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, June 30, 2013

A busy week.

It is one week since I wrote the last post!! It is not that nothing has happened since that time, it has been very busy, so no energy for the Blog!
This week we had 14 students doing their practical from their Child Development course, it is a one year course in childcare, done by an institute in Soroti. The director came to ask if we could allow the students to do the practical time with us. We wanted to help them, but 14 is quite a number. I gave an introduction on Monday and then we divided the students over all our daily shifts. Two are  with the night shift, and also three of them will be involved in the supporting duties, like cleaning, laundry and kitchen. We survived the first week!!! One more week to go!
We have had sad news about baby Robert, the baby brother from Charles, who is now in Alabama. Their mother is HIV+, Charles is HIV- and we had hope that also Robert would turn out HIV-, he got the ARV medicine since his birth, after 6 weeks we brought him for the special blood test and this week we got the result: HIV+. He is now on the combination ARV medicines. I feel sad about him. At the moment we wait for another result from baby Cathy, her mother is still in hospital, still unconscious and the prognosis is not very  good. We got two other new born baby's whose mothers were also HIV+, when they are 6 weeks old we will take them for the special blood test as well. One of those two, baby Moses, was on IV drip this week, we had him also isolated, because of his infections. 
On Wednesday evening, Sarah and Helen came running in:" there is a fire, come quickly" we ran out and we saw high flames, just outside our fence, the flames were higher than the fence and the fire was also quite spread out. I think, the neighbours, had put on fire branches and leaves and just left it to burn. Our fence was almost on fire, so we decided to get buckets with water. So Bieke, Esther and I were running up and down with buckets and we stopped the fire.
Fiona is very sick, she is getting more and more thin. Her mother is there during the days. We don't know how long it will be, her liver is not working anymore, but she has no pain and sleeps a lot. But it takes a lot of our emotions, it brings you to tears, when you see her body and it is hard at times to get contact with her.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A nice encouragement!!!

This afternoon a family came into our compound, the parents with a little boy, the parents looked familiar, but I couldn't place them. Then they told me that they were the parents of Job and they wanted to show me Job again! I looked at the boy, but I didn't recognise him. We talked a bit more and suddenly I remembered. I got our file out and I was amazed. This was the same little baby that came into Amecet as a small premature baby, he was 3 weeks old and that time his weight was 1.6 kg. The parents came to visit their little son a lot, I remembered that they were scared to loose their baby. They lost two baby's before, the parents were both on ARV's but Job got medicines and at the test later he was HIV-.  And now they wanted us to see Job and they brought a chicken for us. They were so thankful and their visit made us so happy, this was a baby we cared for, and now he is 21 months old, he walks, he talks and he looks so healthy! It really gave us so much joy, we could use some encouragement, because Fiona is again more weak today!

Happy Birthday Charles!!

Today it is Charles second birthday. He left almost 2 weeks ago Amecet, he was picked by the lawyers office and would meet his new daddy in Kampala. There they would get the passport and the visa for the USA, and then he would fly together with his father to his new home in Alabama. We have not heard from them since he left Amecet. But through some people we heard that they were planning to fly yesterday. We miss him, it is so quiet without him around, especially Catherine is missing him, and also Marry (on the picture) was your big sister who loved you so much!  He was more than 20 months in Amecet, so one of our family!! Charles we don't know if you reached your new family already, or maybe you are still on the way, we wish you a happy birthday and that God may bless you in your new family!! We are so thankful that we could care for you those first months of your life, you are such a lovely boy and we pray that you will feel at home in Alabama! We love you!!!! 
This is baby Martha, only born yesterday morning. She was born at home and her mother passed away just two hours after giving birth. They came to ask if we could help, the father was in shock and the baby was not fed yet. After talking with the aunt and the neighbour, we found out that the mother was HIV+, so the baby has to go on ARV's until we can test her (at 6 weeks) and know if she is HIV+ or not.
I am glad we have her in Amecet, with the medicines there is a chance that she will be HIV-, the baby is small, weighing 2.4 kg.
With Fiona is it not going well, we see her getting more and more weak. She still eats and drinks and she takes her medicines, but we don't see any progress in her condition. It is not easy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A baby boy for aunti Sarah!

At 2 am my phone went, I answered it ( a bit sleepy), it was the father of Sarah. When someone is in the hospital, the family has to look after the patient. The nurses  do only the medical things and the family baths, feeds and cares for the patient. The father said  through the phone that the baby is not coming out, Sarah needs to push, but she can't, the nurses couldn´t find a doctor and the situation is very difficult! Then he switched off. I was shocked, and scared this would bring the life of the baby and of Sarah in danger, but what could I do?? Going to the hospital in the middle of the night? Leaving my children alone in my house? What could I do in the hospital, I am not a doctor. I decided to call Esther, she answered (also very sleepy) I explained what was going on, we decided together that going there would not help, the only thing we could do is pray and that we could do at home too. In the morning I first got my children to school and after I had brought Catherine to the nursery school, I went together with Anneke to the hospital. I was a bit scared, what news would I get? I had not able to call because my airtime was finished.
But when we came into the Ward, people already directed me, and there was Sarah together in the bed (yes she got a bed now!) with a beautiful baby boy, very alert and so cute!!!

Both of the (grand) parents were there, very happy. The father told me that the nurses got hold of the doctor at 3am and the doctor came and told them that it needed a Cesarean operation. The baby was getting tired and Sarah couldn't push enough. So she was operated in the morning. These pictures are made 4 hours after the operation! I was so thankful that mother and baby were well!
Sarah has still a lot of pain, but she is happy with her baby, the name was not yet given, they were still thinking about that.

I was working in the office, this afternoon when I heard a lot of noise, I ran outside, not knowing what had happened... Then I saw the tree laying on our roof! We have a big eucalyptus tree standing behind our house, A very nice long tree, but Simon was afraid that the roots were destroying the latrine and the septic tank. So he had asked the local prison if they could help cutting the tree down. And they did, but it went the wrong way, towards the house!! They had cut already the branches, so the garden was full with branches. It could have been much worse, the roof is not damaged, only the gutters and some wood. So every day is different, and for sure not boring!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Moses, Sarah and Fiona.

This morning baby Moses was brought to Amecet by his grandfather. A very sad story; the mother is mentally ill and someone made her pregnant. She is roaming around, never sleeps at home and listens to nobody. Her previous baby she carried with her in a bag and the baby died. This time they forced her to give birth in the health centre, but she escaped after delivering her son. The mother is HIV+, so Moses also is started on the ARV's. He is 1 week old and his weight is 2.3 kg. He has a lot of infections on his body, so we keep him a bit away from the other baby's until the infections are healed.
It is a very beautiful little baby!!
 Then we got a call from the parents of Sarah, one of our former staff members. She is pregnant and they needed help. So Simon drove to her village to bring her to Soroti Hospital. There Anneke and I looked her up. She was still being examined. After an ultra sound and blood and urine tests, she was admitted. They started her on treatment for malaria and waited if it will trigger the baby to come out. There was no bed left, so here she sits, on a mat on the floor, waiting for her IV drip. What are we lucky in the West, this would never happen there. And as you see, she was not the only one on the floor! We hope and pray that everything will go well.
And then we have Fiona, here you see her during the Ang Tulay week. Fiona is very sick, but she really wanted to be part of this week. So every morning I drove her to Amun house and we had a matrass there for her. She was part of everything, but could not be involved as much as the other children of course. But I think it was so good for her, she heard that Jesus loves her and that she is Unique, that she can be angry at times and to forgive those who have hurt her.
At this moment she is very, very sick, she lays down and she can't walk. It is so sad to see her in this stage, but when you talk about the love of Jesus, her eyes start shining! Please pray for her, that His will may be done!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ang Tulay finished successfully.

This afternoon we finished the Ang Tulay week successfully. we have had a great time together with P3 en P4 from our Harmony Primary school. There was also a small group with 3 teachers and 3 Amecet staff members.
 This is the bridge we crossed together, every session we did one step, first singing, then a short introduction on the topic and a story. After the story we went in our small groups to  process the topic and a activity, also in the spirit of the topic.

Like here, we were talking about love, and we made cards, which the children could give to their parents or friends.

This last afternoon we enjoyed the songs that the small groups performed and we had a special lunch together.
The School truck brought the children every morning at 9.45, they came from school where they had two lessons before coming to Ang Tulay. At 3.50 pm the truck stood again ready to pick them and via school (to pick the other children) to bring them home.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ang Tulay is going on.

 This is fun, singing together. We see that the children enjoy it very much, they are very open to share and we really see them grasping what we share together. After the singing we listen together to a story, which points to the topic from that session. After the story we go into 6 groups and we talk about the topic and there is always a creative way of handling the topic. There are also 3 teachers and 3 staff members of Amecet, they form together the Adult group, they go through the same topics, but they deal of course with them on another way.
This afternoon we talked about Trust, what is trust, what if your trust is broken, who do you trust etc.
After all the talking we did this exercise, in pairs walking around, while one of the two is blindfolded and has to trust his/her partner. It was fun and when we afterwards, talked about it with the children, we got good feedback.
A big circle, singing and dancing.
Amecet is operating as usual, Anneke, the Dutch nurse is still there and we have some other volunteers to help. It is really busy, because there are always things which need, Simon, Elias or me. Yesterday we were called by  one of the secondary schools, one of our girls we sponsor, was very sick, if we could come directly to pick her. Simon went there and came back with a half unconscious girl in the car. We took her directly to the clinic next to Amecet and she had a very bad malaria and a serious urine tract infection. She was put on Iv drip. This morning she came to Amecet and she is much better than yesterday, we will keep her in Amecet, until she is well. On Monday a father came to plead if we could take his 1 month old baby, his wife was admitted in the hospital, she was very sick and unconscious, HIV+. We took the baby in and we pray that the mother will recover. So our life is very busy, but it is also exciting to see what is going on and to be part of this!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bye Bye Charles.........

Today Charles left Amecet, he has been with us since August 2011, a very long time. I have been writing about his adoption and the struggles around it. Today was no exception, a lady from the lawyers office in Kampala came to pick him. His father is travelling from Alabama to Uganda and will arrive tomorrow. Then they will do all the paperwork, like passport and visa for the US. But the authorities in Soroti didn't want to release Charles to them. they didn't have the right papers with them and there is a lot of child trafficking in Uganda, so there was a problem. Simon had been busy with them. At the end they scanned all the papers in Kampala and send it by email, I printed it out, (30 forms!) and then they gave the permission to release Charles and they left at 7 pm this evening. The picture was taken this morning, Catherine went to school and said goodbye to her special friend!
Then we started today a very special programme, it is called Ang Tulay, which means "the Bridge", we have done it in the past with a group of children who have been in Amecet in the past. It is a programme which helps children overcome their pain, grief and it deals with subjects like, forgiveness, feelings, pain and anger etc. Several of our Amecet staff and YWAM Soroti staff are trained to facilitate this and we got a group of 70 children, from P3 and P4 from our Harmony school.  we started today and we had a great day!
We put up a tent in our Amun house and there we have our meetings together.

 This are the steps we did today on the bridge: I am Unique and Feelings.
We encouraged the children that they are unique and that they are beautiful the way they are! Also about feelings, we do have them, they are not bad, you only have to handle them on the right way.
We went in small groups and then we do all kind of creative things, here this group is drawing themselves and we talked about the things we like and dislike. We are all different and unique. It was really good to be together and talk and think about these things.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Catherine!!!

Today my youngest daughter, Catherine became 3 years!! A reason for celebration, I am so thankful that God's hand is upon her. Around 2,5 years ago Catherine was brought to Amecet, her mother had died of AIDS and there was no one to care for her. She was very weak and sickly. She was also HIV+ and was put on the ARV medicines. We fell in love with her, but we did wanted her to go back to her family, to her clan. And after 6 months she did go back to the village, but only for 3 weeks and then we saw that it went very wrong. She was overdosed at first with her ARVs and later not given at all. The family asked us to find a home for her, they couldn't care for her. So then, after a lot of thinking and praying, I felt to take her into my little family. Sarah and Helen were crazy about her so that is how Catherine came into my family. We did all the paperwork, the probation office was involved and the care order was given by the Court in Soroti.
The cake is baked, left Sarah, with baby Joyce, then Helen in the middle, who baked the cake with the help of the auntie's and at the right Fiona.
And here sits the Birthday girl, together with her two friends, ready to blow! At the left, her big friend Charles, he is going to be adopted to a family  in Alabama. I wrote about him before, the ruling of the judge was positive, so the father is coming back to Uganda, to pick him. At the right her friend Ruth, Ruth is also a testimony of an amazing story, God gave her to Dominique, one of our staff members.