The joyous job at hand

“You should see my cupboards,” says Helen Thiele, laughing. “They’re full of baby gear.”

St Petri Ladies Guild in Nuriootpa, South Australia, spent a day packing birthing kits and Helen wasn’t able to be there. She began to put kits together at home. In less than two years she has prepared and packed over a thousand kits.

“I love making up the kits – some nights packing until 3am. I get a real thrill from it, because I like to think we save some babies by providing a more sterile environment and making it more comfortable for the mothers,” says Helen.

Not so long ago Helen thought she would have to stop – not that she was running out of gusto, just out of pocket. Then her husband came home and handed her $20. Someone had given it to him as a donation for the kits.

“Every time I think: ‘I really will have to stop’, someone donates singlets, linen or cash, and I can keep going. I can’t think of a better cause to benefit from this particular act of recycling,” explains Helen.

Helen likes to include the names of those who have donated towards the kits, along with a tract and a blessing for each mother and child.

That’s because, for Helen, it’s personal. Over the years she has lost seven babies of her own. Yet through her son, daughter-in-law, close friends, and community-minded spirit, she has so many ‘adopted children’ that she feels very blessed. As one friend said to her, “Helen, you have a thousand children in PNG.”

“Be careful how you pray,” says Helen. “I asked for four children, now I have thousands. God blesses each one of us!”

What next? Helen plans to continue with the kits, gratefully accepting each prayer or donation as a gift for a baby in Papua New Guinea. But she also has plans to request donations from local businesses to get them involved. We pray for her success in the path God has laid out before her.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to join God’s mission through the assembling and donation of Birthing Kits, you are invited to phone Nevin Nitschke on (08) 8267 7300 or email For more information, go to

Read more stories about our partner church in Papua New Guinea at