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, November 30, 2014

Sunday morning church service..

This morning  I had the honor and the opportunity to share in my church in Soroti. Because it is tomorrow World AIDS day, the church invited Steven (our YWAM Soroti leader) and me to share about the children. There were three services, the first one starts at 7 am and the second starts at 9 am. They are both in English. The third service starts at 11 am and is in the local language, Atesso.  I think there might be 1800 people total in all the three services together!! What an opportunity....

 Steven shared the word from the Bible. from James 1:27, that God asks us to look after the widows and orphans. I showed a small film about Amecet and shared how the ministry started. But also that the children need care and help. I think that everybody who was there, knows someone who is HIV+, we need to be there for them, help them with their ARV's and not stigmatise them.
Everybody can be involved, just look around you and have an open heart and mind.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A rainy Sunday afternoon

Today it almost felt as if I was in Holland! It was okay during the morning, nice warm and sunny, but in the afternoon it was getting dark and it started to pour and pour. It felt almost cold!! So the baby's were put into blankets and the older children also moved inside and we got them coloring and painting!
You see here from left to right: Apio Ruth, then Helen, Catherine, Joshua, Peter and Gabdesia. At the front right, you can see Gipas, still drinking his porridge. Even Gabdesia is moving around more, she still has the feeding tube in (which she hates) but there is no way that she eats enough. But we have hope, she is much better. So you see it is not only baby's in Amecet, besides these bigger children, we also have three toddlers, who are crawling around. But as peaceful as this looks it didn't stay for long, the boys (and Helen) decided they had enough of it and kicked a ball on the veranda (the compound was still very wet) and kicked a lamp in pieces!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Jessica made my day...

Last year, the end of November, Jessica was brought to Amecet. She is HIV+ and was not doing well, But worse was the emotional state, she was in. There was no one in the family who wanted to care for her, she was abused by people and very sad looking.
Jessica has been in Amecet until the half of May 2014. We have been talking with the family and at the end, an aunt wanted to take care of her. I have never heard her talking, I think she just decided not to talk to people. At the end of her stay, she sometimes said auntie or so, but that was it. We were still a bit worried about her and we asked the family to come for her ARV's here in Soroti, in the main hospital. So we could see her also every month and see that she is alright. We did visit her at home as well, but she lives quite far. 
Today she came for her medicines and she made my day!!!!
Her uncle came with her and he is coming along with her every time now, for the last couple of months. He is very kind to her and you can see that they like each other. Jessica was smiling and giggling. Playing peek-a-boo and she was talking!!!!!! It was so nice to hear her sweet voice. Her uncle told me that she lives now in his family, not with the auntie anymore. I can see that this did her good, she is more trusting and the fact that she is talking, clear words, is saying so much more.

Thank you Jessica, you really made my day!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our "THOMAS" weekend

As I wrote in our last blog, we are worried about Thomas and Gabdesia. This weekend we were very busy with Thomas. Because of his troubles with his intestines, he got a a serious problem, his intestines were like paralysed, nothing came out and his tummy was swollen and painful. It was really so sad for this little boy. This can't go for too long, we went for a scan and we stopped all the intake by mouth, only on IV drip. It can start to work again after some rest...That was on Friday, we were busy going to the doctor, for a scan, again to the doctor. But then on Saturday, he started to have fits, like convulsions. We were really very worried, tried to get him to the doctor, but in the weekend it is very hard to get a doctor. There is a new private hospital in Soroti and we went there for help, and yes... there was a doctor and we got the help we needed. They did several blood tests and the outcome was that the electrolytes in her blood were out of balance, which can give the paralysed intestines and the fits... So we went back with a special solution to give him by IV. Dominique stayed with him during that night, counting the drops coming from the bottle, 180 drops per hour. She was tired the next morning! On Sunday we went for review to that new hospital, Thomas was doing better, his fits were almost all gone and he passed some gas. I tell you, we were so excited when we noticed that he was passing gas!!! We still had to continue with the IV drip. On Monday, we went again to the hospital and they did again the blood tests, that was discouraging.. the levels were almost the same as on Saturday. They wanted to admit him and give him another solution by IV and than check his blood levels every 3 hours. Anja and Rachelle stayed with him in the hospital and I drove up and down. 
 On this picture Rachelle and Anja are with Thomas in the hospital, the nurse tried to get a new cannula for the IV.
This morning I picked the two girls and I brought Corinda, who would stay with him today. We hoped he would be discharged soon, since his blood levels were doing so much better and the best news was that he had pooped!!!!
At 3 pm I got a call from Corinda that I could come to pick them. And here we are going home!!!
This little man is now 3 months old and he has gone through so much in his little life! We are all in love with him and we do everything we can to help him.
The doctor was thinking that Gabdesia might have TB, so we did all kind of tests and today I went so several clinics for an X-ray, but we got the good news that there is no TB!!! And this smile, on this picture is the first smile in at least 2 weeks!! She is doing better, we still feed her via the NG tube, which she hates, but it is the only way to get her enough food inside. She has been also on IV drip for 3 days, because she was not drinking enough and vomiting a lot. I am so glad tha she can smile again, she still has a long way to go, but where a smile is, there is hope!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

About NG tubes, syringes and IV drips....

 We are worried  about two of our children. I have shared about Thomas, the little baby who is with us for almost 6 weeks. According to the doctor, he was around 5 or 6 weeks when he arrived in Amecet. His weight was only 1.8 kg. We have been struggling with him, he has been on IV drip every 2 or 3 days, he got a blood transfusion, we feed him by NG tube and still he was not doing good. He gained a little, then he lost again. Right now he is only 1.860 kg. that is after 6 weeks hard work!!  Please keep praying for this beautiful little boy. 
Then we worry about Gabdesia, I wrote about her in earlier blogs. She is 13 years old, a gentle girl, who is very sick. She had serious problems taking her medicines and she doesn't want to eat, even at home, that is why her mother asked our help. Up till now, she is not improving much, last Sunday she had lost so much weight, we had to put a NG tube in. And that is hard with a 13 year old girl. She was scared and cried. But she doesn't pull it out and now we are able to give her special, high calorie fluid, directly in her stomach. Today she also had to go on IV drip and she is really so sad. My heart cries for her, I wish I could make her eat and drink. Please pray for her, that she doesn't give up, that she wants to fight with us for her life. Pray that we, as her care takers can reach her.
I want to end with a personal, more happy note!!!
Today I had to go to court to hear the ruling from the High Court Judge, about the application for legal guardianship for my three girls. It has been a long journey, but we are almost at the end. We got a positive ruling, the legal guardianship has been granted to me. Now I am the proud mother of three beautiful Ugandan daughters, actually, I have 4 beautiful Ugandan daughters, but Mary, the oldest, is 19 years old, so she doesn't have to go through all the paper work! I thank God for bringing those girls into my life. I just wanted to share that with you :)
Mary, Sarah, Catherine, Els and Helen

Friday, November 7, 2014

The blessing of Tante Suus.....

 This are some of our youth! We know them for many years, they have all lived in Amecet and are now outside, living with their relatives, pursuing their studies, working at their future. We are still able to support them, because of our Tante Suus fund. Tante Suus was an old Dutch lady, who passed away, she had no children but was always interested in Amecet. We, as Amecet, received her heritage, to help the children with their studies, it became the Tante (auntie) Suus fund. All these youth, you see on this picture, benefit from this fund. Elias, (on this picture at the far back) is our social worker who follows them up, checks with them when they are in their boarding schools and keep in touch with their families.
This year are four of them graduating from S4! This week they finished and they went to their relatives. Issa and Francis went home on Thursday and I just picked Mary and Naome from their boarding school. On the picture below you can see them saying goodbye to their friends.
They spend four years in the boarding school. The results of their exams are not out before January, then we have to see what is coming next......
Three others, Catherine, Christoper and Anthony, are graduating from a Life skill course in tailoring and they will be able to earn themselves a living. 
I am so proud of them, I always have to think back, how they came into Amecet, and then to see them now, God has been so good to us! And we are thankful for the Tante Suus fund, it enables the children to work on their future! I wish that Tante Suus would know how much of a blessing she is to so many children!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A helper in the office....

Justin is our newest helper in the office!! Justin is 14 months old and he is already 1 year living with us in Amecet. He started to walk just before his first birthday and he really loves to go all over the house and the compound. He loves to cuddle and follows you everywhere, until you suddenly miss him and you go back to find him, sitting in a cupboard or eating soil or throwing all the plastic bowls out of the kitchen cupboard. You want to tell him off, but then he looks at you with his naughty twinkling eyes and you can't anymore. Here he "helps" Elias. But not for long, he sees something else and he is off to discover the world!!!!  
I wrote about Thomas before. The little baby of 1.8 kg, he came in Amecet, 1 month ago. His weight is now 1.790, It is going up and down. He has been worse and we have been giving even blood transfusion, it looked he was getting a bit better, but then again he started to loose weight. We still feed him with a NG tube, it is a beautiful boy, everybody loves him!  Please keep praying for Thomas, we still don't have any news about his background, about his mother.