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!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mary is 17 years!!!!!

Today we celebrate Mary 17 th birthday!!! We don't know her real birthday, but we gave her a date, so we can celebrate the day of her birth!!

I picked her from the boarding school on Wednesday. Her first year in boarding school is finished, it was not easy for Mary, but is went better in time. For me it is such a joy to see her become 17 years, God is so good, he really sustained her life. And she is a beautiful, intelligent young lady.
This are our two NG tube baby's. Left is Asianut and at the right is Job. I am so happy to see those two little baby's starting to grow. Asianut came on Monday (see our last blog) She only weighed 1 kg and 40 grams, and she is already 9 weeks old. Today she weighs 1 kg and 390 grams!!! In one week she gained 350 grams, that is a lot And also Job, he came in Amecet 2 weeks ago, weighing 1350 grams, today he is 2 kg and 20 grams. That is so encouraging, it is a lot of work, feeding every 2 hours, day and night, but when you see them growing, it is worth all the effort.
Friday afternoon the police came to Amecet that there were twin baby's in the hospital left by the mother. The mother ran away and they couldn't find her any more. We went to the hospital en we found the two baby's in the children ward. Big baby's of 8 months old. There was a father sitting with them, but he was sick himself and admitted in another ward. We talked together and agreed together to take the baby's to Amecet for two weeks. In that time the father would be ok and take the children to his family. The little girls are both on treatment for pneumonia and diarrhoea. Their names are Mary and Martha! On this picture Sarah is sitting with them, they cried a lot.
On Saturday morning came Benjamin in Amecet. he was brought by his mother. He is very malnourished and misarable. He also cried a lot. The good news is that he is HIV-, so we just want to get him eating and drinking. But when they are in this stage, they cry a lot and are really irritable. He cried the whole day yesterday, you could take hin in your arms, he stopped a bit, but with 21 children in the house, you just can't sit with him the whole day.
But in the evening, he smiled!!!!! Is he not a very handsome little boy! I love his beautiful eyes. he eat a bit and he drinks milk, and he smiles, so there are many reasons to have hope.
He slept well, but today, Sunday, he cried a lot again. I have seen it before, he will get over this and start to play and smile more.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Who is 9 weeks old and only weighing 1 kg?

Asianut is 9 weeks old and she only weighs 1 kg and 40 grams. She has a beautiful name, it means Grace in Ateso, the language from this area.
She was brought by her parents today, she has been born as a premature baby and survived!!!
It must be a fighter. She is HIV-, so that is very good, it would be another big problem for her. But she is soooo small and when you look into her eyes, you see that she is older, she is alert. She can not suck at all, so we put in a NG tube and we feed her every 2 hours. We took her to the doctor and he said that it is a miracle that she is alive. So I am looking forward to see more of this little bundle of Grace. God must have a plan with her!
We "pack" her in this little pink sac, it is nice and warm, because her body temperature was low. We also check her temperature every 2 hours.
It was a very busy day, I thought I could do some office work today, but I started the same thing five times today and it is still not done. So I stopped, tomorrow I try again. We got another newborn baby. His mother died this morning in the hospital after a caesarian. His name is Justin and his weight is 2.4 kg. Two other children were brought, but they were not really needing us, at least one of them might come back tomorrow, because I wanted the mother to bring another family member with her and a letter of the local chief in her area. We have now a really full house with in total 23 children!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rafiki is gone....

This is Rafiki (means friend). I got Rafiki about 12 years ago, from an American family who left Uganda. Rafiki was first at the YWAM base, until we started Amecet, almost 10 years ago. Rafiki has been a very good and gentle dog. She has been the leader of our dogs and I guess she has been teaching many puppy's how to guard the place. Recently she got sick and after that, one of our other dogs took her place as the leader of the group. She was not allowed to stay with the other dogs in the doghouse anymore. She became more and more lonely and was also walking badly and became skinny. Last week I asked the vet to look at her. He told us that she has a hip problem, which only gets worse, she must have a lot of pain and that is why she is hardly eating. I felt sorry for her and after talking in our team, we decided to ask the vet to give her an injection. That has happened this morning, we just burried her. I feel sad, it was such a nice dog, I am glad we burried her, that is normally not done here, you don't burry a dog, it is not a human being! But I feel that Rafiki earned that, she has served us well.

There will be other dogs coming and maybe even get the name Rafiki, but this Rafiki has been a true FRIEND!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New plaster for Ruth and 5 Birthday girls

Today we had to go back to Kumi with Ruth, for review her leg. Again on this very bad road, today it was even worse than the last time. Big potholes everywhere!! The doctor just started in his new hospital, it is a beautiful new hospital, specialised for orthopaedic problems. Only there was no electricity yet, and they had to take off the plaster! So they put Ruth with her legs in a bucket with water to make the plaster soft. After that they had a sharp knife to cut the plaster open. It was scary to see, so close to the leg, but they managed without cutting her leg! The doctor looked at her foot and said that it was improved, but they had to give again new plaster for two more weeks. So she is home with another white leg!
Then when we came home we had a BIG birthday party! For 5 wonderful girls, who all had hier birthday within this week. From left to right you see: Ella, Esther, Florence, Leya and Gloria! Gloria celebrated her 4th birthday, from the others, I lost count!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kick off Amecet cup tournament in Soroti

Who would not like to win this beautiful trophy, it is the Amecet cup, the prize for the winner of our soccer tournament in Soroti town. This tournament is organised by Elias, (his picture is here below)
He is an old friend of Amecet, He has been working with us many times and is also a fervent soccer player. It is a big tournament with 20 teams participating. It is organised because of our 10 year anniversary in Dec. We have several things coming up and this tournament is one of them. We wanted to do something in and for the community, we are also building a playgarden for the children of Soroti. To give it as a gift to the community of Soroti. Soccer is a favorite sport in Uganda, It was amazing how many teams there are in Soroti. teams are formed from the working place ( there is a team from car mecanics) and there are teams from the neighbourhoods. Today was the kick off and we started with a (joker) team from Amecet/YWAM which would play 2 x 10 minutes with a participating lady team. On the picture below you can see our team. We had never practised and some met for the first time. But it was fun and they played 0-0, so that was good.
Then we had the official kick off, I had to say something about the anniversary and then greet the teams and then Catherine would do the kick off, but it was confusing so Helen ended up to do the kick!
It was a nice atmosphere and we hope that people will enjoy the games, in playing and in watching! Th e big final is on December 17th, the winner will receive the trophy and a bull!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Helen goes to the salon....

Yesterday we took the braids out of Helen's hair. Her ponytail was fake, they braid threats in with the real hair to "extend" the hair. Her hair was very long and it stood out like a cloud around her head. We washed it and try to comb it, but that became a drama!!! I couldn't get a comb through it. It was very painful, Helen cried. This morning we got her to school with her hair tied in some little pony tails. We would let it braid again, but this afternoon she told me that she wanted it shaved. So we went to the salon. To the barber for men, they do the shaving jobs. When he started, it looked like the way how they shave a sheep, so thick was the hair. I told the guy that he should not take all off. And he did a good job!

I still want to ask your prayers again for the two Christines. Christine 1, who got the convulsions on Monday is still not doing well. We tested her again for Malaria and this time it came out positive, so she is now on a Quinine drip, I am still concern about her. Christine 2 has a pneumonia, she is on IV injections. It will be a busy night for me, I have go to do the injections on odd hours during the night, then put Christine 1 back on drip for 4 hours. But if it helps them, it is ok.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elisabeth: 1.1+1.1 = 2.2 = PARTY!!

Elisabeth was brought to us on October 14, I made the picture with the marker in her hand, just to show how small she was. Today I made again a picture, again with the marker in her hand, you can see what a difference between those two pictures, that difference is 1.1 kg, Elisabeth doubled her weight in 4 weeks time!

When you see the picture at the left you see how small she was, just 1.1 kg. She has been in our incubator until 2 days ago, when another premature baby was brought.

We still feed her by NG tube, but we give her now more the bottle as well, she has now energy to drink, and she also has now energy to cry!!!
We celebrated today her doubled weight with our Amecet family, we prayed for her, thanking God for her life and of course there was a soda, thanking the staff for caring so well for her!

We all toast on LIFE!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A crazy day.....

Today was a crazy day, I have been running around and I have the feeling that I didn't do that much! First I want to give you an update on Christine 1, who I asked prayer for yesterday. She had a good night, but slept a lot and very deep (due to the injections she was given) The temperature went up again, but the night duty staff have been monitoring her very well and it did not got very high. Today she was at first a bit confused, but by now she is doing well and is eating and drinking. I just had a talk with the doctor again, we don't know what caused the convulsions, we will have to keep a close eye on her. But God answered our prayers! Then Muya Val went to her new adoption mother. We are so happy that she will grow up in this lovely Christian family, the next thing is that Christine 2 was crying from the pain in her stomach, we tested her for malaria and she came out positive. we started her directly on the malaria treatment. But in the evening, her fever went very high.

Today we weighed baby Elisabeth again and her weight is 2.050 kg! I promised the staff that we will have soda's when she doubled her weight, from 1.1 kg to 2.2 kg, so I think we are very close to that!!! Then a new baby came today, a little baby boy, Job. He is one of a twin and his brother died after being born. Then shortly after Job was born, his mother started to bleed and nothing could be done, she passed away. This all happened yesterday. Job had not been fed since that time, except a bit of sugar water. He was cold and weak, his weight is 1.350 kg, so also a very small baby. We decided to take Elisabeth out of the incubator, since she is over the 2 kg. and we put Job in the incubator. Elisabeth stays still in the same room, away from the other children, till she is bigger.
We feed Job via a NG tube, so his energy will go in the growing instead of the sucking. We put little socks on his hands, otherwise those little fingers will put the tube out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Please pray for Christine 1.........

It is the same Monday where I wrote about earlier, I wrote that I was ready for anything, but I didn't know it was for this.........
I was at the YWAM team meeting at the base, when I was called to come back to Amecet immediately, Christine 1 had fainted. I got Helen and Catherine, who were playing outside and raced back to Amecet. Christine was unconscious and I ran to get Dr. Engule, our neighbour. We carried her to the medicines room and the doctor got a canula in and we gave her injections and started an IV drip. We got a blood sample and I brought it to the laboratory at the neighbours. When I came back, Christine got again convulsions, I had to give another injection and went to the laboratory for the results. There was no malaria, she had again a urine infection and we started treatment for that this morning. She didn't get another convulsion since almost 3 hours now. But she is still unconscious. Everybody is scared, we are still thinking a lot about Immaculate, her death is still so fresh. We still miss her so much, Christine came the same time as Immaculate, a little bit the same case. Please pray for this girl, when I see her picture, I want her to grow up and live!!! Pray for us as well and the other children, who were at her room when she started to have the convulsions, they were scared.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Foggy monday morning in Uganda....

When we woke up this morning, it was foggy outside. That happens not so very often in Uganda, to me is was almost if I was in Holland, very normal autumn weather. Helen was very suprised and asked which car made al this smoke... So I gave a short lesson what Fog is all about. She still felt it was very strange. In the meantime I had to keep moving, to get Helen and Sarah ready for school, the bus is picking them at 7.15 am. Catherine was sleepy today so we brought Helen and Sarah to the bus, while she was still in her (Hema) pyama. After that we had breakfast together as you can see on the picture below. We still have to bath her, that is a battle, because she hates to have water over her, but the bath ducks we got, may be therapeutic for her.

It is a good start of the week, what ever may happen this week..... we are ready for it!!! (I hope we will have a party for baby Elisabeth, that she doubled her weight. from 1.1kg to 2.2kg. See Blog of 14 /10)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Two new baby's on one day.....

Yesterday we got two new born baby's in our home. We have now 10 baby's, you can image how loud our choir sometimes sings.....
This is Kenneth, he is only 11 days old. His father and a neighbour brought him. The mother died last week from a pneumonia. Maybe she was weak after the delivery, but she left 2 children behind. She was only 19 years old. Kenneth is a healthy baby (2.6 kg.) He was at first not drinking so well, but today he drinks better.
This baby was brought to us by the police. The little boy was found by the police in the bush. They also found the mother already, who is now in the police cells. She dumped the baby and told the people he died. He is only 4 days old. He is a beautiful little boy, his weight is 2.7 kg. He had no name, we have had other baby's who were found and often they were given the name Moses. Sarah told me last night to give him the name Emmanuel, because she said, his mother has left him, but God is with him. And that is what the name Emmanuel means: God with us!! This morning Simon and I went to the police station, to talk with the mother. We would like some more information and also see how and who she was. She is a girl of 17 years, quite confused and refusing to talk. We don't know why she did it, she could not say why she dumped her baby. We asked her about the name, she had no interest and when we asked if we could name him Emmanuel, it was fine with her. Her relatives are called and we wait for that, maybe there is someone in her family who want to care for this precious boy. This afternoon we took him to the doctor for a check up and he was put on antibiotics. He doesn't drink so well and he sleeps a lot. But we know that God is with him!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We gave her the name RUTH.....

In the Blog of the 3th of October, I wrote about a little girl who was brought to Amecet by the police. Her mother had left her somewhere and went drinking in another place. She was taken into custody and the baby was brought to us. The mother escaped from the police cell s and she has not seen ever since. We only know that her name is Apio, we don't know how old she is. She is very small, her weight was only 3.3 kg. But she is very alert and the way she observes makes you think that she must be at least 4 or 5 months old.
She is now one month with us, the mother is gone and we felt we should give her a name. So we gave her the name Ruth. In the Bible, Ruth started a new chapter in her life when she went with Naomi, her mother in law. Our Ruth is also starting a new chapter in her life, her name means Friendship, fellowship. We all wish that for her. She is doing well, the infections she had, have cleared up. It is easier to feed her and she is gaining and smiling! But the problem she still has is her left foot, it is smaller than the right foot and turned inside. On Monday I took her to the specialist and he told me to come with her to his clinic in Kumi (1 hour drive from Soroti) on Wednesday. So today we went! Simon drove, it is a very bad road, full with potholes. But we reached and saw the doctor.
This are the little feet of Ruth!
The doctor decided to put a plaster around her leg and foot for two weeks. We have to come back and they will put probably a new plaster around it, and we will continue until it is right.
She doesn't seem to have pain, it is good that it goes in little steps. Tomorrow we are going to "decorate" her leg. And we pray that everything will work out for good. It is such a joy to see this little girl come to life. I think she has suffered a lot in her little life, there are also some problems at her private parts, she might have been abused. May God use all of us to minister to Ruth and we pray that she will come somewhere where she belongs, like the Ruth from the Bible.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Her legs are made for walking.... (6)

I received an email with the question, how is it going with Gloria? Gloria is a little girl of maybe 3 or now 4 years old. She has been in our home before, then her mother passed away and she is staying with her grandmother. In January this year we decided to take her back in Amecet, Gloria has a problem with her legs and we wanted to help with that. Gloria is also HIV+ and is on the ARV medicines. She is doing very well and she is hardly sick. Only the legs... I have been writing about this journey before, this is number 6 in the serie. We took her to a specialist in Kumi (1 hour drive from here) she got made special splints for her legs, it didn't work, then she got her two legs in plaster for 3 weeks, it looked better, but very soon the legs went to it orginal shape. Again back to the doctor and you can read in the blog of June 22th (Tears and laughter) that we didn't get good news. There was no improvement and there will not be much improvement in the future, that is what the doctor said to us. Then Gloria should go back to the village in this shape??? I felt so sad and what would become of Gloria in the village, who would carry her around when she is 20 years old (if she would make it?) So Gloria is still with us in Amecet. We started to try to make her more verbal and to make the most of her abilities. We got some volunteers who got a heart for Gloria and they started to train her. For example in potty training, in talking, in singing, in spending time with her seperate. It really brings fruit!!!!! Gloria is more verbal, she can talk better, she moves around more (with or without her walker) and she can be a whole day dry!!! They have really a lot of patience with her!

But what I saw yesterday, I want to share with you... Gloria had crawled to the slide and climbed up the little stairs, then she slided down at the other side, you should have seen the big grim that she had on her face, she was so proud of herself!! And when she was down, she crawled around and again went up the stairs, and so and so on. This was the same Gloria as the Gloria from January, only sitting, no playing or moving. Now she is determined to have fun! It really was almost a wink from God, an encouragement from Him. I have been worried about Gloria, what to do with her, we can't keep her for ever, she also needs a family where she belongs. I have faith that something will come around the corner for Gloria! And for now? We just enjoy the slide!!!!