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!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A busy day for Sabina (and us).

Sabina (the baby from yesterdays blog) is doing much better. During the night the diarrhea stopped, but we were still worried about the breathing. Very fast and difficult, we used our saturation meter and she didn't need any oxygen. The pediatrician from Soroti hospital, Dr. Florence, came in the morning to see her. She checked the lungs and couldn't give an explanation for the difficulty in the breathing. We had to put her back on a slow IV drip, she was still dehydrated, continue with the IV medication and when she was a bit stronger , in the afternoon, try to get a chest X-ray, a scan from the heart and a HIV test done. So after some hours of IV fluids and her IV medication, I took her to the neighbour clinic for the X-ray and the blood test. After that Janneke and I went together to the hospital to the doctor for the ultra sound of the heart. I had called the doctor first, to see if he was there and we didn't have to wait long with this little girl. The scan showed that there was a small hole in the heart between the left and the right side. That is why the breathing was so fast. With the report we drove to the clinic of Doctor Florence and she prescribed some extra heart medication. She feels that the hole can close by itself, in time. When the infections are over, she will pick up and get stronger. I think that Sabina will be in Amecet for quite a wile, her home situation is too harsh for her.
 Here we come back from the doctor, at least we can laugh again!!!
Maybe you think we have only baby's, yes, sometimes we have only baby's, but not at the moment!! Auntie Janneke 2 has always a lot of fun with the bigger children, she is really good in stimulating them to draw, count, read and paint! Left is Gipas, it is so nice to see him smiling and playing!! Today we got even two more little boys via the police. Both were brought because of problems at home and they were in need of a safe place. After a shower they loved to play and I hope they forgot their problems a bit.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Please pray for Sabina.

 This is a picture I took this afternoon from Sabina, the baby I wrote about in the previous blog. She is very sick at this time. She had not been drinking well since she came, she is now 3 weeks old and her weight is 2.2 kg. She started to get diarrhea, so we went to the doctor on Sunday and she had to be put on Iv drip and IV antibiotics. Today we didn't like the way she looked, so we went to the pediatrician from the hospital. She told us to put her back on drip and change the IV medication. We did, but this afternoon the breathing changed, we had to put her on oxygen as well. I am so happy that Janneke is here, she is now in charge of the medical side of the children. Since I am not living at Amecet anymore she is really an answer to prayers. So I don't have to go in the night back to Amecet, she just called me, Sabina is a bit more comfortable, but is still in critical condition! Please pray for her, it is such a beautiful little girl! Pray also for Janneke, she is still settling in and then directly such a critical baby is not easy. 
African baby's are so beautiful!! This is Emmanuel, he was born last night, but his mother started to bleed after the delivery and in a short moment, she passed away. Very sad, she was only 18 years old.
Emmanuel is brought to us, till the father has got a bit over his shock and the family knows who will care for this little boy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Moses went out and Sabina came in!

Moses was picked by his auntie today. He is the baby on the picture with Sarah, on the blog from yesterday. We explained all the medication and I think the aunt understood. We will go and visit them soon in the village, to see how it goes.

 Today a new baby arrived! It was a little girl, she was brought by her sister of 16 years and the probation officer from Kotido. That is a district in the North. The population is there mostly Karomajong, it is a tribe which lives as nomads. They are very poor and they live mostly from their cows. Both of the parents died this year. The mother passed away after giving birth, the father died 8 months ago.The 8 children are now on their own, the oldest girl is 18. The sister was wearing the tradional clothes and was wearing many bracelets around her arms and legs. She also had the decoration on her face. It is a sign of beauty. She told me that it is cut with a razorblade and safetypins.
The little baby is called Sabina (after the social worker) She weighs 2,4 kg and is 2 weeks old. She looks healthy, just a bit small. 
This is our new leaders team of Amecet! At the front (left) sits Elias, then clockwise: Simon, Els, Janneke and Dominique. We all have a heart for children and we see that Amecet can really do something for children who are in trouble. I feel we are a good team and I I appreciate each one of my team members. I am looking forward to see what God wants to do with and through us.
It is going good with Doreen and her baby, we could take her back to Amecet on Friday. At first the baby kept on loosing weight, but since two days the baby is gaining again. It is not easy for Doreen, it is hard to handle her baby with one disabled arm and only 3 fingers at het other arm (hand). But she loves her baby and the feeding is going better and better. She needs still a lot of help with bathing and handeling her baby. She also gave the baby the name: Akello Else.....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Always saying goodbye...

 Today, I saw Sarah with baby Moses, and I realised that Sarah, and also my other girls, have had to say goodbye so many times!! Sarah is crazy about baby Moses, when she can, she walks around with him, sit with him and even change his diaper (but she prefers the staff to do that!!). Moses is ready to go home again, he is now doing good on the ARV's and his time in Amecet will come to an end. Sarah will miss him a lot and so will I, because it is such a sweet little boy!

The same with Mary, she really loves Rose, but she is also gone back to her mother. Mary is still missing her, she was asking the other day if we had heard anything about her.
Helen has had also many friends in Amecet, at the moment there are some children of her age to play with. But when there are none of her age, she plays with the little ones.

Even little Catherine has had to say goodbye to several little friends. The last one was Charles, who was a very good friend to her.

She did find a new friend in Anna, this picture was from yesterday, playing in the sandbox and then throwing sand on each other is great fun!!
It is so good to see that the girls are still open for new friends and that they are willing to be a friend, even for a season.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A long and difficult delivery..

I have been writing before, about Doreen, she is a 15 year old girl, who is pregnant and her boyfriend tried to kill her. He cut her with a panga and left her for death in the bush. But she survived.. she misses 2 fingers at her right hand and lost the use of her left arm. She has big scars on her body from the deep cuts of the panga. You can read more about her in previous posts. Her baby was due on the 6th of November, so we were a bit anxious about her, the last 10 days. Doreen is struggling with the fact that she is soon getting a baby in her arms from the guy who wanted to kill her. She is not sure if she wants the baby, she didn't want to think about a name and she didn't want to go to the hospital for the delivery. But we can't deliver the baby in Amecet, so it was all not easy.
Two nights ago, at 2.30 am, I get a phonecall from Amecet, please come, Doreen has contractions. I had talked with my girls about this, and they felt fine with me, going in the night to Doreen, if neccesary. So I raced to Amecet, where Janneke and Esther were waiting with Doreen, we drove to the hospital. Doreen had contraction every 4 minutes, but when they examined her in the hospital, there was no sign of a fast delivery. we had to wait! All the beds were full, so we got a bed in a small ward, which was for special gynocologic cases. There were many moquito's and on the picture below, you see Doreen in the far corner, she was very unhappy and had still a lot of pain.
 We stayed the whole night and the next day with her, every now and then, we took her for review, but there was no progress, Doreen had the whole time contractions. we walked around with her, tried to let her drink more, but still there was no progress. I tried to contact the doctor where we had been going for our pre-natal check-ups, he also works in the hospital, but we only saw him late in the evening. He started to talk about a ceasarian operation. I agreed with him, because Doreen got so exhausted. But Doreen was freaking out and refused. He send us back to her bed and told us to counssel her and let her sleep over it. In the morning we would see what to do. I went back to the hospital again in the morning and Doreen had changed her mind, we could go for the operation. She was tired, had a lot of pain and still the doctor found no progress when he examined her. So we were going for the ceasarian!
She got a catheter and an IV line and we had to roll her to the theatre. As you can see on this picture, it wasn't an easy ride!!
 This is in the building wherer they operate.Lois and Esther are waiting with us, she will go through those doors to the operating room.
 We were sitting outside to wait and after 30 minutes we heard a cry!!! Then a bit later the nurse comes out with the newborn baby and I got her in my arms... A lot of hair, a beautiful little girl, weighing 3.4 kg!!Some time later they wheeled Doreen out and we went with her again over those little paths, back to her bed in the ward. She was in pain, esspecially during the trip back to her bed.
 We cleaned her up and put her baby besides her. She was not touching her, but was watching her!! She still doesn't want to talk about a name, later, when we put the baby at her breast, to drink, she let us doing that, but didn't take any effort to touch or help her baby.It will be a very difficult process! We contacted her family, asking her mother to come and help her in the hospital, but up till now, nobody came. So we take turns and stay with her day and night, I am really proud of my staff, everybody is willing to help and take her turn. My heart aches, when I see this hurting teenager struggling with this situation. She is a real adolesence, angry, not co-operative, not grateful, complaining, but she is hurting....
Please pray for this beautiful little girl and for her hurting and traumatised mother.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A week full of oposites..

On Monday, Michel went to school!!! It was a big event for us, Michel lives in Amecet for more than a year, he was left behind in the hospital by his mother. He is a bit spastic and can't talk or sit by his own. Now there is a place in Soroti where they work with children like him. In a group of 10 children. They pick him every day and bring him home at 6 pm. We are really happy for him, we believe Michel can do so much more, but we can't help him much further.
Monday and Tuesday was the BIG day for the Primary 7 classes, the exams!! They are very important for them and 5 schools were combined in Nakatunya Primary school to sit for these two days. I went to bring them lunch on Tuesday, You can see the 20 pupils enjoying a special lunch with soda(!) and then they were going for their last paper. They all said they were doing well. I am so proud of my daughter Sarah, who is one of them. She made it up to P7!! There is much reason to be thankful!! 

Then the sad news about Naome, it kind of paralyses you, you don't feel you want to do anything, but Doreen had started to have labour pains. It is very hard to get Doreen talking, she is very quiet and she wants to get her baby in Amecet, I don't want that, we are not a labour ward. So I felt I had to take her to check in the hospital. We were there for several hours, because the doctor was operating. While we were waiting I got a request to come and see a lady who got quadruplets!! The baby's were all born alive and were doing fair. Only the last two baby's were very small and a bit cold. The mother was very confused and while I was there, she refused all the treatment.  Later when the doctor came he asked me if we could help with the two smallest baby's. I told him we would come back to talk with the parents. Doreen was still okay, so we went home again. But the doctor said I could always call him, even at night and we have to come on Monday, if the baby is not born yet, they will then induce labour. After I brought Doreen back to Amecet, I went, together with Elias, back to the hospital, to talk with the parents. The mother was doing better, but the father refused to given the two smallest children to us, because he wanted them to go home. The people there wanted to see them. It is up to them, so we told the father that he could always bring them, later, when he felt the children need more care. In the evening we had the arrival of our Dutch visitors: Janneke, our nurse, who will come and work with us and the Alice, who comes for one month and our good old friends: Joke and Bernard, it was so good to see them all!!!
Then Yesterday, Thursday, it was court day for Doreen. The guy who wanted to kill her, the father of her baby, is in jail and yesterday he had to appear in court. Doreen was the witness. Elias and I went with her. She was a bit scared. We were there from 8 am till 7 pm!! We saw and heard interesting cases, sentences were being spoken out and the last person was our case. The man agreed that he was guilty, so that was simple. It was only the defile case, the attempting murder case will be later. The verdict was 3 years for defilement. We were very tired after a day on the very hard court benches. The good thing was that Doreen had no labour pains!!
Today we went to pay our last respect to Naome. She was to be buried in the village. We went with a car full of people from Amecet. Many wanted to come, but the car was full and there should also be people at home, to stay with the children!
There were many people at the burial, I think at least 400 or 500 people. It has something good, the coffin is under the tree and all the people around it.

It is good to see that many people loved her and wanted to bring her to her last resting place.
Dear Naome, rest in Peace!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Aunti" Naome went to be with Jesus..

Many of you, who read this blog, may know Naome, she has worked in Amecet for many years and she also was  in the group who came to Holland in 2009. Last Friday, I got the news that she was in the hospital. I went to see her and spent that day many hours, just holding her hand and be there beside her. Naome married in 2009 and has been trying to get pregnant. She had 5 miscarriages and now she lost again her baby, after 6 months of pregnancy. She had pre-eclampsia and her blood pressure was very high. She was unconscious. The doctors told the family to bring her to Mulago hospital in Kampala. After some doubts if she would make it to Kampala, they organised the ambulance and she left for Kampala. By phone we were updated and we also gave money towards the transport and treatment in Kampala. When something like this happens, everybody gives, because it comes abrupt and the family is not prepared. Today, at 8 am, I got the news that Naome passed away at 7 am, she never regained consciousness.

This is how I remember Naome, singing and dancing!!! She could gather all the little ones together, and that is no easy task, every time one crawls away or beat the other on the head with a music instrument. But they loved it and she had a real gift for it. Later she also organised the older children with singing and dancing. We had several times we sang in the church. 
Naome, you were loved by the Amecet family, we will miss you!!! But I know that you will dance and sing in Heaven around the Throne of Jesus. I even think that they have akongo's (Thumb piano's) in Heaven for you to play on! We will not forget you!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Watching the eclipse..

Amazing that this eclipse was so good to see, right in our yard in Soroti!! I heard that 30.000 people came to Uganda to see this special event! (Good for the economy!!) I went to ask the clinic next door for an unexposed X-ray, because there was a lot of publicity about the danger for the eyes. I got one and cut it into pieces and everybody got a piece. We watched and followed it for about 2 hours! It was fun and you could see it very well through the X-ray! They say  it happens about every 500 years, so we are lucky and today... the sun was shining and life goes on like it did before the eclipse!!!!