April 2018

Hello family and friends,

April has ushered in warmer mornings and afternoons. Our young fruit trees are full of leaves and some are in blossom. We look forward to apples, peaches, cherries, apricot, and plums this year. Sveta planted fourteen fruit trees over the past four years.

I will begin working on the house again in the beginning of May. I hope it will be a productive summer.

Mark’s Moments

While visiting Marganets this month, we stopped in at the Transition Home to see how Yana was doing with the massage therapy program. She treats children who struggle with psychological and emotional problems. This visit, Yana introduced us to six year old Galina, who has cerebral palsy. She and her three siblings have been living at the Transition Home for a week.

As we watched Yana give massage to Galina, we learned about Galina’s home life. Poverty has made it difficult for her mother to care for her four children. The government removed the children from their mother and placed them in the Transition Home until the mother will be able to improve the standard of care for the children.

This has created some interesting opportunities for Galina. While at the Transition Home, she will receive massage and exercise therapies. We spoke to the assistant director and confirmed that the status of the Transition Home is now related to healthcare and respite day care. So, the therapies that Galina is receiving can continue on an “out patient” basis when she returns to her home.

We visited the school in her community of Maksimovka and talked with the director there. We informed her of the healthcare opportunity for Galina. She and Enna were happy to hear this good news. Enna is one of the English teachers at Maksimovka school, and is also our MUCH manager in Marganets.

In the process of our many conversations, Enna told us about her son. He is in his third year of dental studies at the university in Poltava. He wants to learn massage therapy as a second area of expertise. Here is one new individual interested in working with children.

Two days ago, Sveta and I were invited to visit an orphanage with our church pastor and four others. The director of the orphanage, Ruslan, showed us all of the facility and shared many things about the children. Before leaving, Sveta and I talked with him about his massage therapy program.

There are fifty-six children with varying degrees of physical and mental disabilities. Each will benefit from massage therapy according to their unique needs. Some do not speak, some cannot walk, some have emotional and social problems. There is one massage therapist who works part-time. She is expected to provide massage therapy for as many of the children as she can. The general treatment is for twelve days. To get the best result for most of the children, two additional part-time massage therapists are needed.

Now we have three new opportunities for massage therapists. Whenever we talk about finding massage therapists, the statement is always the same. People to become massage therapists are easy to find. Money to pay for their training is the question. Money to pay for their work remains the obstacle.

From 2004 until 2017, MUCH has trained five of the current nine massage therapists who serve our children. If we can find the sponsors, God will show us who He has prepared with a special passion to bring health and healing to the children most in need.

Sveta’s Journey

For a long time doctors could not establish the diagnosis or understand what treatment is necessary to appoint Andre. The boy was already one year old, but he could not hold his head upright, sit, or stand. As a result, the doctor diagnosed cerebral palsy and hypotension of muscles.

For the first ten-day-course of massage therapy for Andre, his muscles strengthened, and there was visual evidence of this. In the position of being on all fours, the child began to hold up his head. Ira, the massage therapist, and Andre’s parents were happy. They saw results! Two months later when Ira came to the child to give a second massage course, she found out that all the results were lost and the boy’s status returned to its original condition. She was surprised. What happened?

Ira began to think aloud, trying to understand why the great result disappeared. She encouraged Andre’s parents to have her child evaluated at the Institute of Genetics in Kharkiv. The mother urgently took the baby to this Institute where, after the examination, doctors found the cause and gave a new diagnosis. There was a lack of the vitamin B group. The lack of this group of vitamins disrupted the conduction of nerve impulses that can lead to such symptoms as cerebral palsy and hypotension. Now the parents know the diagnosis and how to fight for their Andre.

Ira has medical education and great knowledge of how to help children. She also believes and knows that God helps and heals. She always prays for the children. Parents and Ira see God’s action in restoring and healing their children.

Another child that Ira works with also has a very interesting story.

When a medical examination at school was conducted for Tanya, a 12-year-old girl, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and torticollis. The doctor said that the girl had one leg shorter than the other by 2 cm and suggested that she wear a wedge in her shoe. Her parents bought a wedge and Tanya used it for a while. Also, parents decided to visit the Center in Odessa. The doctor took x-rays of Tanya’s spine. It turned out that Tanya’s legs are the same length.The curve in her spine caused the hip to rise on one side. This created the appearance of a shorter leg.

Also unnoticed and certainly untreated in her childhood was torticollis, which aggravated this diagnosis. Ira began to do massage therapy for Tanya in the polyclinic four years ago and here’s the success! After the first course of massage therapy, the parents saw the result. The back and neck became smoother. Ira stopped working in the polyclinic and began to do home massage therapy. Tanya’s parents were very pleased with the results and the loving attitude of Ira toward their daughter. Subsequently, Ira continued to provide massage courses for Tanya at home. Her parents are very grateful and happy. Tanya is diligent and completes all the exercise recommendations of Ira. Everyone sees huge changes.

When Mark and I see joy in the eyes of the parents we are grateful. To have a massage therapy program for children who have disabilities is amazing in this country. We are most thankful to God, our massage therapists, and our sponsors.

Living my dream,

Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta