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Hello family and friends,

We will arrive in Poland from Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine on November 10. While in Ukraine, our tasks that we needed to do require small amounts of time. This left very much down time between appointments for Sveta and me. Our daughter Olya is working long days, leaving the children home alone.

Sveta is busy cooking, encouraging, and sometimes disciplining the grandchildren. As for me, my time is used for writing, playing chess with the grandchildren, and listening for the next step for MUCH. We are blessed to live in Bobova, Poland through September 2023! It is a peaceful community, where we will emotionally recuperate from our reactions to the eight months of war that has changed our lives in ways that we would never have imagined.

For me, being back in Ukraine has been somewhat stressful. There have been no bombs or missiles in Ivano-Frankivsk, but any place in Ukraine could be a target. Knowing this, my three weeks on the eighth floor apartment has not been so comfortable for me.

Mark’s Moments

While walking through the streets of Ivano-Frankivsk, Sveta saw what looked like a castle, high on a hill. We learned that it was a hotel. Intrigued as she was, this view had to be investigated. Sveta, Daniel, and Anya accepted the challenge. The long hike was quite rewarding. They could see the whole city, even on this overcast day.

Anya stands at the doorway, inviting you to come and sit with her. She has many stories to tell. This year she has been a refugee in Slovakia, Germany, and England. She has returned to Ukraine with her older brother, sister, and mother. They have found new beginnings in this city of hope.

The grandchildren are attending online classes one week, and in-person classes the next. For the in-person classes, the grade levels, for instance third grade, divide their children into one group in the morning, and the other group in the afternoon, for lessons. This is, as I understand it, to protect half of the population of children in case of an attack.

The history of online schooling began long before there was a line to be on. When education was a privilege, the opportunity to be educated had greater respect than it does today in some countries.

When I came to Ukraine, my first experience was that school was still a discipline that was followed. The teachers were deeply respected. As time went on, I learned that some teachers were selling grades. The teachers of corrupt character “taught” the children disrespect for education, and teachers through their example.

When COVID-19 arrived in Ukraine, and was followed by the Russian invasion/war, many children were without discipline and unable to organize their time independently. I don’t know about the general population of Ukrainian children, but the ones that I have experienced and heard about are not adapting well to online education. I hope that I am not correct about this.

Ukraine will win the war, and take back all of Ukraine. It must, to maintain freedom in Europe. The greatest challenge will be to take back the children that Russia has abducted. To catch-up on lost education of three years will be a big challenge. The Ukrainian people can, and will do this, but it will be a national task. We cannot afford to lose a generation of our children.

Thank you for reading and sharing our stories. Thank you for your prayer and financial support.

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube channel.

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