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!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our three Musketeers are going to school

Christine, Mary and Immaculate

I call them often our three musketeers, they all came in Amecet around the same time, they all were in Amecet a couple of years ago and they all did not do well at home, so that is why we took them back in.
They were all in a very bad shape, their CD4 bloodtest all dropped under 6, esspecially Immaculate was very ill.
I wrote about them in our Blog from Jan 18 (It all begins with a smile) and about Immaculate in our Blog from Jan. 31 (we are fighting a battle)
I can't look enough to this picture! This are the same three girls, they are so happy now, doing well and they are eating good. Immaculate needs to gain many more kgs, but she is on her way!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Patrick's GRADUATION.....

The first picture is Patrick, 7 weeks old, his weight is 1560 grams and the second picture is from 2 weeks ago, he is now just over 5 months and his weight is 4500 gram!

I wrote about Patrick in our Blog from October 24, 2010 (120 gram in 5 days) and in our Blog of November 21, 2010, where we had a 2kg. party for Patrick.

Patrick is the second from triplets, his brother and sister are both twice his size! The mother could not handle the three of them, so Patrick came to live with us for a while. It took 1 month to get him above the 2 kg. but after that he was gaining, steadily. He is still smaller than his brother and sister, but he is a temperamentful child. His mother came to pick him today, she was so happy to see him healthy and smiling. The mother has in total 9 children, it is good that there are some hands at home to help with those three babies. It was for us a joy to hand him back to his family, we hope and pray that Patrick will do well at home. I am sure his brothers and sisters will love him, he is such a cute and handsome little fellow!

On this picture you see Patrick in the middle.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mixed feelings.....

Today we brought Mary to her boarding school! All the girls wanted to come and you can see us sitting in the car, laughing and talking.
Boarding school is quite something, there are many rules and Mary can't come out during the whole term. there are "visiting days" for the families, but outside those days, you can't visit her. Now in Mary's case, there is an exception, because I have to bring Mary's ARV medicines.
Mary will sleep in a bunk bed in a big room with at least 48 bunk beds(=96 girls). It is a big step for her, out of the covering of Amecet in the school. I know it is good, we can't keep her with us, but I found it very difficult to leave her behind. She was a bit overwhelmed. And when we left, she was a bit crying. And me, I was almost crying, mixed feelings, thankful, because Mary has come a long way, she is alive. I was thinking about that night, many years ago, Mary was so sick. She told me that she wanted to go to her mother, to Heaven. I told her that I would miss her a lot, but that it was ok, there would be no more pain and sickness in Heaven, Jesus loves her, He would take care of her. Mary wanted me to lay down with her. The whole night I listened to her breathing, sometimes it stopped for a while and I thought, would it be over? And then she started to breath again, sometimes she felt, if I was still there. I am so thankful that God didn't take her that night and that we can still enjoy Mary being with us.
On the picture under you can see Mary, standing in the middle (with the white socks and black shoes). I know God has big plans for her and I am so thankful to be part of that plan, together with all who made is possible for her to start boarding school.
But I do miss her being around!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Esther and Robert, two little babies...

Today is election day in Uganda. A day where people have talked about a lot, feared and prayed for. The schools are closed, it is very, very quiet on the streets. Most of the shops are closed. Lines with voters start to form at the polling stations. Trucks move around with soldiers or policemen. It is not the Soroti I know.... It is too quiet. Let us hope and pray all stays quiet...
In Amecet all is also quiet. Yesterday Simon and I came back from a two day trip to Kampala. We brought two volunteers back to the airport. Lisette and Sonja, thanks for all!! We also picked one new volunteer, Elske, a Dutch nurse, who will stay with us for 2,5 months!
In Amecet we are a bit concerned about Esther, the baby who is now with us for almost 2 weeks. She is not gaining and she is not drinking so well. We have already treated her for malaria!!! Those mosquito's should have had mercy on such a little baby! If she is not going to gain, we have to put a NG tube and feed her more milk. We gave her the ARV's and we pray that she is not infected by the HIV virus.
This is Robert, a new born baby who joined us on 15th of February. Robert was only 7 hours old, when he was brought to Amecet. His weight is 3 kg, he is one kg more then Esther, who is 2 weeks older then Robert!
Robert was born at home in the village, his mother got help from a rural birth attendant. After the delivery everything went well, the birth attendant went home. Only two hours later the eldest sister of Robert (10 years old) came to ask for help, the mother had start to bleed. There was nothing the birth attendant could do, the mother died within moments. Robert is doing well, but we also started him on ARV's since nobody knew about the HIV status of the mother. The husband of the mother had died, an unknown boyfriend is the father of Robert. The older sister of the late mother will care for Robert later.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A home for David!

On 24/9/2010 around 11 o'clock in the morning, three men came to Amecet with a new born baby boy. They had found the baby in the bushes near the market. I looked at the baby and saw that the baby needed immediately medical attention. I asked the men to report to the police, while I ran with the baby to the clinic next to us. The doctor examined the baby: the lungs were not good, the breathing was difficult, the baby was burned by the sun and he was hydrated. The baby was put on IV fluids, oxygen and antibiotics. The baby was in pain, because of the sunburn on his body.
Some hours later the police came and they told us that they found the mother. She gave birth to the baby alone, outside in the bush and left him, she thought he was dead. The mother was taken into custody.
We called the baby David and he developed into a cute little boy, he didn't seem to have a lot of problems after his difficult start in life.
He was not sick many times, only some malaria, but that is common here. His mother was put in jail and sometimes his grandmother came to see him.

Today we brought David back to his relatives, the lady who is carrying him is an auntie and the man at the right, behind her is the clan leader, one of the grandfathers. They were very willing to care for David. He was very welcome. It is nice to bring David back to his relatives, his mother is still in jail, but at least he has a place where he belongs. The grandmother will come to Amecet every two week for porridge flour, sugar and soap and they will also come to our "come back days". I pray they will love David and care for him.

While we were in the village I got a phone call from Emmanuel and his grandmother from Otoboi. The cow, we gave some years ago, just gave birth to a calf. They were so excited that they wanted me to know it right away!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

To eat out with the family (31 adults,13 children and 13 babies!)

Today we went with our whole Amecet family to eat a meal out!
We had organised it in a kind of African village setting, with open places and ofcourse the weather was nice!
We wanted to appreciate our staff, we had printed T shirts for everybody and we just wanted to let them feel that they are special and that we value them.
We sang some songs and listened to a story, then we played a game, in this game we said appreciations to each other and it was really nice to see everybody joining in to give compliments to each other, also the children!
We made a baby corner, and from time to time the babies were fed, they were behaving really well, didn't cry much!
Then we ate together! Everybody enjoyed the meal, our cooks who didn't have to cook and nobody had to clean up and wash the dishes! We just ate, had fellowship and enjoyed each other!
At the end we made a group picture on the little bridge. When I see this big group of people I am so thank ful to God. We started so small, with two staff members (Helen and me) and see what a big group we have now.
We climbed in the YWAM bus and drove back to Amecet, everybody was happy and felt good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shopping with Mary

Today I went shopping in Soroti town with Mary. In our Blog of January 24, I wrote about her. She is going to secondary boarding school on Monday 14 th of February. When you go to boarding school you have to bring a metal box with padlocks (!) where you keep your personal things in. This morning we went shopping to buy the other things on her list; like soap, omo, a plastic basin, plate, cup, white socks, black shoes and shoe polish, tooth paste etc. We got everything and celebrated with a soda in a little restaurant. Mary is so excited and happy and above all so thankful for all that we buy for her. It is such a joy to be able to do this for her.

Life in boarding school is not easy, she will sleep with at least 40 girls in a room, in 20 bunkbeds. She is not allowed to go outside the school premises, she is not allowed to have a mobile phone and there in one visiting day in April. Mary has been in Amecet since 2002, so it is a big step for her, to be on her own. She is also on ARV's and is managing her medicines herself for the last year. So I am not worry about that, we talked with the school administrator, we are allowed to check on her and bring her the medicines. We are also allowed to call and they will call her on the phone. Mary had a very good result from her P 7 exams, she is a bright girl and she has big dreams for her future. We thank God for her life and I am sure that we will miss having her around. She will join us in her holidays, we will still be her "home".

Mary is packing her "BOX" under the supervision of Christine and Immaculette.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

They gave her the name ESTHER !

On Monday 7 th of February a little baby was brought to our home by an auntie. The little girl was born 5 days earlier. Her mother died in the process of giving birth. The mother was HIV+ and the baby came 6 weeks too early, while she was at home. The baby was fed with only water, for all that time!! Her weight was not even 2 kg.
There was no name for the baby, because it was uncertain who the father of the baby was.
Our staff member Simon went with the auntie, back to the family in the village, to sort everything out, while we took care of the little girl. She looked a bit yellow and very tired and fragile. We fed her every hour 10 ml milk, with a syringe, she was too weak to suckle from the bottle. We also started her directly on the ARV's, the medicines which slow down the growth of the HIV virus. Because the mother is HIV+, we need to treat the child as soon as possible, it will make the chance that she is also infected with the HIV virus much smaller. But the test will be done later.
When Simon came back with all the signatures of the father and local elder, he also came back with the name: ESTHER.
Esther is a beautiful little girl, today, we are 2 days further, Esther can drink now from the bottle and she is able to drink 25 ml in one go, she doesn't look yellow anymore.
We have big hopes for Esther!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sun, water, games and fun = Garden party

We have had a week with sickness, malaria, babies on drip and a garden party!!! In an earlier blog, I wrote about a girl who was so sick and who refused to eat. We had to put her on drip, she had 10 bottles IV fluid. We prayed a lot for her and we asked people around the world to pray for her. And the miracle took place.... Immaculate is eating and smiling again! That gives reason to celebrate! And our Dutch volunteers organised a garden party! With games, water and fun.
This is a Dutch game "koekhappen" I don't know the English word for it. A little bread roll on a string and you have to eat it without the help of your hands! Here you see a stiff competition between Joshua and Helen!
This is the Balloon race, there are two groups, and your group tries to be the fastest to get all to the other side and back, with the balloon in between you. Here is the the turn of Dinah and Immaculette.

This is again a competition between two groups, carry a cup with water on your head to the other side. And try as a group, to get the most water in the bucket. On this picture has John (left) some difficulties to get the water in the bucket.
This is a picture from Immaculette, carrying a cup of water on her head. This is the same girl who was so very sick, only 5 days ago! We are so thankful and so happy to see her enjoying life again. She still has a long way to go, but we see joy in her eyes again.

And that is what keeps us going, right now we have a little baby of 4 weeks, who is very sick, she is on and off on drip, has fever, diarrhea and vomiting. We are worried about the little girl, but then I look at Immaculette, and I get encouraged, if we do what we can, God will do the rest!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Her legs were made for walking....3

This is the third Blog about Gloria, and it won't be the last one. At the moment we have a little fall back. Two weeks ago we saw small blisters, more like pressure sores on both of her heels. We didn't put her splints on, but went back to the workplace, where they made the splints. They looked at them and put some alterations on them, but the pressure sores became only worse. We let her for some days without the splints, but they became infected.
So every day, Gloria is put twice in a soap bath and after that we dress the wounds with...HONEY! The first times it was a battle, Gloria screamed and refused to co-operate with us. Then Miranda, one of the Dutch volunteer nurses, made it more like a playtime and Gloria loves it! She plays and there is water everywhere! And after the bath she has now so much trust in Miranda and Ninke (the other Dutch volunteer nurse) that she lays very patiently, (with the buttocks up!) until they are finished dressing the wounds. There is a little healing, but it goes very slow and until the sores are healed, she can't wear the splints and she can't practise with her walker.