Hello family and friends,
Happy New Year to one and to all. I wish each of you a prosperous and a blessed 2011. We begin this new year with one disappointment. As mentioned in the October Newsletter, the Emmaus Food Program has closed its doors for an undetermined time. We are sad for the twenty children who attended this program, but we realize that they are in God’s hands. He loves them more than we ever could. The Transportation Scholarship Program will continue for the students from the Emmaus Program, so they can continue their university studies.
On the other hand, God has opened the door in Marganets to help the children at another orphanage/boarding school, Marganets #2. The Board of MUCH has approved a pilot program to provide funds for clothing, shoes, socks, and winter wear for these 130 children, ten of whom are without any family. We will consider additional needs as funds are available. The conditions at this facility are similar to the first Marganets orphanage/boarding school when we first began to help those children eight years ago. There is plenty to do to improve the living conditions for the children in Marganets #2. We welcome these children to the family of MUCH that now totals a minimum of 512 children.
Thanks to the success of the Christmas Fund Raiser, we are able to bless so many children. MUCH is very grateful to all who made the fundraiser a winner, in spite of the difficult financial times. God continues to touch hearts and provide funds to change the lives of His children – six groups of children in three cities and a village. We are moving forward, one step at a time. As God continues to prepare workers for our future steps, MUCH continues to help the children, little by little. We are seeing progress; the children are changing, struggling with the lives they live, but reaching up for our hand to hold as we walk together with them through their lives.
We are very happy to announce that the much-awaited video of Sasha is now on the MUCH website! On the homepage is an introduction to Sasha. You can open her video by clicking on Meet Sasha.
Before I tell you about our visit with Sasha, I must introduce you to Svetlana, my fiancé as of January 1. Svetlana has a great love for God. In addition, she has a big heart, full of love for children and a passion to work with them. She has two grandchildren of her own and has MUCH love for our children. She has a background in massage therapy and wants to improve her skills. Svetlana sees in me many good things that I never could. She has touched my life in many healing ways. Svetlana is one of the workers that God has been preparing to further the work of MUCH. She will be a wonderful addition to the MUCH team.
While visiting me December 25, Svetlana brought some gifts for Sasha. Svetlana and I visited Sasha that evening, taking gifts that Ira had also bought for Sasha. We surprised Sasha with an unexpected Christmas. She opened the gifts with great joy, sharing them with her younger cousin. We visited and chatted with Natasha, her mother, for about two hours. As you can see in these pictures, Svetlana and Sasha are becoming friends.
As Svetlana and I walk down the road toward married life, we will also be looking for what God will do in the future of MUCH. As a married couple, we will walk together through each door as God opens it. As a new part of the MUCH team, we will minister to children in ways that I could not as a single, limited speaker of the Russian language. Please join us in 2011 as the whole team of MUCH, here, in America, and other countries, follow God’s direction to help the disadvantaged children and children with disabilities in cities and villages of Ukraine.
Blessings of love and healing,