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, December 28, 2014

110 diapers.......

Our Washing machine broke down yesterday, so we do have a crisis...... This morning I did the laundry together with Esther. That means than that I washed more than 110 diapers by hand!!!!! I tell you, that is not an easy job! On top of that than all the bibs, clothes, sheets and covering blankets....

Because of the Christmas holiday is half of our team free and tomorrow we have the big change over, the staff who worked this last week will be free for one week and the staff who was free for Christmas, will be joining us again. Having the washing machine breaking down, just in this time makes it all more difficult, since the laundry lady is also free. At least the sunshine helps us a lot, it dries fast and the Sun also bleaches the diapers a bit!

P.S. I just washed 30 more diapers this afternoon!!:)  ( and still by hand!)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Four new born baby´s in Amecet..

The last week we got several new born children in Amecet. It started with the premature twin girls. I wrote about them in my last blog. They are doing well, it is not easy, but they are stable, we still feed them by a NG tube and they haven't reach 1.7 kg. yet, but they will by the weekend!!! But we got more new born baby's... On the picture you see the twins at the left, and then we got baby Margaret, she was one day old, small and vulnerable, the day after we got a phone call from the hospital about a newborn baby, Christine, the mother had passes away. We took her from the father who was very sad about losing his wife. We had no bed left, so the two little girls are sharing, but there was place for them in Amecet. We also got two other children who were 5 weeks and 16 months old.

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, with a full house of all vulnerable children, all with their own sad story. I am so thankful that we can give them this safe place for this time in their life, while they need it. When Jesus was born, there was no place for Him, so he was born in a stable. We are happy to help those little one´s in His Name. We celebrate His Birthday together with a day of working together. Half of our Ugandan staff is free with Christmas, while the other half is free with New year, We had a small team today, some were cooking, others were doing the laundry, others were feeding and changing the baby´s while others kept an eye on the toddlers. 
But we all joined together in a wonderful feats meal, celebrating the birthday of Jesus!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A run to the doctor and a baptism...

A phone call came from the hospital; There is a twin born and the mother died, please can you help?
We drove to the hospital and met the father with his uncle. The baby's were still laying in the delivery room. Thy were born by a Cesarean operation and the mother passed away some hours after that..We filled the forms and took the babies home, they were not yet fed and they were already more than 18 hours old. The father and the uncle were coming to Amecet later.
Martha and Mary are weighing together 3300 gram. Martha, the first born weighs 40 gram more than her sister. They were a bit deheydrated and weak. We fed them carefully and they drank!! Martha 20 ml and Mary 10 ml, but then she stopped breathing. We rushed her to Dr. Engulu's clinic, he came into action and got her breathing again.... We were shocked, it all happened so fast. They put an IV line in her hand and we got instructions what to do and we went back to Amecet. 
The uncle and the father had just arrived. I explained what has happened. The uncle is a Priest in the Catholic church and he wanted to baptise them. So a cup of water was given and he baptised both of the little girls, the father was holding them, one by one. It was touching and I know it ment a lot to them. After the baptism, we took them inside and gave Mary the medicines and put her on an IV drip. The little grils are probably 6 weeks born too early and that is why Mary has problems with her breathing. We hope when she is a bit stronger, it will go better. Please pray for those little girls, they are not out the battle zone yet....

Friday, December 12, 2014

Amun week 2014 Day 7 (last day!!)

 The whole group, with staff, kitchen crew and youth, it was a great week!!!!
 We had this year a special closing day, we had our first graduates!!! This are the 8 graduates, left to right: Christopher (tailoring), Issa ( Senior 4), Francis (S 4), Mary (S 4),  Naome (S 4), Betty(S 4), Anthony (Tailoring) and Catherine (Tailoring)We had in the morning a special programme in where we showed films and pictures of each graduate and it was amazing to see how they had been changed. We affirmed each one of them and prayed for them. Later we asked each one of them what they wanted to advice the others and what is their dream now.. It was touching to hear them share, several of them said that they had never dreamed of coming this far, living this long.. They gave good advice to the others: do not give up, dream big and start small, listen to good advice etc.
 Sam Abuke, spoke about our theme scripture: Joshua 1:9 and assured each one of them that God is with them everywhere they go. It was very encouraging.
 Then we gave the three graduates, who finished their tailoring course a sewing machine, so they are now able to earn a living. The five who graduated from Senior 4, are still waiting for their results, when they come, we will sit with each one of them to see what next.....
 Cutting the cake...
 Here we are closing for the whole group, singing: Be bold, be strong, for the Lord our God is with you! We pray that they will know that God is with them, when they go back to their villages!!!
This is our kitchen crew, they have been working so hard, this week. I talked to David and asked them how many jerrycans with water he had brought this week. We get our drinking water from the borehole, while we have pumped in water through the tap, we use for all other business. It is really getting warmer, so they drink a lot of water. With both houses, the Amun week (with 50 children and 20 staff) and Amecet with the baby's and toddlers and staff, David and Calvin get 13 jerrycans per day, that is 20 liter per jerry can, so we drink 260 liter per day!!!!! we asked the kitchen crew to come and we all thanked them for their hard work, For the last, special meal, we decided that we would ask someone from outside to cook and serve it. So we would not have any stress and they even do the dishes....
The food was so nice, everybody liked it. The kitchen crew as well, nice for them to eat a meal which they didn't have to cook!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Amun week 2014 Day 6

Today, again a busy day, we have a team from YWAM Jinja helping us with this Amun week. There were two girls who were doing games every day, a very important job!! And they also did the meditation every morning. Today they were doing the teaching, they used characters from the Bible to teach certain issues. I have not been much in the tent, today. I had to take a girl to the clinic and that took a lot of time, also there were some things to organise for tomorrow, the closure day.  I didn't hear much of the teaching, so I decided to ask several children what they liked and what they had learned... They gave permission for their quote and picture:)

 Naome 18 years:

 "That I have to be more thankful for all that God gave me and all that He has done for me. David is my example."

Alex 18 years:

"I learned about my spiritual growth and also that I have to be sure to take my medicines (ARVs) every day."

Joseph 14 years:

"I learned about the life of Joseph (in the Bible) the way how he controlled himself."

Josh  13 years

"That I must love God."

Lazarus 10 years

"That I have to respect elder people."

Silivia 14 years

"That we have problems between boys and girls, because we do not have respect for each other."

Emmanuel 12 years:

"we have to respect each other and also take our medicines every day."

Emmanuel 13 years:

"We have to love and like each other more.

Every evening I come home tired, but happy. There are so many things going on, the children are open and have so many questions. God is working in their hearts, they are really understanding and accepting their HIV+ status more, but they know that they are special and loved. 
On this last picture Cathy and Anneke help me to bake the cake for tomorrow, we will celebrate!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Amun week 2014 Day 5

We started the day with a beautiful time of praise and worship. We began inside the tent.........and finished outside of the tent on the field!!

The first teaching was given by Bernard. He is coming to Amecet from Holland, for many years now. He came this time to be part of the Amun week, since he knows many of the children. His teaching was a continuation of Julius' teaching about decision making. he started off with wearing many clothes over each other, because he couldn't make the decision what to wear... We have to make many decisions every day, some are easy, but some are tough.
His teaching was with many jokes, so the children were very alert, the special thing was that he was translated by Naome, he knows for many years. Ten years ago he was also visiting Amecet and that time Naome came into Amecet.
The second teaching was about respect, respect for yourself, and for others. It was a good teaching, given by Jane, from the YWAM Soroti base.In the afternoon, we went into 2 groups, Simon spoke in the older group about life after school, what are your fears and worries. The younger children had more discussion about life in school, in their group. At the end we had games again, so they could run, dance and play together. It was another good day!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Amun week 2014 Day 4


 Julius spoke about making decisions in the morning. Andrew translated him, we want to make sure that everybody can understand it well, so we do translate everything from English into Atesso. How do you make decisions, what do you do if you make wrong decisions? What can help you to make the right decisions? That are difficult questions, we all have to deal with them.
After the tea break  we watched a movie about some youth who made wrong decisions, a school girl got pregnant and had to stop her studies, it was an African film, so it was very close to the children. We went into the smaller groups after wards and there was a lot of sharing and talking. we even went back into the groups after lunch. A lot of questions came, about their HIV+ status and how to deal with that when you get into relationships with the opposite sex.

It was good after all that talking, to play and have fun. It is so nice to see them all enjoying themselves together. Different ages play together, others are sitting and chatting. Tomorrow another day.....

Monday, December 8, 2014

Amun week 2014 Day 3

 Day 3 was a blue day!!!! Almost everybody was wearing his/her new T-shirt. At the back we printed our theme for this week: Be strong...take the lead. Joshua 1:9. We pray that that they will take the lead, in their homes, school, with their friends...They need to hear that God is with them, everywhere they go!!!
Dominique shared in the morning about the question:who are you?? Do we know about all the beautiful promises that God gives us? It was a powerful teaching, and she had written many promises down and everybody got one. It was really touching to hear read some of them their promises out loud:  I am free, or I am forgiven or I am loved.....
 After the tea break I gave a teaching about HIV/AIDS, we did that inside the house, because there was some illustration via the Video. Teaching about HIV/AIDS is always part of the programme, Even to repeat and repeat, it is necessary, it is their life!!

 During lunch was a lot of laughing and fellowship!!!
In the afternoon we went into groups, to talk through the teaching of the morning  in a smaller setting and after that there was a lot of fun with the games.
It was another good day, we feel the children are open, and we are looking forward to the rest of the week,

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Amun week 2014 Day 2

Most of the children sleep in Amun, but last night they didn't sleep much. there was a party going on at the neighbours and the music went on till 6 am on Sunday morning. It is really ridiculous, so it was not easy. We started at 10 am with a meeting in the tent. Worship was done by Julius and David from YWAM Soroti base and Steven, our YWAM Soroti base leader spoke to the children. He talked about the theme: Joshua 1:9 Be strong.....take the lead!
 In the meantime was the cooking done at Amecet. The aunties worked really hard, because, next to the cooking, also the baby's had to be fed and changed. Big pots with rice and beans and other things,,
Waiting in line for the food, It went very good and after eating, everybody washed his/her own plate. The afternoon was free till 4 pm. Some took the opportunity to sleep some extra hours. At 4 pm there were games.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Amun week 2014 has started...

The last couple of years we have had 'the Amun week' in the beginning of December. It has become a tradition now. We invite all the older HIV+ children, who have lived for some time in Amecet, to come back for a week of encouragement, teaching, fun and fellowship. This year we expected 50 children/youth in the age of 8 up till 21 years old.
It is a lot of work and we started meeting and organising about 5 weeks ago. We got some help from the YWAM Soroti base and this year we even expect some staff from YWAM Jinja. we have a week full of teachings, games group meetings and fun. we want to talk with them about HIV/AIDS, about stigma and about acceptance. They are all on the ARV's, the medicines which slow down the growth of the HIV virus. So at 7am. and at 7 pm. all the medicine containers are coming out and the medicines are taken. We want to encourage them to not skip a day of medicines. It is so good to see them again, children who were in Amecet in 2002, 2003 etc., they are also excited to see each other again. they come from very different villages, so they don't see each other very often. we have put a tent in the Amun compound and we found enough beds for everybody to sleep in!!
I will try to write every day a bit, this week, so you can be part of this week from a distance. Please pray for them and also for us, the staff, that we can help them and advice them if needed.
 Simon explains the details of the week. We kept the age from 8 or 9 and above, so they all can understand and talk, but we have some illegal members under the table!! Cathy and Ruth like to be there where the action is!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Another party...... for Gabdesia!!!!

Today we had again a party!!! But this time for Gabdesia. We had promised her that we would celebrate if she would reach 20 kg! And today, we had to go to the doctor (who was also very happy with her) she reached the mark of 20.6 kg. She still has her NG tube in, but she doesn't mind that anymore, she just walks in the hospital if it is not there.When people look at her, she doesn't mind. This is such a difference with the time that we had to bring it in, she was so angry at us and she seemed to give up. 
But today we thanked God together and we are looking forward to the next 10 kg!!!! And it is a good opportunity to have a party!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

YES!!! A Soda for Thomas.......

We celebrated today!!!! Because today we weighed Thomas again and Thomas was over the 2 kg!!!!!!! I had said that we would have a soda than, to celebrate. And so we did, If you look very well, you see Rachelle with baby Thomas, behind that green soda bottle.  
 And see here the proof! 2 kg and 70 gram. I can't explain how much that means to us, we can have hope again that he will live, it is a reward for all our struggles we had with Thomas. This boy is a miracle baby, to survive all that he had to go through.. He keeps his milk in, is pooping normal, no more seizures,  He had two blood transfusions and now he is picking up. Worth a party!!!!!
This Charles, he is only 1 day old and here he gets his first milk to drink. We got a request to help this baby from a Hospital in a neighbouring district. They were very concern about the feeding. We will keep him for some time and then he will go back to his parents. we have one other child who has the same (but more severe) problem. Joseph is now over 2 months with us. we fed him also by syringe, but now he can drink very well from a cup. He will go home and be operated on in a short while.