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, April 23, 2015

Catherine got a Baby boy...

Many of you, from the people who visited us in Soroti, know Catherine Agero. She has been in Amecet and later in Amun for a number of years. She came when she was very weak and sick, but we saw her grow up into a beautiful teenager. Amecet helped her going to secondary school (boarding) and later, when this didn't work out so well, we helped her to go through a tailoring course, she graduated last year and she got a sewing machine. But in the mean time she got into a relationship and pregnant. Amecet stepped in when there were all kind of problems between the two families and between Catherine and her boyfriend. Mostly, because we were concerned for Catherine's well being and for the life of the baby. Tuesday night, Simon got a phone call that Catherine had contractions. She was in the village, but we had let her promise to go to the hospital there, when the contractions would start. Simon talked with the boyfriend and told him to bring her to the hospital. After all kind of problems, she ended up in the hospital, but the labour did not go well. Wednesday afternoon we got a phone call that they wanted to refer her to Soroti hospital, but they didn't have money to pay the ambulance. Catherine had been the whole day in labour. Via the phone we could get her in the ambulance and Janneke, Mary and I were waiting at 7 pm for her at Soroti Hospital, yesterday evening. Catherine was very happy to see us and Janneke and I went with her into the delivery room, to encourage her while she tried to push the baby out. It was very difficult, we saw the head of the baby, but nothing happened. The doctor and the midwife decided that she had to go for a Cesarean, when she heard that she decided to really push hard and we, all cheered and encouraged her and yes the baby came out!!!
The baby was small, (2.1 kg) and had been squeezed because of the long labour time, but he cried!! And Catherine was so happy, smiling and thanking God!
We asked what his name would be, she said : Theo, I asked Theo?? Yes, Catherine said, after your brother, because the Dutch people really helped me in this difficult time! It touched me and I pray that little Theo will bring joy to her heart!

Catherine had a good night, she had eaten something and she was already making jokes. She now called him : uncle Theo!! We talked with the doctors and we were allowed to take her out. Because of the problems with the father's family, we took her to Amecet. We want to be sure that the breastfeeding will be going well and that the baby get his ARV's everyday and to be sure that Catherine is fine. Little Theo was looking much more handsome already after only one day!! (I wonder what he will be like in 20 years???) We are thankful that the operation was not needed and that mother and baby are doing well. Little Theo is small and a bit fragile, but we have good hopes that he will pick up and we pray that he and Catherine will have a great future!!
(PS. and I feel a little bit a grandmother)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Helping our Ugandan Adoptian family's.

 This are 5 parents from the 16 family's we are working with. All these family's have adopted a child via Amecet. In the blog from February 27, 2015, I wrote about our adoption reunion. We always try to re-settle the child within their family clan. but sometimes it is impossible and then we have to look for another solution, like adoption. We have placed around 19 children into local, Ugandan family's. And we are now helping those family's to get everything legal.
Simon is very busy with this. Meeting the Probation office, calling the adoption parents for a meeting, getting the paperwork done. meet with the Magistrate and organize the legal aid. There is an organization from lawyers who are helping people with free service for this kind of things. The parents are very thankful for this help and after getting the care order, they are now organizing for the Legal guardian and adoption order. On the upper picture, they are showing their care order.

 A happy reunion: Kennedy and Catherine. The top picture is from March 2012, they were the best friends, always playing together, Kennedy was 3 years and Catherine was almost 2 years. 
Today, 3 years later,  they met again, didn't recognise each other at first, but after a while they played again! Kennedy has now a loving family, and they are also getting the legal side organized.
I am so thankful  that all the children are doing well and we can help to get everything organized also on the legal side.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Justin goes to Belgium....

 The new family: Ilse and Rudy Smets with their son Justin!!!
October 2013 Justin was brought to Amecet by the Police. he was only 1,5 month old. His mother couldn't care for him, she was always on the road, nobody knows where she is going or where she comes from. We found the father, but he was in no condition to care for him also. Our Social Workers have tried the family from both, but no one wanted to take this beautiful little boy into their family. There was only one option left: Adoption. We tried to find a local family, but didn't found the right family, and the right family was there.....but lived in Belgium!!!
The process was started through a Belgium organization. It was a long process, with Probation Office, Police, Lawyers and the Ugandan High Court. The parents to be, came to Soroti and lived nearby, so they could visit Justin every day and get the necessary bonding. That was not a problem, Justin loves them and he is waiting for them every morning.... They had to go to court twice and today was the big day!!!!!!
Justin was given to his new parents by the Probation Officer from Soroti. All the legal papers are finished, the Judge has given the positive ruling. It was a special moment and we said goodbye to Justin after 18 months of caring for him. We prayed for him and we would love to see him growing up as a handsome Belgian Ugandan man!! I am sure we keep in touch!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mark, holidays and power problems.

On February 7th Mark was brought in Amecet. We found his family, but he was not welcome there. you can read his story in the blog of Feb. 7, 2015. Our Social Workers, Elias and Simon worked on his case and they found an uncle in Arua, in the North of Uganda, where he is welcome! He left 4 days ago. Sarah (here with him on the picture) will miss very much, he was a cute gentle little man, we pray that he will bond in his new family and will grow up into a big gentle man!
The holidays have started again. The schools start here in February and they go for 12 weeks, than there is a holiday from 3 or 4 weeks. Elias is monitoring all the senior students and we have this year also several girls on courses. All those courses are boarding schools, so the students have to come with their mattress, jerrycan, basin and a metal box with lock, to put their belongings in. When it is holiday, they have to go home with all that stuff and bring it again in 3 or 4 weeks. Elias was busy with picking them from their schools and put them on vehicles to go back to their village. They also brought their reports, some were disappointing, some were okay......
Yesterday again a new baby was brought into Amecet, the doctor from the hospital called in the morning. The mother had passed away at 5 am, the father didn't know what to do, so they requested Amecet to take the baby for now. The mother had had a Cesarean, one week ago and she died now from complication with the liver and the kidneys. the baby was fed only on sugar water. But she will be fine.
Today we had another challenge, there was no electricity.... Amecet has a solar system and when that is not working anymore (like in the rainy season) we have a generator as a backup system. Sometimes we have children on the oxygen machine and we do need power then to run the machine, but our laundry machine does not work on those... so this morning there was an enormous mountain of dirty laundry.....
And being it a Sunday, our laundry lady and our kitchen lady are free, so there is always a lot of work! From left to right: Mary, Janet and Peace are attacking the mountain of laundry. After I made the picture, I also worked :).  We got everything done and hanging on the laundry lines and .........yes the electricity came back!!!!!! But it is clean, we are happy the electricity is back, even the water came back yesterday, after not being there for 2 days....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sleeping beauties.....

At the moment we have 15 small baby's in the house, 5 toddlers and 4 older children (5-13 years). And there is sometimes a lot of noise!! The children are cute and beautiful, but believe  me, when they are sleeping they are sooo beautiful!!!!!!
This picture is taken at a historical moment: all 8 little baby's are asleep!!! They are all beautiful and it is nice when they are resting, We have 3 beds with 2 baby's. We were full, but what do you do when they bring twins, like yesterday, very small and their mother just passed away that night?? Yes we take them in. But it is a lot of work and even those small baby's... they can cry!!! So we enjoy moments like this.
 Okello Emmanuel deep asleep. He is 10 days old and his mother passed away after the delivery.
 Thomas needs comfort after shaving his head (he had an infection). But is trying to sleep and his tumb will help him!
 Gerald doesn't want to sleep, he is 5 months old and ready to go home. But he doesn't cry and can just lay in his bed. playing with his hands and smiling to anyone who passes his bed.
 Baby Job is almost asleep, I like that, when their eyes are closing and they fight to stay awake, but then the sleep wins. Job is stable at the moment, but still needs your prayers
Justin was roaming around in our office and the next moment he is deep asleep on the floor!
 Mark didn't make it to his bed, he fell asleep at the table. almost with his head in his plate with posho and beans. Playing cost a lot of energy and wears you down......
Miss Norah didn't want to go asleep and tried to get out of her bed, she cried and called, but no one came to take her out, because it was her time to sleep!! Okay, she admitted it and fell asleep..........
Cathy (my daughter) goes to pre-school in the morning and she always sleeps in Amecet after lunch, sometimes it takes a while, when she is still too busy playing in bed.
This are the twins, they were brought yesterday, Mary and Joseph. Mary's weight is 1.5 kg and Joseph's weight is 1.8 kg. They are 1 week old and their mother died in the night. The baby's are small, and Joseph has a bad infection, probably through the umbilical cord. Janneke has to put him on IV drip and he gets IV medication. Mary also is on medication, but just via the mouth. They both drink well, so we think they will be fine. But they are to be watched....
I think you can understand why we are happy when the children are asleep!!! And they never sleep all at the same time, the night duty is busy at night with feeding and keeping up with all the baby's.
But they are beautiful!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Amecet went out for Easter lunch..

On Easter Monday the whole Amecet family went out for lunch, a big operation! We went with 34 adults, 5 children, 5 toddlers and 14 baby's. We were very organized, every child had "a mother" for the day. The fun began the day before, everybody was looking for nice clothes to dress her "child" in.
And everybody carried the bottle and a set extra clothes for her child. It was really fun and see here on the picture above, our big family, ready for take off! Simon was driving the YWAM bus. 
 When we came to the restaurant, we first arranged all the baby's. We had mats, blankets and some baby chairs for them. Every staff kept an eye on "her baby" and the feeding times and everything went very smoothly.
We had our chairs and the toddlers were just walking and playing around us. 
 Time to get our food, Tyonti scoops the "soupou" and everybody follows.
Enjoying the meal and the fellowship.
When the meal was finished, we could take a stroll in the garden, looking at the feeding of the fish in the pond. It was relaxing and nice. We wanted to celebrate together the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and have fellowship together and to say to our staff that we appreciate them for their hard work. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday in Amecet...

In Uganda Good Friday is a public holiday. The schools and public buildings are all closed, but Amecet is open, business as usual. It is so easy to go on with the daily life, baby's has to be fed, changed and some are sick. But we really wanted to remember together with the staff what Jesus had done for us. We had a mall gathering at 11 am. We read the story from the Bible and we were again touched by the love that the Father has for us, by giving His only Son, to die in our place. 
We shared the bread and the juice, to remember. 

While we having the Lord's Supper together and even during the singing, Gabdesia was laying asleep on the little mattress in the middle of the room. She is very weak and was back on IV drip. At the end, Anneke shared the communion with her together and prayed for her. 
This are precious moments.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baby Job is not doing well...

 Baby Job was born  in the village on the 8th of February. His father had died of HIV/AIDS just 5 months before that. One week after the delivery, his mother got complications and she passed away. But before she died, she burned all her medical papers. Nobody knows the HIV status of the mother and the family brought Job to us for help, he was now 2 weeks old. Job looked good, his weight was 3,6 kg. so we were not worried, but very shortly after he was in Amecet, he started to become sick. Diarrhea, vomiting, fungal infections, fever. Of course we did tests on him, but nothing was found, he started to loose weight, needed an IV drip, we went to other doctors and they wanted us to do an X-ray, they thought it could be TB. We had to start anti TB medication. We also did a DNA HIV test, but we are still waiting for those results..  Last week Job was so bad, we called the family to come and see him and so we could explain what was going on. We also asked several questions about how the 2 weeks at home  had been. We heard that the grandmother had looked after the baby and that the grandmother had TB. So it could be that Job really has TB....... 
Job stays now in our medical room, he needs oxygen and we feed him most of the time through a NG tube. Very regular there is no electricity, so we have an extension cable to plug into our Solar socket and if that is finished, we still have one more solution: the generator!! We ask your prayers for Job, maybe he is HIV+, we still wait for the results of the test, he will go than directly on ARV's. Pray that the anti TB medicines are helping him. Yesterday he got high fevers again, he stopped drinking and he is miserable, we don't know what else to do or treat at the moment..Please pray for Janneke, who is heading the medical department and for wisdom for the doctors who  treat him, pray for LIFE!! 

Gabdesia, our beautiful teenager.... The doctors changed her ARV's into stronger ones. She was very weak and could hardly walk anymore. She is doing a bit better, looking stronger and is able to walk around again. She smiles again and that gives everybody hope, she has a beautiful smile. Her weight is 15,5 kg, she should be at least 35-40 kg. There is still a big problem with eating and taking medicines. We ask your prayers for a real change of mind, we can't keep on going giving her feedings and medicines by NG tube.  Gabdesia has to make the decision that she wants to eat and take her medicines....