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!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hope for Grace.

Today Grace and her mother walked into our compound. I was shocked when I saw Grace. She looked very weak and wasted...
Grace came in Amecet in October 2008, she was very sick by that time. We took her in Amecet and started her on TB medication and also we started her on the ARV medicines. She picked up well and we resettled her with her mother at the end of January 2009. She still had to take her medicines and after a while she was transferred to Katakwi Health Centre. They live in Katakwi (district north of Soroti), which is far and costly in transport.
The mother came with a letter from the health centre in Katakwi, asking for help. Grace is coughing and not eating so well. When I saw her, I felt to take her and try to help. We filled the forms with the mother and after that the mother left, back to Katakwi. Grace was happy to stay, and we found some clothes and made her bed. Then I took her to the neighbours, to the clinic. We did blood tests and a X-ray and we saw the doctor. He looked at all the test results and examined Grace, he didn't think it was TB, so that was good news. She will get good antibiotics and she needs a lot of good food!! She is 6 years old and her weight is 11,5 kg.
It is sad to see Grace back like this, but I am thankful that her mother didn't give up, but brought her for help. We have seen children like this before, we have hope for Grace!!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ten children and four miscarriages

Since I am working in Uganda since 1997, I have heard many stories, some were sad, some were unbelievable. Many times I have so much respect for the mothers, who have such a hard and difficult life. Today I met Rose, and again I feel so much for the women of this nation.
Rose was send to Amecet by the Health Centre, where she went for immunization for her three baby's, she has triplets. She told us that she has 7 more children at home, and that she also had 4 miscarriages. She didn't look very old, she might be in her early forties. She was breastfeeding her triplets, who were now 4 months old. But she had not enough milk for all three, now the baby's were bigger, they needed more, so the first two drank the breast empty and often there was nothing left for number three. The lady was really trying, her baby's were looking good and clean, she was carrying one baby on the back and one in her arms and she had her eight year old daughter with her to carry number three.
We had a long talk about family planning, and we decided to give them porridge flour, sugar and soap every two weeks. She will come back in two weeks with her husband. We also gave her a bag with children clothes, we got a lot of clothes from the teams and volunteers who came to Amecet. She was very happy, at least we could encourage her and help her a little bit. But I am so impressed with her, to have such a burden en still be happy and smiling. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

For a break to the falls....

It has been a bit quiet on this blog... The reason was that I took my 4 girls for a safari. I have been several times, in the past, to the game park, but the girls have never been there. I really wanted them to see the beauty of their own country, it was still holidays, Elias wanted to go with us and drive, so we went...
 This is lake Albert, where the river Nile comes through, at the back ground.

We went with the car on a small ferry to the other side of the river Nile, there we had a beautiful game ride. We saw many animals, the Lions were not found, they were resting in the bush, but we saw many other animals: different kind of deers, Buffelo's, Elephants, Monky's etc.

I think I liked the Giraff the most, there are many walking around and they are so gracious and friendly looking.
We could come out the car, there were no lions around!!
We stayed in a small family unit in a camping site. We enjoyed the nice meals there and the fellowship together. 
We went on a boat trip on the river Nile, I had Cathy all the time next to me, she likes to climb on everything. There are many Hippo's in the river and also many crocodiles, so better no swimming there! The boat trip showed us the water falls, it was beautiful!
The next day we went to the top of the falls.
It was great and impressive to see the mass of water going down. There were many rainbow's to see in the damp of the water and the sun shining throught it. They were very nice days, to be out together, before the new school year begins. Elias was a great driver, guide and friend! In Amecet was everything good, there were no sick children and no new children had come, so we are thankful for that.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daily woundcare..

On the last day of 2013, two Muslem men came to Amecet for help. One of them had a little boy of 4 years old, he was born with Spina Bifia (open back) and they were struggling with him. He was paralysed and was crawling around, he has no feelings in his legs and he developed very big wounds on his feet from the crawling. I went with Janneke, our nurse, and her two friends (also nurses) who were visiting her, to the family. And there we met Mubarac, a little Muslim boy with real bad sores on his feet. We asked for Omo and a basin with water and we bathed his feet. Then after some discussion among the 3 nurses they dressed the wound. After that day, Janneke and her two friends went every day to Mubarac, to dress his wounds. They met Gadaffi, his older brother, who helps every day to bring the basin with water and the Omo, he also carries Mubarac on his back  to the basin. The first couple of days, there seemed not much difference, but now we see a big change.
 This was today, Janneke washes his feet in the water with Omo. The bandage was so dirty, because he wants to move around.
 The wound is still very big, but it is clean and bleeding again, Janneke puts Honey on it, it helps the wound to heal. Most of the time only the children are around, like today. While we were dressing the wounds, we smelled a delious smell of fresh baked bread. When we finished, we looked around, we had not see anything what looked liked a bakery. Around the corner was a shed, made from iron sheets (with many holes), the smell came from there.... And yes, that was the bakery!!!
We called in, it was dark inside, and we were welcomed in.... by the father of Mubarac and Gadaffi!!! He was backing small breadrolls, we call them mandazi. Every where were big trays with dow, waiting to be backed. And the father was backing them in oil, in an enourmous pan, on a selfmade woodfire stove. He was happy that we came to see him. He is working on his own, he starts early in the morning and backes the whole day. Tomorrow, he will go on his motorbike, with an enormous box at the back, to the villages to sell his bread rolls. He is a very hard working man! He told  Gadaffi to pack us some bread rolls and we had a nice lunch, back home!

Mubarac was sitting near the door, with his feet up (like Janneke had told him). We are trying to see if we could organize a wheelchair for Mubarac, he needs to get off the floor, you can't tie him down, he wants to play and move, but when he crawls, he will keep the wounds at his feet.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2/3 of triplets in Amecet.

This morning a young man came at our veranda, asking for help for a lady in his village. He was called by another concerned neighbour that there is a lady in their village who has triplets from over 2 months old. The husband is not supporting her and she is desparate. She has not enough breastmilk and no money to buy milk and the baby's are crying a lot. We decided to go and look into this situation, this afternoon. We drove there, it was in the neighbouring district, when we came close to the home, Simon asked some people for the directions to the home and the stories he heard about the mother were not good. She was getting confused, wandering out and just sitting at the roadside and talking nonsens. We came at the home and were warmly welcomed. The lady was living at her parental home and the father of the triplets has another family elsewhere. He has not even been visiting or bringing soap or smearing oil for the babies, they told us. It was clear that it was all too much for the mother, the oldest baby was doing well, (a boy), but the other two little girls were not doing very good, one of them had a very bad wound at the back of the head, quite big. We talked and told them who we were, they knew about Amecet, so that was good and they were very happy that we had come. After seeing this all, we felt that we could take the two girls and to leave the boy with the mother. The mother was so thankful, she loved her babies, but just couldn't cope with them. At night they all cried, she could not sleep and also the grandmother and the sister of the mother, who were helping her a lot, were very tired.
Here we do all the paper work, I am writing and Simon is translating. Many neighbours came by and gave their opinion about us taking the two little girls. They were all agreeing, because they were concerned with the mother and the children. It was funny, how important the opinion of the community is, they all do their say and it was nice to hear them all speaking good about the mother.
After explaing that the babies would come back to the mother and signing the papers, they all escorted us back to our car. We couldn't drive up to the home, Simon is used to drive on bicycle pads, but it was now getting too narrow. We had walked the last part to the home. So we went back to the car in a long procession, everybody came to see us off!
And here they wave us out. The mother knows where her girls were going and she will be visiting them in Amecet. She is the lady in the orange T-shirt (at the right), I could see hope again in her eyes. She will be very able to care for the little boy, while we care for the girls for a while.
When we came home, we went directly to the doctor at the neighbours. And after that the bottle was ready for them! Here you see Leya and Ann feeding them, they got a bath and a nice bed. Normally we would put the twins or 2/3 of the triplets in one bed, but because of the septic wound, they are in seperate beds for now. I pray the mother (and her family) will have a good sleep tonight!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Two Miracle baby's..

We have seen God's faithfulness so much during the last month!! We had two baby's we have been struggling with from the start. The first one is Lawrence he came on October 30, (you can read in the blog). A very small little boy, was born premature, but he gained very slowly. In the week before Christmas he really got sick. We even had Dr. Florence come to see him. He got IV fluids and also IV medication. At the end he got blood transfusion, and that did the trick. After that he started to drink and gain!!!
 His weight is now 4 kg!! (4 months old)
Then the second child is Sabina. You can read about her in the blogs of Nov. 20 and 25. She was very small, 2.2 kg and she did not gain. She was very sick and we discovered that she had a small hole in her heart. That could be closing by itself when she starts growing and getting stronger. But she did not grow!!! She stayed 2.2 kg for more than a month, and you just saw her getting worse. We really thought that we would loose her. 
But now, since 2 weeks, she is gaining. She is the baby on our Christmas card, and she is now 3 kg!! (7 weeks old).  She can smile and really cry when we delay with her feeding. We are so thankful for those two precious children, they are a testimony of God's faithfulness!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Michel takes a swim.

Today, the second of January, Michel thought that it would be a great day to take a swim. So he had all the children cleaning our little pool and fill it with water. It was his first time to swim, but what did he enjoy it!!!!!!
Michel is paralysed and it is hard for him to express himself. But we see more and more from him and when he was in the water he giggled so much! It was such a joy to see it, it really touched me that Michel is happy. Overall he is a happy fellow, when you call his name he laughs, but in the water he was really laughing loud.
The other children were also joining in. Julius at the left, then Jessica and Cathy (front) Angela in the middle and Helen at the side, I think she was cold. Janneke is holding Michel.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Rainy New Year = A Blessed New Year

Today, the first of January, the work was in full swing. The diapers were hanging outside on the clothes lines, the children were playing in the garden, the baby's were fed on the Veranda and the kitchen crew was cooking our New Year feast meal. Then the rain came...... It was really pouring, and for quite a while. The children and the Baby's were moved quickly inside and several people ran to get the clothes from the line and spread them out inside the house.
 Also the kitchen crew took shelter, but we were going to eat pilaw, it is rice with special spices and the meat inside. The best is to cook it on wood fire. But Elias knew the trick, he build a shelter around the enormous pot. Everything could be used, as you can see!! But it worked, the pilaw was ready in time and it tasted delicious!
We set up the food on the table and we sat on the veranda, because the sun came back and it was nice and warm again. The children played again in the garden, the baby's were back at the veranda and the diapers were back on the lines again! 
We had a great meal, with nice fellowship, children crying and playing. A good start of the New year!
And in Africa: Rain means Blessing!!!