Sewing Project Update

Big question – how to condense all that’s happened with sewing into something quick for you to read?

Zeballos Cue
Regina at ZC not stopped smiling for 2 weeks now! Five women meeting on a Sat p.m. (Emilia, Cornelia her d-i-l, Deolinda, Regina and Mirta – can’t always come because has twin boys aged 12 and an older one. Husband Ramon works in wood yard.).   In the first week, E, C and D had made 5 different variations of the Judit bag, some smaller according to the cloth they had. All three decided to give their own first bags as an offering for the building fund. When I followed up with the cards with Jude’s scripture Matt 25.21 about the talents, both of us were amazed – that’s what they had done without knowing it!  They have made all the placemats – the one you see was the last and are planning how to make bags with other cloth they have. I took the photos in the school shop were Regina works. I can take her stuff on Weds when Luis comes to pick her up on his motorbike. She `s taken back the two Janomes on this.

San Andres

Marta,Teresa and Juana with their own bags

Marta,Teresa and Juana with their own bags

San Andres also gone mad about bags. Everyone made about 4 each with any cloth they could get hold off – this is a first. Teresa`s daughter has made some with lace on  I was overjoyed to see this, I`ve got bags and bags of lace. Both SA and ZC are

selling the bags for around 30.000 which is a good price. All three people at  SA  got orders for more, also at ZC.  Two great things had happened when I re-met this club. Club been given a good Singer from an ex missionary and Marta been given a good machine for home by Sharon  – so all feeling really good.

Not many people have finished their skirts but this is okay. Better that they practice on the bags and then return with more confidence to the skirt. In their minds this a tall order and they lack the time to concentrate on the zip. I’m sure we’ll get an opportunity to go back to this.  Miriam, the lady Jude helped with the zip, has finished hers.  Marie, an older lady with a machine that she fought with through not knowing it, is now making miles of sheets for her home and completely happy. Everyone has come a long way. Most are now happy on modern machines.  Juana, who had never really sewed with an electric or any machine is now making bags on a Janome at the club. She was given a 1946 treadle converted to electric which is okay but heavy going. Today I took her the Lervia from SL – a modern machine which sews beautifully but the bobbin winder has packed up. We discovered she can wind the bobbins on 1946 and sew on the Lervia!   David O has been saying for a while that the way forward could be machines at home (as reinforcers for those at the club) and this year that looks as if it is the way forward.

Breakthrough in self-sustaining/donation scheme
For ages been wondering how to handle cloth donations with clubs making things to raise money for church ministries where the participants themselves are poor and not making ends meet. In SA it’s been unclear for a long time and caused personal difficulties. Yesterday we hit on a scheme – a cloth bank. We can provide some cloth of certain types for the clubs to make what they can make to sell for their ministries and other cloth (prob for bags) at a reduced price for the participants to buy to make bags at home, now that most have machines at home.  Teresa`s daughter (SA) knows a good shop in Petirossi which sells good bag material cheaply. Sally, Teresa and I hope soon to make a round trip to visit this shop, the Pilar off cuts place and a great place further away which has a brilliant wool selection because we all want to knit more and wool or similar is not common here. It will be great to go with others because more heads are better than one any day.

Chaco, Rio Verde
Jeny and Sue McCaul launched sewing with 2-3 women, 2 Paraguayan and one Indian, and Marie (now more confident on her own machine) and Ed will talk to them about how to take this forward. All things worked together for good here, in spite of, and in the long run as we’ve seen with the two clubs above, the tough bit about turning women away this time. Their time will come and it will bring blessing and growth for them as it has for the two clubs above.

Caroline’s Wycliffe Skirt
When I’d finished my skirt and it was all perfect according to Wycliffe rules,  I couldn’t work out why I didn’t really like it. Then I saw a photo of the model Twiggy in a short skirt and jacket and got my answer. I’ve got legs (below the knee a bit) and I can do a Twiggy with them, if I have a good pair of skirt shoes (taking a leaf out of Christine`s book) .- so, another middle of the night job, I pinned up inches of the hem till it was the Twiggy height and hey presto, it looked better. I just have to take it in at the sides a bit and then re-draw my Wycliffe pattern and then I can go off for eternity making Twiggy skirts.


Thank you all of you so much for all the support and encouragement and effort and sacrifice you gave to make all this possible. Sally B is hugely encouraged, the long run up (Moira – you’ve been part of this) has led to this and we couldn’t have skipped any of that – that’s the Lord’s way and training.

God bless and lots of love, Caroline

Mission Paraguay Report 2008

Our Mission

Mission Paraguay works through the Anglican Church in Paraguay to provide funds and a volunteer work force to assist with practical projects, usually buildings, which the local church would find difficult, if not impossible to provide themselves. Through the Church we also fund activities with children and young people and a range of community based work to relieve need and hardship.
Each year groups of committed Christians of all ages travel to Paraguay to live and work in the community so gaining a unique opportunity to experience another culture; to see how the local church is working and growing; to share fellowship, laughing and sometimes crying together; to receive and show the love of God. People return home feeling that they have gained far more than they give. Many find that the experience deepens their Christian faith and for some it gives a new direction for their life as they review their priorities.


South America comes to Armagh!

Please pray for Rev Malcolm Kingston, and the local parishes of Kilmore and St. Saviours as they host a special South American Long Weekend taking place from February 6th to 11th. The planned programme is extensive, fun and focussed on mission matters here at home and overseas.

Fri, 6th Feb (7.30pm) : SAMS Friday Night Live in Craigavon Civic    Centre.  This annual celebration event never disappoints!  Peter and Cecilia will take part, as will the Shankill Parish Worship Group, Bishop Ken Clarke and Rev. Dr Maurice Elliott.

Sat, 7th Feb (7.30pm) : Salsa Night with Cecilia in Kilmore Parish Centre. Have you been inspired by the Latin Dances on Strictly Come Dancing, then ladies and gentlemen, come along for a lot of fun!

Sunday, 8th Feb : Morning Worship in both churches with Peter & Sally Bartlett, followed by BBQ in St Saviour’s Hall.

Sunday, 8th Feb, 7pm : Evening Worship with Cecilia in St Saviour’s.

Mon, 9th Feb, 7.30 – 8pm  : A meeting of Refresh (youth group for those of Secondary School age plus) with a South American theme,  in Kilmore Parish Centre.

Tues, 10th Feb : Church Girl’s Brigade South America Night in St Saviour’s Hall. All girls are most welcome! 

Greetings from Helen King – Red Box Project!

25th December 2008

To my very wonderful family and friends….

Hola from sunny (and slightly thundery) Salta!! This is my very first time bein in the southern hemisphere for Christmas and also I think the 1st time I’ve ever written a Christmas letter. (apart from those to Santa Claus)

Well as the muppets would say, there’s only one more sleep til Christmas. Although this year for me it’ll be quite different…no turkey dinner, no freezing/rainy weather, not bein with the familia , bein in a different hemisphere, there’s one thing that’s the same!!The reason we celebrate…the amazin fact that Jesus came to earth as a baby FOR US!! ‘She will have a son, and they will name him “Immanuel” which means ‘God is with us’! How excitin!!!!

They actually do most of the celebrating here on Christmas eve…today!!woohooo! In true Argentina style they start late at night and finish early in the morning!! Thats my favourite kind!! Although they don’t have church here on Christmas day, I’ve been part of a Nativity play as Mary and the other night a load of our church ones were playing CHRISTMAS CAROLS in the main plaze in town!beautiful!!

It’s going to be strange not being able to see you all and wish you Merry Christmas in person but know that I’ll be thinking of you and even if I’m enjoying Christmas here (which I’m sure I will be!) there’ll be a big part of me missing you and wondering whats goin on with each of you on Christmas day!Make sure you all enjoy some extra mince pies or roses chocolates or M&S Christmas food on my behalf!!(mmmmmm) I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and really feel God’s love and peace all around you! Don’t fofget that He is the reason we have this amazin season!!




Lots of Christmas love and hugs!

Helen xxx

The Chaco Project

We’re launching a new project to support the work of Beryl Baker in the Paraguayan Chaco. Berly is a nurse and has provided primary health care for indigenous communities in the Chaco for around 30 years.

To read more click on the image below to download the brochure.
Chaco Project

Boystown Orphanage


Boystown orphanage boysFifty years ago Boys Town was founded by the Revd. K. Riebs, at that time Chaplain to the English congregation at Christ Church, with the objective of rescuing abandoned boys from the streets of Rio de Janeiro and giving them a home and education to prepare them for life and avoid them falling into a life of crime. A site was obtained in the mountains in Araras, near Petropolis, away from the pollution and temptations of the city, where 68, or more, boys would live and go to school, and an Orphanage was established.

A school was started in Araras, by the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brasil, which continues to function very well today, and where all these 68 boys were able to study.

Therefore, many people are rightly asking, why Boys Town only has 14 boys resident today, despite the fact that the school is functioning very well.

I first came to know Boys Town in 1975 when it was very ably run internally by Edgar and Amy Nichols, a SAMS missionary couple with help from Revd. John Saunders and his wife Judith. A Board of Directors from the Brazilian Anglican Episcopal Church took care of the financial and business administration from the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro. I became a member of this Board of Directors shortly after that time and have remained on the Board ever since.

In 1975 we had about 67 boys occupying the older buildings and also enjoying newer buildings which had just been completed. After Edgar Nichols died suddenly, the Board of Directors was faced with the problem of finding someone to continue as internal administrator. Several people tried for short periods and much of that time involved the then treasurer, Mrs. Irene Steinberg, and myself on occasion, spending time at the Home caring for the everyday needs of the boys. Finally we found a couple who were able to live there and take over the internal administration, which they did for some 20 years, until retiring a few years ago. Since then the Board has continued with the work employing various internal administrators, but many things have changed.

In 1990 a Federal Law was passed bringing in the “Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente” known as ECA. All child care institutions are governed by this Statute, which although well intentioned often defeats the purpose, making it impossible for an NGO to comply with all the rules and regulations governing child care. The cost of caring for each child has been more than trebled for us because of the exigencies of these laws which include the necessity of employing professional staff, such as psychologist, nutritionist and social worker, as well as the normal people needed to care for a large “family”, 24 hours, 7 days a week but who, by law, can only work for so many hours at a time!

Officially the word – orphanage – no longer exists! It is now a “Shelter” and a child may only be “kept” there for a limited time with every attempt being made to return the child to family or find a substitute family (adoption). This in itself is good, but often to return a child to his family requires a great deal of work with that family, sometimes helping the family to larger and better accommodation, treatment for parents with problems (alcohol and drug abuse), providing a “cesta basica”, finding employment for them as well as making sure that the child is adequately cared for, not left on the street to his own devices, while his parents are working. This last is part of our new objective to provide this help to boys and their families, we are working towards a program of Day Care, where children can come to Boys Town in the morning or afternoon when they are not at regular school, enjoy a good meal, and receive help from qualified teachers in their studies as well as extracurricular activities.

At this moment we only have 14 boys living at Boys Town, but on the premises we have a lively pre-school program, are developing a crèche as well as the Day Care. We hope to have at least 40 children benefitting from these new outreaches by the beginning of next year.

A final point, owing to limitations of judicial areas we are no longer able to receive boys from any other municipal area but Petropolis, which includes Araras, therefore the original objective of Rev. Riebs of rescuing boys from Rio is no longer possible, in fact we had a year long fight over one little boy who was very happy with us, but was not allowed to stay because he came from another municipality! So that is why we are having to change our objectives, but we hope to continue to rescue children, and their whole families, with the help of our faithful supporters during all these years.

Noreen Smith.

Megan Johnston’s blog

Megan and CescillaMegan Johnston has started a blog on her experience with the Red Box project in Argentina! Here is a snipit.

Well I returned safe and sound after a 6 day conference to Misa Rumi on the Argentine/Bolivian Boarder. It was quite an experience to be honest! During the main conferences I taught 54 children in total, basically the Happy Hours that I mentioned before. Alot of Games, Songs and teachings which was really great. Although the children where soo shy as its a very traditional place so sometimes it felt like I was doing all the talking…no change there I suppose!

Read more in her blog. More about Megan.

Helen King

Helen King

Helen King

I’m Helen and I went to Argentina as a Red Box Project volunteer as part of my university year abroad! It was a significant time for me and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share with so many wonderful people in South America.

La Caldera 2010

Following the successful mission trip by young people from Down and Dromore Diocese to Northern Argentina SAMS Ireland is launching a new project – La Caldera 2010. The project aims to help the Anglican church in Northern Argentina to develop following several difficult years.

La Caldera retreat centreLa Caldera is a retreat centre 30 minutes from the regional capital Salta. It is a key centre for the ministry of the diocese as it is the focus for outreach and ministry training. The original building is 100 years old and badly in need of repair. In July 2008 the team of young people started to help rebuild the retreat centre. Following this trip Bishop Harold Millar has asked that the young people of Down and Dromore and DDYC will help with an on-going project called la Caldera 2010.

Dani and Flavia LescanoAnother key part of this project will be to sponsor the training of ordinands in the Anglican church in Argentina. Key ministry students will be identified and brought to Ireland to meet interested churches. The students will spend some time getting to know the congregation who will then follow their progress through theological college in South America and pray for them as they begin ordained ministry. The first students to be chosen are Dani and Flavia Lescano, they are just starting their 2nd year in theological training in Buenos Aires.

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