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, April 17, 2017

Declaration of LIFE.......

 Today we celebrated the 9th birthday of Esther. We do not always celebrate birthdays, it is not so much in the culture here, but today, we felt that it was important to celebrate the life of Esther and to pray over her. She did not have her best day, she didn't smile and the other children were more excited that Esther herself. But I know she liked it and that she knows that we love her! 
 Esther is not gaining and she is not doing so well. We have been many times to the doctor with her. She just doesn't want to eat and every meal is a battle for her. We pray that this will be a different, good year for her, that she will be able to step out that negative circle and I pray for wisdom for us, helping her.
And we said goodbye to auntie Rebekah, she has been a blessing to many of our children!

Friday, April 14, 2017

A wise lesson from a tree....

 Every day, when I drive to Amecet, I pass this tree. Today I stopped to make this picture. The tree is so beautiful, so big and so colorful!!! It always lifts my spirit, when I pass there. This is the dry season, everything is dry and dusty, everything is yellowish and brown, but this tree is blooming in such a beautiful way!!! This tree must have deep roots, to be able to bloom during this season. It is possible.... I want to have deep roots, so I will be able to bloom in dry seasons.......
It is Good Friday today. It is a public holiday here in Uganda, the schools are all closed. Amecet is never closed, all the staff was working as normal, but together we paused and remembered what sacrifice Jesus made for us. we read the story, shared communion and thanked and praised Him for that gift of Life that we received because of His death.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Deborah went Home.....

Just maybe two hours after I wrote the blog, asking you to pray for Deborah, she passed away.
A beautiful little girl, with everything so cute and so right. I was in love with her little fingers, the little nails, it was all there!! After only 6,5 month of existing...... But it was too early for her, her lungs and heart couldn't cope with life....
My finger and her small fingers...... she was LIEF!!!  (sweet in Dutch)
Little Deborah, you tried and you fought, but now rest in the loving arms of Jesus!!

Baby Deborah is fighting for her life

Yesterday Dr. Engulu, from the clinic next door came to ask our help. There was a pre-mature baby born in his clinic, the mother was only 30 weeks pregnant, she had malaria and the baby didn't wait anymore and was born. A very little girl, weighing only 1.250 kg. she is on oxygen and several IV medicines.
 Deborah was laid in our incubator and Immaculate stayed the night with her, she is giving here an injection. The nurses from the clinic have been struggling to find a vein for the cannula.
The baby survived the night, but in the morning it went wrong, the heart stopped and it took time to get her going again. Here is our nurse Deborah listening to the heart of baby Deborah.
Please pray for this little girl, who had still 2.5 month to go inside the womb of her mother. Her body is not ready for this big cold world. This morning, we prayed together as a staff for her, her condition is still very critical.....

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New born (this morning!) twins...

This morning I was trying to get everybody out of bed, we wanted to go to church. Sarah was also home, with a friend, so we had a house full. Then at 7 am the telephone rang, it was a nurse from the maternity ward in Soroti hospital. There was a twin, born this morning, and the mother passed away, if we could help..... So everything went in a faster speed and I brought all my children (incl. the friend) to Amecet. There I got the papers and blankets for the baby's and together with Rebecah we went to the hospital.
Again a very sad story, the two baby girls were in breech position, so an operation was necessary. The mother passed away during the operation and the doctors rushed to get the baby's out alive. I talked to the father, who was in tears, and got all the information I needed to get. The family lived in Soroti, they asked me if I could drop them off at their home, I did, while Rebecah was holding the baby's. I had to come to see the mother, who was already brought home and laid in the little house. They will bury her tomorrow in their village.

Immaculate and Sarah helped bathing them, under supervision of Jane! 
Are they not beautiful!! Left is the oldest baby, Apio Stella (wt. 2.2kg) and at the right Acen Rose, 
her weight is 1.8 kg.
We were not able to go to church, but we were able to share God's love and compassion today. And there will be another chance to do so tomorrow...........

Friday, April 7, 2017

Team work!!!

Sometimes there are jobs to do, which are just too heavy or too complicated. It is good to be part of a team and to ask for help... This is what we did this morning. A couple of weeks ago we cut some trees in our compound, the reason of that was that the roots were going towards the building or the tree was not safe in case there was a storm.
One of the tree trunks was still laying in the compound, the rest was already removed, this one was too heavy.... so today we decided to move it more out of the way (yesterday I had hit it with the car☹)
We asked the staff to help and tried to push it together....
 They tried, but it was too heavy (left to right: Sharon2, Christine, Simon, Emma, Elias, Janet, David)
 We had started building the wall in the back of the compound and we asked the men who are working at the wall to come and help us..........
 And together the job was done!!!!
We have a drought in Teso land, no rain and everything is dry and dusty. It is a big problem, we had a bit of rain some time ago and people put their seeds in the ground, trusting that more rain would come. But no rain came, so the seeds will die if not soon the rain will come.
In Amecet we also have problems with the water. We have water through the pipes, from Soroti town, but most of the time there is no tap water. Than we have big tanks, we use to catch the rain water, but no rain has been there, so our problem began: a  house with 22 children, many still in diapers, so there is a lot of laundry, bathing etc. and we have men building a wall, which also needs water to make the cement..... Simon contacted the police and they came with their fire truck, to fill all our outside tanks.... We are very grateful...
In the evening, a rain storm raged over Soroti....... Thank God, for the rain and for more to come....

Monday, April 3, 2017

Desparation.....

This morning a couple came with a small 6 months old baby. The baby looked small and vulnerable. They came to ask help. I tried to find out what kind of help. They told me the baby needed a heart operation, they showed me all kind of medical papers, it were all examinations from the heart. As we talked, Deborah, our nurse, joined us. Yes the child was in need, but to come for help for an operation... We talked and we could advise them, They will go step by step, they will go back to the doctor here in Soroti, then a referral to the Heart institute. If they have to go for an operation, it is mostly abroad, to India, there are organizations who help people who can not afford that, to get them to India. I felt for the mother, how can she ever think that she can go to India, while she hardly has the transport money to Kampala, to the Heart Institute. I promised her that we will help with the transport to Kampala, she should come for it, when she has the referral letter. It can be so complicated here. They left and I prayed that the child would make it through the whole journey they will have to go!
A moment later a lady came in, to tell us that there was a woman sitting outside with a dead child. We asked her to bring them in. It was a grandmother, her daughter (the mother) and the grandchild. Their story was that the child became sick yesterday and this morning they boarded a taxi to come to the hospital in Soroti. The child has died on the way. They were sitting under the tree, not knowing what to do, they had no money and they tried to call the relatives in the village to send a motorbike to get them, but they couldn't get trough... so they just sat there. The grandmother was carrying the grandchild, the mother was crying and very weak. the child was 1 year and 2 months old, the child looked strong and cared for. But how tragic, to sit outside at the side of the road, with your dead child. My heart just cried inside. Simon, our social worker, went to the road and got a motorcycle taxi, it is not so easy, a taxi van will not let you in with a dead child, and not every motorcycle taxi will want to transport a dead body. But he found one and on the picture you see the grandmother with the child and the mother going home with the motorcycle taxi, it was quite far, we paid the man and we pray that they will be able to get comfort and support at home.
It made me think again, that life is such a gift, we should never take it for granted and be thankful for every day that God gives us. This morning at our morning devotion time in Amecet, we read that Jesus had compassion on the crowd (Mat.9:36) I pray that I have that compassion, sometimes I feel overwhelmed, who am I and what can I do?  I can not help everybody, but I can help somebody!!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

So many new children, so many sad stories....

The last 3 weeks we got 12 new children in Amecet, the last three days , we got every day one new child. And every time I am so sad when I hear the stories, why the children needed to come to Amecet. I am also humbled and glad that God uses us to minister, to those little ones. They do need a safe place, but I do realise, that we are only a temporal place, the children need a permanent Home.
Here are some of their pictures:








 And here are some of their sad stories:
There was a child brought to Amecet, whose mother was killed by robbers. The whole family was asleep when they broke into the house. The father was with the animals and came home to find a chaos.
Another child was abandoned by the mother and only 2 weeks old..
There is a child whose mother tried to kill the child, the police brought the child to Amecet.
A small girl  lost her mother, due to HIV/AIDS, the child is malnourished and tests are done to see if the child is HIV+.
We got a baby born by C-section, the mother became very sick, unconsious, she died 2 days later.
Another child whose mother used the child to beg on the street for money. No care, no love no discipline. 
There is so much suffering among those children. They need care, they need love, they need treatment and they need dicipline..... Some children are so wild, even they are so young, they never got boundries, there was no one to stop them when they went too far... At the moment we have 22 children in Amecet, a lot of diapers, and there is always some one crying....
Pls. pray for those children, that we find a safe way ahead for them and pray for the staff as well.. 😊

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The hut in Amecet is in use.......

The hut we had build in front of our home is finished!! Everybody enjoys it, it is cool and there is shade and we are closer to the swing, slide and other outside play toys, to keep an eye on the children. We sit not anymore on the veranda, but we use the hut, to feed the baby's, to have the snack or porridge, to sit and play. We all like it a lot!

 For a long time we only had two older children, Abraham (12) and Jackson (2,5), the rest were all bay's. Now we have many more toddlers, who are crawling everywhere and climbing on things where you should not climb on. There is a very different atmosphere now. They are playing on the Merry go round and the swings, they color and do games. I have to be very careful when I step in the car, now the children feel more at home, they are all over the compound.
Yesterday there came a big truck in the compound, carrying bricks, then one with sand and small stones...That was nice, the children were directly on top of the sand (after the truck was gone of course :) !)

 We are going to build a wall around Amecet compound. We did it a year ago around Amun, but we are now starting with Amecet. It is very easy to climb over the chain link fence, we have now, we have experiences with this... we want to be more safe and  also keep the snakes out of the compound when there is a wall. We do not have the money yet, but we do have enough for the back, which is the worse. we hope to do the rest later. If anyone of you, wants to help us with this project, we will be very grateful. It cost around 25 Euro/US Dollar per meter and we need  243.8 meter wall. you can find our Bank details on our Blog home page.
I want to ask you prayer for Esther. She is 9 years old and is not doing so well. She is not gaining, we have been going to the doctor to check her if she has TB, but that is not the case. She is sad and quiet, if you ask her if she misses her family, she says no, she doesn't want to go home. We hope that the ARV's will start helping her. She often comes into the office, where I am working and I find her sitting next to me. Please pray for her, for her health, but also for her emotions......

Monday, March 27, 2017

Alice's first schoolday and a Royal visit in Amecet.....


 Alice went to school today! She is 4 years old and lived most of her life with her mum on the streets. She was soooo happy, she waved bye to all the aunties in Amecet and stepped in the car, very proud with her new schoolbag on the back! This picture left is one of the first pictures we have from Alice, she came in Amecet in August 2013 via the Police, she was around 6 months old. Was re-settled with relatives, but ended up living with her mother again. It did not go well, this time several government officials worked together to get her again in Amecet. She has a very strong character, when we came to school, she was so confident, not scared at all. She only didn't want to hang her schoolbag with the other bags, she kept it on her back. You see her sitting at the front (right) with her bag. The children were at Bible time.

 Alice came home from school today , telling us that she was going again tomorrow.......
Then the Royal visit...... I was called to come outside a beauty princess wanted to talk with me. So I came out the office, wondering what was going on. The Miss Teso 2017 came to visit us in Amecet!!
We had a long talk on our veranda, she was the chosen beauty queen from Teso 2017 and she wanted to help the community on different ways. Amecet is one of the ways, she told us that she was an orphan herself and that seeing the way we cared for the orphans and vunerable children, gave her hope. She promised to come back in April, this was just a visit to spie out the land...

Friday, March 24, 2017

A wave of toddlers......

Jackson was our only toddler for a while, he had the whole room for  himself. But in one week time the room is full, we have all the 8 beds filled, just within this week and there is even another child who we want to take in.... 
 This are Pius and his twin brother Joseph. They were brought via the Police, their mother abandoned  them. So work again for our social workers, to trace their relatives. Joseph (right) is one kilogram heavier than his twin brother. They are crawling around, pulling themselves up, you can't get them go out of your sight!
 Joel and Alice are cooking.... Alice is very much the leader, so we also have to keep an eye on that....
 Jackson, our school boy, together with Priscilla, a little girl who is rejected by her mother. The mother is in prisons and now Priscilla came to us. Again our social workers will go and find the relatives of the girl. She is very sweet and is happy to play.
 Our queen Mary.. today we got the good news that she is HIV-, the test results came back, Mary is almost blind and propably also almost deaf.  She is a sweety!
This is the full toddlers room now, all the 8 beds are taken. 
It gives a clomplete other dimension, than the baby's do. We still have around 9 baby's and three older children.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Family tracing........

Our social workers, Simon and Elias, are spending a lot of their time into family tracing. When a child comes in Amecet, and there is no nearby family, they are trying to trace for them. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is very difficult, sometimes it is nearby, in Soroti, but sometimes it is far and they have to drive for hours.....
Last week Simon and the Senior Probation Officer from Soroti went on a family tracing trip in the North, in Karamoja.
Karamoja is a very dry land
 This is a picture from the village, where the families live together
 The Karamojong live from their cattle, they are living like nomads, searching for grass for their cows. Amos, the probation Officer stands here with two shepherds.
According to the directions.... this should be the house?????
Simon goes through the gate, checking if they are at the right place.. 
 They found the right people, had a meeting with them and of course  a picture at the end!

Family tracing is hard work, it cost money, time and a lot of energy, but it is worth the effort, when we can bring children back into their own family. 
I am at awe at the beauty of this land Uganda, it is a privilege to be able to work here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Alice is back and baby Anna joins her...

 Alice has been in Amecet before, she lived with her mother, but the mother has a mental illness. We have cared for Alice when she was very weak and malnourished, we have tried to re-settle her back in the community, to relatives, but that did not work out. She was back with her mother. Today we were asked by the Police, the local counselor from the place where she lived with her mother and the social worker from the hospital, to come and to take Alice. Alice is getting wild, she is begging on the street, walking alone in town, she is 4 years old now. The mother is not able to care for her. So via the Police Alice came back in Amecet.  I walked in the house, when she was eating at the table, she stopped and waved, still knew me, She is a funny girl, very active, but you can really see that she has been wild on the street. Sad a little girl of 4 years.....
Today, we got another intake, baby Anna. There is a similarity  with Alice, her mother has also a mental illness. But her mother is more aggressive, the baby was in danger. The mother was talking about killing her.. She refused to breastfeed and the family was desperate. So we picked her from the village. baby Anna is 5 days old and her weight is 2.6 kg. we will take her to the doctor tomorrow, the mother delivered her on her own in the bush. the baby needs to be checked... 
Sunday afternoon we were called to the hospital to pick baby Samuel. He was born on the same day as baby Anna, by a Cesarean operation. His mother is very sick, Today I went to check on her, she is still hanging on, but in a very serious condition. We pray she will make it. Samuel is a very cute baby, but he doesn't drink so well, vomits a lot. He has put on IV medication, because he developed a fever.