Hello family and friends,
We are looking for more missionaries to work with MUCH!
Are you or someone that you know looking for a rewarding purpose in life. I looked for mine for twenty-six years. Many people see a “calling” as something that is limited to special people or a religious future. I believe that everyone has a purpose and “calling”.
I did receive a “calling”, although it was not what I expected. I was not looking to be a missionary. I was not looking to leave the country or learn a new language. I did “hear” God calling me to Ukraine.
Over a period of fourteen years, I have learned how my regular life has prepared me for my mission in Ukraine.
In June 2002, I came face to face with orphans who broke my heart. I had to help them! Clothing was their immediate need. We worked with a generation of these children, changing their self images and giving them hope. Can you imagine what that could feel like?
For the past twelve years, our massage therapy programs have not only changed the health and abilities of the children, but the results are changing the communities, changing society. Would you like to be a part of that experience?
Nine years ago I was confronted with the vicious cycle of poverty that was destroying people in Chornomorsk (previously, Illichevsk). We saw that education was the answer. Helping students get to the university, and providing educational equipment for village schools and orphanages has been our challenge. Wouldn’t you like to be a part of changing Ukraine through education?
My past fourteen years living in Ukraine have been the most important years of my life. So many peoples lives have been touched; so many children’s lives have been transformed. Would you or someone you know like to be a part of the MUCH experience as a missionary?
I am looking for two people with specific skills to grow the mission.
Those skills are children’s ministry, and social media/computer/internet skills.
If you or someone that you know are men or women of God in a Christian Faith relationship, please contact Mark.
Sveta and I do our best to share the results of the Christmas fundraiser with our sponsors. Sometimes, so many projects are involved that it would take a year of newsletters to share all of them.
One big story is about the camping equipment for the children at the Dobromel Orphanage/boarding school. When we were visiting the children in May, Vladimir, the director, organized an afternoon in the mountains. The children hiked to the designated spot while Vladimir, two boys, Sveta and I drove with the equipment.
After the tents were set up, the children played with the volleyballs. It was nice to see all of the children focused on their activities.
Natasha, our Massage Therapist, took charge of things and put the children to work with different tasks. It was a great time for the children. They learned to set up the tents, the girls prepared lunch over an open fire, and Sveta and I received a new understanding of the value of camping equipment for the children’s education. Teachers from geography, history, science, and biology want to take their class to the mountains for field trips.
The equipment will be used for yearly competitions between schools. Aside from setting up the campsite and other preparations, students will compete scholastically about environmental issues and application of what they learn in the classroom.
This is a big deal. Even so, I am much happier to see the equipment being used for field trips!
Fifteen children participated in this four hour outing. We were chased away by rain clouds that moved in as we were finishing lunch.
As we packed to go, each of the staff came to Sveta and me to express what a great experience this was for the children. They asked to convey their BIG appreciation to MUCH sponsors. Thank you!
[Jack, the dog from the orphanage, follows the children everywhere.]
Massage therapy result!
Anya appeared in the Dobromel Orphanage/boarding school in September 2015. She was only five years old. The girl is friendly and trusting. She quickly found friends using a special method. Anya likes to make bracelets, ribbons and other decorations that she gives to children.
She enjoys the sounds of music and loves poems. Although Anya may not always remember all the lines of the poems, she often improvises and comes up with her own verse and rhyme. Very fond of cartoons, she can repeat the story, or play all the roles on stage like a real actress.
It remains a mystery why some children come to this orphanage for children with special needs. Most children come from difficult homes, others from large families who are too poor to care for another child. There are many scenarios. Anya falls into one of these mystery categories. In March, she was sent home to be with her family for two weeks. During that time, she developed a sever case of influenza. Upon her return, the nurse noticed that Anya could not close her left eyelid and was unable to laugh as a result of her facial muscle paralysis. She was immediately sent to Natasha, the massage therapist. After a twenty day course of massage therapy, the function of Anya’s facial muscles returned to normal.
How nice that the orphanage can have a massage therapist who comes to the rescue at the right time. This treatment prevented the child from being sent to the hospital. Moreover, the immediate massage therapy treatment avoided what may have led to an adversely progressive disability. Natasha expresses her gratitude again and again to the MUCH sponsors who support the massage therapy program. She sees great importance in this ministry. Many children recover from physical, psychological, and social problems.
Computer lesson results!
Luba, one of our computer class teachers in the Dobromel Orphanage/boarding school, teaches the children using special programs. These short lessons are in the form of a game with frequent repetition. Children love these lessons. By the end of the school year we saw good results. It is very difficult to work with these children because of their short attention spans. One of our goals is to help them understand that learning to use the computer can be useful to them in life. Most importantly, the children see their achievements, and they become happy and proud of these achievements. This gives children with disabilities the opportunity to see themselves as “normal” children, building their confidence.
This is Mark’s dreams. Through education, we can help children escape the vicious cycle of poverty. Particularly, we want to change the thinking of the children. We want them to see themselves as having something to give to society, to be a positive part of their community.
We saw all of the equipment that Natasha asked for during the Christmas fundraiser. She showed us how it fits in with her massage and exercise programs. She says thank you to all who made her request a reality within such a short time.
Living my dream,
Thank you to all who make it possible for MUCH to continue God’s work here in Ukraine. We wish that each of you have a comfortable and safe summer!
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta