Hello family and friends,
It is the happiest season of the year. Around the world, people pause to celebrate Christmas. Some celebrate for a whole season, some for a day, and some, only for a few hours. There are many different faiths and beliefs about God, but there seems to be a common season of joy around the season some call Christmas. Children, most of all, look forward to this time. There is such mystery and anticipation of what Christmas morning will bring.
Here in Ukraine, Christmas is celebrated twice, on December 25th and then again on January 7th, the traditional Ukrainian Christmas. At Marganets, we have been giving small bags of candy to the children for Christmas. When I visit, some of the children, carrying their treasured bag of candy with them everywhere they go, always want to share a piece or two with me. They certainly have the Christmas spirit deep within their hearts. In the midst of all of the problems of their everyday lives, they still have an innocence that has not been crushed by the troubles of this world.
Earlier this year, I visited little Sasha, 7 years old, at the massage clinic. As I think of Christmas for her, I think of the wish for her scoliosis to be corrected and for her legs to be straightened and untwisted. For her, Christmas is a time of hope. When I visited Vladik, age 2, he was already seeing the results from the massage clinic. His once bowed legs are now straight and he is walking very well. For him, Christmas is a time for rejoicing. Seven of the children who received services from the massage clinic are attending regular school for the first time, because they can walk. For them, Christmas is a time of great joy.
Every group of children that has been helped by MUCH is entering the Christmas season with a little more hope than they did in the past. I see smiling faces on the children that I visit in the three cities where we serve. God is doing great things through MUCH with your gifts throughout the year, and there is still time to give to our Christmas Fund Raiser. Not only the children are being helped, but here is the story of how one of our own, Anatoliy, has been helped. For seven years, this Ukrainian man in retirement has served the children through MUCH. Ira tells the story of his rejoicing this Christmas season.
We wish each of you a very blessed Christmas season. May it continue with you throughout the year. May God bless you as you in turn bless others. From Ira and me, and all of the MUCH team on two continents, may God be with you, protect, and guide you throughout 2010.
Blessings of love and healing,