Joy in Last Bell’s Board


I’m feeling extra joyful about the things God is doing in this important ministry. I want to invite you to join me in praise for one thing in particular, and that is God’s provision!

Behind the scenes, the Last Bell board of directors has been strategizing and striving toward the goals we believe God has put forth for the organization. In that vein, a major effort of the past two years has been the development of our board. We recognized that there were certain voices which were needed in this leadership group, and we have sought God’s guidance to find them.

Board member Ed Gordon (center) with director Andrey Pankyeyev and Valera (left), who is thriving thanks in part to Ed’s friendship

The reason I feel such joy today is that I see how God has moved in this area. In the past year, we have added three new board members, all of whom bring needed abilities to the team. I think this is exciting! And I’m reminded of what a dear friend of mine often says, “Aslan is on the move!”

Please continue to lift up the Last Bell board of directors in your prayers. I frequently pray that the board’s influence will increase as we reach more people with the stories of our youth and this ministry.

Board member Irene Millikan with Ira, an orphanage graduate she befriended fifteen years ago

If you’d like to pray for the group more personally, here is a little bit about us:

  • Don Lawton is the Last Bell board chairman. He joined the board 5 years ago and has a 20+ year passion for reaching the people of Zhytomyr, Ukraine for the Lord. He is a compassionate ambassador, leading many people in both Indianapolis and Zhytomyr in committed ministry.
  • Irene Millikan responded to the needs of Zhytomyr’s orphanage graduates over 12 years ago by helping to start Last Bell Ministries. She remains a vital advocate for our youth and this organization.
  • Ed Gordon has a faithful history of service in Ukraine. The way his own story has been woven into the lives of some of our Last Bell youth is nothing short of inspiring. I think he has prayed daily for many of them by name, for nearly a decade.
  • Dave Richter joined the board in late 2017 and “brought his A-game” from the start. His expert contribution to our financial oversight, cash flow planning, and the ongoing strategic conversation has been remarkable.
  • Joel Austin is our first board member of the Millenial generation. Joining us in the spring of 2018, Last Bell is already benefitting from his abilities as a professional business analyst. His passion for big ideas and his strategic mind are a blessing to the ministry and the board.
  • Cari Mutz-Alt is our newest board member. In fact, she officially joined our ranks just this week. Her buoyant personality and passion for underdogs like Zhytomyr’s orphanage graduates are just the beginning of her strengths. We are all looking forward to working with her.
  • I, Ellen Jackson, have been on the Last Bell board for nearly 8 years. As the past board chair and now interim Executive Director, I covet your prayers for wisdom and humility in leadership, and courage.

Thank you for reading this long message. There is more to tell you about how God is making things happen for LB and those we serve. These are exciting times and I look forward to sharing more reasons to praise in the future! In the meantime, watch for our newsletters and please keep praying!

Yours very truly,

Ellen Jackson

Ellen Jackson (right) with Yulia Sagaidachna, our first former-orphan staff member, on her first trip to the United States to share about Last Bell’s work