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Hello family and friends,


Svetlana and I were married on November 12, 2011, at her church in Nikolayev, Ukraine.

My brother Tim and his wife Sonya came from America to share this special event in our lives. Svetlana’s church family did all of the preparations and provided a reception with music, skits, games, and more food than you could possibly imagine.

October was an exciting month for Svetlana and me. I met her at the midpoint of her massage demonstration at the Dobromel Orphanage for children with physical and mental disabilities. Dobromel, nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, is a poor community; the streets are filled with potholes and the sidewalks are in poor repair. Few buildings are higher than two stories, and many are showing the effects of time. Even so, the pride of the people is evident in some buildings that are painted with very cheerful colors. Life in Dobromel is a challenge, although,  life for the Ukrainian people has always been a challenge.

This newsletter will focus on Svetlana’s experience giving massage to some of the 119 children who live most of their lives in the institution. As you read Svetlana’s story, please reflect on love portrayed so deeply during the Christmas Season. Many of these children have not experienced the warmth of love ever in their young lives. Please consider sharing a bit of your love with them.

Svetlana’s Journey

For one month (two weeks alone and two weeks with Mark), I was in the special boarding school/orphanage of Dobromel in Western Ukraine. This facility of 50 years provides room, board, and education for 119 children. The children have deviations and delays in physical and mental development.

Eleven of them have no parents – orphans – the rest have parents, but many of them use alcohol or drugs, struggling with their poverty. They don’t want the responsibility for their children. Many parents are unable to provide good home care for their children. Many children are from large families with many brothers and sisters. One family has eight children, and they all live and study in this school.

Wonderful people work here and care about the fate of the children. They invest in these children, teaching them many good skills and knowledge; they take into account the characteristics of the children, and give each child individual attention. These people have an enormous responsibility and important role – to love, teach, educate, and shape the personality of each child. It is very hard work, because the children have physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities. Some children need to learn elementary activities – activities of daily living.

Thus, the purpose of my stay at the boarding school was to reveal the positive and tremendous impact of massage on the body of the child and to manifest the healing power of the Holy Spirit through me. When I started to massage children, I did not have full confidence that in such a short period I would see some results. However, the therapeutic effects of massage manifested themselves. In this step, I thank the Lord, because all good things come from Him. My faith is growing. Let us pray the prayer of faith, and we can be confident that God will answer.

Within 20 days, I gave massage to 18 children. Three children received a 20 day massage, 8 children received a 10 day massage, 1 child  received a 4 day massage, 1 child received a 6 day massage, 4 children received a 5 day massage, and 1 child received a 13 day massage. Briefly, I will describe some of the results, which not only I saw, but also employees of the institution. Other treatment results will be in the December newsletter.

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