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, October 28, 2014

My second time to say Goodbye to Max...

In June I went to Holland for a vacation. That time, Max was very sick, couldn't walk, talk or eat. It was hard to go, because I really felt that I would not see him anymore, when I returned back to Amecet. But when I came back, he was still there!!! And so much better, we saw every week more progress in him.
Today I said again goodbye to him, but now it was not a sad occasion, Max was going back home to his people! Max is an orphan, but there is a lovely family in his village, who welcomes him and where he can come back to live with. He has been over 9 months in Amecet.
 Here we are on our way to Max' village. He is excited, his big friend uncle Emma is also coming along. He is very happy with his new mattress and clothes.
 We are in Max' village, Simon is doing the paper work with his uncle and Max is  looking around and began to remember things again. He stood up and wanted to look for his goat! The uncle told us that he has a goat there. Than we had to look for him and he came out of one of the huts, that was the hut he had been sleeping in before. He asked the uncle for his radio!! The uncle told us that he had a small radio before. 
When we left, Max was very okay, he waved us goodbye and was happy to stay behind. Max can walk by him self, but it cost him a lot of effort. He crawls most of the time or in Amecet he was walking behind a stroller. There is an organization who works in his village and they are willing to find Max a walker, so he can walk around, which is better than crawling. 

We had a flat tyre on the way back, but that was fixed in no time and we reached Soroti safely!

This time was saying goodbye much easier, and we will see Max again, we will visit him in his village.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A smile after 4 days...

On Tuesday, almost at the end of the afternoon, two people came on a motorbike, carrying a child. They told us that this child had been found in the compound of one of the men, the night before. There was a plastic bag with him, with some dirty rags. They took the child to the police and they were send to Amecet. They came from a village, one hour drive.
 When I looked at the child, I was shocked, very dehydrated, malnourished and miserable. We tried to get some information, but the men couldn't tell me anything, no name, no age, no family history, nothing. We took the child in, gave him a bath and tried to feed him. We wanted to give him a name, one of the Children Rights is that every child has the right on a name. We decided on Richard, when we asked him, he reacted on Richard, so Richard it was! We weighed him and his weight was only 4.4 kg. Maybe he was 3 years old??? But later when we saw that he had already his permanent teeth in front and even some molars, we realised that he would be 5 or 6 years instead of 3 years old. I could cry, how can you just abandon a needy child like that?
The last couple of days we have been trying how to feed him, and we see already a progress, We don't know what is wrong, maybe a bit spastic? We took him to the doctor and they did some test, he is HIV- and he had malaria. We treated that. We also have been working on his smile!! Trying to find things he likes, toys, holding him, food, milk etc. And the smile is there!!! 
This is encouraging, he smiles and he is so sweet. He sleeps a lot, but he has gained a little bit and this is all in 4 days!!! Simon has been out in the village, trying to get some news, but all in vain, up till now. I have a feeling we will have quite some more days to enjoy this beautiful smile.....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mother to Child HIV transmission..

Most of the children who are HIV+ in Amecet, got the HIV infection from their mother. But there is a big change now. All the women who go for pre-natal care are being screened for HIV. When they are HIV+ they get instructions to deliver their baby in a Health Centre, so the baby will receive the ARV's directly after being born.. Then the baby will get every day the medicine until he/she is 6 weeks old. Then the mother has to bring the baby for a DNA blood test for HIV. Is this test negative, the baby is fine, if this test comes out positive, than the baby is really HIV+ and has to go on the full regime of ARV medicines.
Today we had to go to the hospital for the results of this test for two of our babies. I feel always a little tense, this test will say a lot of the rest of the life of this child. There are medicines and they can get old if they take their ARV's every day, but still, I see it in the lives of my own girls, being HIV+ has a big impact on their life!
So we went and on this picture we are waiting for our turn. In a very small room, at the left is Riemke with baby Agnes and in the middle Rachelle with baby Rebecca, both had to come for their results. Rebecca's mother is HIV+ and very sick at the moment, baby Agnes is found between the pig food, we don't know anything about her parents, so they were both brought for the test, some time ago! And we got the good the news: THEY ARE NEGATIVE!!!!! So nice!!! At the right is Anja with baby Emmanuel, he is just over 6 weeks old and because his mother was HIV+ and died after giving birth, we wanted to let him test as well. So they took some blood and in 2 weeks we can hear about his results. Those hospital visits take a lot of time, we get even helped faster than most of the patients, because they know that we have always a lot of work to do. But it does take time and we get always a lot of attention. Especially when we give them the bottle, you don't see people do that, and that is good. Sometimes a nursing student tells us not to give bottle feeding, because breast feeding is better, I tel them than, that I am sorry, but I don't have breast feeding!!!
After some hours we came home to tell the good news to all the staff...           
Party time!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soroti Fair........

For one week the Soroti sports ground is changed into a fair and many people are going to see it. The first part is mostly little craft shops and shops where they sell clothes, but then, you pay a bit more and you can see the wild animals!!!.
So on Sunday we went with all the bigger children, even Gabdesia wanted to come, she was still on IV medication and Malaria treatment, but we took her along. In the car and we had a stroller with us, so she could rest a bit. We saw a lion, a leopard, an ostrich and a big snake, which they took out and you could touch (what none of us did!) It was fun and Helen, Joshua and Cathy went into the merry-go-round. It was fun. All the aunties are also going to see it, later this week and even the Harmony school is going tomorrow morning to see the animals.
It is a big event in Soroti!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Joy and worries....

It has been a busy week, with lots of worries, but I start with the JOY!!! August 18 we got a little baby brought in Amecet by the police. It was a new born baby, the mother has a mental problem, and after some talking we knew that this was the second baby we got in Amecet from the same mother. In my blogs of June 15 and June 19 2012, you can read how we got Levi (is now called Silas) came into Amecet and how we went to visit the mother, but she didn't even recognise her child. This little boy found a loving family (read the blog from September 19, 2012). This family are missionaries in Soroti and we do see them regularly. We knew that they were thinking about a second child, so we told them about the little girl Hellen. They responded positive and after all the legal papers with Probation office and Court, Silas welcomed his little biologic sister in his family. It was so nice to see how welcome this little girl was. We pray for this family: Collin, Veronica, Silas and Hellen Rosser.
Than the worries:

 We have been busy this week with Thomas, the little baby I wrote about the my last blogs. He had diarrhea and stopped drinking, got fever and we had to start feeding him with a NG tube. He has been on IV drip and we were really worried about him. He is so fragile, we have not yet heard any news about his family, so that is also a big concern. Since today, he is doing a bit better, but he lost weight, so please keep praying for him.
We are also very concerned about Gabdesia. She is very sick, we have the feeling that she is giving up. She refuse to eat and to take medication. Please pray for her, that we are able to really reach her, that it is not too late.
Janneke our nurse, is on a well deserved holiday to Holland. Together with the volunteers, I wrote about in my last blog, we care for those precious children. I am not living anymore on the Amecet compound, so we really need to work together with Dominique and the volunteers. I am really thankful that God send the right people, when we need them!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thank God for volunteers...

We get very regular volunteers, people who come to help us for some time. We welcome them, because they always bring fresh views and ideas. And also many time they bring things for the home....
Yesterday two ladies from Holland arrived, Marlinde and Riemke. And they brought two full suitcases for Amecet... Many packets of baby wipes (we love those..and the baby's too!) and slippers clothes and etc. etc. The children came into the office, where we unpacked the suitcases and it was big fun!!! They were trying things, some of them had layers of different clothes on, it was fun! Everybody joined in, trying and fitting...Gabdesia was smiling a lot, for the first time since many days!!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy UHURU day!!!

Today Uganda celebrates 52 years Independence. It is a Public Holiday and in the towns there is marching in the centres of town. Of course, we can' t be free, for Amecet it is a normal working day. The cook is there to cook, the laundry lady to wash the dirty diapers and all the caretakers to take care of the children. The children were free form school and we have a house full!
Here are Walter (the boy I wrote about in my last blog) and Max on the Slide. 
 Cathy and Ruth are jumping in the trampoline, enjoying their free day from school.
 Max is walking so much!! He even can walk by him self, but here he pushes Walter around!
We wanted to bless our staff today, for coming to work on a public holiday! And we ordered a special lunch for everybody!
 The whole veranda full with happy eating people.
 We ordered pork from a place in town. It comes on one plate and everybody sits around it and eat! Even the little one's are enjoying it!
 The aunties are also eating and enjoying their soda!
 Gabdesia was sick this week, she had again severe malaria. It is very hard to get her eating and even drinking. But today she joined the group and she is eating the pork and potatoes!
Uncle Elias was the person to get the food and he receives his Pepsi from Emma.

I wrote in my last blog about the 2 brothers. The oldest boy, Walter, is doing really good, we treated him for his malaria and now he is playing all over the place, as you can see on these pictures. We have put a picture of them in the local Newspaper and asked people to contact us, when they recognise the two boys. Walter mentioned the name of a village, so Simon took him there to see and to ask people if they knew him, but all in vain, nobody recognised him. The little baby Thomas is not doing so well. He doesn't want to drink enough. We waited a bit, but today I put a NG tube down, so we can feed him while he is even sleeping. Maybe in a couple of days, he will pick up and start drinking himself, so we will take out the tube again.
Please keep praying for the two boys and their situation. That we will find their relatives.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Two brothers in need....

In my last blog I wrote about the 3 sets of twins we have in Amecet. Two of them went back to their relatives, Steve and Evelyn went back and also Mary and Betty were picked by their father. We have a good feeling about them being back home! It also gave a bit of space in Amecet, only a bit, because we have already 4 new children... One older boy, who was send by the doctor in Soroti hospital, he just needed some help and some place with rest and good food, he will probably go back to his village on Monday. Then a small boy, James, he is almost 18 months old. His mother died just 3 weeks ago and his father was desperate. He is with us, just to get a bit stronger and to give the father a break. But he will go back to his father and siblings. James is HIV+. En yesterday two other children came, brought by the Police. They were two brothers, the mother was mentally sick and was aggressive. They took the children from her and brought her for psychological help and the children to us.
This are the children, the bigger boy might be 5 years old and the baby one month?
The baby was just covered with a dirty, cotton cloth,  and the baby was so skinny and small, but when he looked to us, we knew he was not a newborn baby. I took him directly (after bathing and dressing) to the doctor, He also thought he might be one month old or so. The baby was small, malnourished and had been a premature baby at birth. 
The older brother was limping, he spoke another language, no Atesso, but one of our staff spoke his language. So he could tell us his name, he was called Walter, he didn't know the name of his little brother, so we called the baby Thomas. Walter was also very malnourished, he had a big belly and the doctor said his spleen and liver were enlarged. we did several laboratory tests, and we found out that he was anemic and had malaria (severe). So we started directly malaria treatment. Poor boy, he was really sick. Today he couldn't walk, he was so weak! But with the food and when the malaria is over, he will be much better.
The little Thomas did much better today, yesterday he could only drink 20 ml. at the time, but today he made 50 ml. at the time. He is also a beautiful little boy, and when he looks at you, with his big eyes, you just can see (and feel) that he has been already through a lot in his little life!!

The Police is trying to find relatives of the mother, so they can go to their own people, but in the meantime it is good that they are now in Amecet. We can treat, feed and cuddle them!!!!