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, December 31, 2015

Ebenezer - Thus far has the Lord helped us.....

At the end of the year you look back over the year and the difficult and the good times. You realise that the difficult times are often ending in good times. You think about the tears and laughter and realise they were both good!! I give you some numbers about the last year:
We took in 138 children in Amecet in 2015. From those 138 children, 41 children came via the Soroti Police, children in a crisis situation. There were 67 babies brought in Amecet, whose mother died after the delivery. These babies stayed all an average of 2 months in Amecet, after that we re-settled them with their fathers.
Five babies died in Amecet, one died in the hospital shortly after we referred him there. We lost two of our older HIV+ children, who were back at their home. There have been hard times, even with tears, but when you look at the picture above, we have a good crew!!! And I am so thankful that God has brought us thus far..... I want to share some blessings with you:
Two pictures from Sagal, the first one from August, Sagal came in Amecet, very weak and sick. he was 3,5 years old. the second picture is from December 2015, 4 months later, he is a very cute, naughty boy. he knows what he wants and if he doesn't want....he will tell you!! He is responding very well on the medication and we all love him!!

 Then Jackson, the first picture is taken in July, he was taken in Amecet because his mother was dying and he was also very weak. He also responded so well on his medication. In the beginning we were worried about him, but he is now very active, he crawls through the whole house and is everywhere you don't want him to be.... He is very sweet and loves to be cuddled.
 Job was brought in Amecet in February 2015, he was weak and we struggled with him. The picture left is from April, even after 2 months he was so often sick, treatment for TB, blood transfusion, running to the hospital, on oxygen....Janneke has been very busy with him! Normally we keep children bot for a long time, but Job could not go home, he was too weak...
But it all paid off!! Look at the second picture, Job is so cute, he laughs and talks a lot. When he sees you coming, he starts smiling and "talking". we all enjoy him so much... He was brought by his auntie but we discovered that he has a father!!!! So we are now in the process of re-settling him back home with his father. We will miss him!!

 Nathan was 1,5 year when we brought him into Amecet, in November 2015. He was cared for by his grandmother. He was very weak for his age, he suffers from sickle cell, a sickness from the red blood cells. He could not crawl, or stand on his legs.
We can't cure his sickle cell, but we tried to make him stronger, and look at the second picture... just 6 weeks later...He is cheerful, tried to walk and moves on his buttocks through the whole house. he has a beautiful smile and he also loves to be cuddled. He will go back to his grandmother in the future. 
We are thankful to God! In spite of our weaknesses He uses us in this ministry to the little one's He loves so much. Even this week, we have been busy with a baby, who got suddenly so sick, we were scared we would loose him. With the help of doctors and a lot of care he is doing much better!!
Yesterday evening an ambulance stopped at our gate. Inside the ambulance was the dead body of a mother and a small infant, just born, some hours before. The mother had not made it. Please, could we help with the baby??? yes of course, we took the baby in, Charles is his name, we pray God's comfort for the family, who burried the mother today. We pray God's help for this little baby who lost his mother... We continue, Ebenezer, Thus far the Lord has helped us, we trust him for the next year, 2016, that the Lord will help us!!!!
Thank you for you prayers and support! We pray that we will be together in 2016 as well. We need you!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Goodbye Gabdesia....

 We went with 6 staff to the burial of Gabdesia. Over the phone we had contact with the family and we heard that they didn't have a coffin. So we told them that we would come with a coffin from Soroti. We got a coffin which was already made, but it was too long, so they made it smaller while we were waiting. the coffin fitted in the car, so we drove to their village (about one hour). When we arrived, we found them already started. They were all sitting under a big tree, near the house, in the middle was a bed, with the body of Gabdesia on it. People were sitting around it, singing, praying, crying. They gave us a space and we put the coffin there. A bit later, they laid Gabdesia in the coffin and they went on with their little service.
It was so peaceful, outside where the butterflies and the birds were flying around. It was a good and beautiful way to say goodbye to Gabdesia. The mother was crying, she will miss her daughter a lot. But knowing how the last 1,5 year of her life had been, I have peace....
Gabdesia, thank you for staying with us, thank you for your smile and your sense of humor. I know you will enjoy your eternal life with the Father!!

Until we meet again!!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

R.I.P. Gabdesia

 This morning we received a phone call with the news that Gabdesia had passed away this morning.
It was a shock, and at the other hand it was not. Gabdesia had been a year with us and we brought her back to her mother in the village on 31/8/2015. She wanted to go home and we respected that, but we have been struggling with her during the whole time she was with us. Gabdesia was HIV+ and didn't want to take her medicines and most of the time she didn't want to eat either. What do you do then, letting her die?? We have been feeding her for quite a while by NG tube, she was fine with that, but you can't go forever with a feeding tube in your nose. We loved her, she was very gentle with the babies, she liked to color, we were able to share with her about Jesus, we were trying to counsel her to start eating... She had a sweet personality, but she was a professional in hiding medicines.
Gabdesia, we are sad, we feel the pain, but we know that you have your peace now, you have no more sickeness, you don't have to take any medicines anymore and I am sure that they have many nice food in Heaven that you will enjoy!!
The top picture was taken during her 14th Birthday party in August 2015, the down picture was taken 5 days ago, when Elias brought a Christmas gift to her and her mother in the village. Tomorrow she will be burried.

Friday, December 25, 2015

It is Christmas morning, some of our team are busy cooking for our Xmas meal, this afternoon. This morning, Innocent came by, together with his mother and sister. He got a 2 weeks break from the Cancer institute in Kampala. We were so happy to see him!! He has to go back for completing his chemo therapy, but he walks, he talks and he eats!!!  He will stay with his mother until it is time to go back to Kampala. Our Christmas morning started with HOPE!

Christmas is all about HOPE, Knowing that God had HOPE for this world, that He send His only Son to be born like a human, walk among us and dying for us.

We pray that this HOPE is also in your life, today and in the new Year!!

Thank you for standing with us in 2015, thank you for your support, your prayers and your interest in our Amecet Life in Soroti. We hope to be together with you in 2016!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The last Xmas gifts....

 The last two days have been very busy for Simon and Elias. They have been driving to the villages to bring Christmas gifts to several of our families. We made a packet of basic things and also some extra things in it, specially for Christmas. Deep in the villages, life goes on as normal, but to bring a gift to them, means a lot to the families!!

Elias is standing at the back of the car, ready to deliver the gifts....

There were also lollipops for the children in the packet! 
 It was a lot of driving, but the families were so thankful and happy! We are also happy that we are able to do this and we know that Christmas is the season of giving and sharing. These families will know that God cares about them!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Celebration for Catherine and Angella

Catherine (left) and Angella graduated last week from their life skill sewing course!!
And for both of them it is a big accomplishment! Catherine has been living with us for quite a while. And she was doing good, we helped her with her education when she went back to live with her relatives in the village. But when it did not go so well in the secondary school, we agreed together that it would be better to find a life skill course for her. She liked the sewing and was happy there. She was one of the best students!! But during that year she got involved with a boyfriend and got pregnant. Everything went well with her pregnancy and a beautiful baby boy, Theo,was born (read the blog of April 23,2015) They went together back to the village and Catherine changed into a very good mother. Due to circumstances Cahtherine is not together with the father of her baby, she lives with her own relatives in the village.  Her course was just finished and she passed!! The graduation was later. they combined several courses for a big celebration, and last week Catherine was one of the stars who was shining bright!!! I am so proud of her, in spite of all what happened, she stayed on track and she will be able to earn a living for her and her son!!
Angella has not been living in Amecet, but we help her and her family. Both of her parents died of HIV/AIDS and Angella stayed behind with a younger brother and sister, who are both HIV +. There is also an old paralysed grandmother. Angella had to stay home from school to care for the others at home. We talked with her and her Grandmother and offered her a sewing course, so she would be able to earn a living. They accepted and Angella went to the life skill course. But there was another problem arising, Angella could not read or write. But she persevered, we heard that she was always hanging out with the best performing students, learning from them. Angella can be so proud of herself, passing this course and graduate!! We are too and so happy to give both of these girls a chance to stand up for them self and be able to look after them self!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Our staff was blessed!

 This is our staff!!!They are the people we can trust with the care of the children, it is a big group: we are at the moment with 29 staff and 4 volunteers! I am proud of them and we wanted to bless them today with a special meal. Everybody came for it, and we had a great time!
 The bigger children helped decorating the little cupcakes.
 And then the food came, which we had ordered in town, so that the kitchen would not be overloaded. We ate pork, cooked on a special way with potatoes, onions and tomatoes. We put it on big dishes and everybody sits around it and eats. While there is alot of talking and laughing!

Even little Job, who can sit now by himself, joined in!
After the meal we had cakes and sweets inside  and everybody could help her/him self! 

And everybody enjoyd the swallow-fellow ship together!
Tomorrow, half of the team will be on holidays. They will have a week off and will celebrate Christmas with their families. Then when they come back, the other half goes home, to celebrate New year with their families. As our YWAM base closes, we can't do that, we have a house with 18 children to care for. It is quite a puzzle to make the rota work, with the night shift and all the babies who have to be fed. When I hang the rota on our bulletine board, everybody came to see when and how they were put on the rota!! I am thankful for their commitment and their hard work! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A trip to the village to resettle Yoweri and Ben..

 Today we climbed in the car and we drove to the villages of Yoweri and Ben to bring them back to their relatives!
 We first went to Yoweri's village. the last part we had to walk and the family and neighbours came to greet us.
 The grandfather received him gladly. The mother of Yoweri has a mental problem and she was lost again. She comes and goes, and is not able to care for Yoweri. The auntie and the grandfather will look after him.
When a child has been with us, you get a relationship with the child. Mary really loves Yoweri and she gives him a last hug before giving him to his family! Yoweri cried when we walked away, he has the age that he knows people, but we also know that when we come back to check on him next month, he is totally forgotten us! And that is good, because he belongs with his family!  
 Then we went on to Ben's village. Ben's parents are both in prisons and we were going to bring Ben to his grandparents. The grandmother was at home and she was happy to receive Ben. Elias explained everything  and asked her to "sign" the papers with a finger print. We had forgotten the inkt pad so we used the pen to color her thumb and then she printed that on the papers
 We left them together sitting and getting to know each other again. Ben was not crying but he looked at us when we walked off, asking himself why we forgot him behind.
 On the way back we saw the clouds coming, that promised a tropical shower!!!
And some minutes later the rain came....changing the road into a river,  But we made it back to Amecet without any problems. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Goodbye to our oldest volunteers ever....

 We said goodbye today to two very special ladies from Norway!! They have been our oldest volunteers ever..... Randi (left) is 70 years old and Marit is 72 years old! And still they have a heart to serve and are not afraid to travel to a totally different culture and place! I am so impressed by these two ladies! They asked by email if they could come and help in Amecet, We had several communications and in November they arrived. English was not easy for them, but they tried and they kept trying to communicate with everybody, and the language of love is universal!!! They have been serving in Amecet, feeding baby's, cleaning out cupboards and holding children.
We had a small goodbye party, we prayed and sang for them and we covered them with bibs.....

We do welcome volunteers in Amecet. If you want to come and help us for some months, please email us. If you have a heart for children and want to serve them, you are welcome. We could use medical people, who want to come over and help for some time, very much!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Boys stories...

Last week we traveled to Kampala. we several things to do, but one of the main issues was to visit Innocent. I wrote about him in the blog of November 10, we have had telephone contact via his sister, but now we went there to see him. we also brought his sister and brother there. His mother stays with him, but the doctor wants to start with treating the mother as well, she has the same kind of cancer as Innocent. The doctor is very content with Innocent, his cancer is really responding well to the chemo, but the biggest problem is now malnutrition. He hardly eats. The good news is that he got on Friday his last chemo from the first cycle of 9 weeks. He has been receiving chemo every Friday for the last 9 weeks. He has a break now of 3 weeks, than he gets one dose again, then again 3 weeks rest till he has 3 more doses. It will be good for his body... He was happy to see us, he is happy that his mother is with him and we hope and pray that he will start to eat better.. Please join us in prayers for Innocent
The next "boys story"is about Siliver. Siliver has been in Amecet twice, the first time in 2006 and the second time in 2008. We have been in contact ever since. He joins our Amun weeks and we know him as a quiet, but healthy boy. Yesterday, Sunday, he came walking into our compound. Very weak and tired, he struggled to walk, so weak he was. We took him in and tried to talk with him. he got a ride from the village and his family is tired from his sickness (he is HIV+ and on ARV's). According to Siliver, they told him that it would be better if he would die. Siliver had pain in the chest, we took him to the doctor next door. The doctor took time for him and we got some medicine prescribed. The pain is probably because of a fungal infection inside. He liked to drink milk and to eat porridge, so at least he got something inside. As we tried to talk with him, we got the message that he has not been really taking his ARV's so well, and since a month he hardly eats. He is 13 years old and his weight is 24 kg. I really felt for him, he is very quiet, sleeps and rest a lot, but hearing those negative messages from your family is very painful. He had arranged the trip to Amecet himself, he felt that we could help him.... Please pray for wisdom....
The last "boys story"is a more happy one!! Joseph is gone with his grandmother today!! I have been writing about him in previous blogs. Both of his parents are in the prisons and Joseph came to Amecet because of feeding problems, he has a severe cleft pallet. In October he is operated and the outside is now repaired (see blog of October 20). Next year he needs to have a second operation. When he was in the hospital for that operation, his grandmother cared for him and she was willing to get him after his face was healed. that is better than going back in the prisons, to his mother... The grandmother was very happy to take him and it is good for Joseph too. He can walk now, and is all over the place, and sometimes on places you don't want him to be... as you can see on the picture!! We will miss him, he has been part of our Amecet family for long, but it is good for Joseph to be in his family!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

38 children graduated from Harmony Pre-school!

Today was the big day, the graduation of our Harmony Pre-school. They have been practising songs, dances and a poem for weeks, and finally the day was there!
For me, personally, was it also special, because Catherine, my youngest daughter, was among them. She had been singing and rehearsing at home, but today, she had a stomach ache and only wanted to sit on my lap.. But when it was time to put on the special graduation gown, the stomach pain disappeared!!
 38 children, excited to go to primary school after the holidays...

 A dance was performed..
 And one by one they were called to the front to receive their certificate, from Steven Orem, the YWAM Soroti director.
 After that the cutting of the cake. Somewhere in the middle is a beautiful graduation cake, every body wanted to cut with the knife, but the teacher kept an eye on it!
 We closed the ceremony with a meal, the children were the first to be served..

38 children at the beginning of their career.. I pray that God will protect them for too much pain and disappointment, I pray that God protects their dreams and wishes. I pray that God will keep them happy and positive, so that they can be people in the community who will make a difference!