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Helping Hands Team Mozambique

23 October 2014


We arrived at Maputo airport on Sunday morning 21st September where missionary, Melvin Kelly, was waiting for us.  First impressions were like that of any other city until we started to encounter the bumpy roads on our way to the OMS compound at Machava which was to be our home for the duration of our stay.  Sharon and Melvin invited us for lunch and it was nice to spend some time playing with their kids and getting to know them all as a family. As we had been travelling for 24 hours we went back to our house to have the batteries charged before orientation in the evening!
Margaret and I initially joined the team to assist with the Nkateko project by teaching the pastors wives to crochet, and our first session was Monday Morning at the compound.   This was a very special time for us as we were greeted with hugs and kisses from all these lovely ladies and two of the leaders from the National Church also came to welcome us to Mozambique and prayed for us.  The women were eager to learn this new craft and quite a few had mastered it before hometime.  During our stay we were able to meet up with these ladies again and it was so encouraging to see their enthusiasm and eagerness as they each brought along different samples which they had made at home.  We also visited several women who were housebound and taught them to crochet.  This  took place on a rush mat under a tree or on the doorstep which proved to be an attraction in the community as the local women, children and sometimes men, gathered round to observe what we were doing.
All of the team were involved in home visits, which we all found to be very humbling as people very readily invited us into their homes.  They talked openly about the difficulties they faced e.g. wheelchair tyres always getting punctures or perhaps in need of maintenance, mobility issues etc. and this is when Helping Hands can offer to carry out any necessary repairs and also provide knee pads.  Someone from the group would then read a passage from the Bible and share a few thoughts, while another would commit the family and their needs to the Lord in prayer before leaving.  During our time in Mozambique we touched over 50 people with disability and the Helping Hands team will continue to keep in contact with them.
We hosted Health seminars in two different locations which were very well attended.  Michelle gave two very informative talks on Nutrition and Diahorrea and it was good to see audience participation.  Dr Mario Gomez also spoke on Anaemia, Blood Pressure and Diabetes.  Afterwards, everyone availed of the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked by Dr Gomez and ask questions regarding any health issues they had.
We also had the opportunity to visit the Arco Irish Orphanage and were invited to have our lunch in the dining hall with the children, who were not shy about coming to sit with us at the table.  It was nice to see that these kids were being well fed and cared for and we were very impressed with their manners.  Our main focus was on the special needs unit where we played, nursed, sang, kicked football etc. with the kids.  Mama Sonia, who is in charge of the unit, is very passionate about her work and her vision would be that the children could stay there 24/7.
Our time in Mozambique flew by as we had a full schedule each day, and it was especially hard to say our goodbyes.   Each of us left feeling very challenged, humbled and blessed and trust that we have been a blessing to those we came in contact with during our stay.

Team members – Margaret McClure, Anne Caulfield, Audrey Knox, Michelle Heffer.

If you would like information about joining a similar team in 2015 please contact Stephen Mairs<>

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Nkateko Crafts now selling in the Christian Book Centre, Ballyclare

Nkateko is excited to announce that the Christian Book Centre in Ballyclare is now stocking Nkateko crafts. We are really grateful for this new partnership that is doing such a great work making Christian literature available to the general public. They also stock a wide range of gifts including hats, wall art, and stationary. So pop in, see our lovely Nkateko stock, (including our new broaches which are proving very popular) and support this local business.



Nkateko Crafts now selling in the Mustard Seed, Cullybackey

Nkateko is very pleased to announce that the Mustard Seed Cullybackey is now stocking our beautiful crafts. Located at 84 Main Street, Cullybackey, Northern Ireland BT42 1BW and open Monday to Saturday from 8.30am – 5pm. They stock all types of books; children’s, youth, devotions, biographies and Bible studies, as well as CD’s and Christian gifts. Also available is a range of greeting cards and general gifts. The shop also has a coffee area where they serve hot and cold drinks, homemade scones, pastries, cakes and sandwiches. So pop in buy some Nkateko and see what other gems you find!

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Nkateko Etsy Store

With new and exciting developments to our products, we are also excited to announce that we are developing our Etsy store so that people all over the UK can engage with the Nkateko vision and purchase items. Please take this opportunity to have a look at our items and spread the news over Facebook.

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A Passion For Life : Armagh 2014

1904163_445581918878749_2019506026_n Thursday 10th April 2014 – Armagh City Hotel – Passion For Fashion

Looking forward to what promises to be another great event where Nkateko is not only able to show case our lovely stock but also benefit from Biblical teaching and encouragement. Thursday night is the ladies night “Passion for Fashion” and the beautiful Nkateko range will be available for sale. See the links below…

Blossom Ladies

Blossom Jewellery and Craft Evening

Craft Eve at Blossom

Blossom – Muckamore Presbyterian

Blossom Ladies







This was my first event taking a craft and jewellery party.

The Blossom Ladies from Muckamore Presbyterian had asked me to come and share with them.

We made flowers from twine, similar to those we use on our Nkateko packaging, and layered them up on canvases with burlap and decorated them with ribbons, stampers and buttons.

While explaining the craft we thought about how we can put our rootsinto God’s Word, be individual, the fragrance of Christ,let our light shine like a sunflower, and how we can support the

ladies in Mozambique as they do this too. It was amazing to see with the same materials how different our individual designs were. Thank you so much ladies!


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Helping Hands Event 28th Feb – Craig McMillan

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 18.17.04Last night Helping Hands had their second event highlighting the needs of those who live with disability. The key speaker was Craig McMillan who shared a message that spoke straight to everyone’s heart, because while very personal he reminded us of the underlying truth that each of us have our struggles throughout life. But throughout his testimony he was pointing us all to the One who walks beside us through it all, and has a bigger plan for the way He is shaping us to become more like him. Craig’s personal testimony somehow became a personal message tailored to each individual. Clearly God’s Spirit moving through what he had to share. I am very thankful to have been able to have been there and heard it. If I am wise I will take this message to heart and let it change me when I look back at my life or am tempted to feel inadequate. God has made us and shaped us for His own purpose and placed us where we are; to live, love and serve right where He wants us to be.


Also it was encouraging and exciting to see people responding to the Kelly’s message with open and willing hearts to be used in whatever way they can to make a difference to those in need materially and spiritually. Sharon reminded everyone that you don’t have to be ‘young’ to go on a mission team; God looks at the heart and uses people who are willing to be used for His glory.