Today, November 7, 2010 was National Orphan Sunday. At Trinity Church in Broad Ripple, Indiana, there was a panel representing different facets of care for orphans and presenting ministry opportunities.
Our daughter Liz Millikan, director of operations for Last Bell Ministries in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, gave a brief synopsis of our ministry. A representative of “Loving South Africa” spoke as well. They are “zooming in on the AIDS epicenter of the world and loving accurately the AIDS sufferers in Kwazulu Natal , South Africa , through strategic partnerships with 7 grass root ministries who are impacting lives in this region.”
Patty Jewell spoke about her practice; she is a gifted counselor who is trained and licensed to counsel adoptive families and their children, especially those involved in foreign adoptions, with orphans who bring with them serious issues related to abuse, neglect, and just basic lack of learned life skills from a parent or caregiver who consistently modeled these traits.
Helping orphan kids who have aged out of the orphanage system (at age 15) is a passion of our family that began in 1993 when we adopted our son Luke from Ukraine; he is now 20 and graduating this fall from a 2 year program at Word Of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, New York.
Since his adoption, we have made dozens of trips back to Ukraine to work with orphan children. We helped start Last Bell Ministries a few years ago, a non-profit with 15 house parents in Ukraine helping 75-100 kids through day centers, emphasizing long-term relationships with caring adults.
Tonight we had 2 of these kids who are in the states for a time at our house for a visit – our beloved Vova and Vera.
**Half of the proceeds at our wedding music site go to Last Bell Ministries, and there is an album to raise awareness and funds for the ministry in the planning stages.**