Helen was born and raised in Nigeria and received her Master's Degree in Agriculture. She became a Christian while in high school and received her call to be a missionary while in university.

She came to Kenya in 1996 to do missionary work in Isiolo, where she met her husband, Abdiwelli. Abdiwelli was born and raised in Garissa. Before converting to Christianity, Abdiwelli was a Moslem and was brought up in a strict Islamic way by his parents. He came to faith in Christ after comparing the Bible to the Quran. After Helen and Abdiwelli were married, they joined Youth with a Mission and worked in the Niger Republic in 1996.

They planted a Tuareg church in 1998/99. They returned to Garissa for ministry purposes in 1999.Though often insulted and frequently hit by rocks, Abdiwelli said he would never return to his own vomit by going back to Islam. There were some attempts made on his life, and he was finally shot to death by radical Moslems in Garissa on February 7, 2013. He left behind a wife, Helen, and 3 sons. The oldest turned 13 in July, while the younger twins turned 11 in August.

The Moslems forced Helen and her children to move out of Garissa to Nairobi where they found refuge at the Youth with a Mission compound, where Abdiwelli's body was finally laid to rest. Helen is in need of support to establish her home away from Garissa following threats from the Somalis that she will be killed as well if she is seen in Garissa, and her sons will be taken away by the Somalis if they return.