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, March 31, 2013

Last news: William smiled!!!

 It was just this evening, we had fed William again by NG tube and 30 minutes later he vomited everything out. very discouraging. We cleaned him up and I took him on my lap to sit. He is just laying most of the time, to weak to sit and when you touch him, he moans, so he sleeps most of the time. I asked one of the children to bring me a toy, and William reacted, he took it, looked at it and made noises. Then he smiled, I was so excited!!! He grasped the toy and  "talked" to it. by the time the camera arrived, he was a bit tired, so the smile is not on the picture, but you have to believe me, William smiled!!!!
As you can see on this picture, he has still a long way to go, but where there is a smile, there is hope! William really touched me, we heard in the village of the mother some more news. The mother hated William and she loved his twin brother Augustine (on the top picture at the right). The mother injured the eye of William with a stick!! I thought at first that it was because of the malnutrition, but that is not the case. This little boy got so much rejection in his short life, that this smile means a lot! His oedema is going down a bit. We feed him every two hours a special milk, only 75 ml. He still needs a lot of prayers!

Mercy is back...

 Mercy was brought to Amecet at the end of January (see blog of Jan. 29) She only weighed 1.7 kg and she was already 4 weeks old. She started to grow and did very well, we tested her and she was HIV-, (her mother had been HIV+) so we were very happy with her. She gained and started to smile. In the meantime we were in discussion with her family. The husband of her mother has been years away in the army. It is very normal that the younger brother than takes over the wife, so we talked with him and he admitted that he was the father of Mercy. After 2 months she was ready to go back home, the father came and he told us that his sisters would help him to care for Mercy. We gave some clothes, a mosquito net and money for the milk. He left and he promised to come to our "Come back day". Mercy's weight was now 3.9 kg!! Two days later, (yesterday), four people walked into our compound with...... Mercy!! The "father" had dumped Mercy at his sisters and had disappeared. He didn't give the net, the clothes or the milk money, he just left, saying that he is not the father and doesn't want to be bothered! Simon had a long talk with them and the conclusion was that Mercy would stay for now, in Amecet. The family would have a clan meeting to discuss the situation. There is a sister of the late mother who would like to take Mercy, but than for life, not just for a year or so. It is sad that this little child is in the middle of this. On the picture you see her hold by Sarah. At least she is safe now!
We have a good meal, this Easter weekend! This is a big turkey, carried by Calvin, our gardener. The family of Anna, the little baby who died last week, brought us this turkey as an appreciation for the care we gave to Anna. We will eat it this weekend, to celebrate LIFE!!
On Good Friday we shared together with all the staff who was present Holy Communion and we thought back about what Christ has done for us!
Today we will celebrate the life that we have been given, the relationship we now may have with our Father, the giver of LIFE!
We wish you all a Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

William's twin brother arrived..

Yesterday I wrote about William, who we picked in the hospital. Today we got his twin brother as well. We left him with his mother in the hospital, because we didn't want the mother to ran away. This morning, Simon and the probation officer, went to the hospital and drove together with the mother to her village. The mother is very confused, so they were not sure where they would end up. But it all went well and they met with some relatives. They were not very willing to help with the boys, because there are in total 9 children and the mother is not caring for them. So we don't know what will happen with them, but for now, we are trying to get them well. I went to the doctor with them and after some laboratory tests we know that they are HIV-, so that was very good news. The brother is called Augustine and he has malaria, William is much more sick, we decided to give him a NG tube to feed him. Every two hours we feed him a special milk. Today he was very tired. We pray that we will pick up. It is sad to see those two boys together, the mother liked Augustine more than William, when we talked to her, she said I could take her children and keep them. I find it a very sad situation, but I saw Augustine smile today!!! I will let you know when William gives me his first smile, I will work at it!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Children go and children come....

Saturday Angela was picked by her father, her mother died after giving birth, she was 4 months with us and now she will go back home. Her grandmother will help caring for her.
Then Monday was an exodus day in Amecet, 3 children left us. John was picked by his uncle and his wife. John came 2,5 month ago in Amecet, he was 2 months old. His father had killed his mother. The father is in jail and John was very small and came as an emergency case in Amecet. Now his uncle will care for him, because his father will probably in jail for several years. The uncle and auntie were happy to take him, so that was also good for us to know.
Then Paul went back to his mother, he was brought to Amecet by the police on Friday. His mother had beaten him very bad and the police took her in the cells. She was released with a warning and given advice to go back to her village. The boy was going back to his mother. I met the mother in the police station, she is very young and she was a bit desperate. I think she had a lesson.
Then Vicky was given back to her mother and her second husband, the first husband and the second husband has been fighting together, they both say they are the father of Vicky. The police brought Vicky to Amecet one month ago, for her safety. We all think that the second husband is the father, they look alike. But now is Vicky given back to her mother and her second husband, meanwhile the investigations continue.
When many children go home, I know that new ones will come soon...
And that was the case! This afternoon we got a request from the social worker from the hospital, if we could help with a twin. The mother is confused and she wanted to leave the children behind. One of the twins is in a very bad state, very malnourished, lots of oedema and skin rashes and wounds. We decided together to take only the sick child, we didn't want the mother to ran away. Tomorrow morning we will go back to her and go with her to her village. To investigate if there are any relatives around. Then we will also take the other boy, who is at risk, but not so sick. There was another lady in the hospital, with a small child who they wanted us to take. The mother is mentally ill and they feared for the child. But when we went to see her, she was not around, her belongings were there, so tomorrow morning we will see her as well.

This is William, he is severe malnourished and has a lot of oedema. You can also see the rashes and the wounds on his body, this is all from malnutrition, I am concern about his eye, I hope he has not lost it already.
He must be in pain, he moans a lot. We are going to feed him little bits, a lot of protein rich food.
We pray that he feels safe and that we can help him. I just looked at him, he was peacefully sleeping in his bed.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Charles went to court...

Today at 6 am, Simon and I left Amecet together with Charles. Charles is a little boy of 22 months old who is going to be adopted by an American family. The parents came last week and they have spend a lot of time with Charles. They stayed in a lodge nearby and came every day and also they took Charles with them to their lodge. Charles loves them and he runs to them when they walk into the gate. It has been quite a process and the lawyers in Kampala have been trying to get a court date for a long time. Today was the big day!!! The Magistrate would look into it and would give the final word. The grand father of Charles was brought in From the village and we picked him at a relatives place early in the morning. Then we drove to Mbale, 2,5 hour bouncing up and down over the terrible road. When we arrived at the court building we heard the bad news! The judge was doing only criminal cases and after a talk with another judge we got the new date for the hearing on April 23!! That means that the parents have to come again all the way from the States, they did plan on coming back to pick Charles after 6 weeks, one of them would come to pick him and to arrange all the papers with their Embassy. But to come both again, it would cost too much and they have their children at home. It was really such a disappointment! I felt for them. They left with the lawyer to Kampala and we left with the grandfather back to Soroti. Maybe there is a possibility to try to get it done in Kampala next week? The parents would fly out this night, so I don't know what will happen. When you see the picture,  they are a happy family! We pray that there will be a solution!
So we bounced back the 2,5 hour to Soroti. But in the middle of nowhere we got a flat tyre, Simon and the grandfather changed the tyre, under the supervision of Charles who was hanging out the window.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Peace for Anna.

After the second blood transfusion on Wednesday, Anna was on oxygen. Her tummy was so swollen, the doctor had asked us to try to get a scan done. So today I had organised that we could bring her in the morning, we would be helped directly and we could race back home to put her back on the oxygen machine. I went together with Dominique. The scan showed a very sick liver and spleen and infected kidneys. The liver blood test came out 5 times higher than the maximum, so our hopes went down.. After the scan we raced back to Amecet and we made Anna comfortable, that is when this picture was taken, I was holding her for the last time, you can see how her tummy got bigger and bigger. She was in pain and her breathing went more difficult. Dominique was with her when she stopped breathing, her heart was still beating, we were just praying for her, touching her until she died in the arms of Dominique. We know that Jesus took her over in His arms and there will be no more pain and no more struggle for breath!
Death is more a part of life here. Simon went to town to organise the coffin and here he is laying the little body of Anna in the coffin. Catherine in helping him. It is so natural, we talked before about it, that the baby is gone to Jesus and according to Catherine, we put the baby then in the box. Simon and I brought the body back to the village, we already informed them by mobile phone, they were waiting for us in the trading centre of their village and they brought us to their home. The custom is that we have to give an explanation what has happened, so I gave them the medical book and the scan results and I gave the story of the 3 weeks that Anna was with us. The family and the neighbours, who came to mourn, were very sad, but also thankful for all what we had done for Anna. They were going to bury her the same day, next to her mother!
Simon and I drove back to Soroti, feeling a bit empty, sad and also thankful that God had taken Anna out of her suffering. Back in Amecet life is going on, baby's cry, they want to be fed, the older children were struggling about a coloring book, a new boy was brought by the police, because his mother had beaten him, and many more things are going on.  I still miss that little girl. I don't have to go to the medical room and take her temperature or check the oxygen machine anymore. It feels strange, but I know that we did the right thing for Anna : we cared, we loved, we prayed, we cried and we released her! Dear Anna, rest in Peace!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A home for Joseph and Anna keeps fighting...

October 23 2012 Little Joseph was brought in Amecet, he was born in prison, where his mother stays, and he was not drinking and sick (read the blog of Oct.23, 2012) We struggled with him and at one point he was so sick, we feared for his life! But he came over it and even his DNA test for HIV came back negative!!! His mother has to stay for several years in prison and we spoke with her about a place for Joseph. The sister of the mother and her husband are willing to care for Joseph as long his mother is in prisons. We are so happy for Joseph, and he looks so good and he is such a happy fellow, as you can see on the picture below.
 I want to give you an update about Anna. After the blood transfusion, last week, she was a bit better. But she still has fever and she has still this swollen tummy. But she pulled the NG feeding tube out. We tried to feed her only by mouth and that went very well. She is drinking good! She is also passing urine and stools frequently, so that are positive signs. But this week I really didn't like the way she looked, so yesterday I did another Hb blood test and that showed that it was higher than last week, but still not good. I also did a HIV test and that was negative, so we are happy with that. Yesterday I tried to call the paediatrician for advice, I couldn't get her. In the evening we went to eat in a restaurant in Soroti town and there was Dr. Florence!! We talked and she promised to come and see Anna the next morning. And this morning she came, just when the breathing was not going so well. We had to put her on the oxygen machine and go to the hospital for another blood transfusion. We did that all this morning, I must say I really feel for this little girl, she is touching my heart, she has been going through so much in her 1 month old life. Sometimes she can look at you with those sad eyes, I don't know what to say to her... Please pray with us for this little girl, who is such a fighter. This picture below, I just took when we came back from the hospital this afternoon. She is on oxygen and she has a wet cloth over her because of the high fever (39,9). I would love to see her live!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


This morning I was working in our little office when I heard suddenly a lot of noise outside. I couldn't figure out what was happening, so, as curious as I am, went outside to look. And what did I see?? The dog trainer  who we asked to come and to train our dogs more to be obedient and to be good watch dogs, was standing with two of the dogs on the chain, when suddenly a guy with a stick came running around the house. The dog trainer tried to teach the 2 dogs to bark and to attack the guy. Only one dog was really good, the other one was afraid and tried to hide behind the dog trainer's legs. It was amusing to watch. As you can see on the picture below, the one dog is really trying to attack the guy, the other one is afraid. But according to the dog trainer, the other dogs will also pick up, today it was their first time to get the command: attack!
We are still worried about little Anna. She has still fever and her tummy is so swollen, her spleen and liver are very big. Yesterday she was started again on another antibiotic. But I took her again to the doctor today, and he checked her and said that also her heart is very fast and he wanted me to take her to the main hospital to the paediatrician. We have good relationships with the doctors there, so I called her and she said I could come to the children ward where she did her rounds. She examined her and said that she might be anaemic and a septicaemia. We went to check the blood and she needed blood transfusion. We got that, there was blood in the hospital and after the blood was in, we could even see that her colour was different. We took her back home and started the new IV medicines that the doctor prescribed, Anna is still very sick, and so tiny!!! Please pray for her recovery.   
Esther is holding Anna's arm while the blood is going in.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Born at the side of the road.

This morning Gideon was brought by his uncle and aunt. He was only 12 hours old. Last night he was born at the side of the road. The mother started to have contractions and they decided to bring her to the Health Centre on the back of a motorbike. Halfway the baby came, they had to stop and the baby was born, then they proceeded on their way to the health centre. The mother was bleeding a lot. They arrived in the health centre, but they couldn't do anything and the mother passed away. The family came to ask for help for the baby, which they named Gideon, the father was at home in shock. Gideon is a big boy, his weight is 3 kg. He is drinking, we had to retie his cord, it was bleeding a little bit and we started him on antibiotics, he had a bit of a temperature. Being born at the side of the road is not the most sterile environment!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our six most little one's...

                                 Mercy, Peter, Rachel, Rose, Anna, Julius
This are our small baby's, they all are born this year, and most of them were very tiny when they came to Amecet. We start with Mercy, she is 10 weeks old and when she came to Amecet her weight was 1.7 kg, today she weighs 3.3 kg. Then Peter, 7,5 weeks old, he is also 5 weeks in Amecet and is doing great. Next Rachel, she is 6,5 weeks old and her weight was 1.8 kg, now her weight is 3.3kg ( in 4 weeks) Rose is our next baby, she is doing well and she is 4 weeks old (weighs 4.4 kg) and then we have our two premature baby's, Anna is 3 weeks old and her weight was 2.3. We feed her via a NG tube and she is on IV medicines, but she did gain, she is now 2.5kg. We were worried about her, she is a bit better, less fever, but her tummy is still swollen. 
Julius is the last baby, he was brought yesterday to Amecet. His mother died after giving birth by Cesarean . He is born one month too early and was very small and tiny, his weight is 1.9 kg. He came to us with the clamp still on the cord. They forgot to take it off in the hospital. They were probably so busy with trying to save the life of his mother that they forgot him. We took him to the doctor and the retied the cord. At the moment he is doing fair, not drinking very good, but we want give him some time, he is only 2 days old!!

This is our joy!!! This are two pictures of Rachel, who came 5 weeks ago in Amecet (read the blog of Feb.4) her weight was 1.8 kg The second picture is from today, what a difference, she weighs 3.3 kg and she is a sweet girl, who likes to drink her milk.
 I am so happy when I see this little girl, we had to put her on IV fluids, she was almost starved when she came. Her mother is doing also well, she got much better and was brought home, in the village. When she is a bit stronger, Rachel will join, since she is also much stronger!!
We are quite busy with those small ones. The two little baby's are fed every two hours, but we have a good example in Rachel, it works and when we see the baby's grow, we know that it is worth the efforts!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Anna is struggling...

Little Anna, who was brought to Amecet on Sunday, is not doing so well. We had taken her to the doctor on Sunday and she was put on antibiotics, but the fever is still there and the medication seems not make any difference.We went back to the doctor on Tuesday morning and we did some more tests, she has a serious urine tract infection, and she is only 2 weeks old!!! She is now on IV medication, but this morning we gave her a NG tube, it takes her so much effort to drink, and she is not drinking enough, so this will help her. We are also a bit concern about her tummy, it is swollen. All in all, we need your prayers for this little girl!
On this picture Simon and Elias are visiting one of our older children who was resettled in the village. The girl came on Saturday and her medicines (ARV's) were finished and there were problems at home. We gave her medicines in the weekend and she went to the hospital for medicines on Monday morning. We helped her with transport money to go back home and we mobilised the clan and the elders of the community to meet on Wednesday. Important meetings are always with the elders of the community, the L.C.1, (local counsellor 1). They had a good meeting, it was not really all true what the girl had told us. So there was open discussion and some steps were taken in the right direction. Lately Simon and Elias have been visiting several of our elder children in their communities. To have the right picture, you have to be right there, in the village. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Little Anna ...

This morning (Sunday) Anna was brought to Amecet by her uncle and her grandmother. Anna is a small baby of two weeks old. her weight is only 2.3 kg. She looked malnourished and she was running a fever. The story is sad again, her mother got complications after giving birth at home. It was in the middle of the night, it is almost impossible to get someone to a health Centre at night. She was brought later to health centre, by then she had lost a lot of blood and according to the uncle, there were also heart problems. The father of the baby had run off, so the family of the mother took care of everything. I see often that the baby is a bit overlooked in this kind of situation. All the attention goes to the mother and  the baby is a bit forgotten. The mother died after two weeks of struggle and that is probably why the baby is so small and weak. She is drinking well and we took her to the doctor to check. She is given antibiotics for 5 days. We pray that will recover and grow!
This is Dennis, who scared us so much some days ago! We discovered more wounds on his head and he also got a fever. After what happened 4 days ago, we were really scared to try to shave his head again. we took him to the doctor and he is put on medication again, but the doctor said to shave his head, so that we can also treat the wounds. So I did, we handled him carefully and he was doing well, it is now easy to clean the wounds and hair will grow back!!! He is also handsome without, I think.....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Wedding in Amecet.

Today was the day!!! Charles weds Catherine. The organisation of the ceremony was in the hands of Helen, who drilled everybody what to do! Catherine was a colorful bride and Charles a tough looking,  in jeans dressed, groom!

All went well, except that the bride her finger was in between the chairs and she cried, the wedding cake (bread with peanut butter) was eaten all and the wedding guests enjoyed it very much!
We are doing well, no new children, except yesterday, the Probation office brought a little boy of around 3 years old, he was walking along the road and was almost hit by a car. Someone took him to the probation office, who brought him to us. There were radio announcements made on the local radio and then we just wait, who will turn up to claim the boy. Of course we do not give the child to anyone who comes to claim him, it will go via the police or Probation office. The little boy didn't talk, we didn't know his name, but he started to play and he liked the food. But when he had to sleep.... he really cried for a while and then he fell asleep. This morning the Probation officer came with the father to pick him. He had escaped from home, he wanted to go to the mosque and got lost.