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, April 26, 2012

It was a busy day.

It was a busy day today, after our morning devotion i went to the clinic next door with Catherine (my youngest daughter). Yesterday we discovered that she had malaria and we started the treatment, but today I decided to check the urine as well, the test showed that she has also an urine tract infection, so more medicines! the good thing is that she is not very sick of it.After that we went with 4 children to Soroti hospital for immunisation.

Immunisation always takes time, we have to wait and wait. Because we come with so many baby's, they often help us first. The other mothers do not mind, they know that we help many children and they are not angry when we are helped before them. I am very happy about that, otherwise it takes really many hours waiting.
In the afternoon Esther, Meri and I went to the prisons and the therapeutic feeding centre in Soroti hospital. We do that every week and we bring some food supplement to the children. In the prisons are at the moment 7 mothers with small children. The food is very simple, so we bring some extra for the 7 children. Today we brought also some mosquito nets, some clothes, basins and we had banana's and some biscuits for the children. Most of the women are for a long time in, so we really feel for those children. It is good that we can help them a little.
After Prisons we proceeded to the hospital, there were 6 children in the feeding centre. We talked a bit with the mothers and saw that most of them were doing better than the week before. At home I did some admin in the office until the Police arrived with a small girl (maybe 4 years old??) the child was found and brought to the police station. The police lady didn't know her name, because she was not talking. They did make an announcement on the local radio. The staff showered her and tried to talk to her. She didn't response. She started to play and then one staff member discovered that the child spoke Langi, a language from the North West. Meanwhile I got a phone call that the new volunteer had arrived at the bus park. I went to pick her. Rachelle comes from Holland and she will be with us for 3 months!! It was by that time 6 pm. When we arrived back in Amecet the veterinary doctor had arrived. We have a problem with one of our dogs, she bit one of the others really bad, I had to come out of bed some nights ago, to rescue the dog, there was so much noise.
Doctor Moses is very good to our dogs. The cuts were not bad and he gave an injection and some tablets. On the picture we give the medicines to the dog. He said the dog will be fine and we just keep the dog which bit her on the chain. he also told us that he knows someone who can train the dogs. We are going to look into that, our dogs are quite wild and they do not listen.  My day ended at 8 pm. We went home and after another hour my girls were all in bed and I wrote this blog. I met many people today, because there were several people who came asking for a job or for help or some information. Simon was free today, so all those people are then for me to answer. It is so good that there is a team working, because all the rest of the work goes on as well. After the immunisation, often the baby's get fever, one of the baby's didn't drink very well, so they took the baby for a malaria test and he had malaria. It is also holiday, so all the older children are also at home and need attention. And the staff is doing a real good job, keeping things going.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

1 kg. + 2.5 kg. = 3.5 kg

This is Bernard, when he came to Amecet on 17/1/2012. His weight was 1 kg. He was born pre mature and we took him directly to the doctor and after that he went into our incubator. He was too weak to drink from a bottle, so we had to feed him by NG tube, every 2 hours, day and night. He was so small, so delicate, we prayed for his life. His mother died after giving birth. But Bernard is a strong little boy, after a while he could drink him self and he could keep his temperature well. He was for 7 weeks in the incubator, just to protect him and then we took him out in a baby bed. he never was sick, we never had to take him to the doctor for fever, malaria, cough or diarrhoea. He drunk well and gained, slowly, but steady. 

And today Bernard went home!! Weighing 3,5 kg. He is still a little baby, but he is strong and healthy. I am so thankful we could help this little boy!
And here he is with his auntie, she is the sister to his father and she will be the one to care for Bernard. We prayed God's blessing and protection over Bernard and his auntie.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mango season has started!!!!!

Mango's start to ripe and that is good news for everybody! At Amecet we have several Mango trees in the compound. We made a rule that the children are not allowed to pick them, but that we pick and share with everybody. They do "forget" this rule sometimes, but overall it goes well. We don't want the children to climb the trees, during mango season there are many accidents with children falling out of trees, and there are some real bad injuries, even fatal injuries. So uncle Calvin, our gardener is the one who picks the mango's and on the picture he is up in the tree, while the children give him directions where the good mango's hang. It is a promising season, even the rain came late, it is amazing how fast everything is growing again since the rain came. We have almost every day rain, and then it is really RAIN!! Mostly in the evening, like today. It is 7 pm and it is dark already, it is starting to rain, I'll hurry to finish this blog, because the rain comes often together with thunderstorms and we turn our Internet off, because of the lightening. It will not be the first time that it hits our Internet and computers.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Good news for little Ruth.

About little Ruth I have written several blogs, started in 2011 on October 3, then November 2 and 16. This year I wrote the story how the mother suddenly showed up on Jan.3 and on Jan 13 I wrote about the operation she had on her foot. I have been worried a lot about this little girl, we were so happy that her mother showed up, even it was a strange story, but she never came back. We started Ruth on the ARVs, the HIV drugs, and we went back for her foot to the doctor in Kumi. But next to the HIV and the problem with her foot, Ruth had another problem. There was a problem at her private parts, as if she couldn´t pass stools on the normal way and it seemed that the stools came out via her vagina. She can´t control it and it hurts her a lot. She has a lot infections in that area. Out of the stories of the mother in January, Ruth might have been abused by some children.
We were send to the paediatric surgeon in Soroti hospital. She looked, but it was so painful, that she couldn´t make a good assessment. We had to come back and she would put Ruth under general anaesthetic, so she could examine her properly. And that is what happened today.
I went together with Meri, our new nurse from Canada, it was her first day on the job today! Ruth got checked very well and the doctor said that she didn´t  need an operation, she saw a wound, but all three canals are still intact. So we are very happy about that. We have to be patient, use the ointment she prescribed and keep it as clean as possible. But it will heal. On the first picture you see Meri and the doctor and on the second picture I am holding Ruth, waiting for
her to come around again, after the anaesthetic. It didn´t take very long and we could take her back to Amecet. The end of the month we have to take her back to the orthopedic doctor to check her foot again.

Two weeks ago, Simon and the Probation officer went to visit her family in the village. They heard that the mother is lost for more than 3 months. She left her other children behind with her brothers. The family doesn´t want another sick child to care for. The other children are also HIV +. This is also a difficult situation. We don´t know what will happen for Ruth, but I am sure that God has also a plan for this little girl and a safe place where she will grow up.
Today was also a important day for the school children. They got their reports today!!! They were all happy with them. It was so nice to see them showing their reports, some did very good, others are more weak. Christine was very proud, She has been so sick this term and missed many weeks. But she is so happy with her results! She has a long way to go, but she is on her way, and that is what is important. Six weeks ago, we didn´t know if she would ever be able to go back to school, so we are happy with her!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A wholesome future for Catherine 2.

In February we received a little girl in our home, who was in very bad state. The doctor said that she should not have come much later, then it might have been too late. We then discovered that this was done by her by her own parents, who wanted to kill her, she was too much of a "bother" to them. I was so touched by this girl. You can read the blogs from  Feb. 14, 15 and 22 about her. And in the blog of March 9 you can read how we celebrated her first birthday as a celebration of  LIFE! The Police and the Probation office got involved, as it was a case of neglecting as well. We have been to the family to talk, or trying to talk, because several times the parents were too drunk to talk with. The Local counsellor from that area got involved and the neighbours were also very concerned for the little girl. The Police and the Probation decided that they would talk to the family if they could give the baby up for adoption since the life of the little girl would be in danger, staying with the parents. The parents gave up the girl and agreed that we would look for a family to adopt her. At the same time, God knew this all and planned it like this, an   American family, who works in Soroti as missionaries and visits us regular, fell in love with Catherine. There has been a lot of talking and  visiting, but we all felt this would be the family for Catherine!!
On the picture at the left, you can see the Police lady and the Probation officer who came to give Catherine to this lovely family. We are very happy and I know that God is in all of this. Catherine has been been through too much in her little one year old life, I know that God will heal the emotions and the memories. I know that she will so much loved, the children will fight to carry her and to play with her. I believe that God brought her to Amecet with this in mind, to save her life and to make her whole!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fun in the swimming pool.

Today was a beautiful, warm day. The good thing here is that when it rains, it is mostly at night or late in the afternoon. The girls wanted to swim.... Now we do have pool, but there is not much swimming. It is a very small pool, but it is nice for the children to play in the water when it is warm. We have not used it for a while, when it is so dry and there is not so much water, we can't use water for the pool. When we got the cover off, we saw many frogs in the pool, dead ones and some still alive. So first the cleaning had  to be done. The children were "helping" uncle Calvin, out gardener ( he had to do most of the job!) Then we filled it with water and .... fun in the pool. The water was quite cold, so they came out, warmed up in the sun and then went back in the pool. Catherine stood aside, she doesn't like too much water, so she only watched.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A little friend for Blessing.

Two days ago I wrote about the little baby that was brought to us, Blessing, a baby from 10 hours old whose mother had passed away. Yesterday another little new born baby came, his name is Steven, (left on this picture). His mother gave birth in a health centre in the village, but the placenta didn't come out. The mother passed away. The auntie and the uncle brought her and told us that the father had died in a car accident, five months ago. Very sad. Later we got a phone call from another relative of baby Steven, asking us if we could please take the baby in. At first we didn't understand that it was about baby Steven, we thought that there was again a new baby. But when Simon asked questions, we discovered that we had the baby already with us. But this person was talking about the father. We then discovered that the father did not die in a car accident, but was alive. We even talked with hem on the phone. I called the auntie, who had brought the baby, she was very sorry for lying, but she thought that when she had a good story, we would help them to take the baby! I ensured her that we help any baby who need help, if we think we can help. 

Yesterday morning the police came to bring two children, a four year old girl was found at the side of the road, carrying a 7 month old baby. She didn't know where her home was and there was no one to be seen, so they brought her to the police, who brought them to Amecet. The police announced it on the local radio and we hoped that the mother would turn up. The four year old girl was playing and happy with the food we gave her. But the baby was another story, he didn't want to drink, we tried a bottle, a cup, a spoon, but nothing worked, he was used to breastfeeding, but we couldn't help him with that!!! The staff carried him around, he cried a lot. We were very happy when the mother showed up. She was so happy to see her children! It is a lame lady, who was just in the house when the girl had picked up the baby and went for a walk! The mother had looked everywhere and then she heard the message on the radio and she rushed to the police!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Greetings from Naome...

"Please Auntie, greet everybody from me" that is what Naome asked me this afternoon, so that is what I do, greetings from Naome!!! Naome is one of the girls who lived with us in Amecet and later in our second house Amun. She requested to go and live with her uncle, that was not so easy for her. But trough several battles she came out very strong and open about her status. We have been in contact all those years, and have been able to help her to go to secondary boarding school. In the holidays she lives with her grandmother in the village. She called me 10 days ago to ask me if we could come to her birthday. I was surprised, according to our papers her birthday was in January. We couldn't make it that day, so we went today. One hour drive, on a very bad road, but it was so nice to see her. She looks smart in her school uniform and she is doing well. Very busy with the end of term exams. We had a good talk with her and we let her go back to her class. But I promised to take her greetings!!!!
Than what do you think of this rock star???? Is she not cool? My youngest daughter, Catherine. She is a real cute and funny girl and makes us laugh a lot.

Monday, April 9, 2012

New life...

This afternoon a small van drove into our compound, when the door opened, I saw a coffin inside the van. And I also saw a lady, holding a small baby. The people came out the van and then we heard the sad story, In the coffin was the body of the mother of the little baby. The baby was born, this morning at home, but after the delivery, the bleeding didn't stop. They arranged transport to the Hospital in Soroti. The mother passed away at arrival in the hospital. They got the coffin and were now on  their way back to the village, to bury the mother. They asked our help for the baby. The father was there, sad and a bit confused. We asked the name of the baby, they had no name yet. So they talked among themselves and came back with the name: Blessing! It touched me that they named this baby Blessing, my prayer is that the little girl will be a blessing to her family! I took her to the clinic next door, and they retied the cord. In the village they tied the cord with banana fibres and the cord was very long. She had her first bottle and she drank 25 ml.

The rain also brought new life into our compound. You can see the difference in the two pictures, the second picture is taken today. You can see the new green grass coming up.
I love this season, everything comes back to life, the compound looked like sand only, but underneath there was still life. It only needed some rain to come up!
In our life it is sometimes also dry and sandy, but when the rain comes, the new life, opportunities, blessings will spring up, like the grass in our compound.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A tragic night...

This morning very early, (1.15 am.) I woke up by someone calling at my window: "auntie Els, please come quickly!" I jumped out of bed and rushed out, on the way running to Amecet, the staff on duty said something like: baby dead. I run inside, there was no electricity and also the solar battery had run out, so there were some kerosene lamps. I asked the staff, who is it, she said Jabeth. I went to his bed, he was laying very quiet, his eyes closed, I checked if he was breathing, no, he was not, I checked his heartbeat, there was none.... I tried to resuscitate him, but all was in vain, Jabeth was gone.
I was shocked, this baby was not sick, we took the baby to the night duty room and I went outside to start the generator. I asked many questions to the night duty staff, Jabeth was fed at 12.30 he was smiling and after the feeding he burped and he was laid back in his bed. After 20 minutes they checked on him, while they were changing another baby and they saw that he was doing strange. They ran to call me, but when I came, Jabeth was already gone, in only some minutes. No fever, no diarrhoea, no vomiting, only his hands and feet were very white. We called some more staff and together we dressed him and tied the hands and legs, according to the custom here in Uganda. The night duty staff was upset, so I stayed a bit longer, to make sure they were all right.

This is the picture from Jabeth on the day he came in Amecet, his mother had died (read the blog from 22/2/12) and there were some problems in the family, who would take care of him in the future, his father was known, but he tried to denied that he was the father. The mother was only a schoolgirl of 18 years old. 
Simon came early and went to order a coffin, which was made in two hours. We called the family to inform them and gave them also time to get ready for the burial. We had a meeting with the older children, they were so sad, but also so honest, one of them said, I am not crying, because Jabeth is now with Jesus, he is happy. Simon prepared together with the children the coffin and they carried the coffin together to the car.
We also talked with the staff, some on them heard the news this morning, when they came to work, they were very shocked nobody had expected this!
We left Amecet with 7 staff and the coffin, we picked an auntie in town and we drove to the village where the mother had lived.
The family was expecting us and they were very sad and crying when they saw the little coffin. We gave them some time to cry and then we told the story what happened with Jabeth. They were very understanding and they thanked us for helping and bringing the body back to them.
This is the clan graveyard. The last (new) grave is from the mother of  Jabeth, only buried 6 weeks ago. Jabeth will get his resting place next to his mother, with a small stone.
We were remembering yesterday what Jesus had done for us, he gave His life for us and died on the cross. And because of that, and the resurrection, Jesus has the Victory over death. We have hope, we have a future for eternity!!! This is also for Jabeth, Jesus loves the little children, yes, I have questions, yes, I did cry, yes, I am sad, but I also know that Jabeth is with Jesus, accepted by His Heavenly Father, (while his earthly father denied him).
I think we do celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus on a different way:


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Extra blessing with the rain.....

We have had some more rain, and with the rain also the flying white ants are coming... I don't know why they call them "white" ants, because they are brown, but that is what everybody calls them. We have those big termites heaps, when the rain comes, or when it has rained in the night, they fly out in the morning. They are quite big, but when people see them fly, they forget everything and they go and catch them.. I have been woken up sometimes at night, when they come out in the evening, they fly towards the light. We have two security lights at our gate, so there is where they go! And people come out to collect them. Our security dogs don't like those people outside our gate, so they bark and bark.

This is early in the morning, the school truck is coming to pick the children, but they saw the flying ants. They went to the kitchen for some cups and ran around the compound, trying to catch the flying ants. They forgot the school truck completely! I had to stop them, because otherwise they would miss school!

This is their catch, the ants are still alive, they will loose their wings, they put salt on them and fry them.

And this is what the children ate in the evening, after they came home from school, they love them!!! I did try them, but I don't think they are very tasty, and then knowing that they are flying ants, I rather leave them for the children!!!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teso has now a Orthopedic Centre.

Today we were invited for the commissioning of the Orthopedic Centre in Kumi. It is build by Dr. Ekure, we have been going with several of our children to him. He is one of the 35 Orthopedic surgeons in the whole of Uganda. Kumi is one hour driving from Soroti over a very bad road. We have been already in the new hospital, Ruth has been operated there in January (Blog of Jan.13,2012). It is quite a blessing for the North East of Uganda, most of the specialists stay in Kampala. Before, everybody who had some orthopedic complications was referred to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, but now we have are own Orthopedic centre in our Teso region!
The invited guests were expected to arrive at 9 am, the church service was to start at 9.30 am. Simon and I left a bit late ( it is Africa!) we arrived at 10 am. They had all kind of open tents next to the centre. There was tight security, because the opening was going to be done by President Museveni, the President of Uganda. The church service started at 12 o`clock  and the President arrived at 5 pm. We sat the whole day under the tent, hot and very crowded. We got entertainment, singing, drama play and traditional music groups, it was nice, but very long!
After the opening and some more speeches,  President Museveni left and all the people who were present (at least 2,500 people) were invited for lunch (at 6 pm) in the Kumi hotel. Because we were invited guests, we got a ticket and we were asked to go to a big room inside the hotel, but most of the people were served outside the hotel. Amazing, food for so many people!! But the food was very nice, we were also very hungry. We were back in Soroti at 8 pm. We had an interesting day!

The Orthopedic Centre in Kumi
The speech of  President Yoweri Museveni.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Yes, today, on April 1st, we got our first real rain shower!!!!! And this is no joke!!!!!
People are crying for rain, everything is so dry and dusty. The people want to plough their land and plant their seeds.....

The children wanted to dance in the rain, but we didn't allow them. Otherwise the whole house is coughing tomorrow! But we did celebrate the rain on the veranda.
Josha and John sneaked out again, but I saw it, so they stayed on the veranda. 

Our big drums for the rain water were completely empty, but after an hour of rain they were overflowing. Everybody is happy because the rain has come!! The land is so thirsty, we are looking forward seeing the grass coming up again!