Houses into Homes: First Presbyterian Church
Earlier this year we shared about a church that has supported Last Bell for a decade. Today we’ll highlight a church that joined the Last Bell community more recently: First Presbyterian in Noblesville, Indiana. In 2015, church member Mike Williams was invited to meet Andrey Pankyeyev in Indianapolis with a friend of the ministry. He listened to Andrey telling stories from Last Bell. “It was like God was saying, ‘Mike, pay attention to this,’” he said. He quickly found ways to get involved with the ministry and began advocating for his church to support Last Bell.
Missions elder Sue Jourdan immediately resonated with Last Bell’s mission. When Mike visited the ministry in Ukraine, Sue sent dozens of new winter coats with him. Friends on social media offered extra help when she told them about the cause.
As you may know, some orphanage graduates inherit property. However, what the Ukrainian government calls “legacy housing,” we consider unlivable. With gaping holes in roofs, loose electrical wiring, no plumbing, etc…. they need a lot of work! Our Restoration Project crew overhauls these dwellings completely.
Then First Presbyterian Church steps in to make them feel like home!
A young mom from our Stop the Cycle program with a “home kit” after her property was restored. Home kits are a big boost for young moms with no family to help out.
Packages of new pots, pans, sheets, and other home goods from the congregation help make their houses cozy.
Sue has galvanized her congregation to volunteer in a very specific way: providing “home kits” to the families we serve through the Restoration Project.
“I do think God wants us to be there for other people,” Sue said, “especially in Eastern Europe where people are so desperate.” She has seen situations where orphans not only lack financial means but also face a collapsed economy, and other difficulties. When she connected her own observations to stories she heard about Last Bell youth, she knew she could help.
Sue values Last Bell because we “give hope to teens that have none to begin with.”With Last Bell, Sue said, a single mom “can stay in school and get into housing. They have the opportunity to learn.” Young people can overcome a lot with a little help.
Sue and Bill Jourdan
Mike, Sue, and all our friends at First Presbyterian are making a difference in the lives of many orphanage graduates and their children! We’re grateful that they believe community is the key to ending the generational orphanage cycle in Ukraine.
Our Mission: Loving and restoring orphanage graduates toward life and community. Our Vision: The end of the generational orphanage cycle in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.
First Presbyterian Church Noblesville has supported the Last Bell Ukraine since 2015. Recently we sent winter coats, boots and household items to orphan graduates to help them cloth their children and set up their homes.
How to get involved:
Visit the Last Bell Ministries website at: http://lastbell.org/
Read periodic updates from the FPC Mission team. We regularly send packages to Last Bell Ukraine. Read the February 2018 update from the Last Bell Ukraine: Last Bell February 2018 Newsletter
Sue Jourdan @firstname.lastname@example.org