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!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Proud of my girls.....

Are they not beautiful? From left to right: Helen (6), Sarah (14), Mary (17)  and Catherine (1,5)
Ella, one of the volunteers here made those beautiful pictures of the girls. I just had to share them with you.
They all do very well, Mary  is now also living with us, she is part of the family! We know each other for many years, Mary was also one of the first children who came in Amecet. She is now going to a secondary school, a boarding school and in the holidays she comes to us. In February she will go to the second class.

It is now the summer holiday here, that means that the children are not going to school for two months. But they play well together, there is a group of 9 children all together in Amecet in the age group 6-12 years old, Helen is the youngest. Last week they were playing hair dresser, they were braiding each others hair. With blue wool!!! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in Amecet...

On Saturday evening, we had our "Christmas Night service". Together with the bigger children we celebrated on our veranda the gift that God gave us, the birth of Jesus! We sang together and we also acted out the Christmas story,. On the first picture you can see Mary travelling on a donkey (me) to Bethelehem.
And here are the shepherds with their flocks, at the right, you can see a part of the angel, standing on a chair, telling the shepherds that Baby Jesus is born. We had a good time together, closing off with some snacks and ofcourse....soda's!! 

The Christmas day was for cooking the meal and...... we got another view on our 10 years anniversary... the sewage system was blocked and after trying and trying (by Elias, Simon and me) we discovered that our septic tank was full.
 Christmas meal was nice and everybody enjoyed it. When we were finished eating, we let the children play outside, while we cleaned up and then we watched a DVD together, while we were enjoying some deserts.

In Uganda they don't know second Christmas day or boxing day. So our next day was working on our blockage. Simon and Elias worked the whole day on ways to get the excess water out of the overflow pit. Most of this water comes from our washing machine. It was a big job, but they succeeded!
And today, is a "normal"day again, except that we got the change of the staff. The staff who went home for Christmas came back today and the ones who had worked, went home today, to celebrate New Year with their relatives.
We are doing well, not much sickness, only two children got malaria, but are already on treatment. We are now looking forward to the new year that is on it's way!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meet my Boyfriend.....

We are still recovering from all the celebrations, but at the same time organizing for celebrating the Birth of Jesus. It means decorating the home and planning for the days. Half of our team is free, to celebrate Christmas with their relatives and the ones who are working with Christmas, are free for New year. So it makes life still very busy, because we have a home full of children. Yesterday we received a little boy of 4 months old, his mother had passed away and the grandmother was also admitted in the Clinic. There was a child of 8 years old, that was caring for the baby. We agreed to take the baby in for one month, then the grandmother will take over.
This afternoon we got visitors, the players who won the Amecet Cup on Saturday, came to play with the children. It was really nice to see those big guys playing and having fun with the kids!
Then I want to share this with you: Those two pictures are from my boyfriend! I fell in love with those beautiful eyes of Benjamin. He came in Amecet 3 weeks ago, miserable and very skinny, but look how he is doing now!!!! He eats himself, OK, a bit messy, but that doesn't matter, he is a happy boy, he starts crawling and playing. And those eyes.......... I love him!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The day after.......

 This morning even before 7 am they were already working in our compound, taking the tents down and cleaning up.

 We got all the children back in Amecet and had breakfast with all the children (50) on the veranda.

 Then we had together a time of singing under the tree, we encouraged the children with a word from the Bible.
It was fun singing together, we had lots of small music instruments and everybody enjoyed it. We closed the time with praying for the children in little groups.
Then came the time to say goodbye, in three cars they were brought back to their villages, some were picked from Amecet by relatives and we brought first the children from Soroti home. We were able to give them a Christmas blessing home. We had a good time together and we were able to talk a bit with some of them. Maybe we should think about it, to do this regular, bring them out of their village to talk and encourage them.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Amecet celebrates 10 years!!!!!!!

And today was THE DAY!! At 7 oclock am all the children were having breakfast, while the staff was busy with preparing everything what had to be taken. The guys were busy with setting up tents and puting down chairs. we were taking all the children with us, also the baby's. Every staff member "adopted" a baby for the day, they were respponsible for feeding, changing and carrying that baby. And it worked out perfect! All the baby's did well and so did the staff!! I am really proud of them, they were busy the whole day and nothing was too much for them! It was a great day!! Let me show you how the day went.....
It started all in the public gardens of Soroti town, the brass band camne there and some other groups and we left from there, marching behind the band through Soroti town.

This was for me a highlight of the day, when I saw all those children marching. I was really touched by them. Most of those children would not be alive today if Amecet had not have been there for them. I remembered some of the battle we had to fight for them.

It was a cheerful sight, all those red T shirts with those shiny faces! The staff members were carrying "their" baby of the day. We had police escort and every body in town watched us passing by.

This is in the playground where the official programme was. YWAM staff member David had practised two songs with the Amecet children and they did really good. There were speeches and after the official handing over from the playground to the community, we all left for Amecet.

We had a beautiful lunch buffet there. And because of the programme being later than we had planned, everybody was hungry and enjoyed the food and the soda.

After the meal we left, with the bigger children only, for the sports field, where the final match was to be played in the Amecet tournement. It was just raining and we stayed in the car until it was dry. But the people who were watching had their own umbrella's, (chairs).
This is the winning team, they received the Amecet trophy, which made them very excited!
And this is the big price, a bull! We kept him a bit aside, because of the noise, he might become wild.

It was a great day, not everything went perfect, but we really celebrated God's faithfulness toward us, during the last 10 years. We are thankful for the co-operation with the Lions club and others in Soroti town. I am thankful for the Amecet staff, who worked so hard. I am encouraged, we go for the next 10 years!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Only ONE day to go....

It was a busy day, so many things are behind schedule: But the most important thing is done: the picking of the 35 children from the different villages. Elias and Simon have been driving to the different locations. We had organised it before that the children would come to certain places in their area. Ofcourse, some of them were not there in time and that delayed the rest as well. So I got several phone calls, that they were afraid we had missed them, but they all arrived!

I had the last meeting with the committees this afternoon, which also delayed, so I came home after they had finished eating. I came in and they started to clap!!! I was really touched, to see all those beautiful children who all had benefitted from the ministry of Amecet. I am so thankful to God, to help us and to enable us helping those children. There were children from 2001 and 2002, there was a boy, Richard, he didn´t believe that the picture of him, hanging on our wall, was him! And Abraham was there and David from Asamuk, Simon from Amuria, Evaline and Veronika from Katakwi, little Sarah (who is not little anymore) from Otoboi and Naome from Orungo and many more!!!

A room full of stories we have. It was good to see them interacting together, most of this children are on ARVs, the medicins which slows down the growth of the HIV virus. It was quite a challenge to give them their medicins. The big ones take themselves, but the little ones need help by that. I think from the 35 children, 30 of them are HIV+ so there was a lot of sorting out.
Simon explained more about the programme tomorrow annd we gave them all a red T shirt and brought them to their beds. Some of the big guys sleep in the YWAM base and a couple of little girls in Amecet. The rest in Amun. I hope that they all will sleep wel.
And tomorrow is the big day, the playground is not finished yet, I was really disappointed, but we can´t do anything about it.
We will see what will happen, for now... I am going to bed!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Only TWO days to go......

Today we met with members of the Lions club Soroti, YWAM Soroti staff and the staff and children from Amecet. We put on our special Red Tshirts, with the print on the back"10 years Amecet, let children shine again".

We all stepped in the YWAM bus, ready for action!The first place of action was in front of Soroti Hospital, the zebra crossing was very faded and we started with cleaning the dirt. There were some traffic policemen present, to stop the traffic, so we could work in safety and the paint could get dry before the vehicles drove over it .Then the painting started, there were a number of brushes and under the guiding of some technical people we brought the zebra crossing back to life!The children also helped and it was really fun to see how we all worked together and the reactions from the people who saw us painting. We were a very divert group, the members of the Lions club were working very hard, the mayor of Soroti was also painting , together with his wife, next to Joshua and Christine from Amecet!We alkso did the zebra crossing in the mainstreet and then the paint was over! here a picture from the whole group on the mainstreet in the middle of Soroti town. We went home thirsty but everybody had enjoyed it and Soroti is a safer place!
We were just back in Amecet when some people came asking for help. The day before was a little baby girl born in Soroti hospital by ceasarian, the mother passed away one hour later! Thde father came to ask if we could help with the baby. We got all the details and agreed to drive behind them to pick the baby and take her to Amecet. After the mother had passed away, they took the body of the mother and the little baby to a home of friends. They tried to organize a vehicle to take the body back to the village for burial. When we arrived at the home the body was laying there, while the baby was in the house. It was such a sad situation. We took the baby home to Amecet.Gerdi is holding the little girl Theresa, while I am driving back to Amecet. I still had the paint from the zebra crossings on my hands, but we are open to receive a little baby who needs help. That is what it is all about. The little baby looks good, but had some difficulties with drinking, I hope she wil pick up. Tomorrow we are going to pick 40 children from the villages. All those children have been in Amecet. It will be so nice to see them again!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Only THREE days to go.....

Today was a crazy day. I have been running around.. At first I had to go to the hospital with 9 children. They were going for check up in the HIV clinic in Soroti hospital. Before we went I first went with Norah to the clinic next door for a malaria test. And Norah had again malaria. Norah has been sick for the last 4 weeks. we went several times with her to the doctor and 2 weeks ago she had two times bloodtransfusi0n. Her HB was low again. Norah also neede to be seen for review in the HIV clinic, so with a full van I drove to the hospital. They helped us fast, that is the advantage when you are coming so regular, I know the way and help them by looking for our files etc. Some children were changed into other medicines, so when we came back, I had to rearrange the medicines and then I had to run to the bank. After that I tried to do some office work.

Dr. Wandera reviews Christine

At 4 pm we had again our committee meeting in the children's park and after that Simon and I went to the locakl radio station for a radio show, together with the Mayor of Soroti and Amos, the probational officer. When I came back home, Sarah and mary had put Helen and Catherine already in bed. That was very nice, I think I am also going to bed, I am almost falling asleep behind the computer. Tomorrow morning we are going to paint the three zebra crossings of Soroti... again an exciting day.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Only FOUR days to go........

This is how we slept, last night, five in one big bed! From right to left: Mary, Catherine, Sarah, Helen and me. Cathrine and Helen in between, so that nobody would fell out of bed this time. And believe it or not, we did sleep well!!! We drove to Soroti and we arrived safe in Soroti at around 5.45 pm. It was so good to see each other again, the children did well, nobody was sick and little Asianut pullerd her NG tube out, but she is now able to drink better by herself. So we wait with putting back the NG tube.
Cor and Bernard brought a lot of things from Holland, one of the things I am so happy with, are new covers for our cusions. We directly pulled the old covers away and put the new ones out! And see here the result!! They are all sewed by two Dutch ladies, Lisette and Sonja, who came to help us for a couple of weeks, earlier this year. They saw our cushions and offered to make new ones. Thank you sooooooo much Lisette and Sonja for the great work you did for us. It really looks beautiful and cheerful and just in time for our anniversary, when many people will visit our home.
Tomorrow a busy day, checking the playground, the banners for hanging in the street, going with some children for review and new medicines to the hospital, extra meeting for the anniversary committees and more.....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Only FIVE days to go.......

This morning we left around 7.30 am to the hospital in Kampala. We have had a good night, except Catherine, who slept with Sarah in a bed, fell out of bed, so we pushed the beds against each other, so we had one big bed for the five of us!We were for almost 6 hours in the hospital. Waiting and waiting, I even had to stand for some good time, because there were no seats available. But we saw the doctor (for 5 minutes), we bought again medicines and have to come back in 6 months!

After that we threw ourselves again in the Kampala traffic! We did some shopping for Amecet and then Simon drove direction Entebbe!We are always going to the same Guesthouse, so it almost feels like family. We could relax in the beatiful garden and have fun together, as you can see on the pictures. The kids did so well, after all those hours in the hospital and again some time in the car, they loved to be out in the garden.

We are going to the airport to pick our two visitors from Holland at 10 pm tonight and tomorrow we are driving back to Soroti. By telephone we have had contact with our committee in Soroti! Everything is going well and we are looking forward to see what is done and what still has to be done!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Only SIX days to go.......

Today we left Soroti to travel to Kampala. It is a drive from about 6 hours. Simon was driving and I had my whole family with me (Sarah, Helen and Catherine) and also Mary joined us. It is the first time we traveled with Catherine, but it went well, I had a lot of help from Sarah and Mary.

There are two people coming from Holland who are representing the organisation the Figurant. And the Figurant helped us to get the funding for the Playgarden we are building. So they come to see the result and be part of the handing over of the playground to the community. They will

arrive tomorrow night, but we went a day early to use this opportunity to go for review to the heart specialist with Sarah. Travelling to Kampala is tiresome, so to combine this is good for the energy and the finances.

We travel quite well in our Amecet van, as you see in the first picture and we also did some shopping in one of the big malls in Kampala. Catherine had the time of her life, behind the wheel of the shopping cart. We sleep in a guesthouse in Kampala and tomorrow morning early we go to the hospital. That will be probably many hours of waiting, but that is part of life here in Africa!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Only SEVEN days to go.........

Today we decided to go and "play-test" the children playground that we are building. Together with aunti Gerdi and aunti Ella, we took 14 children for this "test".

It was fun for them, it is amazing how easy they can play and have fun! There is still a lot to be done in the playground, but if you want to have fun, you can have fun!!!!

Left little Mary, and Chrtistine 2, than John in the middle, underneath Helen. Then Sylivia, up hig Mary Abait and at the right Norah.

There are several slides, this is one of the lowest, so Kennedy is going to try this one out!

Who says you can't swing without a swing?

At the end we all went to Soroti hotel for a nice cold drink. There is also a lot of grass there where you can run around! We had a lot of fun and they all decided that the playground was good and we go for another "test"later this week, when all the plaything are finished!!!