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Hello family and friends,

Happy New Year 2010 to each of you! We have begun the new year in a positive frame of mind. We worked hard to make the Christmas Challenge a success, and we did meet our goal of $5270. It was close, but we made it over the top. The entire MUCH staff and the children who will benefit from these programs send you a very big THANK YOU!

In preparation for my visit to the states on February 17, I have been shooting some video and taking pictures of the children who are receiving massage this month. Of the five children who are receiving treatment from Tanya, one of our masseuses, four children are less than five years old. I wrote a few words about Sasha in the December newsletter. She is seven years old. She has the sweetest personality and it is clear that her mother loves her very much. Sasha has a good mind, but it will break your heart to see her body. She has a very noticeable curve in her spine. Between her right and left rib cage, her chest is sunken in. Her feet are twisted inward. If she could walk, and she is working toward that end, she would walk on the sides of her feet.

I met Sasha last year during her massage treatment. I see some progress this time, and will video her at the end of her treatment this month. She is one of the many children who have severe physical challenges that can be altered significantly. This year we will work with twelve children every month. The more often each child can receive a twenty day massage treatment, the better the chances are that the child will have new abilities that will last a lifetime. Thanks to the success of the Christmas Challenge, at least four additional children’s lives will be changed because of massage.

I visited the Dobromel Orphanage early in December on my return trip from Warsaw, Poland. Pastor Volodya continues his outreach work with the children of this orphanage. As a pastor, he works hard to touch their spiritual lives. As a humanitarian, he wants to help the children improve their quality of living. This may mean a new pair of shoes, clothing, or even a much needed pair of socks. This is where MUCH makes his work possible through the Christmas Challenge. Even though he lives in Borislav, two hours from the orphanage; his passion for these children continues. I saw and photographed the evidence of the relationships that he built with the children during the past eight years. I see it in the eyes of the children. One of the boys wants to go to the Borislav seminary and study to be a minister. He is always sharing with Volodya some scripture that he has been studying. I see hope in the eyes of the children; hope that they can have a life of purpose.

Let’s see what Ira has to share with us about another child named Sasha!

I do not have the gifts that each of my team members in three different cities has, but I do my part to make it possible for each of them to do what God has called them to do. That is what MUCH is all about. We are helping the people of Ukraine help themselves. What a joy it is to see the people of Ukraine receive the opportunity to do what they were created to do!

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