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, August 15, 2017

Three mini baby's.......

We have three very small baby's in Amecet. Two of them are under 2 kg and one just got last week over 2 kg. They are so vulnerable and so small. All three of them lost their mother after the delivery. In the middle is Jean, she is the biggest, but she is already 3 weeks old and she is the baby who just went over the 2 kg. We were very excited, because she was gaining too slow. We had to feed her by NG tube for more than a week, she was just too weak to drink, but now she can drink on her own again and she is gaining! Then we have Vincent, at the right  (sorry, he is dressed in pink), Vincent came to Amecet only 2 days ago, but he was already 11 days old. Also his mother died and he was fed for those 11 days only on sugar water...... He is malnourished and still weighs less than he birth weight. But he drinks well and I believe he will pick up, his weighed was only 1.8 kg At the left is Jesca, she was born one month premature and weighs only 1.7 kg. Also her mother died, there was a emergency Cesarean operation necessary, the mother had pre-eclampsia, but she didn't come well out of the operation and passed away. The first day Jesca drank a bit, but it was not enough, the drinking took a lot of energy and we gave her a NG tube, to help her getting enough feeding. When you see them laying on this picture, they are so cute, but so vulnerable. We have to stay alert all the time, please pray for these three mini baby's.
I promised to keep you informed about Michel, (read my last blog) he has been operated Friday evening. The doctor thought, from what she saw on the X-ray, that the good bone was still strong enough, but when she was operating, she saw that the bone was more rotten then she expected. So the next day, Saturday, she operated him again, to put the metal on the legs with screws. The first two days were not easy, but by now he is smiling, talking and asking for his favorite foods. I made a schedule to be with him in the hospital and day and night, one of the aunties is with him. It was so sweet, today he told Deborah that he had now so many nice aunties, he really enjoys the care and attention. He is a sweet boy and very co-operative, that is good, because he has still a long way to go.
We hope that he can come home to Amecet, this week. But those metals and screws have to stay in his leg for at least 8 weeks. Please keep Michel in your prayers.
Then I want to share with you a sad news: yesterday we got the phone call that Nathan had passes away. Nathan has been in Amecet last year and he was re-settled with his family. I wrote about his mother in the blog of 25/6/2017, his mother was one of the teenage mothers. They told us that he got a bad malaria and he died.. This morning, Simon brought a small coffin to the family, together with some posho and beans. We know Nathan as a sweet boy, he was handicapped and it was not so easy to get contact with him, but he changed a lot during his time in Amecet.
Dear Nathan, may You rest in peace and enjoy the beauty and love of Heaven.....

Friday, August 11, 2017

New Arrivals....

This is Jesca, she was brought yesterday, at the end of the afternoon. She was born earlier that morning. Her mother passed away after the Cesarean operation. Very sad, Jesca was born premature and her weight is 1.7 kg. Jesca drinks good and is very alert, as you can see! I love the little cap the staff had put on her, it suppose to be a dolls cap, but Jesca is so small, it keeps her head warm!!  
This is Michel, he was brought to Amecet 2 days ago. His family neglected him terrible. He is HIV+ and has a wound at the back of his left leg. There is an infection inside of his leg, they told us that it is like that for two years now. Pus is coming out, so Michel often had to sleep outside, in the bush, because the wound was smelling. Michel is 7 years old and such a sweet, kind boy. This child has suffered so much.... I don't know what is all in front of us, but I knew that we would take him in Amecet and we will see.... Yesterday we took him for X-rays of the leg, and we didn't get good news. He broke his leg, (upper femur) two years ago and got an infection. It devellopped into osteomyelitis. The only way was to operate his leg and get the old bone out and clean the infection... The doctors, we saw, told us that it was a big infection. last evening we had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, but after more than one hour waiting we heard that she was still out and we could come back the next day at 8 am. So today at 8 am we were in the clinic again, she looked at Michel and the X-ray and told us that they could help him... we came back to the clinic a bit later and Michel was admitted in the ward. We decided we would take a small room for him alone, to make the chance smaller that he would get infections.

Our nurse, Deborah was sitting with him on the room, normally the family members are with the patient, but now we have to stand in for them. They waited for the doctor the whole afternoon, Michel hungry, as he was not allowed to eat. At the end of the evening I went to pick Deborah and bring Peace, one of the staff members, to stay the night with him. Cathy and Sarah came with me, Cathy wanted to bring him an orange, but I had to explain that that would not be a good idea, since Michel was hungry, but not allowed to eat, so she brought a drawing instead. Michel is on IV drip, still waiting for the doctor, I just called Peace right now (8.30 pm) and she told me that they just took him to theatre for the operation. please pray with us for Michel.. I will let you know how he is doing..

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Who will stand up for the children???

I feel upset and I feel angry....... We have some children in Amecet at the moment, who are neglected and abandoned by their own parents...  If I see the suffering of these children, I feel angry, why are these people not caring for their own children? They might not be rich, they might not have always food to give them, but they must have a heart??????
We have a baby who was stolen from the mother, she was actually stolen by her friend, the friend is now in prison, but there was even doubt if the one who said that she was the real mother, was also not the real mother. It took some investigation and we know now that she is the real mother.
We have a girl of 11 months old, who was brought very sick and malnourished, the mother had died of HIV/AIDS. We took the child is, she was sick in the beginning, very sick, we also tested her and she is not HIV infected, So that is so good. Now we contacted the family that it is time for her to go back home, we visited them, and they promised to come for her, they have been promising it for weeks now..... Our Social workers went again to the village and after asking around they found out that the mother is not dead, she was the person who brought her to Amecet, telling us that she was the auntie. They all kept lying and lying and not willing to care for this beautiful little girl.
A boy of 7 years, was brought by community workers, yesterday. The father is neglecting him and he has a wound at the back of his leg for more than 2 years... We took him for X-ray, he has chronically Osteomyelitis, needs a complicated, orthopedic-surgical operation, he might even loose his leg....
I just get a phone call from the Probation Officer, there is a small 5 year old girl, who needs a place... The Police found her in town, this might be not so complicated???
We have a baby born in the village, the mother has a mental illness, so the family brought the baby to Amecet for the first months, now the family decided that they can't or they do no want to care for the baby. We have to find a family who want to foster and adopt her.

Please pray for those children, for their families and also for us. I feel emotional at the moment, besides those few I wrote about, we have more stories...... God knows them all, and he loves them, pray that He might use us to help some of them......

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Before and after Grace....

Grace went home today, her father came to pick her. You can read her sad start in life on the blog of June 4th. but today was an happy day for us. Grace is doing so well, I looked for the same little cap I put on her head on June 4! As you see, it doesn't fit anymore!!!! She was 1.8 kg when she came and now her weight is 4.3 kg. She is healthy and laughing. It also gives us much joy!!

 It is a privilege to see a baby come in, very small and weak and just 2 months later you can give the baby back to the father, smiling and healthy! We pray that her family will be able to care for her and we pray that God will provide for them!

Monday, July 31, 2017

We see progress!!!!!!

At the moment, we have 5 children in Amecet who are getting the ARV medicines. This means that they are HIV+ and getting the medicines to slow down the growth of the HIV virus. If you read our blog regular, you know that we have lost several of the older HIV+ children. They were just too sick, didn't want to take their ARV's at home and got resistant. Those 5 children are doing well, except  we have worries about Jennifer (in front at the right) she doesn't want to eat and we have to give her a NG tube. But she is happy and plays games with the other children, it is only the eating, she is not gaining at all. 

 This is Kenneth, he came to Amecet in June and had many wounds, was sick and weak. But the medication for the wounds and other problems helped him, he gained one kg. a week and he started to go to our Harmony primary school. He loves to go and is doing well there, but see the difference in the two pictures!!! He is 11 years old.

Then Moses, the picture at the left was taken when he was just in Amecet. He is 7 years old and he was very miserable. Did not want to eat, was sick and angry. But also Moses started to gain, also one kg. a week. And he got more happy, we took the NG tube out and he ate very well. He saw a school bag in the office and decided that he also wanted to go to school. Since he never went to school, we talked with the headmistress of the Pre school and he is now in Top class. Look at the picture at the right, that was today, he was very proud that he had "homework"!! Later on he was crying, it took a while before we understood what the problem was: he homework was done and he wanted more!!!!!!
It makes me really happy when I see the children getting better, Also the other 3 children in the picture, Jackson, (left behind) is going to school and loves to write and play, Maliamu, (left at the front) She is 11 years old and is with us for one week, She might also be able to go to school soon, she is doing good and is a happy girl. My prayer is that Jennifer will also pick up and could go to school with the others, for now she is still too weak.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bye bye Mary.....

Mary was brought to Amecet in January 2017. Her mother had died of HIV/AIDS and also Mary was put on the ARV medicines. Mary had more complications, she seems to be blind and deaf as well. She was malnourished and it was not easy to get contact with her, she was 3,5 months old. We started with the malnutrition and took her for testing. the tests came back HIV negative, we were very happy, at least we could help with the proof of being HIV-!! When Mary was a bit stable, we took her to the special Eye Hospital in Tororo (2,5 hours drive). We had the feeling that she did see a little, we also got the feeling that she was responding on sounds... The eye doctor checked her eyes and found scars inside, but she said, that we could help her to train other nerves to take over the job, by stimulating her. we had to shine in her eyes, and move the light, trying to stimulating the brain to use other nerves to see. So we got a small flashlight and after every feeding, Mary got a time of training the eye with the flash light, also bright colors could help her. After 2 months we had to go back to the Eye Hospital and the doctor was very pleased. Mary could see!!! we could stop with the flash light, but continue with the bright colors and toys.... Mary started to crawl when she was 9 months old and when you called her name, she could hear and crawled to you. 
Yesterday Mary was picked by her uncle, she can crawl (pulling her self up to standing), she can see, she can hear and she is HIV negative........ We gave colorful toys home with her, and explained everything to the uncle. Mary has still a way to go, but she is well on her way!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Teenage mothers deserve a second chance....

In March 2017, we met with some young teenage mothers. Two of them we knew, because their children were in Amecet and others came for out-patient help. We started with some meetings, asking them to share about their life, their struggles, their dreams. You can read that in the blog of March 8, 2017. We have been thinking how we could help them a bit "on their way". All of them don't get any help from the father of their baby and also their own family sometimes, let them fall.
 This is Brenda, the mother of Nathan, a handicapped boy, who was for some time in Amecet. Brenda was 13 when she got pregnant. She lives in the village with her mother, brother and 2 sisters. By having Nathan for a while in Amecet, the counselling of our Social workers is the mother of Brenda now more supportive towards Brenda. Brenda wanted to go back to the primary school, she stopped when she was pregnant and helped her family by selling tomatoes on the local market. You can read Nathan's story in the blog of November 24, 2016.
After talking with our Social Workers, the mother of Brenda, agreed that Brenda could go back to school, she would then look after Nathan in the time his mother was in school. On the picture, you see Brenda in her class (standing), she is in P4 and she is very happy that she could go back to learn. So Amecet helps with the school acquirement's and the family cares for Nathan!!
This is Rebecca, with her daughter Martha. Rebecca was 14 when she got pregnant and her baby was very malnourished/ She was in the hospital with the baby for many months... You can read her story in the blog of Febrauary 15, 2017. We visited her every week in the Feeding centre in the Hospital. But Rebbecca was giving up, it was too hard for her, she lost hope. Via the Social worker in the hospital, Martha was taken into Amecet. Our Social Workers went to see the Rebecca and her family in the village. After some talks and meetings we offered Rebecca, to come to our YWAM Primary school Harmony, to join P7 and so finishing her primary education. She was very happy and also her family stood behind this idea. Martha is still in Amecet, there are some complications with her health, but Rebecca is doing her exams this year.....
This is Tracy, her baby is 8 months old, we got to know her via our out-patients care. Tracy is now 16 years old. Her dream was to become a hair dresser. After some talks we could help her into a course to become a hairdresser. And here she is...practising her dream....
There are some other young mothers, we have contact with, but before we decide to help them, we have to have more talks with them and see how we can really help them. We believe in giving them another chance, but we do have to be also good stewards with the funds we get. And if the girls don't know what they want, we wait, we can only help them a bit on their way, but they have to really want to go for it. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Jessica and Levi went to their NEW Ugandan families....

 It was a small celebration, to hand Jessica and Levi over to their new parents.  The Probation officer was the person to hand them into the arms of the new parents. They have been going through the process of paperwork, home visitation and interviews. And today they star their foster period of one year, after that they can do the official adoption. We are so glad that more Ugandan parents are willing to open their home for a child who has no family to go back to!!!!
 Jessica came in Amecet in December 2016. She came via the Police and the Probation Office. The     mother tried to kill Jessica and even the older brother of 3 years. She lost her mind and we heard that it had happened before. We found the father of the boy, who was happy to take his son, but he was not the father of Jessica. Her father was "unknown". The mother was taken to the prison and the Magistrate and the Court deiced that she would not get her child back. We tried hard to get the family of the mother involved, but nobody wanted to care for Jessica. We are very happy that an Ugandan family stepped forward, willing to adopt Jessica as their own daughter!!!!
Levi came as a baby of three months in Amecet. His mother passed away and for his safety, he was brought to Amecet. He was doing well, and after 2,5 months he was resettled back home, to his father. But this went very wrong, the father was old and drinking a lot. Nobody else in the family wanted to help this little boy. Our Social Workers went there and tried to get the clan to look after Levi, but all in vain. They asked if we could find a family to take Levi. The Probation officer was involved and we had to get Levi back in Amecet, before his health was getting bad. Now Levi is welcomed in a family with new parents who are wanting to care for him and to raise him as their own, that is a reason to celebrate!!!

Friday, July 14, 2017

A TRIBUTE to our two laundry lady's!!!!

 This are our two laundry lady's, Pauline and Beatrice. They are working with us for a long time. In the beginning we had only Pauline working, by that time we had a washing machine, actually we have had 3 washing machines in Amecet, but they all broke down. We can't find a big machine, so the machine we get, is a machine for a "normal" family and in Amecet, this machine has to work the whole day!!! We need a big machine, which can wash many kgs. in one time, but we can't find it in Uganda... So we got another lady on board.....
This is the mountain of laundry that Pauline and Beatrice find every morning... And the diapers are not even on this mountain, they are in a separate bucket..
 Pauline starts washing, on the African way, with a straight back. I have tried it, but I can't...
 Then the laundry will be hang out to dry. We are so lucky in Uganda, there is enough sun every day, but when there is a rainy day, we are in big trouble.......
And the diapers are really clean!!!! I don't know how they do it, but they are really good!! At the moment we have 25 children in Amecet, there are 3 big children, but the rest are baby's and toddlers who are all in diapers!! Can you imagine how many diapers that gives to wash..... And one thing I really am so impressed with, is that they always are in a good mood, they always smile and have fun... I know that the laundry is not a clean job to do, the children poop and vomit sometimes as well, but they come every morning in good spirits to Amecet to do a good job!
Pauline and Beatrice, I have respect for you!! Thank you for the good job done, we couldn't do without you!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

3 different graduations and 4 new children.......

 Tuesday the grandmother of the twins Leya and Lucy came with her sister to pick them!! They were brought to Amecet on the first of May. Their mother passed away after the delivery. A very sad start of life... But they went back this week, smiling and more than double of the weight they came. A reason to be happy!!! 
Another reason to be happy is the graduation of Issa!! The left picture is taken on his first day in Amecet (Oct.2005) He was sick and a bit scared, not sure of where he was... the left picture is of his Certificate in Medical Laboratory Technology!!! He made it all the way!!! After Primary to Secondary and then to the health Training school in Luweero!! Issa we are proud of you, you will now be able to make a living!!!
 There was a different Graduation this week in the YWAM Soroti family, where Amecet is a part of... Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has a Discipleship Training School. It is a programme of 6 months, half of those months they get lessons and the other half they go on outreach to other parts of Uganda. Friday it was the graduation of 14 students, from different nations and tribes of Uganda. It was a great party!!!

Then yesterday this gentle man on the right picture came by.. It is Christopher, on the picture left he came into Amecet, very sick and weak.. He went back home after some time in Amecet, we helped him going to Primary school and after that we wanted to do a course. He went for tailoring, during that course he found out that he was also very technical and could repair almost any sewing machine.. After his graduation he went back to his village and started a business in sewing and also repairing other machines. Also health wise, he is doing very well. It is a joy to meet those guys this week, it gives us such an encouragement, especially when we had quite a number of children passing away this month.........  And we are very full in Amecet, we have 25 children in at the moment, 18 baby's, 4 Toddler's (above 1 yr.) and 3 older children.
This week we got a little girl, Mary, via another organization. This baby is 1 year and 2 months old, but her weight is only 2.7 kg!!!! Normally she should be walking, but she can't even sit, she is starved  and severely malnourished. It is so very , very sad. We always try to have already a plan, when we take a child in, but now, we don't know, we first try to rescue her, went to the doctor with her and try now the best we can..... 
Another very sad story is the story of Paul, his picture is at the right. He is not malnourished.... he is 2,5 months old and his weight is 6.3 kg!!! But his mother was killed while she was walking and Paul was tied on her back. Someone stabbed her and she died on the spot, with Paul still tied on her back. The Probation officer brought him to Amecet, everything should be first sorted out in the family. He cries alot and he is missing his mother, we are struggling with feeding him, because he was breastfed and now he has to get use to a bottle. 
The other two new children are David, a new born baby, whose mother died after the delivery and William, a little boy of 19 months old who is malnourished. 
Moses is doing a bit better, he has gained 500 gram and eats a bit more. I have now a helper in the office, he comes very often to the office and sit next to me. He also smiles more....Please keep on praying for this little man!!!!!
There is enough going on in Amecet......

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Two sets of twins arrive within 2 hours...

Yesterday we got a phone call that in a health centre in the village, a lady passed away, she had just given birth to twins... If we could help. We told them that it was fine and they started their journey to Soroti....One hour later, I got another phone call, from another neighbouring district, a lady had passed away and the twin sons were there...if they could bring them.... we told them that they could come... The first twins were arriving first, a boy and a girl, Michel and Rose, they are the two at the left on the picture. They had a good size their weight was 2.3 kg and 2.5 kg. We had to organize the room for the small baby's, we "promoted"some baby's to the room with the "medium" baby's and we made sure we had 4 little beds ready, at least next to each other as they were twins. Then some time later the other twins arrived, two boys (at the right on the picture). Suleiman and Rashid. (2.4 and 2.8 kg.). It is very sad that both mothers died of severe hemorrhaging after the birth, Michel and Rose were only 6 hours old and Suleiman and Rashid were born the day before. We pray that they will drink well and grow. As you understand, we are suddenly quite full with small baby's! 

In the meantime got Simon a phone call from a local counselor in Soroti that there was a small boy abandoned. He went to see the boy and it was again a sad story. This little 3 year old(?) boy was put under a big tree by his stepmother, and was just sitting there. The local boda boda drivers (the motor taxis drivers) had given him some food and water. Simon took the boy to the police to make a report and brought him to Amecet. It was a sweet boy, the next day Simon took him back to the police, where the parents were brought and they sorted themselves out.
We want to ask your prayer for Moses (one of the three Musketeers from the blog of 30/6) Moses doesn't want to eat, we had to give him a NG tube. He is angry and very sick. Yesterday we were with him in the hospital for hours, tests, X-ray and several doctors saw him. He will start his TB medicines tomorrow, we hope and pray that this will help him. The girl on the right picture is also not doing so well, she has a sweet smile, but we are struggling with her. She has also a problem with food and is loosing weight. Today, Deborah and me were in the hospital with her, again for blood tests, sputum tests and X-ray and seen by several doctors, tomorrow we have to pick the last results and then hear what the doctors says... I am very thankful for the positive input of the doctors in the hospital, they are always open to help us, that is so good.
So you can read what our day was, new baby's (two of them are not drinking very good) we have to be very alert with those newborn baby's and then those bigger children who are HIV+ and so sick. Please keep us in your prayers...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ivan can rest now....

Ivan has passed away this morning at 6 am. Ivan was one of the three Musketeers, where I wrote about in the last blog. On that day, we went for more tests, the next day, Saturday, he had a good day. But Sunday it went wrong in the morning, he collapsed and went into a coma. He was put on oxygen and the doctor came to Amecet, to see him. He was put on IV. drip en got IV. medicines. He came out of the coma. Honestly, I was not thinking that he would survive it. but in the afternoon he could talk again and could eat and drink something. The next day, his mother came to see him and they had a good time together. This morning at 5 am he crashed again and it was this time very bad, he was put on IV drip, he was still on oxygen, but he died at 6 am, while he was in coma, without any struggle or fight....
We are sad, to see this boy go, he was still so young had such a struggle in his life with HIV/AIDS. Through the tests we had seen that there was so much HIV in his blood, the doctors had never seen such a high Viral Load in his blood, (in the millions). We could not help him in the battle against HIV/AIDS, but we could support him during his last days of his life.
Elias and Emmanuel carrying the coffin out of Amecet into the car..
We arrived in the village of the family of Ivan. The coffin was placed under the tree on a bed. the family and neighbours gathered around. We shared what has happened and then left the family to mourn Ivan. Tomorrow morning they will bury him. 
Dear Ivan, you tried so good, now you may rest and enjoy the presence of the Father who has welcomed you!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Three Musketeers in Amecet..

We have at the moment 3 boys in Amecet, whose situation quite similar is. It is not that they are very united, but today we spend the whole day together with them, going from Doctor to Doctor, from X ray to blood tests...The boys are all three very sick. They are all three HIV+ and in the stage of having AIDS. The boy at the left, Ivan, (11 years) is the weakest, he has problems with eating, so we had to give him a NG tube. At first he cried, but now he is okay with it, we hope we can give him the extra feeding by tube, next to the normal eating by mouth. Kenneth, the boy at the right is 10 years old. he came 2 weeks ago in Amecet, we do see some improvement. Then the smaller boy at the front is Moses, he is 7 years old and he came yesterday in Amecet. At the moment Moses is not happy with us, he wants to go home, is crying and wants to escape.
Ivan and Kenneth are changed on more stronger ARV's, today we did al kind of tests about TB and I ask your prayers for these three Musketeers, Moses is more sick than we realized and the doctors are worried about Ivan.  We need wisdom and God's healing touch for those three boys. We also need to see a change in the behaviour of Moses. We asked Emmanuel to come with us to the doctors today, to handle Moses, he just runs away. he sees someone eat and just goes there and takes a handful of food of the plate, he cries when he doesn't get what he wants. And he really needs help, he is also very sick. At the moment is Emmanuel the only one who he wants to listen to...... I must say it was also funny to see Emmanuel running after him in the clinic..
Monday we have to do two sputum tests and then go back to the Doctor with all the results of the tests.
Please pray also for Deborah, our nurse, she is doing a great job, but there is a lot to do and to think off.