Last Bell was launched because a few Americans taking trips to one orphanage in Zhytomyr wondered, "What happens to kids when they leave?"
The answer was tragic: Ukrainian orphanage graduates fall into terrible circumstances and often die young. They can’t find secure housing or employment. They lack basic life and relationship skills. They’re woefully unprepared for parenthood, and perpetuate the orphan cycle by leaving their own children in state care.
Our founders saw this uphill battle, and decided to help.
Americans and Ukrainians are Ending the Orphanage Cycle Together
Last Bell formed a dedicated, holistic community in response to the plight of Zhytomyr’s orphans. People like you and our gifted Ukrainian staff, who believe God wants something better for orphans, are arresting the orphanage cycle and helping formerly-orphaned men and women emerge as leaders.
Our presence matters! In 2017 alone…
Our Community is Ready for Christmas
Right now, Americans are preparing for the holidays. We look forward to seeing family, meeting old friends, and sharing meals together. At Christmas we renew the bonds of communities that share love and hardship – and we celebrate Jesus, whose Presence binds us together.
Orphanage graduates could be alone for the holidays, tempted by many invitations to escape their pain. Instead, they too will be invited to bundle up, venture into the cold, and spend time with loved ones. They’ll be greeted with hugs, good food, gifts, and loving conversation. They’ll return that love to others year-round.
This Christmas, families in crisis will be safe at our Shelter family center. Trade school students will attend holiday activities and spend time with mentors. Adult orphans will gather with friends after years of staying in touch through our programs.
All Last Bell’s young people will hear about the true gift of this season: through Jesus, the miracle of becoming a "new creature."
The Pinkovsky Family: A New Generation
Sasha Pinkovsky and his wife Lena are a beautiful example of a family breaking the cycle. Sasha was a scrappy teenager, and his "life changed for the worse" during the times he "went astray" from his Last Bell family.
But Sasha grew up to emulate the men who mentored him. He and Lena have two little boys and participate in our Stop the Cycle program. Sasha’s a truck driver. His life now is "two kids, work, home."
"We work hard for our children," he says. "It’s difficult that neither Lena nor I have parents who can support and help… I want to give my kids the things I didn’t have." Sasha says his life "changed dramatically" when he met Last Bell. "If I needed help, I always received it. I was never rejected."
Sasha has an old family home in the village, and hopes Last Bell will help make it habitable. We love seeing orphanage graduates’ homes transformed – another kind of fresh start! In 2018 we plan to double our crew’s home renovations. The main thing, Sasha says, is "for the family to stay together." We’ll help them every step of the way.
We hope to see the Pinkovskys at one of our Christmas or New Year’s gatherings.
Sasha is a Christmas Eve baby, so we can wish him a happy birthday too!
We’ll create a community of hope for orphans through this holy season and all year. Everyone at Last Bell is dedicated to bringing orphanage graduates into healing relationships.
Will you help Last Bell with a year-end financial gift? You can:
• Donate through the mail: make your check to "Last Bell Ministries" and mail to: PO Box 30671, Indianapolis, IN 46230 • Make a donation online at lastbell.org/donate • Make a donation in the name of a family member or friend: Enclose a note or email us with the name and address, and we’ll send a Christmas or New Year’s thank-you • We also welcome you to contact us about volunteering
Thank you for your prayers, your gifts, and your thoughtful efforts. We’re so grateful for all of you.
From everyone at Last Bell Ministries
A Sneak Peek:
There are so many ways we can bless orphans together! Your generous financial support will help us reach more young people in a deeper way. We have big dreams for 2018: growing our resources to reach every orphanage graduate in Zhytomyr; moving into a new Day Center with the potential for extensive career training; even creating a Stop the Cycle mobile unit. We look forward to sharing new stories of hope and healing in 2018 as these projects are funded!