Hi family and friends,
I wish to extend to all a blessed holyday season. Easter and Passover, along with other religious holydays bring people together to focus upon the mercies and graces that God shares with us. Let us seek a closer relationship with God during these holydays.
After some down time adjusting to the American culture, I began visiting friends February 27th. I had dinner with a long time sponsor in Greensboro. March presentations began in Greensboro; then Michigan was the site where an old friend and her husband introduced me to their church families. Pennsylvania brought me in contact with old friends and new. The third week provided eleven contacts and presentations, including a visit with the Maranatha church in Akron, Ohio. They sponsor a mission in Tiraspol, an offshoot country of Moldova, bordering Ukraine. This week I will be in the Mount Pleasant, PA area, visiting relatives and friends.
Many of you will not see my presentation, so I will share some of the highlights At the Marganets orphanage, we are doing many things, as you have read during our Christmas Fund Raiser. I visited the children in January before I came to America. Back in 2003, we provided an amplifier system to encourage their music and dance program. I’m happy to report that they have come a long way in the past seven years. This is the first year that any of the Marganets orphanage children have been invited to enter the music school (see the October 2009 Newsletter). Not only that, but the music and dance team from this orphanage has won the regional competitions and will go on to compete in the National competition in Kiev, Ukraine.
The Emmaus Food Program in Illichevsk continues to encourage children from difficult homes to move forward with their lives. Kristina, studying law, and Viktoria, studying to be an English teacher, are in their third year of university, using our Transportation Scholarship Program. Vika is waiting in the wings to begin in September. These children will break the cycle of poverty in their lives by enriching their knowledge and seeking their highest potential. Also, they are setting great examples for the children who continue to seek answers for their own lives through the Emmaus Food Program.
Also in Illichevsk, we are seeing the children at the Massage Clinic make great progress. The report is that at least ten children who could not walk last year are attending school this year because they are now able to walk. What a great result! Six years ago, nothing was available in Illichevsk, population 62,000, for children with disabilities. Today the clinic is providing massage for 12 children each month, but equally as important is the example of what love and compassion can do to change the lives of children with disabilities and their families.
Our newest program, recently approved by the MUCH Board of Directors, beginning in September, is a massage program for 12 children in Froonza, a rural village on the Crimean Peninsula. The peninsula attaches to southeastern Ukraine on the Black Sea. The mothers of these children are ready to open their homes to provide a place for massage treatments. A masseuse is ready to work with four children a day, 20 days a month for the small fee of $100 per month. Small by American standards, but it is normal for this village. What a wonderful opportunity!
I will continue to travel in North Carolina and Florida to share my story with all who are interested in hearing about our children in Ukraine. Please continue to pray for my safe travel and that God will continue to give me words to tell the stories of the children.
Blessings of love and healing,