, the little 8 month old baby who lives together with his 5 year old brother in Amecet. Thomas was diagnosed with glaucoma in both eyes. He needed to be operated as soon as possible, because the pressure can damage the nerves of the eye and can influence his sight. We had taken him to Tororo, where a special eye hospital is. We could be on the operation list for 25th of May. The Doctor who is specialised on those operation in children was not around until that day. Then the next day Janneke found out that the reason that the doctor was not around was.....that she was operating in Soroti Hospital!!!! Is that not great, he was put on the list in Soroti hospital and Janneke and one other staff, Scovia took him to the hospital on Monday.
Here is the last examination before the operation, 
 We got a bed in the ward and now wehad to wait, there were many patients, it was a special week for  children with eye problems. There was a team of doctors who were operating the whole day, to only children.
 Thomas surprised us all by showing off! He could sit by himself without any support!! We clapped for him!
 Today was the operation, he was the first one, because he was the smallest, said the doctor. The operation went well and Thomas came fast out of the anesthetics, he cried and wanted to drink... If that is not a good sign!! He has pain, and is not comfortable, but Scovia is really very patient with him and we hope that he can go back to Amecet tomorrow.
 Walter went to visit his little brother today, didn't understand much of what was going on. We want to thank you for your prayers, we are very happy that it all went to smooth and well. Please keep praying for this little man, that the one operation will be enough and that we can see the difference when he is recovering.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A rain shower.... and school stories.

 Rain is pouring down, everything is flooded in a short time, but it also sucks in the ground fast. We always live at on the veranda, there we feed the baby's, folding the clean laundry, the children play etc. When it starts to rain, which can happen very sudden and directly pour, we pick up everything and ran in side. If the sun comes out a little later, we go back outside again. It is vacation (last day) and all the children (including mine) are around.
Normally they play outside, but when it rains they play inside. We got quite some Lego and that is good to have for moments like this...
They also miss the school, I think, so they play school. Helen is always the teacher and she gives a lot of exams... But they enjoy it,....
Gabdesia is doing a bit better (right on this picture). we still feed the medicines and some extra feeding via the NG tube, she is more active, but still we pray for much more progress. We have another 7 year old girl, Christine, in almost the same situation. She is very weak and malnourished. we had hoped they would be friends, but they are not, they quarrel a lot. But the competition makes them more active:).
There are a lot of things going on in Amecet. In my last blog I wrote about the death of Joseph, his twin sister Mary is crying a lot. Very sad, there is more going on between twins than we know... Tomorrow we hope, Thomas will be operated at his eyes, please keep him in your prayers!!

Then all the schools start again after a month holidays. There are a number of children in Amecet who are going to nursery and primary school, but we also have several of our "old children" going to secondary or special courses. Elias is working with the older youth, he will be very busy with paying school fees, checking on them and helping them go back to school. Last week we brought Mary (my oldest daughter) to Lira, where she started in a nursing school, to become a nurse!! She is one of our first children in Amecet, we are proud of her!
This is Joshua Tyonti, he has been with us for a long time, went home and came back again. I have written about him before, his eyes are giving him a lot of problems. We take him to the eye hospital in Tororo. Joshua is always so happy and optimistic. He has suffered a lot with his eyes, but you don't hear him complain. One eye is as good as blind and also the other eye is not very good. We have been talking with him and his family and he will start this week in the school of the blind. Not an easy decision, but it will help him and may prepare him for the future. He is okay with it and we will bring him this week, The school is in Soroti and it is a boarding school. We will miss him, he is such a happy fellow to have around!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

John went home and Joseph went Home.

It was a crazy day today! let me share about it.
There was a big ceremony on the sport field in Soroti: Teso safe Motherhood celebrated their 10 year anniversary. This organisation helps pregnant women with safe deliveries (and more). As Amecet we were also invited, to be part (with other organisations) of the exhibition. So we were there with some of the bigger baby's and some toddlers and staff.

It was a long day which started at around 10 am and it went on till 4 pm. We had diapers, milk and other things with us and the children did great! There was some singing and some role play, but most of it were speeches. Halfway I was called by Amecet, that the family of John was there to pick him. So I went back to Amecet, with Sarah, carrying John. he has been with us from the end of January, and was very ready to go back home. He  lost his mother after the delivery and was brought to Amecet, weighing only 1.8 kg. Now he was 4.8, so he gained 3 kg! After we had given him over to his family and explained everything to them, they left, back to their home, in the village. We pray that he will be a blessing to his family and that they will love him and care for him. Janneke went that morning with a very sick baby to the hospital and she was not back yet. The baby was one of the twins we had taken into Amecet, just 2 weeks ago, Mary and Joseph. Joseph has been sick since Wednesday and we were really worried about him. Earlier that morning I called to the father, because we felt that they should know and come to see him. I went back to the sports field, to the ceremony.  And when we came back in Amecet at 4.30 pm the father of Mary and Joseph was there. he was sitting next to Jospeh, he was really sad, he lost his wife just 2 weeks ago and now his son was so sick. After a while he left and we promised him that we would call him if there was any change. I also talked with him about the possibility that Joseph could die. He understood and I really felt for him. Janneke was going to stay with Joseph that night. She felt 
that he could die that night and she wanted to be with him. We had prayed that morning for him and we all realised that he was very sick. I also went home, together with my daughters, knowing that I could expect a phone call. And that phone call came, at around 7.30 pm Joseph went Home. His suffering is over. I have called the father  to tell him the sad news. Tomorrow we will go to the village, to bring the coffin with this little body.
Two children went home today, but to very different homes!

I want to ask you to pray for the family of Joseph and also for our staff. we have some new people who joined us and they were quite upset about the death of Joseph.
I have another child I want to ask your prayers for. That child is Thomas. I have written about him before, he was a very small baby when he came via the Police in Amecet. We failed to locate any relatives and now we discovered that Thomas has an eye problem. Janneke took him to the Eye hospital in Tororro on Thursday and they found out that he has glaucoma in both eyes. This is a serious problem and he can become blind if nothing is done. Thomas will be operated on Monday 18/5/2015. We really appreciate your prayers for this operation, pray that this one operation will be enough to help Thomas and pray for the doctor who will operate, for wisdom and skills!
You can imagine that it was a crazy, busy and emotional day......and tomorrow..... there will be a new day again!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

R.I.P sweet Sabine...

On 20 th of November 2013, a very small, 2 week old baby was brought to us by the Probation Officer of Cortido. It was a Karomajong baby. Sabine was very small and weak, both parents had died and her sisters tried to care for her. It was not easy, we struggled for every gram she gained in the beginning. But we had Hope for her. Janneke and me used her picture even for our Christmas card in December 2013, 
We felt that Christ had come to earth also for children like Sabine. It gave us Hope for her!! And we saw a steady growth, she started to develop and we were so happy with that. she stayed longer with us than baby's normally do, Sabine lived in Amecet for more than 7 months. by that time she was doing very well, smiling and everybody loved her. But our mission is to bring the children back to their families, and the family of Sabine wanted to care for her again. So we had to let her go.... a child belongs in his/her own family and there is where Sabine belonged. But it was not easy and we had some fears, because there was no mother in her family anymore.....Sabine went back to her family on July 3, 2014.
Last week we got the message from the Probation officer that Sabine got ill and that she passed away, just 2 days ago. We were shocked and sad, but when I think about the picture from Sabine on our Christmas card (picture above) than I realise that she is now in good hands, the best hands!
Dear Sabine, Rest in Peace

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mosquitos, mosquitos.......

 Yesterday we shifted all the baby's from Amecet outside on the veranda. The changing table, the diapers, everything was outside on the veranda, because inside Amecet Elias and Emmanuel were spraying.... Now the rains have started, we got so many mosquito's inside the home. The night duty people were complaining that it is so bad when they are working at night. So Elias and Emmanuel started the war on the mosquito!!!  The smell is so bad that we stayed the whole morning outside, until half the afternoon, but I am sure that the night duty staff noticed the difference!!!! Until the next time....
In the last blog I wrote about Catherine and her little son, Theo. They have been in Amecet for one week. Catherine has been treated on malaria and the cord of the baby was infected, so he also was treated. Now the breastfeeding is going well and the baby is gaining, even he is still  small. Simon brought them back to the village yesterday, but of course, we keep in touch!!!
 Bye, Catherine and baby Theo, we´ll keep praying for you!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Catherine got a Baby boy...

Many of you, from the people who visited us in Soroti, know Catherine Agero. She has been in Amecet and later in Amun for a number of years. She came when she was very weak and sick, but we saw her grow up into a beautiful teenager. Amecet helped her going to secondary school (boarding) and later, when this didn't work out so well, we helped her to go through a tailoring course, she graduated last year and she got a sewing machine. But in the mean time she got into a relationship and pregnant. Amecet stepped in when there were all kind of problems between the two families and between Catherine and her boyfriend. Mostly, because we were concerned for Catherine's well being and for the life of the baby. Tuesday night, Simon got a phone call that Catherine had contractions. She was in the village, but we had let her promise to go to the hospital there, when the contractions would start. Simon talked with the boyfriend and told him to bring her to the hospital. After all kind of problems, she ended up in the hospital, but the labour did not go well. Wednesday afternoon we got a phone call that they wanted to refer her to Soroti hospital, but they didn't have money to pay the ambulance. Catherine had been the whole day in labour. Via the phone we could get her in the ambulance and Janneke, Mary and I were waiting at 7 pm for her at Soroti Hospital, yesterday evening. Catherine was very happy to see us and Janneke and I went with her into the delivery room, to encourage her while she tried to push the baby out. It was very difficult, we saw the head of the baby, but nothing happened. The doctor and the midwife decided that she had to go for a Cesarean, when she heard that she decided to really push hard and we, all cheered and encouraged her and yes the baby came out!!!
The baby was small, (2.1 kg) and had been squeezed because of the long labour time, but he cried!! And Catherine was so happy, smiling and thanking God!
We asked what his name would be, she said : Theo, I asked Theo?? Yes, Catherine said, after your brother, because the Dutch people really helped me in this difficult time! It touched me and I pray that little Theo will bring joy to her heart!

Catherine had a good night, she had eaten something and she was already making jokes. She now called him : uncle Theo!! We talked with the doctors and we were allowed to take her out. Because of the problems with the father's family, we took her to Amecet. We want to be sure that the breastfeeding will be going well and that the baby get his ARV's everyday and to be sure that Catherine is fine. Little Theo was looking much more handsome already after only one day!! (I wonder what he will be like in 20 years???) We are thankful that the operation was not needed and that mother and baby are doing well. Little Theo is small and a bit fragile, but we have good hopes that he will pick up and we pray that he and Catherine will have a great future!!
(PS. and I feel a little bit a grandmother)