helen blackburn
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Helen Blackburn

Category: Career Missionary
Candelero Street Kids

Personal Journey | Helen accepted Jesus at a Barry Moore Crusade in Saskatoon in 1971. In 1972 she took a year’s leave of absence from the Calgary School Board and left for Briercrest to find out about the Christian life. One year turned into three and after graduation at BBI she left for Swaziland in 1975 with AEF. In 1979, she entered Multnomah School of the Bibleand upon graduating in 1981, returned to teach and finish her BEd after her degree in Calgary. After her dad’s passing in 1983, she contacted the EFCM and left for France for a year of French and returned to Africa in 1986. Helen was commissioned as a Career Missionary with the EFCCM (now ServeBeyond) in Calgary in 1990 and returned to Bau, Zaire, until all expatriates were evacuated in 1991. Sevastopol, Ukraine was her next posting where she taught English at School #3 and held home Bible studies as follow-up to Summer English Institutes. In 1999 she was refused a new visa and given 10 days to leave the country. In the fall of that year she began Russian studies in Columbia, SC and left for Russia in 2000. She worked at the State Educational Center in St. Petersburg, teaching English and Bible, until 2004 when she returned to Canada. Helen retired in 2005 but accepted the Lord’s leading to Tarija, Bolvia where she now lives and works.

Current Ministry | Helen finished Spanish studies at RGBI in May of 2011 and left for Bolivia to join the work of El Candelero Kids. She lives in a small house close to El Candelero Boys’ Home, in the country. Helen works closely with Heather MacKnee at the Boys’ Home. They are working with the Bolivian Government to get the Home fully accredited. When she is not working at the home Helen helps one day a week at the Children’s Support Centre in Tarija (also run by Heather MacKnee), and teaches English classes two days a week in the city.

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