Hello family and friends,
Children in Ukraine
August 24 is Independence Day in Ukraine. This year we celebrated our thirtieth year of independence from the Soviet Union and Russia. There were big parades in many of the larger cities. We are grateful to the people of all of the countries who helped the people of Ukraine move through these years of challenges to become the country that we are now.
Sveta’s niece brought her two girls with her from Kiev area to share the holiday. It was so nice to have all of the cousins together for lunch and some play time. Their favorite game was “taxi driver” with the wheel barrow.
September 1 has come and gone. The children in Ukraine have returned to school. This is the first year in many years of my life in Ukraine that the weather has cooled considerably in early September. It reminds me of September 2003 living in Chornomorsk. It was as if someone had turn on a season switch for fall weather.
Every Sunday, Sveta and I visit Maria and her grandmother after church. When the weather is good, we all sit outside in the “driveway.”
Sveta and Vera talked about many things, like finding a much needed wheelchair for Maria. They scoured the internet and found an organization that would provide one for free.
During last eleven years, Vera had limited interact with people. Over the four months that we have been visiting Maria and Vera, we were not exactly aware of all that was happening in their lives. As Vera shared her day to day struggles, we listened, and listened. What could we do? We brought some food each week, maybe enough for a meal or two. We prayed for each of them every time that we visited.
Then something changed! Vera began to realize God’s love through our visits. Step by step, God was working on her spirit and soul. Step by step, He was healing her broken heart. Her relationship with God was returning to what it had been eleven years ago. Vera told Sveta that in the beginning of our visits she did not want to see people in her house. Vera’s soul was broken, but now she was like a flower beginning to blossom. Now, her relationship with God will grow forward! Vera, Maria, Sveta and I miss one another during the week and are eager to see one another.
In the fall of 2000, I asked Dennis Lennon a question about missions. “What preparation do I need to become a missionary?” He answered, “If you make yourself available, God will use you!” That may sound pretty simple, but I have stood on that phrase like standing on a Rock, for eighteen-and-a-half years. I have shared this phrase in my past newsletter. As Sveta and I walked home after our visit, we spoke about this phrase with joy in our hearts.
Most of the world has been affected by COVID-19 for the past year and a half. For many people, their lives have been altered drastically. Great thanks to God, this has not been the case for the children of MUCH. I would like to share a story of one of these children.
Anna is eight months old. She and her family live in the village of Ovidiopol. Anna’s mother noticed that her child was not developing the motor skills that she should be.
The neuropathologist has diagnosed Anna with liquorodynamic syndrome. The most simple explanation is that the motor, or movement, activities of the muscular system are being delayed in the development of the child. The can lead to cerebral palsy.
After making his diagnosis, the doctor recommended that Anna undergo a fifteen-day course of therapeutic massage treatment. Nadia, our massage therapist in Ovidiopol, was chosen to treat Anna.
Nadia worked with Anna for fifteen days, paralleling massage therapy with exercise. Using a plastic fit-ball, about two feet in diameter, (see the picture), Nadia rested the child on the ball, rolling it back and forth, and side to side. The goal is to stimulate the motor activity in the brain having to do with balance and other movement related activities. Anna enjoys the fit-ball very much.
At the end of the procedures, the parents and the doctor noticed that the symptoms were much less obvious. The muscle tension had significantly decreased and Anna began to make sounds more often, learning to talk! The doctor recommended in three months to undergo another massage course to consolidate the result.
This early intervention treatment is key to reprograming the infants while they are developing. Anna’s parents are so grateful to MUCH for the results that they are seeing in their Anna.
We have been seeing good results in many children through the years. Other parents, whose children receive help through massage treatment, also thank everyone who takes part in this matter. Thank you dear sponsors and massage therapists!
Living my dream,
Thank to everyone who reads our stories and shares them with your friends. Sponsors and prayer warriors, thank you for your part in making it possible to do what God has called us to do!
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta
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