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, October 27, 2016

In prison, but able to go to school...

Every week we go with some of our staff to the Prison. There are several women in Prison with small children,. We visit them and bring them some porridge flour, sugar and soap. Sometimes we bring some toys, or biscuits or bananas for them as an extra. At the moment, there are seven children staying with their mother in Prison, some are even born there, while there mother was in prison. They have never lived outside the walls of the prison. Some years ago, we were able to build a small playground for them and it is so nice to see them play on the swing or slide down on the slide...
Some time ago one of the mothers asked us if her daughter could go to our nursery school, she had seen the school bus picking up some children of the prison wardens and wondered if this could happen to her daughter. We agreed and the little girl is doing well in school, she is in baby class. It was another world for her, but she loves it and she brings back the songs and stories from school to the prison. Last week the prison authorities asked if there would be a possibility if more children could join her. At the moment there are 6 children from around three years, living in prison with their mother.. It would be so good for them, seeing that the world is so much bigger than the wall of the prison. Simon and I decided to go for it and we talked with the Head Mistress of the nursery school, and....they are welcome to join.... I looked in our basket with school uniforms and I found for the girls some uniforms. we have to get new ones for the boys. We are looking for some shoes, but we had still some small schoolbags in the storage, we bought some pencils and notebooks and see here the new pupils of Harmony Nursery school!!
They were so proud of their bags, I am sure some will sleep with them, tonight!!!! The school bus will pick them tomorrow morning and brings them back around noon!
We also brought a basin for every child, and some skin lotion. We brought some flasks for the mothers to keep the porridge warm.
If anyone wants to help us, paying the school fees for them, please let us know, you can contact us via our email:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Renovation: Happy Birthday and Goodbye....

 How is that, to come to Uganda to celebrate your 65 th Birthday!!! Gosse, (here on the picture) came together with the team to renovate Amecet home! How special is that!!!!
 There was a cake with 65 on it and we had a old fashion, very Dutch "lang zal hij leven" song for him and he had to stand on his chair!!

The team counts 12 people and yesterday we said goodbye to 5 of them! They had to go back to jobs and families in the Netherlands! We are so grateful for all the hard work they have done! A special meal we gave them as a thank you (sponsored by the Figurant).  Everybody enjoyed the meal and there was lots of fellowhip and swallowship!!
 After the meal we had our traditional singing and dancing, it was quite a happening! The next morning (today) they stepped in the car which took them to Entebbe airport and they will fly back to a cold and rainy Holland!!

Smiling and 4.6 kg. more in 2 months!!!

 Her father came to pick her and I am sure he hardly recognised her!!! Paska gained 4.6 kg. in only two months. She is also smiling and moving around.

In August, Paska was brought to us as a very unhappy, crying severe malnourished girl. She was almost 6 years old and has brain damage, probably because of cerebral malaria (?). She was not easy, she could bite you, beat you and in the beginning,she cried most of the time. She is also blind, or she sees only a bit of light. But she loves to eat and that made her the way she is now. She is also smiling a lot and loves clapping her hands. When she hears you she moves in your direction and holds your legs. She can stand and she walks at your hand. We could help with the malnurtition, but the brain damage is beyond us. There is a possibility that Paska can go to a local centre where they work with childeren with a disability. We pray that there is space for her! We keep on helping the family with porridge flour and sugar

Goodbye Paska, we will  miss you, we pray for you!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Day of departures......

 We could say Goodbye to three of our babies today!! It is a joy to hand over the healthy baby back to the family!!  In the morning the father of the twins Stella Rose and Florence came, together with a grandmother and her sister. You can see them sitting on the picture above.

The two little girls were brought to Amecet on the 8th of August. The mother had passed away after the delivery. They were small, 2 kg only and they didn't want to drink. We had to feed them in the beginning by NG tube.

But they picked up, started to drink and gain... Today we could give them to a happy family, weighing 5 kg and 5.1 kg.

  Emily was brought 10 days later, her mother also passed away after the delivery. We did not have many problems in feeding Emily, she also grew and started even to smile.
 Today the probation officer came to hand her back to her father. The grandmother will care for her, together with her auntie. It is so nice that the children were all welcomed with joy into their families.
We prayed over them as they received their child back and we cleaned their little beds. I wonder how long they will be empty.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Business as usual.....

Even the renovation is going in full swing, a team of 12 Dutch people are working in Amecet, still business is going on as usual!!

Topista and Jackson on the little scooter that the team brought from Holland! On the picture you can see Topista and the special shoes and the braise that the doctor gave her. We have been to the Orthopedics with Topista every week for many times, every week they renewed the plaster on her leg, forcing the right foot into the right position. Now she has the shoes, for day and night, she is very good in removing them, but we have to put it back every time. She is getting used to it, she moves on her tummy through the house.. And she can even sit on the scooter, which she was very proud of!!! 

All kind of things are happening, we had two groups of people in our compound, yesterday. They are all coming for the same baby. The mother died after giving birth and the family of the late mother want the baby, but the father and his family also want the baby. They are not really in very good terms... At least there were 15 people at our doorstep. We referred them all to the Probation Office (child protection unit) they need help with sorting out what the best place for the baby will be. In one way it is good, this baby will have a place to go to and is very wanted, we have often babies, nobody wants or who are a burden to the relatives... But it needs good and careful guidance.
Then a boy was brought to Amecet, he is one of our older children, who have been twice in Amecet, he was resettled with his mother and we kept an eye on him. But now he seems to be very confused, he was stealing from a shop and was acting strange, they took him to the police and when they asked him where is your home, he answered Amecet, so they came here with him. We gave him food and Simon went to get his mother, there was counselling, the boy was not doing well, We didn't dare to keep him in Amecet, he is not safe for the other children. Simon talked with them and brought them to the HIV clinic, where they also know them. Today, we will check on them again.
Then a family with three children showed up at our doorstep. The children were all blind, or almost blind and they father said that they have all three cancer in the face/eyes. They were from outside Soroti, someone had tipped them that we might be able to help them... I nearly cried when I saw the children, the boy was maybe 11 years old, one eye was already removed, but one of the girls had one eye which was so swollen and infected, she must have a lot of pain...  What could I do??? We talked a bit and gave some advice, they wanted help for medication and education. We  explained what we are doing as Amecet, that I couldn't help them, I felt so bad, this family was suffering so much. At the end we just helped them with transport money, they need to go to Kampala, to Mulago hospital...
This is baby Esther, her mother was a couple of weeks ago at our doorstep, if we could please help her. She was very weak and sick (HIV+) and it all was too much for her. We talked with her and told her that she should talk with her husband and come back with a letter of her local counselor. It is risky to take a child just like that, what do we do when the mother disappears, how do we find the relatives of this baby? The next day she came back with a letter of her husband and of their local leader and we took Esther into Amecet. The mother also needed to go for treatment, and if we would take care of her baby, she could take care of herself. She was very happy, two weeks ago she came to visit her baby, she told us that she had been admitted into the hospital for a week. She was so happy to hold her baby.. We are worried about baby Esther, she is not gaining so well, is weak and has been on IV treatment and still not doing good. Today she is getting blood transfusion, maybe that will give strength, she is anemic. We are also doing the HIV test today, since she is 6 weeks old now. We pray that she is negative....
I'll end with a good news: Max is now breathing well on his own, we stopped the oxygen machine and his weight is 2.3 kg!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Renovation: the floor is done..... and now the rest.......

 This is the floor in the living room!!! It looks really beautiful!
 The bedrooms all have this same design.
And this is the veranda outside! The Kitchen is not yet done, but the team from Holland can now work in all the rooms, there is a lot that has to be done. We are happy that the floor is (almost) finished , so that the team can go in full swing!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Renovation and.....Max is over de 2 kg.!!!!!

 Let me start with the news about Max!! We just weighed him and he is over  2 kg.!! He is stronger than before, but he has been still on oxygen until now. We tried to take him from the oxygen, but the saturation dropped so much, we had to put him back on the machine. He is on oral medicines and he drinks by him self! We see a change and we just have to be patient. Deborah, our nurse is holding him on the picture, she has been very good with the little man.
Then the renovation news.......
Tuesday evening, a team of 12 people arrived from Holland, they are very eager and ready to work! They brought tools and many other things, we feel so blessed! They know what to do and after orientation they started to work:

 The electricity gets attention, the team brought ceiling ventilators for every room!!!

A lot of sanding has to be done, as you see in almost every room someone is working on something.....
 Riemke has been with us in the past, helping with the babies, but now she is back to help with the sanding and the painting and the cleaning..... You can see on this picture a little bit how beautiful the floor wil be!!
 If you look good at this picture, you can see the dust from the sanding coming out of windows.
And in the mean time one other man from the team is reparing our incubator in our office!!! The thermostat was not working anymore, so they brought as new one and fixing it! 
We are all so excited about all the work that will be done, after 15 years of intensive use of the Home, it is so good that this is happening!! I will keep you informed via this blog....

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Rejoice with Joyce!!!

I picked Joyce in April 2016 from the Police office. They had called Amecet, there was a lady who had "found" Joyce and had moved around with the little baby, asking people and churches for help. The lady was a bit confused and not fit to care for the baby.  That is how Joyce came into Amecet. There has been a search for the biologic mother, but all in vain, it was sure that the biological mother didn't want to be found. Joyce had a septic infection when she came, but for the rest she was okay, we tested her for HIV and she was found negative!!
We have been also looking for a fit family for Joyce and we found them!!

This are her new mother and father. They have been visiting her during the past weeks and they went to the probation Office for interviews and filling of forms. 
 The Probation Officer went to see their home and all was very good and nice. So there was nothing that could stop this family from fostering, and later adopt little Joyce!
 Today, the Probation Officer came to give Joyce to the family and there was an official handover!
 Together we prayed over Joyce and her new family, That He will bless the bonding process and will protect the family! Lots of reason to rejoice today with Joyce!!
Baby Max is still on oxygen, he starts to drink a bit, we see improvement, but last night he had a fever, so please keep praying for Max.......

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We found a home for Immaculate and Daniel

 On September 13, the Probation Officer asked us, if we could help with the caring for two abandoned children. A girl of around 6 years and her little brother of 4 years. Their father was in jail and the mother left the children behind, nobody knows where the mother is. the children were malnourished, very dirty and had wounds on their heads. After a nice bath and clean clothes (which made them very excited!) we took them to the doctor for tests. They were both HIV-, so we thank God for that, but they had both infections and malaria, so the treatment was started directly. 
There were investigations being done to the whereabouts of the mother, but all in vain. One day, someone tipped Simon (our social worker) that the mother was in Soroti hospital, giving birth. So Simon and the probation officer drove to the hospital, but she was not there... They tried to ask people in the place where they had lived, but no one had seen the mother.  
In the meantime  it went very well with Immaculate and Daniel, all their infections were treated, and also their skin was infections were treated and had disappeared. They each gained two kg. they played a lot and they also smiled a lot!! When you see those 2 pictures of the same children, what a difference, and that in only 3 weeks!! It makes me so excited, this is what we want to do, care for children in a time of need, but then bring them back to their families.... And that was a bit difficult, because their father was in jail and the mother ran off. Simon took both children to the prison, to visit their father. The father didn't know that the mother was gone, but Simon was able to get the contacts of his parents and according to the father, would they be able to care for the children. In the next week Simon and the probation officer went to look for the grandparents. They found them and they were very willing to look after their grandchildren. There was even a great-grandmother!!!!
This are the grandparents, they came this morning to Amecet and the Probation office to take the children back to their home. Simon and the Probation officer travelled with them to hand them official over into the care of the grandparents
 Immaculate and Daniel standing in their new home with their great-grandmother!

The Probation officer inspect the hut where they will sleep. The children were happy with their new home!

In only 3 weeks we were able to bring the children into a safe environment, where they were welcome and where they will be able to grow up. I think it was a successful story!
A small update on our mini Max, he is still on oxygen, but we see some improvement, he was able to drink a little, but the lungs are still the big problem. He has still a way to go, but he is onhis way. Pls. keep praying for this little man!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A tragic day....

When I arrived in Amecet, this morning, I got the news that there were now 2 babies very sick. At 5 am that mornin, Richard, the new baby who arrived in Amecet on Sunday (read my last blog) got serious breathing problems. Esther had taken him to the clinic at 5 am. The baby was on oxygen and on IV medication. Still Max was not doing well and also still in need of the extra oxygen. I got the doctor of the clinic next door, to come and look at them. Dr. Engulu was very willing to come and examine the babies and to give advice.
 It was hard work for Deborah, with two critically ill babies. She attended to them the whole time. When we tried to feed Max, he got again very serious, his oxygen level dropped and he was gray from color. Also Richard was on and off, I called the fathers of both children, to explain the situation and to ask them to come and see their children. I feel that it is better to be honest, it may be the last time that they can see them??!
In the afternoon  I had to go to the YWAM base, when I left it was a bit stable, so I asked them to call me when anything was changing. After 30 minutes I got a phone call; please come the baby has just passes away. I thought it was Max, but no, it was Richard....... I drove quickly back to Amecet, crying, for the lost baby. If you see the picture from yesterday, it was such a beautiful little boy!!! In Amecet I called the father and told him the news. We would get a small coffin and bring the baby home. So they could just wait for us. The staff was also upset, it went so fast, we gathered in the small room to pray together for Richard's family and spoke out our trust in God, that He knows the whole picture, we have only a little piece and we don't understand why this happened..... 
After that we anointed Max with oil and prayed together for his healing.
We laid the little body of 2.7 kg and 48 cm long in the little coffin and Elias carried it to the car. They are on their way now to bring him home, we believe that he is already HOME! 

We are staying behind with a lot of questions, and another little boy, fighting for his life. Please pray for Max and also for us, the staff.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Suddenly Baby Max got very sick...

We always weigh all the children on Sundays, and yesterday was a happy day. We have a room now with 7 small babies, some premature, but they are all underweight and very vulnerable. We keep the door closed and some babies are fed there, they do not come out, it is warm and safe there.
Yesterday, all the babies had gained!  Some had gained 200 grams, others 400 grams! The little Lazaro, who I am carrying here, gained 250 grams!! And mini Max, I wrote about him in an earlier blog, gained 200 grams! They are drinking good and there is reason to rejoice, until today....
We even got a new baby yesterday, this is baby Richard, he is not even 1 day old, he was born at home at10 pm, saturday evening. The mother got complications, the placenta didn't come out, so they brought her in the night to the hospital in Soroti. But she has lost too much blood and shortly after the arrival in the hospital, she passed away.... A beautiful baby boy was brought to Amecet, if we could just help to care for him for some months..... We have now 14 small babies, all younger than 10 weeks. One room with 7 mini babies and one room with 7 ''bigger'' babies. Richard got the last bed in the room with the bigger babies, because his weight was 2.7 kg.
As I wrote that we were happy yesterday, until today...
Deborah was called by one of the staff, because Max was breathing strange. She went directly to see him and felt that she should take him to the Doctor. There he was examined and he was really in distress, he was given IV medication and we took the NG tube out, so he could breath better. We lay him now in our medical room and put him on IV fluids and on oxygen. He seems to be a bit better...
Esther is on night duty, and she has medical skills, she will look after him well. But it is scary sometimes, how suddenly the situation will change. Max was a premature baby, so his lungs were not yet ready for breathing and that makes him so vulnerable. Please pray for little Max , that he may pull through.....

 PS. I just called Esther (on the picture above). He is much better, he is breathing better and he even drank 40 ml. milk by mouth.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

We found the mother of Susan....

 This little girl was brought to Amecet by the Police on August 2. She could say her name, she was called Susan. She had been moving around with a lady, who some people said that she was her mother and some said she was not... Very confusing, Susan said that her mother was selling fish, we tried to ask if she knew where, she said some places and our Social workers, Simon and Elias went checking around. We put her picture in the local newspaper, we ran radio messages on the local radio station every day, after the news, for one week... No one reacted on this, we found the lady she had been with, we visited the village of the lady, there we heard that Susan was not the child of that lady. Simon and Elias tried to gather information from the community and they went around to hang posters, but even those posters did not bring any more information...
Susan was doing well, after treating the bad malaria which she had, when she first arrived in Amecet, she was strong and healthy. She was happy playing with the other children and was quite a naughty girl..
Our Social workers felt that the key person was still the lady she had been moving with, before she came to Amecet. So they asked around, but the lady was gone, no one had seen her since.. the Police was also involved and was also looking out for the lady. Then last week, Elias got a phone call, we were in the middle of something, but he said, I have to go, someone called that they saw the lady.... So he ran away, picked the police  and went to the  person who just spotted the lady. the police arrested her and she was brought to the Police station. She had been telling many lies before and her story had changed at least 2 times, but after one night in the police cells we got at last the real story....
The lady had had a relationship with the father of Susan and when she left hm, she had taken Susan with her. The mother lived separated from the husband. It was a place quite far from Soroti, but the next day, Elias went to investigate. He found the father and also (separated) the mother and the siblings of Susan. There was no doubt that this were her brother and sisters, they all looked alike!
This is her mother (left behind) and her brother and 2 sisters. The mother had been looking for her, but had no idea that Susan  was all the way in Soroti. The role of the father is a bit strange in the whole story... Elias told them to come to Soroti the following morning.
 And so they did, Susan was so happy to see her mother again!! Elias went with them to the Police to clear everything and we were able to release Susan, back to her parents.

This was one of the most  confusing tracing stories we have until now. It has been a lot of talking, travelling and searching, but it is all worth while when you see the smile from Susan and her mother.
Well done Simon and Elias!!!