Born on August 14, 1922, in San Diego, California, Helen Aurora Aguilar Prado was the adopted only daughter of Rogelio and Virginia (Pardo) Aguilar. She graduated from high school in Los Angeles in 1939 and participated in World War II efforts by working as a riveter for Long Beach Crafts and serving in the U.S. Navy as a chaplain’s assistant and radio singer at Camp Pendleton (San Diego) until 1946.
Helen heard the Gospel at a VBS at the age of 5 and later trusted the Lord Jesus Christ in her teens, through the ministry of pastor/hymnwriter Albert Simpson Reitz. Following her naval career, she trained first at Biola and then at the Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary during the 1950’s, while also working in a hospital ministry.
Helen’s first missionary service was in Santiago, Chile, under ABWE, in the aftermath of the 1960 earthquake. There she met Juan Germán Prado (John), a Chilean Bible institute student at the time. They were married in 1963 and celebrated almost 45 years together.
After their marriage, the Prados worked and ministered in the Los Angeles area for several years. In 1972 they joined the Gospel Mission of South America. Their first mission field together was in Fray Bentos, Uruguay.
Later, due to health considerations, they moved to the field of Chile, where they spent the remainder of their missionary career in evangelism and church planting in Los Trapiales-Temuco, La Serena, Quillota, Dollinco, and Coquimbo.
John was promoted to Heaven in 2008. Helen continued on for a few years, with the object of fulfilling his dream of opening a church in the Elqui Valley. She retired at the age of 88 and spent her final years at Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park, Florida.
Following a brief illness, Helen Prado passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior on December 31, 2019. Now rejoicing forever and reunited with husband John, she is survived by countless spiritual children and grandchildren. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25).