Hello family and friends,
Happy New Year!
I hope that 2009 will be a bright year for all. As we have closed 2008, I see the progress of the children most evident. I have short videos of some of the children at the massage clinic who are walking who could not walk in 2007. The Emmaus children learned more life skills and are doing projects on the computer. In Marganets, many great things have moved forward in 2008. Most important is the new weekly drug and alcohol prevention program. The year-to-year support for the Transition Home in Marganets, the programs for the Marganets orphanage, and support of the Dobromel orphanage have opened new doors of opportunity to serve our children in better ways.
I have begun to post to this blog each week. I am writing about some of my experiences as a missionary. I hope to shed more light on the lives of the children. A couple of photos will bring my posts to life. Sometimes it is difficult for me to remember what my readers don’t see. Life here has become so normal for me that I forget how different it is. If you’re reading my posts, please take a moment to comment at the bottom of the post. I would love to hear from you. Some people think that my newsletter is only about financial support. I hope that you will realize the stories are news about the children. They need your prayer support. But I think that most of all, they need you to be talking about them. They need to become a part of your conversational lives.
Ira and I will be sharing more stories about MUCH children in the newsletters and the blog in 2009. Below, Ira talks about the Rehabilitation Center that is a result of four years of the MUCH massage clinic. The medical community and the local people saw a new value in people with disabilities. MUCH is creating a ripple affect, as it exemplifies the love of God through rehabilitation for people with disabilities.
I’m pleased to say that the MUCH Christmas Fundraiser has successfully reached its goal of $3,620!! Four programs will enrich the lives of the children at the Marganets orphanage. We will clothe as many as 104 children who will pass through the Transition Home in 2009. Our funds will support Pastor Volodya’s work with the children who have special needs at the orphanage in Dobromel. All of these programs will operate for one more year because of your generous gifts during this Christmas Season. We say a BIG UKRAINIAN THANK YOU!! СПАСИБO БОЛЬШОЙ!! May God bless your giving hearts.
Here is an update on how the economy is affecting my work here. Ukraine is being hit hard with unemployment, banking problems, and the Russian gas “war.” In spite of all of these problems, what I am able to do is somewhat dependant upon the value of the dollar. In October it had fallen from 5 to 4.5 grevnya for $1. Earlier this week, it had climbed to 8.7 grevnya for $1. It looks to be a very unpredictable year. The Christmas Fundraiser guarantees funding for our six-year-to-year ministries. Our main three outreach programs will be challenged month to month for financial support in 2009. Please be praying for our 400 plus children and our teams who reach out to them throughout this coming year.
Blessings of love and healing,