Dynamic Community: Our Core Values
This is the third post in a three-part series about our Core Values & Behaviors document. In the first post, we looked at the need for healing, long-term relationships. In the second, we talked about caring for the whole person, not just a list of needs. Today we’ll explore our friendship and fellowship with other individuals and organizations who care about orphans.
3. Dynamic Community
a. We work in partnership with our supporters; we are committed to transparency and good communication about ministry operations, prayer needs, and the stewardship of funds.
b. We engage in deeper friendships and partnerships within the larger orphan care community.
c. We work within the body of Christ to respond to God’s command to the Church to care for and bring justice to orphans.
(The third section of our Core Values & Behaviors document)
As a small nonprofit working in Ukraine but with support in the States, we find ourselves partnering with many different groups. And it works so much better to serve in community than alone!
Mission to Ukraine, which also works in Zhytomyr and is supported in the Indianapolis area, ministers to families of children with disabilities as well as women in crisis pregnancies. Our two organizations are largely focused on different populations in need, but our Christian staff talk often and help each other, especially where our services intersect. Our young moms often need help with prenatal care and pregnancy counseling; and Last Bell and MTU both minister to orphans with disabilities.
Don Lawton served with MTU for many years as a board member and director. He joined Last Bell’s board in 2014. When Don returned from Ukraine just a few weeks ago, he shared this story:
“Years ago I met an 18-year-old orphan. Her mother was in jail for neglect. When Angela graduated from the orphanage, she located her younger brother in a different orphanage. When I met Angela, she was caring for her own baby and her younger brother, and sewing curtains for a living. A group of us traveled to her dilapidated home and saw her living conditions. Angela met us with tea and cookies, a smile, and warm hospitality. We were all overwhelmed. At that time, we bought her a refrigerator and a new iron.
“I got periodic updates about her through some friends. Many years later, I met with Angela and the Last Bell Director at a cafe in Zhytomyr. It was so good to see her after all this time, and she told me the refrigerator still works!
“I have seen the reward of returning to the same place for many years. It allows a person to have these lifelong contacts with others and let them know you really care about them. Angela is now helping out with the ministry to moms with young children, and is active with her faith. It is wonderful to see how God works and allows us to see and be part of it!”
Don, Angela, and staff member Oksana Pankyeyeva