Hello family and friends,
I have been in America for two months visiting family and friends. My main purpose is fundraising. I have made a number of presentations in Greensboro and am now in Pennsylvania for eight days. October 2-7, I will be in Florida. I will return to Ukraine on October 9. Svetlana and I will be married on November 12, and together we will serve the children of Ukraine through the generous contributions of MUCH supporters. Svetlana has wonderful gifts that will complement what God has been doing through the MUCH team and me.
In September of 2010, MUCH began a massage program in the village of Froonza, Crimea. This came about after I lived in Froonza for two weeks with a family with thirteen children, some of them foster children and one adopted. Twelve-year-old Kolya has cerebral palsy, and he grabbed my heart as I watched him practice walking in the house with his forearm crutches. I decided, seeing how limited his exercise area was, that he needed to get outside and walk everyday. Kolya and I walked five blocks to the village school almost every day. The teachers who saw him there were delighted that he was out of the house and wanting to be around other children.
Toward the end of my stay, I asked his foster mother if there were other children with disabilities in the village. She informed me that there were twelve other children in need of services. I saw that the need was enough to justify a massage program, so I presented it to the MUCH Board of Directors. The board approved the new massage therapy program, and we have been seeing good results with many of the children, including Kolya. Not only that, but mothers from nearby villages are requesting services, anxious to bring their children.
In the past few newsletters, I have written about the massage demonstration that my fiancée, Svetlana, will provide next month at the orphanage in Dobromel, Ukraine. I have been visiting these children for the past three years. The orphanage houses one hundred and twenty children who have a variety of physical or mental/emotional problems that can have serious repercussions on the educational system in the orphanage and the social interaction of the children. Some of the children have obvious physical disabilities, while others have learning disabilities or emotional problems. Some of the children have Down’s Syndrome.
Our goal with the demonstration is to show the variety of bodily functions that can be affected and corrected through the proper application of massage. In our massage therapy clinics in Illichevsk and Froonza, we have seen a variety of amazing results. Aside from helping to balance the opposing muscle problems in cerebral palsy, massage has reduced and sometimes eliminated convulsions, stimulated awareness of bowel and bladder needs, improved the sleep patterns of restless or disruptive children, improved the digestive process, reduced watering of the mouth, and improved speech enunciation.
Announcing the 2011 Christmas Fundraiser!
The 2011 MUCH Christmas Fundraiser will focus on the Froonza and Dobromel Massage Therapy Clinics described above. Our goal is to raise $5,000, enough to operate these two programs for twelve months. Each program will provide massage five days a week. We require documentation of all program expenditures in our outreach programs, and the clinics in Froonza and Dobromel will provide progress reports for each child at the end of a twenty-day treatment.
I have always made a big effort to use MUCH contributions directly for the operation of programs. Members of our Board of Directors are volunteers, and our overhead to run the business side of MUCH is minimal. I am the only paid American on the MUCH team, and, in keeping with my missionary status in a foreign country, my wage is small. One hundred per cent of the Christmas Fundraiser will be used for the operation of the massage programs at Froonza and Dobromel.
What better Christmas gift could you give to a child than a more comfortable, more functional body!
Blessings of love and healing,