Hello family and friends,
Many leaves color the ground, yet many remain green upon the trees. People from all around await that autumn freeze. October 15th is the annual day when the city turns the heat on in Ukraine. This fall has been mild thus far, so we have no heat as of October 16th. I think the first frost will come soon.
First, the frost is on the pumpkin, next the turkey and fixin’s, then chestnuts are roasting on an open fire. Soon, the Christmas season will be upon us. Our Christmas Fundraiser will focus on the futures of our children. At the Marganets Orphanage in south central Ukraine, we have four programs that have been supported, not by our annual budget, but by the Christmas Fundraisers in the past several years. I want to share with you some of the results that we are seeing:
The computer class that we support has come a long way in one year. For the low cost of $180 per school year, children are learning to use Word, the Microsoft word processor for writing text; they are using Microsoft Paint to create graphic art design, and Microsoft PowerPoint to create professional presentations. These children who have learning disabilities now have more skills to compete in the work world in the future. Andre, the teacher, is passionate about teaching the children computer skills.
Unfortunately, physical rehabilitation for the children is not a part of the orphanage budget. The massage program that MUCH supports here costs $360 per school year, providing two children each day with massage treatment. Eight children will receive massage treatment this school year. The results provide children with that personal attention, neurological and physical stimulation, and emotional encouragement. The doctor tells me that she is seeing changes in the children because of each of these activities.
The music and dance program is producing big surprises. Leonid, the music master, is creating new challenges for the children. Two of them, see the pictures below, have started to attend the local music school, an after school program. Children from this orphanage have never been considered for music school. To everyone’s surprise, they have been given free tuition. Music has always been a big part of their program at the orphanage, but with the MUCH contribution of $180 per school year, they are making leaps and bounds in their resourcefulness and learning opportunities. Leonid even composed music for a song that I wrote for the children, and taught these two children to sing it. It is very beautiful.
Olga is connecting with the children through her introduction of morality, self image, maintaining control of self, and the understanding of addictive practices. She is influencing the children most, I think, with her love and compassion toward them. If you were to see her work with the children, you would see that special light in her eye. Olga is not on staff at the orphanage. MUCH supports her work with the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program at the cost of $450 per school year. The big result that I see is that the children are attending church. His Spirit is at work!
Also in Marganets, we support the Transition Home, where children stay for ninety days, sometimes more, as they are being transitioned from difficult homes to an orphanage. For the cost of $500 per year, MUCH provides the basic underwear, socks and shoes that are needed as these children are removed from their families. This is a very fragile time for the children. MUCH helps them to maintain dignity and self-image during this time.
At the Dobromel Orphanage in western Ukraine, close to the border of Poland, we support the work that Pastor Volodya has been doing for eight years. MUCH provides funds for the purchase of clothing, shoes, some food, and fruit juices. As he provides a spiritual program to build Christian character, MUCH provides $1800 a year to clothe and nourish the children. I see the great relationship that he has with the children! His work is changing their lives. MUCH is helping Volodya continue this great mission.
So many children with disabilities are in need where I live in Illichevsk, south western Ukraine. MUCH wants to provide two more hours of massage. This will cost $1800 per year. We have a proven track record with our massage program at the Clinic. Children, who could not walk, are walking. Some of our children are entering the regular school system. Most of all, our Early Intervention program is showing great and permanent results.
The total amount of the MUCH Christmas Fundraiser for 2009 is $5270. If everyone who reads this newsletter were to contribute $20, less than dinner for two, about 300 of the 400 plus children that MUCH serves will be able to continue to receive the services provided through our 2009 Christmas Fundraiser.
Seven years ago, I answered the call to live the remainder of my life in Ukraine, serving the children of lesser provision and ability. I had a lot of questions, but I stepped out in faith. God has provided for all of my needs, but more importantly, He has provided for the needs of the children. He has provided through your giving hearts. This is not about me asking you, but it is about you responding to the gifts that God has given you to share with those less fortunate. So, I will ask you to read this letter again, and ask God what He wants you to do for His children. The children and I are so grateful for all that you have shared with us these past seven years. We thank you for being a part of our lives.
Blessing of love and healing,