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!

Friday, May 31, 2013

16 baby's on a row..

A beautiful row of 32 little hands, with 160 little fingers, 32 kicking little legs with 160 toes and 16 screaming little mouths, with quite a volume!!! Our 16 little baby's!!!!!
Today we got a baby from 6 months old, she is the oldest baby (left) and at the right our youngest baby who is 2 days old. It is really a lot of work, they all want to be held, they need to be fed, changed and cuddled. It is strange that we have mostly babies at the moment, but that can be very different in one month. We have had a lot of help during the last 2 weeks, there were at the YWAM base in Soroti 2 teams, one from Canada and one from Rwanda. They have helped us a lot, they even took turns in the night duty. Next week they are all gone back to their countries and we are on our own!

Monday, May 27, 2013

A new family for the twins and....Back to school.

The first picture is taken on 28th of March, it is a picture of William, a very sick boy of 2 years old, who was taken into Amecet together with his twin brother, Augustine. It was a very sad story, his mother rejected them and also their relatives didn't want them. William was even too weak to sit, he lost his eye, because his mother poked in it with a stick. I had been worried about him, would he live?? YES, he lives, and he is even more heavy than his brother, he can ran, he can talk and he can sing!! Today we were very happy that there is an Ugandan family who wants to adopt both of the boys! Today we witnessed the giving of the twins by the Probation officer of Soroti, to the new father. And this is only two months later, God knew that these boys had suffered and wanted to place them in a new, loving, christian family! We pray that they will be a blessing to each other!
Back to school:

Everywhere in Soroti you see this kind of luggage standing, on the back of bicycles, motorbikes etc. The students are going back to school! Many secondary students go to boarding school and they travel with a mattress, bucket, jerrycan and a metal box with a BIG lock on it to keep their personal things. We have been busy in Amecet today, with our secondary students, to make sure that they came, to pay their school fees and the boarding fees. This second term is 12 weeks long, than there is another holiday, which is followed by the last and third term. 

Also my girls went back to school, all in their different uniforms. Left is Mary, she goes to S 3, then Sarah who is in P 7, Helen is in P2 and today was the first  schoolday for Catherine, who went to the baby class from the nursery school. After I brought her, (she was very excited), I told her that I was picking her again a bit later, she started to cry, I left and later called the teacher, who told me that she was fine, she was coloring. So it was an important day for us today! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Three sets of twins.

We got today our third set of twins in Amecet. The first set are the big boys, left Opio William and Ocen Augustin. That are the boys who came via the hospital, the mother had mental problems and she didn't want the boys. We went to her village, but also the family didn't want the two boys, who are around 2 years old. William was very sick, he also lost one eye, but he recovered very well and the good news is that they will be adopted together in an Ugandan family, very soon!! Then the little baby's, at the front, Apio and Ocen, they are 2 weeks old and lost their mother after being born. The are gaining, at first the boy was bigger than the girl, but he had problems with drinking and now they are almost the same, and the boy is drinking well.
Today we got the third twin, the two in the middle, left is Apio Judith and at the right Ocen Joseph, they are almost 4 months old. They were send to Amecet by the doctor in the HIV clinic from Soroti Hospital. At first we helped them with milk money and porridge, we were too full, but I really felt we should help them by taking the baby's for some time into Amecet. The mother and the two baby's are HIV+ and on ARV's since two weeks. By talking to the mother, we discovered that there were many problems, that her family in the village didn't want her to come and live there etc. Simon went to talk with her sister in Soroti town and her family in the village. He was able to be a mediator between them and they do welcome her back home. The mother agreed and will go back to the village this weekend, she has two older children (7+11 years) who also have to go back to school. We took the baby's into Amecet, to help the mother to stop breastfeeding and to give her a chance to settle and to get a bit stronger. The family is willing to support her, than the twins will go back to the mother, in the village. Taking children into Amecet is not just a matter of filling papers, we do need to know if it is really helping the children and the family.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cleaning as discipline.

 Catherine and Charles decorated our wall in the living room, without us asking them to do so. I had a serious talk with them that coloring we do only on the paper and told them to clean the wall! So here they are, cleaning  very seriously, I think they did get the message. Children are everywhere the same, all children do like to color the wall, don't they? We have to be creative in our disciplining them, it is hard sometimes, because we work in shifts and not everybody has the same limits. We try to, but it is not always happening. We give them a time out, when they do not listen. We put them under the naughty tree (variation of the naughty chair) The trees are all in front of our veranda, where we sit during the day, so we put them under the tree and we keep a good eye on them. It is very funny, we have sometimes  three children sitting under the tree (different ones), till they are cooled off. But it works!!!
We just put our puppies together with our big dogs, to see how they are doing together. It seems to go well, so we will have them together from now on. The last week we put them at night in our laundry room, but they do start to make so much mess there.

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Contract" signing in the village.

On 27th of April I wrote about the secondary school students we are supporting. When the vacation started, we had invited them for some encouragement and some talks. We had a good time with them and they enjoyed it also to see each other again. We shared with them about our plans to organise the school support a better. We want to involve the relatives more, we do want to support them, but also we want the relatives to take more responsibility in the whole process, to own it more. We shared it first with the students and promised to come and visit their homes in the villages during the holidays. And today was the day! Simon went to Amuria and Elias and I went to the homes of Issa, Kevin, Francis and Naome.
When we got nearby the house of Francis, we got lost. We asked around, had to call back to Amecet for the name of the uncle of Francis (thank God for Mobile phones!). Over a lot of small  bicycle roads we came to his house. To give you an idea how beautiful it is in Uganda, this picture! We had to park the car and walk the last part to the house of the family of Francis, (you see Elias walking towards the home). we had a nice meeting with the uncle of Francis and we presented the "contract" we wrote. He agreed with everything and signed.
Then we drove to the last home today, the home of Naome. She lives with her grandmother, her uncle and his family. Elias had a meeting with the uncle and the grandmother. To explain everything and to discuss the "contract". I love the grandmother of Naome, I know her for about 10 years, when Naome came to Amecet, it was the grandmother who was struggling with Naome, who was very sick and weak. When she saw me today, she came to me, embraced me and danced around with me!! It must have been a funny sight! We had not seen each other for a while. 

The uncle gave orders to the boys to catch a chicken for us, and here are Naome with her grandmother, presenting the chicken to me! We had really a nice visit there and we will enjoy the chicken as supper in Amecet, later this week!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More than 90 bottles, 90 burps and 90 dirty diapers...

I just counted this evening, we give per day, more than 90 bottles, so that means also 90 burps and after that 90 dirty diapers... Can you imagine how many times we sit with a baby, this evening I took this picture, 5 auntie's on a row, everybody with a baby, it is really a lot of work. This goes on day and night, we try to get the baby's at night, on every 4 hours feeding, but at the moment we have some baby;'s who are not drinking so much, than we do have to do it every 3 hours, when they are just born, we feed them every 2 hours! I have respect for the staff who are on night duty, there are always two staff members on night duty, but with so many baby's, they are busy with the feedings!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Too many baby's are loosing their mother.

We have 12 baby's at the moment, small baby's under the age of 3 months! From 10 of them, the mother died after giving birth, mostly by over bleeding! Several of them, were born by Cesarean section, via an operation, and the mother didn't come out of the operation.
Last year, in September we had a 13 year old girl who was going to give birth, it had to be done by an operation, she was too small to give birth on the natural way. Two of our staff, nurses, were allowed to be with her during the operation. They were amazed (they were Dutch) how limited the operation room was. We had talks with the doctor and out of that we had contact with a Dutch organisation, Metterdaad from the EO. We asked their help to provide a monitor machine for Soroti Hospital, so that the doctors will be able to monitor the vital signs of the mother during the operation. Metterdaad was willing to try to help to get the funds and we had a radio interview, when we were in Holland. This coming Saturday the first half of the interview will be broadcast on Radio 5 at 21.50. (This is for the Dutch people). Please pray that we get enough money to buy the monitor for the hospital and so help the mothers and their baby's!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Three new "guests" in Amecet.

Yesterday we got three new puppies, they are not really guests, they need to protect us in the future, so they are more like employees! We do have dogs, but two of them are mine. And I am planning to move soon,  with my girls and my dogs, to our new house. I am building my own house, because I feel that we need some more space for a family life. I have been living on the Amecet compound for more than 11 years, but now, with my growing family, (we live with 5 people in my little house), we do need more space. That means that half of our dog population is leaving with us, to protect us in our new house! We got, via our veterinarian doctor, three new puppies, one for us and two for Amecet. They are half Labrador, and they get quite big! Catherine was a bit scared, but she dared to touch them. I made a nice posho/milk porridge to make up with them for the separation from their mother!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Racing around Amecet.

Today we got a team from Canada visiting us. It is a team, who are working with one of the churches in Soroti. They come every year and always visit Amecet. Today they brought a little bicycle for the children and some duplo stones and other toys. They put the bicycle together and it is a big success! The only problem is that the legs are too short, or are they too lazy?


Helen brought the solution, she made a tight schedule and on turns she pushed them around. They all got the same distance and she pushed them!! They had fun, You can see Augustin and William and then Catherine and Charles.
We are doing well, except we are struggling with some baby's, Robert (Charles' brother) has been several times on IV and he is not doing so well, and also Isaac (the premature baby) has some problems, he has diarrhea, but no malaria, he has been on medication, but not much effect. With those very little baby's we have to be very alert, it can suddenly goes so fast. We have 12 little baby's, loads of laundry and there is often a crying baby, you have just quiet one baby and the next one starts.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Charles (crying) before the Magistrate.

In the blog of 26/3, I wrote that Charles had to appear before the Judge in court. That time it was in Mbale. His adoption parents came all the way from Alabama (USA) to get to know him and to appear with him. It went totally wrong, the judge had changed his programme and we were all there for nothing. The lawyers decided to bring it to Kampala, and today was the big day! Simon, Charles and me from Soroti, together with the grandfather of Charles came from Soroti, the adoption father came again from the USA.  I decided to combine this with the hospital check up from Sarah in the heart institute, Catherine came along , Mary came along to help with Charles and Helen didn't want to be the only one to stay in Amecet, so we had a car full!
We all met, together with the lawyers in a waiting room near the children court. We had to be there at 12 noon, we spend one hour, trying to get a parking place, then we heard that we had to be there at 2 pm, so at 2 we had the same problem, no parking place, after a half hour we had luck and we walked to the place. We waited and waited and 6.30 pm it was our turn. I carried Charles, who was not at his best after so long waiting, he was hungry and thirsty and cranky!! As soon as we came into the room of the Magistrate, he started to make noise. That room was very quiet, you only talk when something is asked from you, to me it was quite intimidated. The poor adoption father was quite nervous. Lots of question were asked to the grandfather. I went in and out with Charles, at the end I had him sleeping, but when I came back into the room, he started directly to cry, and those who know Charles, know that is not a soft cry!! After a while, I just stayed out, in the waiting room, where my 4 girls were waiting. At 7.30 pm they came out, happy that it was done and with good hope for next week, when the ruling will be given!
Here are they coming out of the court room, at the back the two lawyers.
The proud adoption father with Charles, happy and with good hope that everything will go well.  
And we went first to find a place where we could eat and we brought out a toast on Charles, he was also very thirsty, as you can see on the picture!
Tomorrow at 7 am to Mulago hospital and hopefully, after that, then on our way back to Soroti!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

More baby's coming....

This morning they came to ask help for twin baby's, who were born in the night by a caeserian. The mother died after the operation. We are full, especially with small baby's, but what can you do? Two little baby's without a mother in the village are at risk. So we told them to bring the children. The father had already taken the body of the mother to the village, the grandmother was still with the baby's in Soroti hospital. A girl and a boy! They are good is size, the girl was the first born, weighing 2.7 kg and the boy weighs 2.9 kg. You can really see the extra 200 gram! They look healthy.
We are really full, we got so many baby's in the last 2 weeks! Yesterday Dennis went home, he was with us since August last year, he comes from Karamoja, north of Soroti. He was brought that time, by the Probation officer of Kotido, but it had taken too long to pick him. It is quite far and a very bad road. And last night the police brought a boy from maybe 9 years old. He was found on the streets. We tried to get some information from him, he only spoke Kumam, and he refused to talk. On a certain time he said that he knew his home, so Simon came and took him in the car to his home, but one hour later he came back with him, that he drove all over Soroti and the boy was confused. This morning I heard commotion at the gate, he had escaped and Anneke was running after him on the Lira road (must have been quite a picture!) some people who were walking there caught him for her and she brought him back in. I heard then that the boy has been crying since 5 am, trying to escape, spitting and urinating everywhere, beating other children. That is not acceptable, I had a (quite) tough talk with him, and told him to sit and not walk out. I had to sit next to him, other wise he would run out again. Simon came and took him back to the police, where at that moment just his mother was, to ask if he had been found! So that was a good end of this story. I do hope no more little baby's, we are too full. We have also some sickness under the staff, I was myself quite sick this last week, have been on IV drip, but now I am doing much better. Please pray for the staff, there are now so many baby's to feed, it is very busy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The "Terrible Two's" continue.....

I couldn't stop myself, showing you this... Charles and Catherine slipped into our storage room and helped themselves with the posho and the sugar!!! They had fun until the shower... Getting the sugar out of Catherine's hair was not easy and she hates washing her hair. She screamed... Maybe it keeps her from doing it again??? Two of our cute terrible two's!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our very cute "terrible two's" gang!

Left to right: William, Catherine, Charles, Augustine and Ruth!
Here are our five "terrible" two's!!! They do sometimes play together, they do fight a lot together, but then they make it up again and they are the best friends again!! They make our life busy (together with the 11 other little baby's we have)! We tried to potty train them, but it is just a game, you put them on the potty, they sit for 15 minutes, do nothing in their potty and then 5 or 10 minutes later they just do it in their pants. For now we stopped with it and put on the diapers again. They are all over the compound, suddenly you hear a tap somewhere and you see a very naughty, but very wet Charles and Catherine ran around the corner. They will find any mud puddle  to sit in, I think they are very normal two years old kids!! (but then 5 of them!!!)
We are so happy with the progress of William, please read the blogs of 27 en 28 of March, when William just came into Amecet, just over one month ago!! He can walk now, he is happy, he talks (a bit) and he plays! This is such a testimony of God's grace upon him.
The white ants are back!! Last night they were flying all over and this morning the children were collecting them. They remove the wings, dry them and they will be fried and then eaten. They love them. Here you see the twins William and Augustine  also collecting them,. They do play together and you can see that they care about each other. There is some good news about them: there might be a Ugandan family who wants to adopt both of them! Please pray that all the official papers will be done and the talks with the Probation office will be positive.