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, May 26, 2011

A dogs story........

At Amecet, we are guarded at night by our four lady dogs. Let me introduce them to you:

This is our old lady, Rafiki. She must be at least 15 years old, she is missing some teeth, is not running so much anymore, but she is still the leader of our crew. The others are not going in the doghouse, when she is not there!

This is Simba, she is the smallest of the group. She is 5 years old, she can really bark!!!

Here is Lassie, named by the children after the famous Lassie from the TV and movies. She is is 3 years old and she is a big dog with a beautiful tail. She is still very playfull and when you have to walk in the compound after they are released, she is jumping on you, so happy to see you!

This is Boefie ( a Dutch name for someone who is naughty) , she is the youngest of the team, she is 1 year old. On this picture she is still small, but now she is bigger than Lassie. Boefie and Lassie play a lot and are always running around or fighting (as play) together.

During the day the dogs are in their dog house, we release them in the evening, they guard the place at night. After we lock our frontgate and our side gate, the place is theirs. A couple of weeks ago the staff on night duty forgot to close and lock the side gate. This is a gate in the fence, which is between our compound and the compound of the clinic, next to us. After the dogs had eaten, they discovered the open gate, that was fun, more space to run! The clinic has also a frontgate, to the road, which is closed at night and guarded by a guard.

That night none of the patients or the caretakers of the patients dared to go out, the dogs were running in and out, the guard didn't dare to do something and the story goes that one of the patients had to go to the latrine and didn't dare to go out, he got into trouble.

The worse thing was that there were white ants out that night. This are flying ants, which are coming out their ant hill only now and then. They fly towards the light, the people come out of bed to cath them at night (they don't fly during daytime). They fry and eat the ants, it is a real treat to them. And just that night they were flying outside, but our dogs were running around!!! The next day three people came to complain to us, what else could we do than apolgize and making sure that we lock the gate in the future.

At least we know that our dogs do their work and people don't mess with them!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little baby Simon....

Simon is two weeks old and he weighs 2,5 kg. It is a sad story, his mother died last week in the clinic next to our home from a heart problem. Simon was born in a clinic in the village on 8th of May. Everything went well, untill last week. They brought the mother to the clinic in Soroti, our neighbours, and the mother died there. Simon was brought to Amecet. He didn't drink very well, we had to feed him with a syringe, he was weak. Yesterday morning we were concerned about him, during the night he had started diarrhea and we brought him also to the clinic next to us. He was put on drip for some hours and we inserted a NG tube, so we could feed him better. We also did a malaria test and that came back positive. So we started to treat this little man for malaria. In the night I was called by our night duty staff, and Simon was deheydrated again, so Miranda and I put him back on IV drip. I took this picture this morning, he is still on IV drip, but he was sleeping peacefully. So sad that Simon has so many problems in his little life, we pray he will pick up, that the malaria treatment will work and that there are no other mayor problems with his health. He is so fragile and so beautiful (and so lief!!!).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We are back SOROTI!!

We are back in Soroti, after saying goodbye to all our dear friends and family, who have been so good to us, they blessed us so much, we really felt special. We were good in time at the airport and here we are waiting for boarding. Helen was talking on a toy phone to her friends in Holland and suddenly I heard her talk to her friends in Soroti, she had made the step from Holland to Soroti very fast. We had a good flight and were picked at the airport by Simon, together with Arja and Mary. We had to sleep one night in Entebbe and the next day we drove to SOROTI!!

For Sarah was the most special thing that she could see Catherine again. This is a little girl from 10 months old who has stolen Sarah's heart. Sarah has missed her a lot and now Catherine is carried by her everywhere. At the moment she is sick, and on IV medication, but seeing Sarah again brought a big smile on her face. Do you see the mango's hanging in the tree behind them?? We are very happy that the mango season is not yet finished and we have already eating several mango's today!!!

There was a BIG suprise for Helen in the garden! A big trampoline!! The youth group of the church of one of our Dutch volunteers gave this to Amecet. At first we were unable to buy the safety net, so we were just waiting for that net. Ton had put it up just in the week that we returned. Almost all the children already have jumped on it, and they love it! Helen has been jumping on it as well and is very happy to do so.

And me..... I am just happy to see all the baby's again, Miranda, Josephine, Simon, Esther and all the other staff have done a great job. They have had busy weeks, in my first week away, many baby's got malaria, so there was a lot of work. If you see this picture, are they not beautiful? The baby at the front is Moses. I wrote about him that he was taken back to his mother and her family, he was the baby found in the pighouse. This week they brought him back!!!!!! Can you believe it, taking a baby and bring him back after a week, if it is a thing!!! I feel so sad for Moses and pray that the rejection will not hurt him. We have to see what now, but he is a beautiful baby, we will love him while he is with us! It is good to be back, to see everybody again and to be back in our little house. I am almost ready with unpacking everything. In spite of the cold water in the shower, the electricity which is on/off, even the internet which was mostly not there today, it really feels HOME. The girls are happy to see their friends again and they are going back to school on Monday, at least if the bus is working.... You can see us push the schoolbus, this morning it didn't want to start. So Simon asked us to give him a push, and we managed, as you see on the second picture!!! This is all part of our life here....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Busy" in Holland...

We are in our last week in Holland. And when I look back on our time, we have had a good time! Ofcourse we have had our visits to the hospital, that was the main reason that we came. And the outcome was good. Sarah's heart is not good, but not so bad that she needs the defibrilator. We have had good advice, where to look for and what are the dangerous signs. For the HIV: there are some changes of medication, there was already some improvement in the white bloodcells, also there is some medicin change for Helen. We go back to Soroti with high hopes that things will be better. I was very touched by the care and attention we received from the hospital personel.
In between we have done nice things, here we are at the beach, near the Delta works. It was a beautiful day, but there was a lot of wind. I was forgotten how great it is to walk at the beach and to hear the waves, to feel the sun and to feel the wind blowing

We have a beautiful house with a very nice garden. Sarah and Helen are here in our garden, playing Memory. The weather was great, these last weeks, we have not used our jackets!!! (except yesterday at the beach, for the wind)

This weekend we had a family weekend. We went by car to the North of Holland where my elder brother lives. It was nice to see each other, I don't see my nieces and nephews so often. We all went for a walk into the woods, to the stable where the sheep are staying. When we came there, there were no sheep, the shepherd had taken them out to graze. After some time the whole flock arrived, they all came running. In a speed, it was such a spectacle, even all the new born lambs were running!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

news from Soroti....

Via Email and also skype I have had several times contact with Amecet in Soroti. They have been busy there. At the moment there is an outbreak of mouth and feet disease among the cows in Soroti district. Simon and Elias have been busy with traveling to the villages to all our grandma's who have been given cows and bulls. They have been immunizing the animals and they gave deworming tablets. They also left spray bottles with medicins against ticks etc. It is hard for the Grandma's to get the medicins. They have been also giving seeds and cassava cuttings for them to plant. They brought some posho for each family, posho is a flour made of corn. There is a bit of shortage of food and the families were very thankfull.
I also got the news that Moses is gone to his family. Moses was found in a pighouse , you can read about him in the blog of 14th of March. A young lady came to ask about him, she wanted to adopt him. It was a bit strange, Simon contacted the police and the children protection unit, they arrested her. After two days she admitted that she was the mother. There have been a lot of talking and two days ago they travelled togeher with Moses, the police and the children protection and Simon to Mbale (1 hour form Soroti) and handed Moses back to his family. Simon has high hopes for him, there was an aunt who was very happy with him. The mother has to come every two weeks with Mose to report to the police station in Soroti.
We are doing well in Holland, here we are looking for shelves at the beach...
Sarah is riding the horse of aunti Corina.......
We are doing well and enjoying our last week in Holland!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Together with Janneke to the Zoo...

Many of you know Janneke, she has been working with us in Soroti for several times and the last time she even stayed for a whole year. Janneke is doing a DTS at the Dutch YWAM base and ofcourse, we wanted to see her! Sarah and Helen also like her very much and I also wanted to see her and talk together!! We started with a nice meal in an American restaurant. On this picture Sarah and Janneke are waiting for the meal!!!
Today we went together to the Zoo! The elephants were showing us how to get the food out of the drum. We saw bears, lions, zebra's, tigers, all kind of birds, fish, monkeys and many other animals. We went to the playgarden, rode on a little train and on the caroussel and......
painted the face... Helen wanted to be a butterfly, and she got a very nice one on her face. Sarah wanted also, but being 13 years old, that is a problem. So she told the lady she wanted a flower, but on her arm. So she got a beautiful flower on her arm!!!
Here we are sitting on the throne of a Indian king. Normally there would be two tigers, laying at each side of the throne, but I was very glad the tigers were behind a very thick glass wall behind us.
We had a very nice day together, the weather was warm, almost like Soroti. We ate supper at the YWAM base. Helen really likes it there, because there is a big trampoline where she has been jumping on already.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sarah got her bicycle test....

Today we went to the hospital for the bicycle test and to talk with the cardiologist. Sarah was hooked up with many wires, to record all the different heartbeats, oxygen etc. She did well and the doctor told us that they felt she did not need the defibrilator at this time. Her heart is not good, but not yet bad enough for the device. She gave me a lot of advice and we can always email her and we can come back once a year for review. I feel good about it and also Sarah is happy. She didn't talk much about it, but you could tell that it was also a tense time for her. Next week we have a talk with the HIV doctor, about the CD4. Here you see Sarah on her bicycle, the cardiologist you see on her back.
We do also nice things, and sometimes they can be so simple!! Sarah and Helen were very excited to go with uncle Theo to the libary. They had never seen so many books together and they could choose which ones they wanted to take home to read. There is a section with English books, so they found some nice books, which sarah can read at home and I read them to Helen!
We went to visit my aunt and uncle. Sarah fell in love with the oldtimer of my uncle Jaap. It is an old Citroen and you sit so comfortable in it. We went for a ride and you feel like a queen!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dennis has passed away........

This are two pictures of Dennis, made in 2008, the first one was when Dennis came in Amecet, the second when he left Amecet, ten months later.

Dennis was very malnourished and he refused to eat, we had to feed him by NG tube for eight months! We really battled several times for life, he was HIV + and we started him on ARV's, to slow down the HIV virus. I will never forget the time he was so sick, the doctor told me that he would not make it till the next morning. I stayed the whole night with him, not wanting him to die alone and praying and trying to help him, he was on oxygen and on IV drip. He made it till the next morning and many more mornings, untill last week......

Three weeks ago we got a note, brought by a boda man (bicycle taxi), it was from Dennis' mother, he was very sick, we should come to the hospital, Dennis was dying. I went directly, we have had more of those little notes from her before, every time it was not so bad, but you never know.. So I went. It was not very bad, I talked with the nurse, they only needed a canula. So I gave it and left. The next week we discovered that the mother took Dennis out of the hospital, but he was still ill and she took him to another little local clinic. We told her to go back to the hospital. She must have done it, because a week later, we got again a note, that Dennis needed bloodtransfusion and they didn't have a card for it. We went again, there was no need for bloodtransfusion, only for some medicin, which we gave. That last week, she came for medicins to Amecet (I was already in Holland) Simon went with her to see Dennis in the hospital and saw that he was much worse than the week before. The nurse told him that Dennis has gotten cerebral malaria, the malaria had already gone in the brains. He passed away in the hospital.

I am shocked about it, I am angry about it, I am sad about it, I feel confused, after all what we have done for Dennis he just died. Why? And why now? It makes me questioning all what we do in Amecet. But I know that what we have done for Dennis in Jesus´name has eternal value. And that is why we continue with what we do, in Jesus´ name!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jumping and climbing..........

Again an update from our life in Holland. On the picture left you can see Helen jumping on a trampoline. Someone gave it to us to use while we are here. And it is great for Helen, she is not used to be in the house all the time and on the trampoline she can get use her energy!!! She can jump high, many times she just jumps on it and then she goes on with what she was doing!

We are doing well, yesterday, we celebrated Queens day, a big event in the Netherlands. Everything is orange, we also decorated outside our house a little bit, with orange flags.

Sarah is also doing well, we got phonecalls from both doctors, to change something with the ARV medication and from the cardiologist to take one of her heart medicines with a hogher dose. We also got the appointment for the bicycle test. We have to go back to the hospital on Thursday.

In Amecet is everything also going well. Simon is plannning to bring the seeds to the grandmothers we help. I will get more details about that.

Here is Sarah climbing in the playground.