Your Generosity Helped Ease the Pain of War for These People …

As you saw in the video clip, the Christmas fundraiser was a wonderful success.

This is how the rest of your fundraiser gifts will be used. There was enough to help pay for the cost to replace windows and a roof of a friend in Mykolaiv whose house was bombed. Two churches that we sponsor monthly are reaching out to more than 100 families each with humanitarian aid, fresh water, and different forms of warmth. We will give them additional financial help. We provided the funds to purchase a generator for a family of eleven children who live in the Kiev Region. The generator will be used to pump water from the well for drinking, bathing, and operating their washing machine. In Kharkiv, northern east Ukraine, a woman that we know will help four families meet their most basic needs. We will give financial support to a single mother with two children in Ivano Frankivsk. They moved after her daughter received surgery. They could not afford to live in the city. We will give you an update on all of those whom you have blessed for the 2022 Christmas, soon.

All are extremely grateful for your Christmas Fundraiser giving!

Thank you!

Marks Moments

AmazonSmile has shared its profits with non-profit charities for the past ten years. MUCH is grateful for the opportunity to receive a portion of their profits through your Amazon shopping experience. As of February 20, 2023, AmazonSmile will be discontinued. This pertains to the AmazonSmile program, not the Amazon online shopping.

Our MUCH base location has moved to Florida.

Starting January 2023 checks sent to MUCH may be written to:

Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope Or MUCH

11 Kingfisher Lane

Palm Coast, FL 32137

Checks sent to the previous address will be forwarded to the new address for a few months.

Together, we will march into the new year with victory in our hearts for Ukraine.

Blessings of love and healing,

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site:

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

How the children are coping with the war

A Message from the Children to Our Sponsors

It was very difficult for us last year. On February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion began, changing the life of every Ukrainian. The war stole the gift of a peaceful and innocent childhood.

Even with the conditions of war, we continue to get an education. During air strikes/missile attacks, we are forced to stay underground. It is a little bit scary in the shelter, but we sing, play games, pray, communicate, and support each other. Due to problems with electricity, we are without light for hours. We do not lose heart. We know and believe that one day this horror will end and we will be able to live without fear in a free and happy country.

Like every Ukrainian today, we strive to be useful, so we help adults. In our free time from studying. We make blanks for trench candles for soldiers on the front line. We want to give a piece of warmth and light to the Ukrainian military. In addition, we weave bracelets, and charms for our soldiers. We draw pictures, because we want Ukrainian soldiers to know that we love them, support them and thank them for the opportunity to live and study.

We, Ukrainian children, want peace. We long for warmth and goodness, freedom and independence. Every day we turn to God, praying about it.

Life goes on and we continue studying in the computer class. Thank you, dear sponsors, for your generous support. We are grateful that you understand how we feel and continue to support our needs.

The Children of Ukraine

Walking Through the Shadow of Death

In the middle of New Year’s Eve day, Yura and Irina heard a strong rumble and at the same moment the terrible sound of exploding shells. From the blast wave, the house shook with powerful force. Plaster, glass, and stones flew at them. The roofing material was blown away in one-second with such a horrific roar that it is impossible to describe in words. Not just fear, but a blanket of horror covered Yura and Irina. (as if their lives would end in a moment) As a result of a Russian rocket attack, the houses of fourteen neighbors, a boarding school for deaf and mute children, and a boarding school for children with disabilities were damaged. Seven people were injured. Now they are in the hospital.

The next day, the city administration helped people cover the broken windows with OSB-sheets. Where it was possible, they repaired the truss systems and cover the roofs with a thick plastic film. But how should they live in winter in such a house? What will they do? They built this house with their own hands. But thank God, they are alive. Not injured, they have an opportunity to start all over again from a small point.

Yura always participated in the lives of others, helping them financially. He, as a jack of all trades, helped many, especially people who did not have enough money. From the beginning of the war, he helped to evacuate women with disabled children.

Yura and Irina will make great efforts to make their house habitable. Now, his first priority is to cover the roof and put in windows before the onset of cold weather. His friends partially helped him with finances.

Thanks to your generosity, dear friends, the mission received more for the Christmas Fundraising than we asked for, and we will send part of the extra amount to Yura to help restore the roof and windows.

We really appreciate what you do to make life easier for others. It means a lot to them and to us. You always do your best to help! Please accept our deepest gratitude!

This is only one way that your financial help is changing live of people that we know directly. Ura and Irina are most grateful.

Blessings of love and healing,

Sveta and Mark

What is our Mykolaiv community doing as the War rages on?

In 2014, Sveta and I bought a house in the annexed section of Mykolaiv. This section is called Balabanovka. Not long ago, the people of this area started a social media group to connect skilled people with people who had needs. This worked out very well.

When the war visited Balabanovka early in March 2022, this social media group altered their purpose. Now they organize the community to survive the war. Helping each other, they also help Ukrainian soldiers.

When explosions are heard, people write to the group and ask: “Are these our boys and girls shooting at the enemy, or Russian missiles coming toward us?”

Residents of our area weave camouflage nets, white for when there is snow. They send hand drawn pictures and the hand written prayer, “Our Father.” Candles are a great gift. Our fine people make candles that are so practical for the soldiers.

Delivery of water and food packages from the city administration, are an ongoing task. People collect money for volunteers to afford gasoline to deliver humanitarian packages. Some give $1.50, another gives $2.77, and still another $27.77. (The exchange rate was 36 UAH to $1.) Gasoline was $1.80 per liter. People give even from their small pension.

Since buses rarely run, drivers of personal cars write that at a certain time they can bring anyone to the center (our area is on the outskirts of the city, a former village)

The wonderful people of Balabanivka donate blankets, pillows, shoes, and furniture to those who are in need. Those who have the skills, help board up windows broken from the blasts. It doesn’t matter if those in need are neighbors in their community, or relocating from nearby villages that have been completely destroyed.

Without heat, there is a great need for another solution. Local craftsmen make potbelly stoves for locals and soldiers. The work is free, but they ask people for material for these stoves.

One woman wrote in the chat group asking for food for stray cats. They come to her yard; they must sense that she has a gentle heart for them. This woman adopted them and now she takes care of them daily.

Animals are deeply effected by the war also. The loud explosions, shock waves, and visual atmosphere disorient animals. When people find dogs that have lost their way, they post a notice with a picture on the Balabanovka social media group. It is a sweet reunion when pet and owner are reunited.

Why will Ukraine win this war? The most powerful reason that I see, is this. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their land, their culture, their lives. They are not sitting there watching the war go on. They are involved in the war. One way or another, they are all at war with Putin, the Kremlin, and autocracy.

Blessings of love and healing,

Sveta and Mark

A Christmas Wish!

We wish to one and to all,
A most blessed Christmas, not a day, nor a season, but for a lifetime call!

For all of those living in Ukraine this Christmas season,
The war has heightened their awareness of the true reason.
Why we celebrate Christmas each year without fail,
Why, even in the midst of this horrific war of such fatal scale.
It is said that there are no atheists in fox holes of war,
They are calling for God, believing in a, One God, over folklore.

The Christmas season is about provision of a spiritual King, a Savior,
It is not about presents, food, and candies with sweet flavor.
This year people in Ukraine are filling the churches, hoping for answers,
A message that will bring truth to their souls from true preaching, not freelancers.
I am seeing lives changing for the good,
People looking to the true God, not falsehood.

Our wish to the people of Ukraine, those that we know, and those that we have not met,
Is that this Christmas they will meet and embrace the Christ child without regret.
That it will not be about a holiday or a season of the year,
Rather, a relationship with their Savior, that they can live daily without fear.
A relationship that will not depend on the outcome of the war soon or later,
Or whether family of friends have been lost because of what this war did cater.
We wish a new life filled with blessings and provisions,
And a new way of making spirit directed decisions.
We wish to one and to all,
A most blessed Christmas, not a day, nor a season, but for a lifetime call!
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

Who is benefiting from your financial gifts?

Can you make a person happy in a difficult time of his life? Yes, you can! That’s what you are doing! Your donations help immensely! YOU are an irreplaceable part of our team!

People write to us and express great gratitude to you, dear friends. You have changed their lives in this time of war and severe trials. The electricity is often cut off and the houses are cold. When people do not have work, and when the prices of everything have increased 300%, the war continues to crush the people of Ukraine.

You recently helped two families buy wood for heat and cooking. You helped buy goats, chickens, feed, straw, and hay! Now their houses are warm and they have milk and eggs! Andriy and Tanya, and Luda with her daughter and granddaughter are grateful to you. They are happy despite their difficult lives! We believe that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Success in life is not measured by how much we have gained, but by how much we have given to help others!

Your gifts provide massage therapy, humanitarian aid, evacuation and relocation, basic needs of individual people, families, and soldiers.Our soldier/son and his team also are very grateful to you. Your gifts provided winter sleeping bags, thermal socks, a generator, binoculars, a chainsaw, drinking water filter systems, raincoats, thermoses, and winter boots!

Sasha, for whose family we are asking you to help raise money to buy a generator for his large family, wrote about previous help for his mission. In a timely fashion, he was able to buy diapers for an elderly woman, and bring food to other needy people. He diligently serves people in his, and other communities. Sasha is a family man, spending quality time serving his large family.

(Vera and Maria are now living in Germany as refugees.) Vera is grateful to you! A year has passed, but Vera, who takes care of her disabled granddaughter, Maria, still remembers the help that she received from you last winter, dear sponsors. You provided utilities for their home, keeping them warm for the entire season. Yesterday, when I spoke with her on the phone, she cried. She said that you, who do not know her and her granddaughter helped them in their difficult times. For her, this was a miracle and she experienced God’s love!

We continue to keep in touch with the people who received your help. All of them are always grateful for your kind hearts! We appreciate your donations! You can see how they make a long-term impact!

Can you make a person happy in a difficult time of his life? Yes, you can! That is what you are doing! Your donations help immensely!

Wishing you God’s grace!

Sveta and Mark

2022 Christmas Fundraiser

Hello family and friends,
This winter is already a cold challenge for the people of Ukraine. It will get colder. Many people are relocating to other countries. For those who stay, humanitarian aid continues to flow in. Generators for electricity are the hottest items to purchase this winter. Imagine forty-million people looking for sources of heat.

The MUCH goal this Christmas is to help the people stay warm, have food to eat, water to drink, cook with, and bathe. Below are some stories that express the real essentials for Ukrainian people in great need.

1. Our son’s military group needs some basic items to do their job well. Winter camouflage clothing are vital for their survival. Our soldiers must be able to see their targets, communicate with each other, and hide themselves from the enemy at all times. Let’s help them do their job the best that they can.

2. The two church groups, in Mykolaiv and Ovidiopol, that we normally sponsor are delivering humanitarian needs to as many as one hundred families.

Ovidiopol church:
Daniel is packing food for refugees. Platon and Daniel deliver these bags of food on a regular basis.

These three girls were walking past the church while Platon was working in the church garden. They asked if they could have some food. He agreed with a smile. He gathered two bags of food, handed them these gifts, and invited them to stop by anytime.

Mykolaiv church:
This church stores bulk food for people to stop by to take home. Many people stop by. Some return on Sunday for spiritual food. Now, more people are aware of the church location, a rented room on the third floor of a commercial building.

The pastors and church members deliver food to families and the elderly who need assistance. It requires a lot of time and energy.

3. Sasha, the father of a family with ten children in the Kiev region, has an incredible out-reach ministry to people in deep villages and distant regions. We would like to bless this large family with a wonderful gift to meet needs of daily existence. Saha’s wife is pregnant with their eleventh child. Sasha is asking for help to buy a generator big enough to operate the pump for their well, and the washing-machine.

The children are involved in Sasha’s outreach ministry at homes for the elderly, and people who live in the deep villages. They bring the Gospel through music, song, and personal testimonies.

4. A woman in Kharkiv, a major city that Ukraine has recaptured, needs financial assistance for the four people/families that she is helping.

Luba Skubakova is 80 years old. She is disabled from childhood. She is single, no relatives. Her pension is enough for utility bills and a little for food and food for her dog, her only friend. She does not have the financial means to repair a denture. Neighbors help the woman a little and bring her food. She really needs financial help and basic nutrition

Nikolai Shuisky is 40 years old. He has a wife, she is disabled since her childhood (one kidney is not developed). Nevertheless, she gave birth to two children. (This stresses the one kidney during pregnancy.) They lived happily until the war began. Nikolai lost his job. Because of the shelling and destruction, he and his family had to leave their house and live as refugees. Their daughter was very afraid of the noise of the explosions and it was generally impossible to continue to live in that village. Now they have been taken in by Ukrainians in a safer community. They live on the money that the government provides for temporarily displaced people. The eldest son goes to school, and the daughter is 3 years old. His wife needs treatment and medication. The children are growing up and need clothes, food.

Nadezhda Shevchenko is 85 years old. She is single. She lives with her niece. Since 2014, she has not gone outside much, because she does not orient herself well in space. She could wonder off and become lost. Her niece accompanies her for her walks. Both receive pensions from the government. There is not enough money for medicines and food.

Valentin is 72 years old. He suffered a massive stroke. He does not get out of bed, and his wife had to leave work and take care of him. The thirty-year-old son helped before, but now he has lost his job. They live in a rented apartment. Rent and utility bills take more than half of their income. He needs an anti-decubitus mattress.

5. A month ago, when we were in Western Ukraine, to visit our daughter Olya, Sveta was able to meet with Oksana, (center), her longtime friend she had not seen for twelve years. Although Oksana did not complain and tried to show that everything was fine, Sveta could see her life is not easy. It is hard for a single woman to raise two daughters. The money that she earns and tiny alimony from her ex-husband was enough to pay for renting an apartment in Ivano-Frankivsk, and for food. But during the war, when prices rose rapidly for everything and the landlord raised the rental price, Oksana was forced to move to the village. The cost of winter things for children is as expensive as for adults. Nutrition and recovery after ear surgery for a smaller daughter also requires a considerable amount of money. If your hearts will open for Oksana, we will be very grateful to you. If the collected amount will be enough to bless Oksana and her daughters, then we would like to give her your donations as the love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ through you.

Our Goal is $6,000

It is an honor for me and Sveta to be of service and help those affected by this horrible war.
The needs in Ukraine are immense and despite the humanitarian efforts from other countries, there is a huge number of needs that go unfulfilled. While we can’t begin to address all needs, we can help those who are close to us. Please help us meet some of the basic needs such as medicine, food, and warmth this winter.

Take comfort in knowing that your donation to MUCH will make a difference and ease some of the suffering during this holiday season.

DONATE HERE

Wishing you God’s grace!

Mark and Sveta

Twice a refugee, Always a Ukrainian

Hello family and friends,
We are grateful for your concern, your kindness to the people of Ukraine. Our great victory has been followed by more attack on Kherson from the opposite side of the river.

The infrastructure in Ukraine is under attack. Electricity grids are being damaged daily. We are receiving reports that electricity in Ivano-Frankivsk is turned off for large parts of the day, along with heating. So many chicken farms have been destroyed that Ukraine’s big export product is now an import product. Eggs are being imported, driving the price of eggs in Ivano-Frankivsk to $2.16 to per ten eggs, and in Kiev to $2.71 per ten eggs. That is at least 325% increase in ten months. The exchange rate is $1 for 36.95 UAH. 

This is only a small picture of the challenges. It will be a difficult winter for all of Ukraine.

Ira has been one of our managers for many years. Her husband, Platon, is pastor of a church in Ovidiopol. He and Ira sent us updates with pictures. Below are excerpts from their letters sent to Sveta and me.

Ira’s Insights

Each photo is a life story, a tragedy.

Many families were forced to leave their homes because, as we say today, the “Russian style of peace” occupied their village, town, or city. Some people left their houses because they were damaged. Some have lost their jobs because of the war and have no money for groceries. Some lost their families.

About 10,000 refugees from neighboring regions, such as Kherson, Mykolaiv, Donetsk and Kyiv regions, are now living in our Ovidiopol region. Since there are not many people in the local government social services department to help, many refugees turn to the church as a social service to get food, clothes, medicine, and diapers for children.

One of the refugees, who now lives in my town, Ovidiopol, survived the war twice. The first time he lived in Donetsk. He had a big business: a chain of stores that were seized by the Russian military in 2014. Then he lost not only his business, apartment, and car, but also some relatives and friends who were killed by Russian soldiers. He and his family had to move to Mariupol to live and start business again.

On February 24, after hearing the sounds of bomb explosions and realizing that it was a Russian invasion, once again. He gathered his family and left Mariupol. He already knew the “Russian style of peace” that this horrible army would bring to Mariupol. Now he and his family live in Ovidiopol as refugees and hope that the Russian army will not be able to come here.

All of these families are grateful for your compassion and financial support. Each grocery bag is delivered to people with God’s word — the complete Bible — for people to read. And with this, you also help people to hear God’s word. We don’t know if they will accept the message of the Gospel, Jesus, the Christ; but we know that we did what we should do. Please pray for those receiving this help to come to know our wonderful and merciful God, Jesus, the Christ.

We are grateful to God and to everyone who prays for Ukraine and who helps financially in this difficult time for Ukrainians! We thank God for your participation and partnership in the difficult times for our country. May God abundantly bless every heart whose desire to help the Ukrainian people endure, whose heart encourages us in our sorrows. Thank you for being a part of our lives!

Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site 

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

The war crept back into my soul

Hello family and friends,
Sveta and I hope that you are having a great fall season. Winter is right around the corner.

We have returned to our home (a place for the two of us) in Bobova, Poland. Tomorrow, we will begin our journey of adaptation and emotional healing. The past eight months have affected our subconscious more than we realized. Our trip back to Ukraine brought many emotions to the surface.

Here are some stories with links related to our time in Ukraine. Please bear with the ads in the videos. Some ads you can skip after five-seconds.

It was a difficult three weeks for me. Here are two reasons why: First were the air raid sirens. Every day, sometimes a number of times a day, the sirens would interrupt our lives. Buses would stop and everyone would get off and find cover, if they were smart. If children are in school, they are sent to the basement of the building. Shops close and the streets seem empty. Even the night we returned to Poland, our granddaughter’s school concert was cancelled at the last minute. Our neighbor took us to the bus station to guarantee that we would get there on time.

Second, we were living on the 8th floor. If you scrub through this video to 3.18 minutes, you will see that a whole vertical section of a building can be destroyed. This video shows the same in the city of Kherson. Last night, November 10, a building was hit in our city of Mykolaiv. Sveta received this picture this morning from a friend who is still living in Mykolaiv.

When we hear sirens after dark in Ivano-Frankivsk, it was most unsettling for me. We were reassured that the city was safe. For three weeks, I didn’t care what anybody thought or said. My emotion, my memories of March 2022, returned.

The ultimate experience of our three week adventure was when we were stopped at a check-point on the bus ride back to Poland. Two or three female soldiers entered the bus with semi-automatic rifles hanging from their shoulders. They checked the passports of each passenger, and the two drivers. I was not expecting this at all. In hind-sight, I am grateful that the security of the roads was heightened. What I took for granted most of my life, in America, is a treasure that Ukraine will not give away.

The mayor of Kiev explains that Putin does not want to control the people of Ukraine. He wants the land. For that, he is trying to destroy the infrastructure of Ukraine, and kill the people in the process. We have friends in Kiev. It has been, and continues to be, the greatest spiritual and physical challenge of their lives.

I remember when the country of Georgia was at war with Russia in 2008. Today, the Georgian Legion, a group of trained soldiers, continue to train and fight beside Ukrainian soldiers since the beginning of the eastern Ukraine war, in 2014. Their goal is to eliminate Putin.

The most moving story that I have seen is that of a journalist from Kherson. He has videoed the story of his young family, his pregnant sister and her husband. If you want to understand the day to day of a family under occupation, take 15 minutes and watch this video.

I have great respect for all of the Ukrainian people who stay and fight for their land, their home, for freedom and democracy in Europe and in the world. I am honored to be married to one who loves her country.

Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site 

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

3 Weeks in Northwestern Ukraine

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 site 

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos