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!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sarah in the hospital.....

Today we went to the hospital in Rotterdam. Sarah went through many examinations; X-ray, ECG, Ultrasound and bloodtests. She was seen by two doctors, the cardiologist and the HIV specialist. She did very well and was very co-operative. We don't have many answers yet, but I was very impressed by the care and the attention they gave to Sarah. We have to wait till the results come back. The cardiologist wanted more information, the ultra sound showed that things are not going well, but right now they gave Sarah a recorder which she has to wear for 24 hours, next week we also have to go back for a bicycle test. Then they want to look at all the results and make a decision what is good for Sarah.

Helen is well, she went only for the bloodtest and the HIV specialist. We will hear the results next week.

We had a long day in the hospital, but it is good to know we do all what we can.
Sarah just got the recorder, she has to wear it 24 hours. The wires are connected at electrodes which are stuck on her chest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter in Holland and making friends....

This Blog is written from Holland. On Friday morning I arrived, together with my two daughters, Sarah and Helen in Goes, Holland. We had a good trip and we arrived in a sunny, warm Holland. They organized a beautiful house for us. A nice house with a big livingroom and several bedrooms. The children were so excited about the bath tube, but Helen asked a bit careful if there was warm water in Holland. We celebrated Easter together in our new house. Opposite our house, there is a playgarden and Helen has been targeting the children of the neighbours to play with. Several times she went outside, but the children left, not knowing what to say or do with Helen. But today it worked, she went again outside, and just stayed close to them and I saw, through our window, that they were playing together. Half an hour later, Helen came running in, very excited: mama, I have many friends now!!Tomorrow we are going to the Hospital in Rotterdam, Sarah and Helen together, for the checkup for the HIV and Sarah for her heart condition. Please pray for this visit, that we get some clear answers!

In Amecet is everything going well. But I got an email that there are quite some children sick. Malaria, but also some other infections. Please pray for Miranda, the Dutch nurse, who is taking a big part of the work on her shoulders, and for Simon and Josephine who have the leadership now.

Easter breakfast in our (temporary) house!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thirteen children in diapers....

Thirteen children in diapers means a lot of laundry every day!!!! Dinah, our laundry lady is very much appreciated. Esspecially on a day like today, when the power is off. It means that she has to do it by hand and it is for sure a lot of work! The nice thing in Uganda is that it dries very quickly and when Dinah brings it from the cloth lines, we all help folding and it is a nice social gathering. The children are then doing their nap, only the feeding of the baby's, that goes on, it never stops....
I also want to let you know that the blog writing may change a little bit. I am leaving tomorrow for Holland. I will take my two daughters, Sarah and Helen with me. We are going for medical reasons. Sarah her CD4 has dropped a lot and we are going to a special HIV children's clinic in Rotterdam. Another big concern is Sarah's heart condition, we are going regular to the heart institute in Kampala. But it is not improving, they are talking about place a device in her, but they don't do that in Uganda. I have also appointments with the peadiatric cardiologist in Rotterdam. Í want to ask your prayers for our trip. I will be in touch with Amecet, so from time to time I will write on our blog.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Two sad stories....

A free Saturday, I was cleaning up in my house, and I was called. There were two new children on our veranda.

This is John Peter, only 7 hours old in this world. His mother died after the the placenta didn't come out and she bled to death. Very sad.... But it is not the end of the story, he was brought by the family of the mother and they told us that they were looking for the husband. The couple had not been married, so the husband didn't pay the dowry. This was their first baby together and the mother passed away. The family of the mother now wants the dowry!! It is almost like marrying a dead person. The father of John Peter has to pay cows or goats to compensate the family of loosing their daughter. The baby looks lethargic and dehydrated, he is not fed since he was born. He is just over 2,5 kg and still dirty from the delivery. The grandmother will look after him after his stay in Amecet. We took him in and will care for him, the family went home, to settle the problems and hopefully burry the mother in the next two days.

Rafael is not a new child in Amecet. He came the first time in July 2010, when he was 2 weeks old. His mother is mentally ill and even his grandmother is a mental case. His uncle brought him that time and took him back after 3 months of stay. Later we heard that the great grandmother now looked after Rafael. Two weeks ago we met Rafael and the great grandmother in the feeding centre in the hospital. I hardly recognised him. I was shocked, where was the little cute baby we brought home?

We asked if the grandmother could ask the uncle to come to Amecet. And today he came, together with another clan member. There are a lot of problems in the family. And nobody wants to care for Rafael. They found his father, he was put in jail, but came out, now they want to sue him and let him pay for all their expenses they made on Rafael. To me, looking at Rafael, is that not too much! We called the Probation officer (child protection) and we had a long talk with them. Next week we will go to Katakwi where they come from, and have a talk with the father. We want a good place for Rafael. The family of the mother can not use him to make money and the father needs to take on his responsibility. Rafael will stay in Amecet till everything is settled and also until he is healthy again. His weight is only 4,7 kg. he had a sock on his hand, because he was biting himself there all the time. So sad, we pray we can help him and make him smile again! On the picture under, you see him sitting next to Catherine. They are the same age, Catherine is one week older, both 10 months old. Rafael can not even sit by him self. Catherine weighs 2 kg more! Hope they will be friends!!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mango season....

It is Mango season, everybody loves mango's. When calvin (our gardener) comes with the fresh picked Mango's from our trees in our compound, everybody gets excited!! Everybody wants to eat mango's. Only the baby's don't get them, they don't have yet mango milk.

Catherine loves to eat them, it is a little messy, but the aunti's give her the mango in pieces.

Immaculate is doing so much better, 10 days ago she refused to eat or drink. We had to put her on IV drip and even a NG tube. We tried everything, and thanks to God, our prayers were answered. She is eating again, smiling again and playing memory again! Mango's are her favorite! Is she not a beautiful girl?
Ofcourse Gloria likes Mango's too. This is the girl from the blogs about "her legs were made for walking". She sits like a princess with her two legs in plaster, nicely decorated!!! She is also doing well, has no pain, doesn't complains and we carry her in and out and to bed and to the potty, she finds it all ok.
Aunto Florence also eats mango's!
The whole house is eating mango's! In the kitchen our three ladies are also on the mango's. Aunti Grace, Agnes and Dinah.

Even in the office we eat mango's.
The season is often very short, so when they are there, everybody wants to eat them. In the villages, people don't eat lunch, they just shake the mango tree. And when you go to the villages schools, all the children have dirty school uniforms, because of the mango stains on them.

This is indeed a blessed season for many!!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We are born on the 15th of February......

This afternoon two staff members from another NGO came to Amecet.They brought a mother with a small malnourished baby. If we could help???
It was another sad story. The baby was born on the 15th, just before the elections. We figured out it was February. She gave birth on her own, she never went for pre-natal check up, she never went for immunisations. She never went to the health centre. The mother felt sickly and she had hardly breast feeding. There were two other children at home, one child was with family and four children had died. We talked and talked, the mother was more talking about her own aches and pains then about her baby. Together with the mother and the staff from the NGO, we decided hat we would take the baby in. Then the next problem, there was no name yet... The name of the boyfriend of the mother was given. Joseph, he is 7 weeks old and he weighs only 2 kg. He is very frail, but you could see that he is older, because the way he looks at you. He is beautiful!!! I already fell in love with those beatiful eyes!!

We took him directly to the doctor and also for testing. Sadly he was positive on the HIV anti bodies. We will go tomorrow for immunisation and DNA test, to see if the antibodies mean that he is HIV+ or that they are the anti bodies of his mother.

On this picture you can see the two boys who are both born on the same day: 15/02/2011.

Left Robert, he weighs 4,5 kg and at the right Joseph, weighing only 2 kg. We will have a lot of work to do!!!! I hope to repeat this picture in two months or so!!!! With a better balance of the two!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Waiting for the bus which didn't come...

Yesterday I was waiting at 7.15 am with Helen, at the front of Amecet, for the school bus. With us, more children, who all go to our YWAM Harmony pre- and primary schools, were waiting.

They started to play, in and out the ditch, pushing each other etc. After 30 minutes, I went in to get my mobile phone, to find out what was wrong. I knew the driver was a bit late that morning, but today it took very long. I heard then that the bus was stuck, quite a distance away, full with children and the driver was on his way on a boda boda (bicycles taxi) to our home. When he arrived I heard that the engine had just stopped and it was impossible to get it going again. The children were still in the bus, together with the guy who helps the children in and out the bus.

I quickly called Ton, (the leader of our second home) to come with their pick up and I gave Paul, the bus driver, the keys from our little van. Ton and Paul were going to bring all the children from the bus to school. I took our pick up and finished the route of the bus after our home. I think I had at least 15 children in the pick up. The children who were waiting in front of our house and more children, who were waiting along the road. I drove to school to unload the children and went back to get more children who were patiently waiting for the bus. On my way back I met Ton and Paul, both with a vehicle full of children. But all the children arrived in school that day!

And what was the problem now with the bus????? The bus was serviced 10 days previously, they had changed the oil and many other things, but they had cheated us and had poured old oil in the engine. The oil was almost thick like butter. So on the spot, a mechanic had to change the oil and we prayed that the engine would not be spoiled. Our prayers were answered, at 12 o'clock the bus was driving again to bring the pre-school children home.

But I felt that we had handled good and quick, that team spirit can handle any situation!

Waiting for the bus on "normal" days!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Her legs were made for walking.....5

We are struggling with the legs of Gloria. I think it will be a long story, this is number 5. You can read them back if you want.... We started again with the splints, after a long healing time for the wounds on her heels. We were very careful, but again, wounds on the heels. Gloria tries her level best to get them out and she is managing to move her feet, so that makes the wounds. We went again back to the doctor. He said that we would try this, fix her legs, stretched in plaster for 3 weeks and than it might be easier to put the splints on again. It is so important for Gloria to get this done, who will carry her around, when she is 20 years??

Yesterday the doctor put the plaster on and today we are decorating it. Gloria has no pain, she slept good, but she is anoint about the plaster. She was happy for us to decorate her legs, but she is not yet sure what to make of it.

This story will be continued............

Friday, April 1, 2011

Six boys without a mother

Six beautiful little baby boys on a row.... they have a lot in common, they all came in Amecet as a new born baby, they all miss their mother, and we try to care for them and to give them love and cuddles. I will start from the left, that is the oldest of the six. Robbert: he is 6 weeks old, he was born at home in the village (at night) everything went well, but then the mother started to bleed and she passed away. Moses: he is 2 weeks and 4 days old. Moses was born and laid in a pig house, covered with plastic bags. Nobody knows who or where is mother is. (read the blog from 14th of March). George: he is 2 weeks old. George was also born at night, at home and the bleeding didn't stop, the mother died shortly after the birth. William: 1 week and 5 days old. William was born in an health care centre, but there was also too much bleeding, the mother was referred to Soroti Hospital, there they tried, but they couldn't stop the bleeding, the mother passed away. (read the blog from 19th of march). Vincent: he is 6 days old. Vincent is born in Soroti Hospital. His mother was operated (Cesarean), after that she became sick and she died some hours later. Joshua: he is only 3 days old. The mother died after giving birth because the placenta didn't come out. Six beautiful little boys, when I see them laying there, I feel so sad, they will all miss their mother to care for them. We do our best, but it is not the same. I pray that there will be an auntie or a grandmother who will open her heart and will take them in. As of now, we are a bit worried about William, who needed already blood transfusion and is still not doing so well. Moses cries a lot, he also much smaller then the other as you can see on the picture. The rest is doing well and drinks good. And they all can cry loud!!!!!!!!!!