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, December 28, 2010


We celebrated together the birth of Christ, starting with a celebration on Christmas eve, at 10.30 pm on our veranda. We sang together some Christmas songs, read the story about the birth of Jesus and then Ton shared a beautiful story with us, together with very nice illustration via PowerPoint. For the children it was exciting to be out so late and we had a good time together. On Christmas day we had a meal as a family. We had asked the children what would they want to eat and they all said " goat!", so goat it would be.

We had only the half of our team working, but everything went so relax and smooth. Elias bought the goat on the market and he stayed (alive) with us in the garden for 2 days. Then Simon and Elias slaughtered it, under the observing eyes of the children and the camera of Ton! We ate the goat for Christmas and it tasted wonderful.

We have not had much sickness these days, some malaria, some tonsillitis, but no serious things and I am so thankful to God that He gave us a break. We didn't get new babies or children in, there was a phone call from someone in the village about a four month old baby, whose mother had passed away from AIDS, but nobody came with the child.

Yesterday we went with all the older girls to town. We wanted to surprise them as a appreciation for their BIG help in Amecet. And we wanted them to all choose a material and we asked the tailor to come and measure them for making them each an outfit. They were very exciting and they all found a nice material. The tailor brought pictures from outfits and this morning they were all looking and making their choice! It is so nice to see their happiness and their excitement about getting new clothes. When the clothes are ready, I promise to make pictures and show them to you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cooling down and warming up....

As I wrote yesterday, that the children are quite active during their school holidays. The older girls are helping with the babies, but the next generation has very different businesses.

They are busy with cooling down........... and warming up!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More CHRISTMAS blessings..........

Every year we have volunteers who come to help us during December and January. This year we had nobody coming and we were a bit worried. Half of our team is free with Christmas and the other half will be free with New Year.
It is the big school holiday, so we asked if the girls from Amun would like to help out sometimes. Amun is our second house, where all our older children live. They go to school and it is our house where children go to when they can't go home after they are stable healthwise. The girls were very enthousiastic, yes, they wanted to start directtly!
We have made a rota and they are doing great!! I am so proud of them! The girls are all in the age of 13-16 and they can handle the babies like mothers!! They feed, bath and change the dirty diapers as if they have done it for years.
They cuddle them, play with them, I am sure that the babies are also enjoying them so much. They get a lot of extra attention.
This morning I had to go with five babies to the hospital for immunization. We went with two staff and three Amun girls. They did very well, holding the babies on the right way, under the observing eyes of at least 50 waiting mothers.

They are a real Christmas blessing to us!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas blessings....

Everywhere in the world, people get Christmas packets, we also want to bless the grandma's who are caring for their HIV+ grandchildren. Our "packet" is more a drum this year, where they can store their drinking water. In the drum are lots of practical blessings: tea, sugar, posho, beans, sweets, cooking oil, 2 new bed sheets, a mosquito net, a basin, salt, soap, biscuits, rice and every grandma gets some money to buy meat on Christmas day. We are giving 52 drums and you can see the last ones under our tree in Amecet, waiting for the delivery in the village. When we packed the drums yesterday, we found that a snake had crawled under one of them, it was a dangerous one, one of our staff killed it.
The people are very happy with the blessings, we have been bringing them around for the last couple of days, that takes hours, because the people live far and isolated. On the picture left, we just brought the drum to Maria Christine and her grandparents and on the right picture you see Naome with her grandmother, receiving the drum. The grandmother had been dancing from joy!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't underestimate the African Grandma's!!!!

It is 9 o'clock in the morning, as a team we sit on the veranda to start the day with a meditation and prayers.
The gate opens, visitors.... It is Alice with her grandmother! Alice comes with big steps to the veranda, they are going to sit.
Alice is almost 3 years old, we found her 2 years ago, in a far village. Her parents had died of AIDS, earlier that year and the grandmother was left to care for Alice and 3 other siblings. The grandmother is old, when you ask her if she knows her age, she says, that she even could be 40 or 50! She has no idea how old she is. Their little hut was very run down, there was no door and holes in the grass roof. Alice was malnourished and often sick. We spoke with the grandmother and together we agreed that we would take Alice for a while to Amecet.
In Amecet we took her for tests and Alice also had AIDS, we were able to enroll her in the ARV programme in the hospital and Alice started to gain weight and be more happy.
After 8 months she was ready to go back home and I was really scared to bring her back to the village. Would the grandma be able to give her twice a day her ARV's? When you start the ARV's, it is for life, you can't stop. We already had helped the grandma to repair the hut, we were also able to give her a cow, seeds and groundnuts to plant.
And we prayed that everything would go well. When we went to visit her, 5 weeks after we brought her back, we were surprised! When we came walking down the little path (we couldn't come close to the hut by car, so we would walk the last part) the grandma was dancing to welcome us! Alice had gained weight and looked well, the ARV's were given exactly the right amount! We were so happy! Now the grandma comes every two months with Alice to Soroti for new medicines. She always comes first to us and they have breakfast on our veranda, we give her also transport money. Alice is doing great and is hardly sick (only sometimes malaria).
I have seen again that we should never underestimate our African Grandma's!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Moses 4 is welcome......

Moses is born this morning, his mother died, she was only 22 years old. He was born in one of the health centres in the village. He was brought to us by two uncles and his aunti. His father was too weak to come. Because I needed some answers, which the uncles didn't know, I called him (yes even in the villages there is network now!) It was so sad, he was crying on the phone, he told me that the placenta didn't come out and his wife bled to death. He begged us to care for his child, so he would live and he would have someone who would remind him of his wife! I felt for him and we will care for some months for Moses 4.
We call him Moses 4, because we have already some othere Moseses. I wish there were some other names in fashion at the moment. Moses is a big baby, his weight is 3,4 kg. For us that is very big, most of the baby's we get are under 3 kg. I wrote about Patrick before, he is almost 3,5 month old and he weighs now 3 kg! You can see the difference on this picture, at the left Moses 4, just 12 hours old, 3,4 kg and at the right Patrick, almost 3,5 month old and 3 kg.
We will celebrate Christmas together with Moses, we will tell him about that other Child, also born in the village, we will pray for his father.
Moses is welcome!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Michel goes back to his family.

Michel was born 7/9/2010, he was born at home in the village. Unfortunately his mother passed away after given birth to Michel and his family asked us to help them by taking Michel for a couple of months. He was a healthy baby, only his cord was infected and we got treatment for that.
Michel was a cute little fellow, ready to smile and laugh to everyone who gave him attention. He drank very well and was gaining good.
Today, after 3 months in Amecet, we brought him back to his family. Michel had a father and 9 brothers and sisters in the village. Some of them has been to Soroti to visit Michel. It was a drive of 1 hour and we arrived at his home. A big change of environment for Michel!!! The brothers and sisters were happy to see him and from every where people started to arrive to see what was happening. Not every day cars are coming so far into the bush! The father was called, he was at a home nearby and we handed Michel over to the family. We gave a mosquito net and some clothes, the medical book and the immunization card.
Then they wanted to give us a chicken, so the boys started to ran after a chicken, which didn't let her catch easily. It was very funny to see all those people run after this one chicken! But the chicken lost the game and was handed over to us, as a thank you!
We drove back to Soroti, thankful that Michel is reunited with his own people and praying for his well being!

Michel's home Michel and his sister

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How desperate can you be???

We had just eaten today and finished our singing, ready to go and clean up, when I was called to the veranda. When I came out, I saw a young lady sitting, crying and very upset. Esther, one of our staff, told me her story. The lady had twins, one of them died some time ago, the other one also got sick and was admitted in Soroti hospital. When someone is in the hospital, a family member has to stay with the person to do the caring, cooking and buying medicines etc. So the lady had been in the hospital with her baby (1 year and 2 months).
This evening her baby had died, she was all alone with the baby, had no money, how could she get the body of her child home? It was getting dark, to walk with the body, would be too much for her.
My heart went out to her, to be alone in a situation like that. The only thing we could do is to comfort her a little, to give her money for a motorbike taxi, to get her home, where people would be able to mourn with her. I am glad she knew our home, so she could come for help. I didn't know her, but she might have been here for help before. I am thankful we can do a little bit for people who are so desperate and heartbroken.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Paul: 5 days old
Rehema: 1 year and 9 months old
Betty: 7 months old
Sarah: 7 months old
Magdalena: 12 years old
Patrick: 2 weeks old
Polly: 6 years old
Peter: 1 months old
Paul: 9 months old
Moses: 3 weeks old

Today we remembered the children who passed away this year. Several staff members shared about them, so we talked about each of the ten children who died this year. It is always an emotional time, our whole Amecet family is gathered for this time, children and staff. We were reminded about the funny things Rehema could do or about how happy Polly was when she was still able to go to school. Also we talked about the suffering of Sarah and the very short life of Baby Paul. The pain of the last days of Polly was felt again, together we gave it back to God and thanked Him for the role we c0uld play in the lives of those precious children.
But then... we looked at the flowers which the children had picked, they were the picture of life and beauty and we had a great time of singing, clapping and dancing, thanking God for all those who came through and are doing well! We were thanking God for ARV medicines and for the life He gave us. Ofcourse we finished with drinking a bottle of soda together, a must at every Ugandan party!