Friday was the official ending of the Amun week. In the morning we had a teaching about the good of education, with Elias and Andrew. Then the groups went to practice a drama about one of the lessons they have had. And after one hour they presented the drama's in the big group. It was fun to see the creativity of the different age groups about HIV/AIDS, honesty and family life. Of course we made our group picture and we had a nice meal with a soda. We also had the official ending in a big circle and giving our struggles to God, in believe that He will help us with the,m, because: everything is possible when I believe!!!!
Yesterday we talked a lot about HIV/AIDS. We did the first session in a quiz form, so that they were teaching each other. They really know a lot about HIV/AIDS. And it was good to see them explaining to one another. We talked about the ARV medicines, all the children are on ARV's, they know where they talk about... Then we had a lesson about acceptance, that was a tough one. It is hard to accept your status, it is a process and we talked about the phases of that process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then the last one acceptance. The last item was: disclosure of your status to others, that was difficult, the children are afraid to be rejected. Many of them have been rejected so much in their life.. We gave some steps they could take. In the afternoon we had our four peer groups and they all talked a lot about the teaching from that morning. They were very open and shared their own experiences. Some were very painful.
Today we started with singing clapping and dancing, we only had half of the tent, because the other half had collapsed. Yesterday a big rainfall came down, just after our games and the tent fell. They came with new poles and while we were singing the tent was set up again. Julius is leading the singing, together with Sharon and Samuel.
Every year we invite all the older HIV+ children, who have been with us before in Amecet, for the Amun week. A week full of teaching, singing, sharing and having fun together. This year the theme is: "all things are possible, when I believe" and we gave them all a T shirt with the theme at the back. The children arrived on Saturday, they are all staying in Amun home, with some in Amecet home. We have a tent in the compound of Amun home, in the tent are all the meetings. We have 50 children staying with us, so we got extra staff to help with this event from the YWAM base. It is such a joy to see them back, some are now teenagers and they are going to secondary school. To thin k that some were baby's when they were in Amecet, or toddlers. To see them all back gives me such an encouragement, all the children are HIV+ and they all are taking their ARV's, but they are a testimony that it is possible, that they can live normal lives. Of course it is not always easy, there are problems and specially when they are getting older. We try to listen to them and also to give advice and encouragement,. There are also children from 10, 11 and 12 years old, they have still to learn a lot, but it is so good to see the older children, take care of the young one's.
As people, all over the world, remember their loved ones who passed away due to HIV/AIDS, we at Amecet do it also on our own humble way. We lost this year 7 children, not all on HIV/AIDS, some were too small to check.....We remember every child, several staff members tell their story, we say their name and we light a candle. We remember where they came from, how their situation was and how they passed away. It is painful and some tears are flowing again, one staff member narrated how one little girl came in Amecet, due to malnutrition and sickness, the mother had died after the delivery. The baby went home after some months, very healthy, then one morning in July of this year, the father came at the gate, the baby got sick and was admitted in the hospital, where she died. He was on his way home, with the body of his little girl in a sack, which he left outside our gate, because he didn't know if we would allow him in with a dead body..... (read the blog of 4/7/2018) Some of us cried again, hearing this story, the suffering is so great... The little pre-mature baby, whose mother had down syndrome and was raped. The baby lived only 5 days.... Another girl of 13 years old, she died of HIV/AIDS, she suffered so much (blog 11/6/2018). We know those little one's are with Jesus, their suffering is over, no more injections, no more ARV's and no more pain!! But sometimes you get overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of the children, there are so many more who are sick and rejected. We always have a big vase with flowers on the table, next to the candles, these flowers represent the children who went back home well and who are shining and blossom!! We end our small ceremony with singing songs of thanksgiving to God for all that we could do in His name through Amecet.... For some we are a doorway to Heaven, for many a way to shine again!!
Every year it is a big happening, the graduation of our Harmony Pre-school!! It is every time such a joy to see those little one's in a gown and wit a cap! They are so proud of themselves, they are still so young and innocent... There were 40 graduates, this year. It was a nice party, we started a bit late, the electricity went off, so they had to go for a generator. There were two tents, but there was so much wind (as it is the beginning of the hot season) one of the tents went almost into the air, so all the parents took their chair and moved in the shade of a big tree.
Lately, we have been receiving children with such sad and sometimes horrible stories. It almost breaks your heart, when you realize what is going on.... The baby that was rescued from the pit latrine, after 5 hours being inside the pit, thrown in by the mother. She is struggling at the moment.... Then there was a baby brought in Amecet from the maternity ward in the Hospital. The mother killed at night the grandmother, who was taking care of them in the hospital. She was stabbed to death. The mother was taken to the Police, the family was outraged (it was the mother of the father who died) and the baby left in the hospital. The baby was brought to Amecet, because the family was too upset to care for the baby. The last news we got from them is that also the father is now admitted in the psychiatric ward... Last week a child of 2 years was brought, his mother died and the father has been lynched some months ago, when he tried to rob a motorcycle and killed the driver in the process... Two days ago a baby of 6 months was brought, the mother has a mental illness and the child was not safe at home......When you look into their eyes, you can just see the suffering, as young as they are. We try very hard to get a smile on their face, but it is very hard at times.... I am sometimes worried, where will the children go back to?? Who will care for them?? Who will dry their tears?? Who will protect them?? We need the hand of the Lord, we need the wisdom of the Lord. I know that He cares for them and I am honored to be His Hand and Voice where I can........
Friday, it was almost 6 pm,, baby Grace was brought by the nurse from the maternity ward in Soroti Hospital. She came together with the mother and the auntie of the baby. The mother was a young girl of 17 years and she was still in Primary school. Nobody knew that she was pregnant and last week on Wednesday, she delivered alone, at school. Nobody saw it, she gave birth behind the pit latrine and when the baby and the placenta were out, she threw them in the latrine. The pit latrine are the toilets here, it is a very deep pit and the latrine is build on top. Especially on a school, the latrine is used a lot.
It is almost the end of the school year. In our school, Harmony Primary School, we have this year 13 candidates, this are students who are in P 7, and are doing their exams next week. This is a big event in Uganda, those exam results will give you entrance in the secondary school and are very important. Wednesday morning we had a time of celebration and prayers for them. All the teachers and the other 6 classes were present and also several representatives of YWAM Soroti, as the school is part of the YWAM Soroti family. It was a happy time, with singing, and all the other 6 classes did a song for them. A time to encourage them and pray for them. And of course there was a cake........ They have their days of exams on Monday and Tuesday........