Hello family and friends,
Sveta and I will be in America between October 14 and November 28, give or take a day. If any of you would like us to visit with you, we would be very happy to do so. Please reply to this newsletter, or write to us at [email protected]
After a very hot July, the first half of August challenged our patience. Finally, the temperatures cooled and the gentle rains visited us. We had a productive vegetable garden this summer. The fruit trees are producing more each year.
Life is good for us in Ukraine. Our son is finished with all connect with the military. He is back to work in his old job. His wife has started an internet based clothing design business. Her business is keeping her busy. Our daughter is doing well with her home based hair care business. Her husband is working in a family remodel business, and has started a rabbit farm. The grandchildren, ages 8, 7, 6 and 3, are showing interest in piano, swimming, dance, and organizational concepts.
When I moved to Ukraine in 2002, my general focus was to provide humanitarian aid for children. MUCH moved forward in this direction. As we did, we saw something missing in this lives of the children. That something was knowledge of God. Communicating with the children, we saw a void of love, compassion, and involvement of adults in their lives. Who would tell the children about God? Who knew about God to tell the children. I have learned that in many cases, the children learn about God and draw their parents to church.
MUCH has always been a Christian organization. Who we are is not changing. What we do is not changing. Our goals are expanding, growing from sound roots.
As we put more focus on education, we will use that connection to draw the children to God. We are taking example from Ukraine Challenge, who have been providing camp experiences for children for many years.
We are talking with local translators about camps that focus on sports, English language, games,and maybe life skills. These topics will lead to discussion about God. That is the general goal. Finding enough people to staff the camps is a challenge. We will also be looking to short term missions to come help us.
Our church in Mykolaiv is providing camps for local children from schools in our district. They held three camps this summer. They were short on staff at times. Never-the-less, we want to build a team to help Yura and Dasha in Shostakovo, (July newsletter), provide a camp for the children of the three villages that attend the Shostakovo school. Yura is building church community in these villages as a spiritual leader. Dasha teaches at the school, so the two of them have the perfect opportunity to follow-up the camps with regular get-togethers with the children.
We would like to do this with each village school as God provides the people and the funding. The first step is building a relationship with the children and the school through provision of education equipment. As the school administration come to understand who we are, we can offer to provide a Christian camp experience for the children. If they agree, we need to be prepared to staff a camp. Our end goal is to connect the children to a church or Christian youth organization in their area.
The Transition Home in Marganets is a nine month waiting facility for children taken from difficult homes. They will be placed in a foster home, or an orphanage/boarding school. These children are very emotionally troubled. Children in the Transit Home do not have many physical limitations, but they have a huge number of emotional and psychological problems. Their character was formed under adverse conditions. Now, being in Transit Home, each of them is waiting for the decision of their destiny and this is stress for these children.
Massage therapy improves the psychological and emotional sphere for these children. Our massage therapist, Yana, has been working at this facility for only seven months. During this time, she gave massage treatment for 35 children. Six of them underwent two courses. Yana, with her personal character, such as kindness and a gentle individual approach to each child, compassion and a great desire to help these children in their difficult times, helps them to receive a partial healing of their wounded soul.
From several of Yana’s reports, I will show the emotional results in a couple of pictures. They show happier, more content children. I think that it will help you to see how much help Yana provides for the children.
1. Natasha was afraid to be touched. She gradually got used to Yana’s gentle touch. After each massage treatment she became more calm and balanced and her emotional state improved.
2. Igor had frequent colds and was sometimes whiny. After the massage treatment, his mood and his general condition improved.
3. All massage treatments for Vanya were accompanied by communication. At first, he was sharp, rude, and made many claims to others. After several days of massage treatment Vanya became more gentle and his emotional state improved.
4. Marina was a restless, irritable girl, at first she did not want to take off her clothes before the massage treatment. By the third procedure she began to undress herself. By the fourth treatment the girl began to perform all the physical exercises that must be performed after the massage treatment. Marina stopped becoming irritable and nervous.
5. Dima gladly accepted all the procedures, happy for the attention. At first he only smiled and nodded his head at all of Yana’s questions. By the fifth procedure Yana heard him speak his first words.
6. Nina is very kind; she answers questions with pleasure. She likes to sing songs during the massage therapy. Her posture needed attention. The massage treatments provided better posture for Nina. At the end of each procedure, Yana and Nina always hug each other.
7. Valya answered Yana’s questions inaudibly, she was a very touchy child and demanded increasing attention. After several days of massage treatment, Valya began to trust Yana and she changed a lot.
To remove psychological stress, to calm the child and develop a positive attitude to his or her body and to him or herself as a person, massage therapist Yana selects relaxing techniques of classical massage and individual methods of communication with the child. Thanks to this, the child experiences a feeling of emotional connection with Yana and trusts her. This allows the child to acquire a state of psychological security and improves the child’s development process.
Thank you for making it possible to bring Yana on to our team. Thank you for caring our children here in Ukraine. It is a big job, and it is growing each year. This year we will touch the live of more than 700 children through massage therapy, education, and clothing. The children thank you!
Living my dream,
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