August 2017

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I will be in America between October 14 and November 28, give or take a day. If any of you would like us to visit with you, we would be very happy to do so. Please reply to this newsletter, or write to us at markkinua@gmail.com.

After a very hot July, the first half of August challenged our patience. Finally, the temperatures cooled and the gentle rains visited us. We had a productive vegetable garden this summer. The fruit trees are producing more each year.

Life is good for us in Ukraine. Our son is finished with all connect with the military. He is back to work in his old job. His wife has started an internet based clothing design business. Her business is keeping her busy. Our daughter is doing well with her home based hair care business. Her husband is working in a family remodel business, and has started a rabbit farm. The grandchildren, ages 8, 7, 6 and 3, are showing interest in piano, swimming, dance, and organizational concepts.

Mark’s Moments

When I moved to Ukraine in 2002, my general focus was to provide humanitarian aid for children. MUCH moved forward in this direction. As we did, we saw something missing in this lives of the children. That something was knowledge of God. Communicating with the children, we saw a void of love, compassion, and involvement of adults in their lives. Who would tell the children about God? Who knew about God to tell the children. I have learned that in many cases, the children learn about God and draw their parents to church.

MUCH has always been a Christian organization. Who we are is not changing. What we do is not changing. Our goals are expanding, growing from sound roots.

As we put more focus on education, we will use that connection to draw the children to God. We are taking example from Ukraine Challenge, who have been providing camp experiences for children for many years.

We are talking with local translators about camps that focus on sports, English language, games,and maybe life skills. These topics will lead to discussion about God. That is the general goal. Finding enough people to staff the camps is a challenge. We will also be looking to short term missions to come help us.

Our church in Mykolaiv is providing camps for local children from schools in our district. They held three camps this summer. They were short on staff at times. Never-the-less, we want to build a team to help Yura and Dasha in Shostakovo, (July newsletter), provide a camp for the children of the three villages that attend the Shostakovo school. Yura is building church community in these villages as a spiritual leader. Dasha teaches at the school, so the two of them have the perfect opportunity to follow-up the camps with regular get-togethers with the children.

We would like to do this with each village school as God provides the people and the funding. The first step is building a relationship with the children and the school through provision of education equipment. As the school administration come to understand who we are, we can offer to provide a Christian camp experience for the children. If they agree, we need to be prepared to staff a camp. Our end goal is to connect the children to a church or Christian youth organization in their area.

Sveta’s Journey

The Transition Home in Marganets is a nine month waiting facility for children taken from difficult homes. They will be placed in a foster home, or an orphanage/boarding school. These children are very emotionally troubled. Children in the Transit Home do not have many physical limitations, but they have a huge number of emotional and psychological problems. Their character was formed under adverse conditions. Now, being in Transit Home, each of them is waiting for the decision of their destiny and this is stress for these children.

Massage therapy improves the psychological and emotional sphere for these children. Our massage therapist, Yana, has been working at this facility for only seven months. During this time, she gave massage treatment for 35 children. Six of them underwent two courses. Yana, with her personal character, such as kindness and a gentle individual approach to each child, compassion and a great desire to help these children in their difficult times, helps them to receive a partial healing of their wounded soul.

From several of Yana’s reports, I will show the emotional results in a couple of pictures. They show happier, more content children. I think that it will help you to see how much help Yana provides for the children.
1. Natasha was afraid to be touched. She gradually got used to Yana’s gentle touch. After each massage treatment she became more calm and balanced and her emotional state improved.

2. Igor had frequent colds and was sometimes whiny. After the massage treatment, his mood and his general condition improved.

3. All massage treatments for Vanya were accompanied by communication. At first, he was sharp, rude, and made many claims to others. After several days of massage treatment Vanya became more gentle and his emotional state improved.

4. Marina was a restless, irritable girl, at first she did not want to take off her clothes before the massage treatment. By the third procedure she began to undress herself. By the fourth treatment the girl began to perform all the physical exercises that must be performed after the massage treatment. Marina stopped becoming irritable and nervous.

5. Dima gladly accepted all the procedures, happy for the attention. At first he only smiled and nodded his head at all of Yana’s questions. By the fifth procedure Yana heard him speak his first words.

6. Nina is very kind; she answers questions with pleasure. She likes to sing songs during the massage therapy. Her posture needed attention. The massage treatments provided better posture for Nina. At the end of each procedure, Yana and Nina always hug each other.

7. Valya answered Yana’s questions inaudibly, she was a very touchy child and demanded increasing attention. After several days of massage treatment, Valya began to trust Yana and she changed a lot.

To remove psychological stress, to calm the child and develop a positive attitude to his or her body and to him or herself as a person, massage therapist Yana selects relaxing techniques of classical massage and individual methods of communication with the child. Thanks to this, the child experiences a feeling of emotional connection with Yana and trusts her. This allows the child to acquire a state of psychological security and improves the child’s development process.

Thank you for making it possible to bring Yana on to our team. Thank you for caring our children here in Ukraine. It is a big job, and it is growing each year. This year we will touch the live of more than 700 children through massage therapy, education, and clothing. The children thank you!

Living my dream,

Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

July 2017

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I are working on many projects as the summer races by. Our eight-year-old grandchild, Sonya, enjoys helping Sveta harvest the onions and green beans. I am making progress on the exterior insulation. The other morning I went to the church that we attend and help stack wood for the winter heating system. We have a circulating hot water heated floor system. The cost of gas is too high, so few years ago, the church turned to wood heating.

Mark’s Moments

In last month’s newsletter, I shared some of the process of how MUCH has grown over the past fifteen years. On a more personal and spiritual level, the grassroots process is like this. I listen for the voice of God. When I am clear that it is His voice, His direction, then I do what He says.

Last year, God put three more village schools on my heart to assist with their education needs. Sveta and I investigated each school, talked with the director, and evaluated the need. We looked at the physical condition of the school, the classrooms, and the floors, to understand the governments lack of interest in the school, and the administration and teachers interest in the school.

In each of these three schools, it was clear that the teachers were investing what they could, to do the best that they could for the students. Unfortunately, the teachers don’t make enough money to make a significant contribution.

Will the next Galileo come from a Ukrainian village? Let’s invest in them and find out! This may be a three year project for each school. Fortunately, MUCH has funds to begin the project. Our first provision will be for September 1,2017. Please begin to pray for the success of these projects.

Here are some details that may help you understand the common needs that we find is each village school.

Northwest Ukraine, on the border of Poland — Migovo Village School

 

 

 

 

 

This is the building for the high school children. There are four or five classrooms in this building. If you walk further up the hill behind me, you will see Poland. — In this Chemistry classroom, the director of the school stands toward the front of the class.

The teacher who approached me about help for this school was very shy to talk with me. When she finally got up the courage to ask for help, she only asked for one computer, their greatest need. We talked some more, and Sveta and I agreed to visit the school the following day. We rode in an old car on dirt roads that were peppered with potholes.

When we visited the chemistry class, we learned that nothing had been updated or provided since Soviet times, at least twenty-six years ago. Two new windows and four desks were provided by the directors relative as a gift. The government has done nothing for this school.

South central Ukraine, northeast of our city of Mykolaiv — Shostakovo Village School

 

Between Sveta and I stands the director of the Shostakovo school. To the right of Sveta is Dasha, the first grade teacher. This school of about seventy children is a little better than Migovo. They do have a computer. The Chemistry class at this school is a big room with some technology, but no chemicals to do experiments. The gymnasium is in the “dungeon” of the school. They need sports equipment and some items as simple as jump rope. When we visited in early spring, it was very cold in the gymnasium.

I talked to the director about resurfacing the blackboards with blackboard paint. I asked if they would do a test blackboard. She looked at me with big eyes and said, “We will be happy to do it over the summer.” This school is focusing on building maintenance in the following way. At the end of last school year, the parents of each class pooled their money to buy a new door for their children’s classroom. The parents of Dasha’s first grade class of six students needed outside assistance to come up with the money for their classroom door. Dasha uses her personal computer to inspire her class.

South east central Ukraine, north of Marganets — Maximovka Village School

I first visited this school a number of years ago to talk with the children in the English class. The teacher was my translator at the time, and is now our manager in Marganets. This young woman was very aggressive about creativity for her English classes.

Dissatisfied with the English material available, Inna created her own English study book and teachers manual. Some of the teachers bring their personal computers to enhance the classroom experience.

On our last visit, I talked with the director about the education equipment needs of the school. She showed us the school, stopping in different classes in progress. It was clear that the school was not a big concern of the local government. The Chemistry class was in need of chemicals for experiments, like the other schools.

Each class on every grade level is in need of many items of education equipment and materials. It was that way with Marganets School #3 and Ternava schools that MUCH has helped in the past. This is why MUCH always has children waiting for help, whether in education or healthcare. The government is in a state of change, as is the country.

It seems that the needs are pretty much the same wherever we go. Decentralization of the government is bringing control of spending to the local government. We are seeing road repair happening, but education does not seem to be such a great need.

I see change happening in Ukraine, although it is slow. The Ukraine Economic Update – April 2017 by the World Bank shows progress of the Ukrainian economy. The article and video at the bottom are very informative.

Sveta’s Journey

In Chornomorsk, Dr. Natalia continues to show progress with the children providing wonderful results. Mark and I watched how the children worked at following all the instructions of the massage therapist and coach with great desire. Children want to walk and run as other children do. They want to be with other children in kindergarten and go to school. They want to draw and do everything that healthy children can do. We see a huge thirst in their eyes and they are ready to work to change their lives. But they need help and encouragement from their parents and others. Thank all of you for helping the children in an invisible way. God sees your works of mercy through MUCH.

Last month, the parents of six-year-old George, carried him to the clinic to receive massage therapy. The boy has cerebral palsy, increased spasm in the legs, and he cannot walk on his own. After a 15-day course of massage therapy, ozocerite (black wax) applications, and special physical training, the spastic action in his muscles decreased. George can now walk a short distance using both hands for support! This was the first course of massage therapy for him. Dr. Natalia sees that the boy has a positive dynamic and it is necessary to continue receiving massage therapy. Thank you Dr. Natalia for your passion to help children.

For five-year-old Ann with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy, massage therapy began in January 2016. During this time the girl received nine courses of massage therapy. To date, Ann is already confidently sitting in an Indian pose with a flat back. She is sitting on balance board that rocks from side to side. You can see the difficulty for her to stay sitting upright. Day by day, Ann is painfully making progress.

She grasps objects very well with her right hand, but her left hand does not open so well yet. Ann has decreased the tone of tense muscles and her speech significantly improved. In this picture her task is to raise the bar with both hands to the level that Valya requests. The exercise program that parallels the massage therapy and other treatments is one big key to Ann’s progress.

 

Do you remember when your child began to crawl? The natural process begins at about seven months old. This is not the case for many of the children that we work with. Ann is five-years-old and must be taught the process. Valya is breaking down the activity into steps. Put this hand here first, then move this knee here …

Thank you sponsors for helping make this treatment possible for Ann!

Parents are deeply grateful that their children have the opportunity to receive a massage therapy!

Living my dream,

Sveta

One of our massage therapists may retire in the near future. We ask for your prayers for provision of her replacement.

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

June 2017

Hello family and friends,

June has been comfortably warm, something like winter in Florida. The garden is growing, the orchard is producing, and life is good in our neighborhood. This summer I will complete the final third of AAC insulation on the outside of the house. The two-thirds of AAC that I installed last summer has made the house warmer in winter, and cooler in the summer. We will use stucco as a decorative finish.

Mark’s Moments

A question was recently asked, “How do you find schools to help or massage therapists who are interested in special needs children?” This is a great question! The answer is that God introduces me to people in different situations. He prepared the people ahead of time that He wanted to do the MUCH work.

From the beginning, God has been my Guide. He introduced me to one person in Ukraine that began the very timely growth of Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope.
The MUCH tree grew in this way:

My first contact was Anatoliy in Marganets. The following three outreach programs developed over a period of ten years.

His passion for the special needs children at the Orphanage was the beginning.
Within a few years, God put the Transition Home children on his heart.
A few years later, School #3 became a burning passion in his heart.

During the same ten years, the following additional ministries began in this way. My first contacts were from my missionary school experience, CDTS, in Ternopol. After that, I lived in Chornomorsk (named Illichevsk at the time). I made contacts with other missionaries, and short term missionaries through the Evangelical Baptist Church in Chornomorsk.

The following are the additional ministries and who my connections were:

EBC Food program — I was asked to bring money to this church from America for a village church and camp. I was introduced to their Food Program and MUCH became a sponsor. Victor Sapegin was my contact.

 

 

Massage Therapy Program in Chornomorsk — My need for massage therapy led me to massage therapist Dr. Nataliya Borisovna for help.

 

 

 

Massage Therapy in Froonza, Crimea — Short term mission couple, William and Wynna, introduced me to the needs of this child.
 

 

 

 

 

Dobromel Orphanage — Missionary friends, Ukraine Challenge, the president of Lviv Baptist Seminary — A Pastor in Borislav, Volodya Grishko introduced me to the Dobromel Orphanage.

 

Ternava Village School — Director of Dobromel Orphanage, Vladimir Yevstahovich introduced us to Lyesa Vladimirovna, who replaced him as director of Ternava school.

In the past five years, the following ministries blossomed.

Veleeky Lubin Orphanage — Director of Dobromel Orphanage, Vladimir Yevstahovich introduced us to Stepan Eyosevovich, Director of the Veleeky Lubin Orphanage.

 

Mykolaiv Massage Therapy Program — Director of Young Life in Mykolaiv, Illya Peryevoznuk was on the construction team that worked on our house. His passion to help the disabled drew him to MUCH. Massage therapy will connect the children with Young Life and their camps for the disabled.

I was not researching how to grow MUCH, but rather waiting for God to show me where to go, what to do, and who to help.

Sveta’s Journey

It is really amazing how God provides opportunities for Mark and me. We never know what to expect day to day. Through people and circumstances, we connect with children in need of our help. When we do, we evaluate the needs and determine if they are within the focus of MUCH. We present the MUCH Board of Directors (BOD) with the new needs, and God confirms or rejects the program or project through the wisdom of the BOD. A fundraiser is our next step. It is at this point that we look to you, friends of MUCH, for financial help and prayer. Thank you for your generous giving.

We help the children with physical and educational needs, but our greatest goal is to touch the spiritual portion of their lives. We are so pleased to receive such wonderful opportunity to tell about Jesus, pray for children and adults, and correspond with some children. Fifteen years of interacting with administrations of orphanages, schools, and parents have built relationships of trust and faith.

On our last visit, we were introduced to a young teenager by our massage therapist. (We will keep the location private because of the sensitivity of the story.) While evaluating the massage therapy of three children, this teen walked in on her own. She wanted to talk with Mark.

In a previous meeting, we learned about this teen and her brush with suicide because of an online game. She received guidance and new direction while there. Also, she received two ten-day courses of massage therapy. A special tenderness and sensitivity developed between the massage therapist and the teen. This opened a door that began the healing process.

When the girl began talking with Mark, she asked why he chose to live in Ukraine. Mark explained that God called him to live in Ukraine and help the children. She was surprise on a number of levels. She, like many people, wondered why anyone would want to live in Ukraine. They discussed finding purpose for ones life as more important than finding the best place to live. Then, she asked questions about God. She was fascinated that someone could have a relationship with God. As her time was limited, Mark saw that she wanted to know more. He asked if she wanted to write more questions to him by E-mail. She agreed. Before she left, Mark asked if we could pray for her. She was very open to this.

With each letter, the girl asked deeper questions about life, and about God. As I translated each letter, I saw that she realized that Mark, as an adult, saw value in her. They communicated freely, giving new opportunity to discuss God on a more personal level. We believe that the seed of faith that was planted in her heart will grow and bear fruit.

We believe that each opportunity to communicate God’s love, whether in a brief or long-term friendship, will create a positive change in that individual’s life. Mark and I are very grateful to God for these opportunities.

We thank you for being receptive to the call of God to help MUCH carry out His plan for the children!

Living my dream,

Sveta

MUCH massage therapy programs operate through the summer in Chornomorsk and Mykolaiv. Twenty-two children are receiving massage therapy each month in the summer. You can change the life of one child. $20 will pay for 20 massage treatments for your child in July. Thank you for reading our stories and considering our children.

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

May 2017

Hello family and friends,

Spring has sprung! The gardens are green and growing very well. Grass needs cut and weeds are being pulled. Life in Ukraine is moving forward!

Mark’s Moments

The War Continues

Traveling by train from our home in Mykolaiv to L’viv, and from there to Dobromel by bus, we saw the beauty of Ukraine’s farmland. The more we traveled west, the more peaceful everything seemed. Unfortunately, the war in Eastern Ukraine continues. It takes on a different style every so often. Before the war, Russia controlled gas for home heating, trying to weaken Ukraine. Now, coal is the energy weapon, but it is Ukraine’s own coal that Russia is trying to control.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/28/gunmen-east-ukraine-occupy-donetsk-stadium-amid-standoff-coal/

If you are an honest man working in the Russian government, your days are numbered. Russia has its own form of terrorism.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/23/russia-accused-state-terrorism-ex-mp-shot-dead-ukraine/

The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia is now in the International Court of Justice. This story is a good update on the progress of the war.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/19/ukrainian-president-says-russia-has-attitude-problem-urges-theresa/

Veleeky Lubin Orphanage


Our bus travel from L’viv to Dobromel passes through Veleeky Lubin. We stopped to visit the orphanage and meet our massage therapist who began in January. Igor has fifteen years of experience with massage therapy. We watched as he gave two of the children massage. He connects with the children very well, calming their anxiousness about physical contact.

As with all of our massage therapists, Igor gave me a massage. This helped me understand his technique. I was impressed.

Ternava Village School

The Ternava school is located three and a half miles from Dobromel. Last year MUCH provided sewing machines to enhance the experience for the children in the sewing class. Sveta and I visited the class to see the children in action. The girl in the back showed me the phone pocket that she sewed with cloth.

I asked the boy what was interesting to him about sewing. He told me in his shy manner. I encouraged him with a story about a man in Ternopol who had a dream to have a sewing factory of his own. I told the boy that this friend of mine is very successful. I saw a light of enthusiasm in his eyes.

The war continues, but MUCH helps Ukraine fight the war with education. We provide educational tools to improve the future of Ukraine. You never know who will influence Ukraine or the world in the next generation of leaders.

Dobromel Orphanage

Last year MUCH provided a number of the items for this hair care class at the orphanage. With the help of other sponsors, the class is in full operation. Although the pupils have the skills to create designer haircuts for the boys, the director forbids it. He is very careful about what may influence the fragile lives of these children.

The new focus at this orphanage is to train the children who will not go on to trade school. If special needs children do not qualify for some type of higher education, then their ability to earn money is very limited. Developing work skills while the children are in the orphanage is a vital aspect for their future.

Sveta’s Journey

Yura, 11 years old, came to the Dobromel orphanage four years ago from the Baby House. When he arrived, he was wild and uncontrollable. His diagnosis is cerebral palsy and kyphoscoliosis. During four years, he received 14 courses of massage therapy. He became calm soon after his first course of massage therapy. Our massage therapists Natasha and Paul see good results after the massage courses. More importantly, the doctors see change in Yura’s overall physical and emotional health.

For two years, Luba, our computer teacher, used a computer tablet to teach simple skills to the less able children. She used training programs designed to teach children with disabilities. Mark and I were very surprised and impressed with how well Yura coped with the tasks! Although he says only a few words, he understands very well! We see great changes in his character, health and intellectual development. This time our hearts were so full of joy for this wonderful child. God, the Defender of orphans, has touched the hearts of an American family to adopt Yura! Soon he will be a part of a family in America!

Luba does an excellent job helping 14 children learn how to use computers and computer tablets on a daily basis. Taking into account the personality and level of development of each child, she prepares tasks for each one of them. Some educational games are more complicated. Some are simple puzzles. The higher skilled children are learning to use the key board with the goal to learning to touch type.

Two years ago, as an experiment we bought one tablet for the computer class. Teaching children to use the tablet has brought tremendous results. It helps Luba give lessons to the children more easily and in an interesting way. After amazing results last year, we bought one more computer tablet for Luba’s classroom.

Last year MUCH bought three additional tablets. Oksana, the defectologist, Melany, the speech therapist, and Julia, the child psychologist each expressed a great interesting to have a tablet to enhance their progress with the children. They are very grateful for these tablets.

Oksana showed us how the children she is preparing for the first grade demonstrated good results using the tablet. Children study colors, count to ten, classify vegetables and fruits, wild and domestic animals, and much more.

Melany, is delighted with the results that children achieve through learning with the programs in the tablet. Children learn much faster and more efficiently. They are very interested in the lessons. The musical reward brings delight to the children when they complete the task correctly. This girl was so stimulated because of the tablet that she began to form sounds and speak simple words.

 

 

 

For these therapists, the computer tablets are a huge help in providing an exciting teaching technique. The children happily showed us what they had learned. They are so proud! They have the confidence that they can do it!

Our time spent with the children was so wonderful! The last evening when we said that tomorrow we will leave, some of the children cried. I remember how every day they pressed themselves with all their heart to us and hugged us. I miss them and love them.

Living my dream,

Sveta

Sveta and I are very grateful to everyone who makes our work possible. The children thank you! Your contributions to MUCH are helping change Ukraine. We are setting examples in healthcare and education. Many teachers and administrators had no hope for change. Now they dream of ways that they can do their job better, change the lives of the children they serve, and change their country, step by step.

Thank you for reading our stories and sharing them with your friends!

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

April 2017

Hello family and friends,

We hope that each of you had a pleasant holiday celebration. Sveta and I spent our Sunday afternoon with friends. Lena met us at the bus stop and we traveled to our house together for lunch. Tanya arrived later. It was so nice to see these three friends together share old times and new direction in their lives.

Sveta prepared buckwheat and chicken, garnished with garlic greens. Hard boiled eggs and grated beets, both topped with mayonnaise and greens. Pickled tomatoes and pickled cucumbers added unique flavor. Finally, Sveta’s mother’s preserved vegetable salad completed the festive meal.

Mark’s Moments

Marganets School #3

When we were at this school in the fall, we visited the fourth grade class. They showed us what they were doing with the computer tablets that MUCH provided. This time we visited the first grade class to see what they are doing with the computers tablets that were designated to them this year. The children surprised us with their artwork. They are ready to learn to use computer technology! Why wait until they are older. Director Nataliya has the vision for her school to move forward now!

 

The big surprise came when I asked Svetlana, the first grade teacher, if she knew how to use the computer tablets before they were given to the school. She told us with big excitement that she had to teach herself first, then she could teach the children. That is how far behind small towns and villages in Ukraine are with education tools.

By improving the teaching tools, MUCH is changing the potential of this school. This will have long term effects on the future of Ukraine. Better education changes countries; it is changing Ukraine. This teacher thanks you!

Marganets Transition Home

Sveta and I met these two friends at the Transition Home in Marganets. Inseparable five year olds, Irena and Sasha go to Yana together to receive massage therapy. You were introduced to them in our March newsletter.

It was a delight to watch Yana give each of them a massage treatment. In the process, Sasha had many questions. Looking at his picture, can you imagine what his inquisitive conversations could be? Yana thanks you for the opportunity to bring emotional healing to these children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irena kept busy with her art work while Sasha enjoyed his massage.

These are only two of the thirty children who live at the Transition Home. Each child has a different story. Each story will break your heart.

MUCH has sponsored the Transition Home through our clothing program for more than seven years. We started the massage therapy program here this year. We see good progress.

Not only are these children from broken homes healing emotionally, but most are being placed in good Christian foster homes. Some are being adopted. We are pleased to partner with these professionals.

Massage Therapy is an ongoing program. We have nine massage therapists working in four cities and one village. At the current exchange rate that is around 27 UAH for every $1, the massage therapy programs cost a total of $800 per month to maintain. We have one more massage therapist waiting in the wings for funding in the large village of Ovidiopol.

If you are one of the 250 people receiving our newsletter regularly, please know that only about 20 of those 250 who receive our newsletter support our programs regularly. Imagine, if nine new sponsors gave $10 each month, we could support a massage therapist in Ovidiopol.

Our help with Education is about projects. We learn about the needs of a particular school, and we raise money for the specific projects. You have seen our Christmas fundraisers each year as an example.

Imagine, a yearly project is about $4000. If 200 people gave only $20 each, we could easily provide the education needs of a village school each year. A village school serves the children from two or three surrounding villages.

Think of the impact you can have on the life of a child!

Become a MUCH sponsor and give a donation today!

Sveta’s Journey

Chornomorsk

Mark and I visited Chornomorsk in March. Mark spoke to the students of the Transportation Scholarship Program. He talked about the value of education and the impact that they can make on their community. He also told the students that higher education is not only about learning information, but more importantly, it is about learning how to think.

When you know how to think, you can teach yourself many things. We see how committed they are to learning. They fully understand that MUCH and their parents invest love and finance in them. The gratitude of the students is expressed not only in words, but also the excellence of their study. These four students are doing a good job with their studies! Mark and I are glad that we have such an opportunity to encourage (left to right) Arthur, Nastya, Anya and Daniel through those who support the Transportation Scholarship Program! They are very grateful about the ongoing support from MUCH. They thank you!

One woman approached Mark and told him that seven years ago, when her daughter Valya was three years old, the doctors diagnosed the girl with Pes valgus of the feet and rickets. These further lead to disability.

Throughout the year the girl received several massage therapy courses. Valya’s mother is so grateful! She thanks all of you very much.

Now Valya is walking better and has no pain. Her mother’s face is shining with joy! It’s so nice to meet parents who are happy that their child is healthy! All good things come from God!

Valya received massage therapy through MUCH. We are leading the way to correcting some disabilities of children in Ukraine.

Very heavy knapsacks and the wrong position to sit at the desk led to poor posture and pain in the back and cervical spine of the twin sisters Olga and Anya. Ira, our massage therapist conducted a course of therapy for these girls. Now Olga and Anya do not feel pain, their postures have been corrected. Ira gave them recommendations for physical exercises to strengthen the muscles of the back. Olga and Anya’s Mom expressed great gratitude to us and the sponsors of MUCH!

I deeply believe that twelve years ago God opened the door to massage therapy and continues to bless children through MUCH! Three massage therapists Natalia, Tanya and Ira help children and comfort their parents in Chornomorsk!

Living my dream,

Sveta

We need YOUR help to move MUCH through another twelve miraculous years.

Let’s begin today!

Thank you in advance! The children thank you! Ukraine thanks you for helping to change their country!

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

March 2017

Hello family and friends,

In 2014, we moved into our unfinished home in Mykolaiv. Each year we make improvements, making the house warmer, drier, and cozier. Sveta was working in the garden this week and her eyes twinkle once again. I am ready to finish the external insulation of the house and am making plans for the workshop/summer kitchen. God has blessed us abundantly with our little home.

Mark’s Moments

The hearts of our two new massage therapists in Mykolaiv are on fire. Each therapist began to reach out to their community, offering home visit massage therapy for children with different diagnoses. They began in January and are building their clientele. This has been working out well. We are seeing results in the first month of treatment.

Anya in Mykolaiv

Anya is working with Philip who is diagnosed with hyperactivity. Home visits are a bit more difficult. Finding a work surface that is comfortable for the massage therapist, and is comfortable for the child, can be a challenge. Another situation that the therapist must deal with in the home visit is the presence of siblings. In this situation, Philip is calmed by watching cartoons while Anya focuses on the massage treatment.

Oksana in Mykolaiv

Oksana is working with George, 14 years old. His diagnosis is kyphoscoliosis. His spine is curved forward more that normal in the shoulder area. Also, you may be able to see in the picture that his spine is also curved side to side instead of being straight up and down.

George complained of upper back pain. He received a 20-day massage therapy treatment. His mother saw changes in George’s posture and emotional composure. His pain was alleviated and George was feeling much better.
Oksana bought her own massage table and treats some of her clients in her home. Her work is straight from her heart. She has two small children of her own at home.

A Deeper Passion

This month, as Sveta has been talking with the our therapists, they are asking about another possible opportunity to serve children. In Mykolaiv, there is an orphanage that serves children with physical disabilities. Our therapists are very interested in investigating the feasibility of focusing their work on the children at the orphanage. This sounds very good to me!

Sveta’s Journey

Dr. Natalia in Chornomorsk

Ilya lives in Chornomorsk. He began to receive massage therapy when he was 1 year old. This timely treatment that we call “early intervention” makes new connections in the brain while the brain and body continues to develop.

Through massage therapy, the “walking” motor skills are trained to develop correctly. The muscle tone of the weaker muscles is improved, and the opposing muscles can now develop together. This causes the brain to work correctly.

Ilya was not interested in the world around him; he could not speak or walk. Step by step there was progress. At first he learned to crawl. It was not easy to achieve such an activity. Then he began to say some words. Although this is normal for healthy children and it happens easily, for Ilya this was the result of much time, and the joint work of Dr. Natalia, Ilya’s mother, and grandmother.

During the last five years, his mother and grandmother have done their best to help the child. All of these years, Ilya has received help from MUCH by receiving massage therapy. Dr. Natalia saw how difficult life was for Ilya’s family and she has also contributed to their need. Last year she invited Ilya’s mother to work as an administrator in her center.

Today, Ilya is speaking well and intelligently. He can construct complex sentences. This is a great achievement for a child with his diagnosis. This little boy learned to walk somewhat independently relying on a moving object (chair). Dr. Natalia believes Ilya has promise and she plans to teach him to walk without support. She wants to improve his intellectual potential so that by the age of nine, he will be prepared to attend a special school.

It is a long process. Even so, when we see such extreme progress, we can better understand the long term value of the work that our massage therapists are doing every day.

Marganets School #3

The Marganets School #3 students are very enthusiastic about sports. MUCH has provided the equipment and team shirts; the teacher provides the education and leadership; and the students provide the energy and joyful noise.

Now the children really feel that they are a team! They are united not only by their desire to take part in competitions, but also by wearing the same uniforms, they feel like a real sports team! Their teacher, Igor, is always grateful to you, dear friends, for such great support. He thanks you for helping him do his job better.

Also at School #3, about thirty children participate in the clothing program. Orphaned children and those who live in poverty are in great need of clothing, particularly in the winter months. MUCH provides funds for these needs each month.

You would have to meet the children to truly understand their great need. They are very thankful! Even so, their lives are so challenging, it is difficult to see smiles on their faces for very long.

The children thank you for your care about them!

Yana is our new massage therapist. She began this new program for MUCH at the Marganets Transition Home in January 2017. Children who come to this place may not need physical healing, but their wounded hearts need healing. Interacting with children through massage therapy treatment, the massage therapist not only touches their muscles but also their souls.

Almost all the children did not want to undress to receive massage therapy. When asked to do so, they looked at Yana suspiciously. She did not insist. Rather, with patience, she lovingly spent time with children, chatting and preparing their hearts to trust her. On the third day, the children agreed that Yana could give them massage therapy.

She worked at establishing a trusting relationship. Some teenage boys have ceased to be cruel and loud. One girl name Anya was restless and irritable. At first she did not want to do physical exercises and did not want to take off her clothes for the massage therapy. She started undressing herself by the third procedure, and on the fourth visit, she did all the exercises with pleasure. She especially liked to blow up the balloons, an exercise for her lungs.

Vanya was happy to participate in all of the procedures. At first, he only smiled and nodded his head at all of Yana’s questions. From the fifth procedure, she heard the first words from his mouth.

Our dear friends, thank you for helping us touch the lives of these precious children. God bless you and your children!

Living my dream,

Sveta

Nine MUCH massage therapists in five cities in Ukraine are changing the future of this country. Maybe one of our children receiving massage therapy will make a great contribution to Ukraine, or the world. A more concrete reality is that by setting examples of compassion and human rights for these children of great need, communities are changing their mentality. People see hope, and are standing up to speak for children who cannot speak for themselves.

Thanks to each of you who read our newsletter, share our stories with your friends, and lift us up in prayer as we continue to follow God, sharing His blessings with the children of Ukraine.

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

February 2017

Hello family and friends,

The end of February is bringing sunshine and warmer temperatures. Spring in Ukraine is just around the corner. The trees have been pruned and are beginning to bud. We have already begun a great year with MUCH. Read on to learn more!

Mark’s Moments

IMG_20170207_093010We are very pleased to share the results of the Christmas fundraiser in more detail. The Director of the Ternava Village School sent us pictures of their purchases.

1. We are very happy to have provided medical first-aid supplies that were needed for the nursing station.
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2. The elementary school children now have ten computer tablets to enhance their learning experience.

3. Three sewing machines and one embroidery machine have expanded the education system for the children from the three villages that IMG_20170201_134057_BURST5attend the Ternava School. Operating sewing and

embroidery machines is not only a skill for girls and women.

You can see in the picture that boys learn to operate the machines also. The textile industry is big in Ukraine.

4. They may not have the interactive board completely installed, but that doesn’t stop their enthusiasm to put the provisions from MUCH to work.IMG_20170222_131128

5. Since I arrived in Ukraine in 2002, eastern and western Ukraine have had an ongoing discussion about which language should be the official language of Ukraine, Russian or Ukrainian. The EuroMaidan conflict in 2014 had nothing to do with language conflict, but as with the Georgian war, Putin decided that language would be a good excuse to involve Russia with Ukraine’s business. At the Ternava school in western Ukraine, the official language, Ukrainian, is being taught with a vengeance. The wall charts will deepen their understanding of the Ukrainian language.
IMG_20170222_1310026. Two great writers and poets of Ukraine, Ivan Franko, and Taras Shevchenko, made powerful and political influences on Ukraine.
Ivan Franko is quoted to the right of his picture, “Language grows with the soul of the people.”
Taras Shevchenko is quoted to the left of his picture, “Learn to read, be proud of your country, learn about other counties and the world.”

IMG_20170207_150708IMG_20170207_150654
 

 

 

 

 

To all who helped make the Christmas Fundraiser a success, the children thank you! The teachers and administration of the Ternava Village School thank you! Sveta and I thank you for helping us promote education here in Ukraine.

Sveta writes some wonderful news about the progress of some of our children in the Massage Therapy Program.

Sveta’s Journey
Massage therapy is the biggest program in MUCH. We continue to pray and give thanks to our Lord for every child who is able to get this help. Through this program, parents see your compassion and participation in the lives of their children. This is very encouraging and supportive for them. In such difficult situations many parents feel lonely.

Chornomorsk
Seven-year old Andrew, (left), struggles with cerebral palsy. He is not alone in his struggle. His parents, Dr. Nataliya, and you, my dear friends walk by his side. You who pray for and sponsor IMG_20170125_110332our work with Andrew, you help him make it through his struggles.

Andrew began his first course of massage therapy in October 2016. He could barely standing without someone giving him support. He could crawl on all fours, and he could jump forward on all fours like a frog.

After a second comprehensive course of massage therapy in January 2017, Andrew learned to walk with canes. You can see his great results in this picture!

 

Dobromel Orphanage
Nick, 12 years old, (right), was diagnosed with urinary incontinence, and a delay in speech development.

Because of these limitations, Nick became very self conscious. He was almost afraid to be around his peers. This caused him to become shy, and often withdrawn, spending time alone. Sometimes he would become aggressive.

Our massage therapist, Paul, began working with Nick. He explained that God loves him and IMG_9598 - Copythat he should not be afraid of his peers. He was told that the other children are the same as him. Each one has a unique difficulty. By the end of the 20-day massage course the boy gained confidence; timidity and indecision disappeared. Paul and Nick established a good friendship. The child began to feel more confident in the environments of his peers.
Nick used to wet his pants in the classroom, and wet the bed at night. Now, such cases are very rare. Quarterly massage therapy courses will also improve his self image and speech. The bladder problem will be corrected completely in the near future.

Children, from two months of age and up to age eighteen get help through the MUCH massage therapy program. Many diagnoses are corrected. It is possible that we may not see the great end results during our part of the child’s life. We see the results that we see, and God continues to walk with each child! God bless each of you and fill your needs in each area of your life!

Living my dream,
Sveta

MUCH continues to grow. We work in five cities and one village, with two more village projects waiting for approval and funding. God continues to open doors, introducing us to the people whom He has prepared to do His work, and glorify His Name through blessing the children of Ukraine.

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

January 2017

Hello family and friends,

We reached our Christmas fundraiser goal! Director Lyesya of the Ternava village school is making purchases as I write to you. We will share more next month.
A BIG UKRAINIAN THANK YOU
to ALL who made this fundraiser a success!

We are beginning January 2017 with a number of new programs. You may have read about them in previous newsletters. Here is a list of what we are doing in 2017.

New Programs
Veleeky Lubin Orphanage — one massage therapist for children with disabilities

Mykolaiv — two massage therapists for children with disabilities

Marganets Transition Home — one massage therapist for children from difficult homes

Ongoing Programs
Dobromel Orphanage — two massage therapists
— two computer classes

Chornomorsk — three massage therapists
— transportation scholarship – 4 students
Marganets
School #3 — clothing program
Transition Home — clothing program

Ongoing projects, and new projects that Sveta and I want for 2017

Marganets School #3 — improving education equipment

Ternava village school — improving education equipment
——
Ovidiopol village center — massage therapy for children with disabilities

Shostakova village school — improving education equipment

Maximovka village school — improving education equipment

Mark’s Moments

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Read on to learn about some of our programs through Sveta’s eyes!

Sveta’s Journey
Chornomorsk

DSC03448The Transportation Scholarship Program began in Chornomorsk in 2007. We currently have four students in college and university programs. Your help for our students is HUGE! We met with them and each of them has a big reason to say thanks to you, dear friends! They are standing in the picture right to left.

Three years ago Nastya’s father died, and it was at this time that she began to participate in our program. Nastya told us, “Without your financial support, it would be impossible for me to continue my education.” She is studying to be a music conductor.

Anya has five brothers and sisters in her family. Some of them are also college students. She asked us to thank you. Because of your financial help, Anya can continue her education. She is studying to be an elementary school teacher with a focus on the English language.

For the family of Daniel, your financial gift is also a great help. He needs extra lessons in mathematics. Help with the cost of his transportation to Odessa and back makes a big difference for his family. He, his sister, and parents are very grateful for your help. Daniel is studying at the college of radio and mobile instrumentation. He has a big heart. He shares his meager lunch with his friend who has even less.

Arthur’s parents have a small salary. Their situation was very difficult, but their choices were simple. They had money to pay for utilities and food or education, but not both. You gave them a third choice. Arthur is more thankful than words can say. He is studying at the college of music studies. Listen as he plays the violin very well.

Marganets
This year we closed the clothing program in the orphanage, but God opened a new door in another facility. In January we started a massage therapy program for children at the Transition Home. The children in this program live at this facility for nine months. Massage therapy is very important for these children. For them it is a stressful period in their lives. They have been taken from their family for their own safety, but it is never-the-less a very perplexing time. The children need supportive relationships and healing experiences for the body and soul.

Through massage therapy, step-by-step, the children will receive emotional, social, psychological, and physical rehabilitation. Our massage therapist, Yana, with her ten years of experience, has a great love for these children. She is happy to give massage treatments to the children in the Transition Home!

All who read our newsletters, thank you for your interest in what we do! To our American team, those who pray, encourage, volunteer administrators, and financially support MUCH, you are the heart and soul that God works through to continue to move God’s work forward. Thank each of you from the bottoms of our hearts.
Living my dream,
Sveta

2017 is going to be a very productive year for MUCH. Readers, share our stories with your friends, and be a part of the MUCH adventure!

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

December 2016

Hello family and friends,

Our Christmas fundraiser is in great need of your help.
Christmas is a few days away.
The end of 2016 is quickly drawing near.

We have raised $750 toward
Education tools for learning at the Ternava Village School
Partnering with Young Life Capernaum in Mykolaiv to provide a massage therapy room

Will you help us raise the remaining $3,177

Please Donate Here!

Sveta’s Journey

DSCN4592Our two new massage therapists in Mykolaiv, Anya and Oksana, are hard at work fine tuning their massage therapy skills. They are looking forward to improving the health of the children! With deep faith in God and compassion for children with disabilities, they are already praying for children whom they have not yet met! They will be begin in January 2017. Will you donate to help us prepare the massage therapy room?
Learn more about Young Life Capernaum.

When we first visited the Ternava village school, the children had no technical equipment for learning. Their materials were like when Mark was in school, fifty years ago.DSCN8265
Some of the secondary education children at the Ternava village school are making great progress in their studies because of the help that MUCH has provided.
Donate to help us bring DSCN0123Christmas to all of the children at the Ternava village school, primary and secondary, raising them to a higher level of learning. Computer tablets, interactive white boards, and language wall charts will elevate their learning experience.
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We are counting on you to help MUCH make a difference in the live of these children. Thank you so much for all of the help that you have given throughout 2016.

Living my dream,
Sveta

Our programs are increasing. See our list below!

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

November 2016

Hello family and friends,

Happy Thanksgiving to all in America! Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to look at how God has blessed Americans.
Christmas Fundraiser

The Christmas Fundraiser is on its way to success.
Original goal: $3,927

MUCH has received $500 toward our two projects:
Ternava Village School education tools for learning
Creating a massage therapy room to partner with Young Life

We now need $3,427

We need your help!

Be a part of changing the future of Ukraine through the education system!
Change lives through our massage therapy program with our Young Life partners!
You can Donate here!

Sveta’s Journey
Two years ago, MUCH began helping the children in the Ternava village DSC03881 school. We have seen great joy and gratitude from the director, teachers, and students. The government does not pay attention to small village schools. It was exciting for us to see the school children immediately use everything that MUCH provided.
The camping items to study ecology and environment were used on a fall field trip. The sports equipment was quickly used in the Physical Education classes. Laptop computers and other items for the classroom were greeted with big smiles and promptly put to use. DSC08582
It is so important to help children keep pace with the city children who have more resources. The education equipment in the Christmas Fundraiser will provide a great opportunity for children to acquire knowledge in order to continue in higher educational institutions and find good jobs.
The Ternava school administration asked for help to buy two Smart Boards (interactive whiteboards). See a video of a classroom demonstration Smart Boards.
What is a Smart Board? It is similar to a large computer tablet on the wall. The student can see everything that is on the computer screen, on the Smart Board. He or she can manipulate the computer by touching the Smart Board. If children will use Smart Boards, they will become more physically, mentally, and visually involved in the learning process. Less paper products will be used, and the use of colorful pictures, graphs, charts, and videos will increase their learning motivation.
Why do they need two Smart Boards? This village school has two buildings that are about one hundred yards from each other on opposite sides of the road. One is for high school students and the second is for the elementary grades.
DSCN3551As you can see in this graduation picture, traditional Ukrainian costumes are very popular. If children will have machines for a sewing class, girls will be able to sew the costumes and traditional clothes for other school children. It will be much cheaper than buying. Many parents do not have the finances to buy clothing for special events. They have many plans for the sewing class!
Teachers, parents and students always pass thanks to you!
Living my dream,
Sveta

You can support our Christmas Fundraiser here!

Mark’s Moments
In late May 2002, I stepped down from the plane at the Odessa, Ukraine airfield. As I walked toward the airport transport bus I paused. I thought to myself, “Well Mark, now you will see how big your faith is.” Without a firm plan, I moved forward, never looking back. I believed that God would show me His plan, introduce me to His people, and provide for all of my needs. He has done that for 14 years. Here is one example of God connecting me with children in need.

When Sveta and I travel to visit the children, we interact with different DSCN4365people. On our visit in Marganets, I called Enna, an English teacher who previously translated for me. I used to visit her classes and talk with the children. This is always a pleasure for me. She now has two of her own children in kindergarten, so she isn’t teaching. Enna did set up an opportunity for me to talk with the children at the Maximivka village school where she taught.

I have been there before, but never considered their need for help with education tools. Because of our help for the Ternava village school and Marganets School #3, I now see the Maximivka school with different eyes. We will begin investigating how we can help in the spring of 2017. This is only one example of how God connects Sveta and me with those whom He will help through MUCH.

Mission Ukraine has received $108 in the first three Quarters of this year from SmileAmazon shoppers. Thank you!

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta