Category Archives: Christmas Fundraiser

December 2018

2018 Christmas Fundraiser

Hello family and friends,

The Christmas Gift

Christmas was always once a year when I was young,

This year, that wonderful day, twice will be sung.

While receiving massage, that therapy of relaxation,

Our children’s minds reel with exhilaration.

December 25 we will celebrate that wonderful day,

And on January 7, we will proclaim again in an exuberant way.

Our children rejoice how through God’s provision,

They receive massage therapy because of your generous givin’.

Friends of theirs and friends of mine,

Please remember our children this Christmas when you dine.

Know that through your donation you change their lives,

Know that through this therapy their body revives.

Together we can help them heal and grow,

So in the years to come, they will walk tall,

Harvesting the seeds in them that you did sow.

$10 $25 $50 $100 Your hearts desire

Donate Here

Thank you each one. God bless you this Christmas season and throughout 2019.
Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

November 2018

Hello family and friends,

Here is a great opportunity
to give our children of MUCH

A Christmas gift that will
keep giving all year long

Donate Here

$10 $25 $50 $100 Your hearts desire

Our goal is $10,000

for the 2019 Massage Therapy Program

We are changing lives!
Please help us continue our great work!

Mark’s Moments

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a new massage therapist waiting in the wings for MUCH Board approval. We met yesterday in the new Young Life facility in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

A Massage room was part of the plan. This Young Life Club is very involved in the Capernaum program for children with disabilities. Massage therapy is part of this program.

MUCH has one massage therapist Anya, in this program and is waiting for approval of a second, Tanya, pictured above.

The grand opening is TONIGHT 11/15/2018

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

January 2018

Hello family and friends,

The Christmas fundraiser was a success!
We raised more than $4000 to help
four village schools and two Orphanages
Sveta and I are ecstatic!

Sveta has been busy connecting with the directors of the village schools. She wired the
money to each director or manager. They are in the process of ordering the educational
equipment to be put to use immediately. We will have receipts for every purchase soon.
Mark’s Moments
Take a look at our latest three videos. If you only have 6 minutes to spare, be sure to see our 2017 update video.
On our last visit to America, friends ask me if Ukraine is changing for the better. I say emphatically, “Yes.” Here is a current article that suggests that corruption is under attack. In Ukraine, a Successful Fight for Justice, Then a Murder It is not a pleasant story, but it does show that truth is what Ukraine is moving toward. Corruption is on the way out.

It is interesting to read how some journalists represent Ukraine. This article about the new police force in Ukraine is not exactly 100% correct. Read the comments at the bottom of this link page. I have lived in Ukraine for 15 years and I have watched change take place in different cities. I see the new young police force in our city. I see a generation of young people who want to change their country. When you read about Ukraine, challenge everything. With fake news and propaganda hackers, we must test the sources of all that we read.

I think that this article helps me, someone with high hopes for Ukraine, to better understand why the anti-corruption programs are not moving forward faster and better. Bringing about change in a country the size of Ukraine is not easy. What I found most interesting was how it seems that the Oligarchs have more control of the country than the government. MUCH continues to operate without any interference for any organization. It seems that the needs that MUCH meets will remain.
We see problems of corruption in Ukraine on different levels of government. Last year, a disgruntled employee anonymously brought false changes against a direct of an orphanage. The investigation went on for about 6 months. The director was found innocent of all charges. The orphanage is in Western Ukraine, very pro Ukrainian.
Currently, the director of a school that we have been working with for three years is in a similar
situation. This time, someone wants her job. After all possible complaints have been proven false, one was made up. We sent a letter in support of the director to the proper authority. It was returned to us, explaining that it was written in an incorrect format. The school pro Ukrainian, is in eastern Ukraine, influenced by pro Russian sympathizers in government. And the beat goes on.
Sveta’s Journey
Very often doctors are in a hurry to prescribe antibiotics for a child or a shock dose of treatment to relieve themselves of responsibility. If doctor prescribes a “weak” medication for a child or one that has “slow-effect,” it will have mild results. When this happens, it appears that the doctor is not so qualified. I saw it when our grandchildren were ill. The parents requested the doctor to make a house call. He prescribed antibiotics without knowing the results of the previous tests.
When Sasha was three months old, the doctor diagnosed him with dysplasia of the hip joints. If
treatment did not begin on time, pathology of the musculoskeletal system and even disability could occur. The doctor ordered the child be put in special stirrups, and remain in this apparatus for five months. The mother of the child decided to try another treatment, to begin a massage therapy treatment.
Oksana, our massage therapist in Mykolaiv, gave Sasha two
ten-day courses of massage therapy. Oksana and Sasha’s mother saw positive results. The baby’s legs were symmetrically and painlessly spread in both directions. After seeing these results, Sasha’s mother visited the doctor for a new evaluation. The doctor confirmed that the baby’s dysplasia of his hip joints was corrected. He made a new diagnosis and
cancelled his recommendation of needing stirrups.
A second similar story occurred with a four-year-old girl, named Victoria.
The child was repeatedly sick. Obstructive bronchitis of an allergic and
infectious nature lowered her immunity system. The main problem was shortness of breath and a clear lack of oxygen. The girl was regularly treated by a pulmonologist and took antibiotics quite often.
This time, when the doctor prescribed antibiotics for Victoria, her mother decided to delay using them. She decided to turn to our massage therapist Tanya and her child received a 10-day massage therapy course of drainage massage and massage to correct her spine. It was an unpleasant procedure. During the massage treatment the girl cried. Unfortunately, the pain was necessary.

Such a hard massage therapy is necessary in her situation and because of it, we saw good results. When in the middle of the massage course mother with Victoria visited the doctor, the doctor was surprised when he listened to the baby’s lungs. Her breathing improved. Chryps, the wheezing, decreased. The doctor said that antibiotics were no longer needed. How wonderful! Victoria did not need antibiotics! Massage therapy was the correct procedure for this illness!
We are so very grateful that God opened the door of massage therapy for Mark thirteen years ago. Because of his need and success, hundreds of children have been treated with positive results. Mark and I are thrilled to be a part of this and see the results!
Living my dream,
Sveta
Our goal for 2018 is to find more monthly sponsors to maintain and grow our massage therapy and Transportation Scholarship programs. The village school projects will continue as once a year fundraiser. There is so much to do here in Ukraine. God’s timing and your compassionate support will move us forward.

Thank you friends of MUCH!
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

December 2017

Christmas 2017

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through Ukraine,

Were children whose hearts beat like the speed of a train.

Would this be the year that their school would have what it would need,

To explode their educational experience from the teacher’s dream seed?

In the Chemistry class to see the minerals combine,

Bursting in the air as the molecules create a picture sublime!

Could Physical Education class have sports balls to kick and that bounce,

And a climbing rope that would not unravel with each additional ounce?

Would this be the year that the chalkboard screech,

Would be replaced by a smooth chalkboard-wall that everyone could reach?

Or in the physics class where eyes would see, ears would hear, and hands would touch,

The mystery of an electric motor the children’s minds would finally clutch?

Would this be the year, in the village schools,

That the children’s education would be met with the 21st century tools?

It could happen, and it is within reach,

MUCH has received all but $470 to complete this years fundraiser beseech.

The lives of 400 children in four village schools and two orphanages you can touch,

This Christmas season by contributing to MUCH.

Your dollar will go far, the exchange rate is high,

For 27.6 Hryvnia, one dollar will buy.

If you have a few dollars just laying around,

Send them to MUCH, and a new purpose for them will be found.

Then know that the spirit of Christmas giving, from deep in your heart,

Has touched the children of Ukraine, and it is your Christmas of which they are a part.

Merry Christmas to all who read this poem of hope this year,

May your understanding of true love through giving be clear!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

November 2017

Hello family and friends,

If you tried to donate online, we apologize that our website was offline. It is working now and waiting for you visit again.

We trust that all have had a blessed Thanksgiving experience. God has blessed Sveta and I with many joys in our life these past six years. We pray that each of you take hold of the many blessings that God has waiting for you.

Sveta and I spent 7 weeks in America with our families and friends. We stayed with new friends in Virginia, and visited two home schools and a church. We were interviewed on a local Radio Station, WPAQ. It was a nice experience. We visited sponsors and spoke at a church while staying with four families of my relatives in North Carolina. We enjoyed meeting with our MUCH Board of Directors. Two weeks in Florida was a special time. My Dad and step-mother, Bob and Jean Koehler, helped us by organizing opportunities to present our story. They organized a meeting at supper with different people every night. It was wonderful to talk with people from all walks of life. We made new friends! It was such a blessed time!

Thank you everyone who helped us with housing and food, transportation, and all our needs!

Our Christmas fundraiser is moving forward! We are improving education in four village schools and two orphanages. Help us spread the joy of Christmas by providing many of the educational tools that will help these children change their future in Ukraine.

Thanks to the friends of MUCH, we have raised $1,500.

We still need to raise $2,720 to meet our goal by Christmas.

Donate Here

 

Shostakovo asks for help to improve their Biology, Physics, and English classes …

In September, MUCH provided a few educational tools! It was a great beginning.

 

 

Maksimivka asks for help to improve 5 classes with wall charts …

Migovo asks for help to improve their Chemistry, Biology, and Physics classes …

Ternava asks for help to bring instruments into its Music Program …

Veleeky Lubin asks for a tablet for the psychologist …

Dobromel asks for tools to teach the children to work with concrete and plaster …

In September, MUCH began to provide tools for the construction class.

Let’s meet this goal together!

April 2017

Hello family and friends,

We hope that each of you had a pleasant holiday celebration. Sveta and I spent our Sunday afternoon with friends. Lena met us at the bus stop and we traveled to our house together for lunch. Tanya arrived later. It was so nice to see these three friends together share old times and new direction in their lives.

Sveta prepared buckwheat and chicken, garnished with garlic greens. Hard boiled eggs and grated beets, both topped with mayonnaise and greens. Pickled tomatoes and pickled cucumbers added unique flavor. Finally, Sveta’s mother’s preserved vegetable salad completed the festive meal.

Mark’s Moments

Marganets School #3

When we were at this school in the fall, we visited the fourth grade class. They showed us what they were doing with the computer tablets that MUCH provided. This time we visited the first grade class to see what they are doing with the computers tablets that were designated to them this year. The children surprised us with their artwork. They are ready to learn to use computer technology! Why wait until they are older. Director Nataliya has the vision for her school to move forward now!

 

The big surprise came when I asked Svetlana, the first grade teacher, if she knew how to use the computer tablets before they were given to the school. She told us with big excitement that she had to teach herself first, then she could teach the children. That is how far behind small towns and villages in Ukraine are with education tools.

By improving the teaching tools, MUCH is changing the potential of this school. This will have long term effects on the future of Ukraine. Better education changes countries; it is changing Ukraine. This teacher thanks you!

Marganets Transition Home

Sveta and I met these two friends at the Transition Home in Marganets. Inseparable five year olds, Irena and Sasha go to Yana together to receive massage therapy. You were introduced to them in our March newsletter.

It was a delight to watch Yana give each of them a massage treatment. In the process, Sasha had many questions. Looking at his picture, can you imagine what his inquisitive conversations could be? Yana thanks you for the opportunity to bring emotional healing to these children!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irena kept busy with her art work while Sasha enjoyed his massage.

These are only two of the thirty children who live at the Transition Home. Each child has a different story. Each story will break your heart.

MUCH has sponsored the Transition Home through our clothing program for more than seven years. We started the massage therapy program here this year. We see good progress.

Not only are these children from broken homes healing emotionally, but most are being placed in good Christian foster homes. Some are being adopted. We are pleased to partner with these professionals.

Massage Therapy is an ongoing program. We have nine massage therapists working in four cities and one village. At the current exchange rate that is around 27 UAH for every $1, the massage therapy programs cost a total of $800 per month to maintain. We have one more massage therapist waiting in the wings for funding in the large village of Ovidiopol.

If you are one of the 250 people receiving our newsletter regularly, please know that only about 20 of those 250 who receive our newsletter support our programs regularly. Imagine, if nine new sponsors gave $10 each month, we could support a massage therapist in Ovidiopol.

Our help with Education is about projects. We learn about the needs of a particular school, and we raise money for the specific projects. You have seen our Christmas fundraisers each year as an example.

Imagine, a yearly project is about $4000. If 200 people gave only $20 each, we could easily provide the education needs of a village school each year. A village school serves the children from two or three surrounding villages.

Think of the impact you can have on the life of a child!

Become a MUCH sponsor and give a donation today!

Sveta’s Journey

Chornomorsk

Mark and I visited Chornomorsk in March. Mark spoke to the students of the Transportation Scholarship Program. He talked about the value of education and the impact that they can make on their community. He also told the students that higher education is not only about learning information, but more importantly, it is about learning how to think.

When you know how to think, you can teach yourself many things. We see how committed they are to learning. They fully understand that MUCH and their parents invest love and finance in them. The gratitude of the students is expressed not only in words, but also the excellence of their study. These four students are doing a good job with their studies! Mark and I are glad that we have such an opportunity to encourage (left to right) Arthur, Nastya, Anya and Daniel through those who support the Transportation Scholarship Program! They are very grateful about the ongoing support from MUCH. They thank you!

One woman approached Mark and told him that seven years ago, when her daughter Valya was three years old, the doctors diagnosed the girl with Pes valgus of the feet and rickets. These further lead to disability.

Throughout the year the girl received several massage therapy courses. Valya’s mother is so grateful! She thanks all of you very much.

Now Valya is walking better and has no pain. Her mother’s face is shining with joy! It’s so nice to meet parents who are happy that their child is healthy! All good things come from God!

Valya received massage therapy through MUCH. We are leading the way to correcting some disabilities of children in Ukraine.

Very heavy knapsacks and the wrong position to sit at the desk led to poor posture and pain in the back and cervical spine of the twin sisters Olga and Anya. Ira, our massage therapist conducted a course of therapy for these girls. Now Olga and Anya do not feel pain, their postures have been corrected. Ira gave them recommendations for physical exercises to strengthen the muscles of the back. Olga and Anya’s Mom expressed great gratitude to us and the sponsors of MUCH!

I deeply believe that twelve years ago God opened the door to massage therapy and continues to bless children through MUCH! Three massage therapists Natalia, Tanya and Ira help children and comfort their parents in Chornomorsk!

Living my dream,

Sveta

We need YOUR help to move MUCH through another twelve miraculous years.

Let’s begin today!

Thank you in advance! The children thank you! Ukraine thanks you for helping to change their country!

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

January 2017

Hello family and friends,

We reached our Christmas fundraiser goal! Director Lyesya of the Ternava village school is making purchases as I write to you. We will share more next month.
A BIG UKRAINIAN THANK YOU
to ALL who made this fundraiser a success!

We are beginning January 2017 with a number of new programs. You may have read about them in previous newsletters. Here is a list of what we are doing in 2017.

New Programs
Veleeky Lubin Orphanage — one massage therapist for children with disabilities

Mykolaiv — two massage therapists for children with disabilities

Marganets Transition Home — one massage therapist for children from difficult homes

Ongoing Programs
Dobromel Orphanage — two massage therapists
— two computer classes

Chornomorsk — three massage therapists
— transportation scholarship – 4 students
Marganets
School #3 — clothing program
Transition Home — clothing program

Ongoing projects, and new projects that Sveta and I want for 2017

Marganets School #3 — improving education equipment

Ternava village school — improving education equipment
——
Ovidiopol village center — massage therapy for children with disabilities

Shostakova village school — improving education equipment

Maximovka village school — improving education equipment

Mark’s Moments

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Read on to learn about some of our programs through Sveta’s eyes!

Sveta’s Journey
Chornomorsk

DSC03448The Transportation Scholarship Program began in Chornomorsk in 2007. We currently have four students in college and university programs. Your help for our students is HUGE! We met with them and each of them has a big reason to say thanks to you, dear friends! They are standing in the picture right to left.

Three years ago Nastya’s father died, and it was at this time that she began to participate in our program. Nastya told us, “Without your financial support, it would be impossible for me to continue my education.” She is studying to be a music conductor.

Anya has five brothers and sisters in her family. Some of them are also college students. She asked us to thank you. Because of your financial help, Anya can continue her education. She is studying to be an elementary school teacher with a focus on the English language.

For the family of Daniel, your financial gift is also a great help. He needs extra lessons in mathematics. Help with the cost of his transportation to Odessa and back makes a big difference for his family. He, his sister, and parents are very grateful for your help. Daniel is studying at the college of radio and mobile instrumentation. He has a big heart. He shares his meager lunch with his friend who has even less.

Arthur’s parents have a small salary. Their situation was very difficult, but their choices were simple. They had money to pay for utilities and food or education, but not both. You gave them a third choice. Arthur is more thankful than words can say. He is studying at the college of music studies. Listen as he plays the violin very well.

Marganets
This year we closed the clothing program in the orphanage, but God opened a new door in another facility. In January we started a massage therapy program for children at the Transition Home. The children in this program live at this facility for nine months. Massage therapy is very important for these children. For them it is a stressful period in their lives. They have been taken from their family for their own safety, but it is never-the-less a very perplexing time. The children need supportive relationships and healing experiences for the body and soul.

Through massage therapy, step-by-step, the children will receive emotional, social, psychological, and physical rehabilitation. Our massage therapist, Yana, with her ten years of experience, has a great love for these children. She is happy to give massage treatments to the children in the Transition Home!

All who read our newsletters, thank you for your interest in what we do! To our American team, those who pray, encourage, volunteer administrators, and financially support MUCH, you are the heart and soul that God works through to continue to move God’s work forward. Thank each of you from the bottoms of our hearts.
Living my dream,
Sveta

2017 is going to be a very productive year for MUCH. Readers, share our stories with your friends, and be a part of the MUCH adventure!

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

May 2016

Hello family and friends,

May brings us to the end of another school year. Let’s look back and see two ways that MUCH has influenced the children through the Christmas Fundraiser.
Before we do, I will honor my mother, and the part that she played in the development of MUCH.

Mark’s MomentsApril 2016 sent
May 11, 2016, Patricia Murphy Koehler moved from this life to her eternal reward. I would like to share with all of our MUCH readers, sponsors, and friends some brief stories of how Pat, my mother, influenced what became Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope, and how it influenced her.

In September of 2000, I announced my ‘calling’ to move to Ukraine. Mom was impressed with my spiritual direction. She was very supporting of my ‘calling’, but she had the normal concerns of a mother. For the next two years, Mom shared related newspaper articles and other current information that she thought would help guide me. When I began to sell all of my possessions, Mom asked what I was going to do with my duplex. I said that I would probably sell it. Without rental management experience, she offered to manage it for me. Mom was not afraid to tackle anything.

My passion was for children in need. I believed that I would feed the homeless children in Odessa, Ukraine. One week before I moved to Ukraine, I had not developed a solid plan, and only knew one or two people in Ukraine. As Mom and I ate lunch one afternoon, she looked at me with caring eyes and great concern. She said very gently, “So Mark, what will you do, stand on the street corner and hand out bread?” I told her that if God called me, He would provide direction. It was at this point that Mom’s faith began to grow.

Toward the end of 2003, it was clear that my ministry was established. It was also clear that to continue, I needed a non-profit status to allow for tax deductible contributions. Mom realized all of the factors involved and set about creating Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope and the non-profit status without any legal help. This task was complete in March of 2004.

Until that time, Mom and I were in constant contact, moving ‘my mission’ forward. Mom was my biggest cheerleader. When she created the non-profit, MUCH, she solicited board members. Among them were my brothers and my sister. Mom was the driving force, with God as her fuel, to move MUCH forward.

Also in 2004, now under the guidance of a board of directors, we began the massage therapy program for children with disabilities. This was a great joy for Mom, having taught students to be teachers of children with disabilities at Slippery Rock University for twenty years. She was atop all of the medical details that were discussed at the board meetings.

Mom was the treasurer of MUCH, carefully watching over the financial process along with the finance committee. From the beginning, it was Mom’s conversations with friends and acquaintances that grew the support of the mission. Her own contributions grew as the mission blossomed. Until her stroke in 2014, Mom poured her heart into MUCH.

For twelve years, Mom set to the task of taking her part of God’s work in Ukraine as her personal ministry. Every couple of years Mom would tell me, “Mark, because of your faith, my faith is growing.” The truth is, her faith was growing because she engaged in the mission. Mom’s faith in God grew because she was a vessel that God was working through. This had always been the case in her many endeavors. MUCH required Mom to believe in what she hoped for and have full confidence about what she could not see. This was the faith that was growing in her over the years. And it was this faith that prepared her to meet Jesus face to face on May 11.

Sveta’s Journey
Pat, my wonderful mother-in-law, was more than I could ever have dreamed. She was a beautiful, kind, tactful, and intelligent woman, and she loved me.

My mother-in-law was an example for me. Her life was filled with helping others find their gifts and talents. I heard many stories of many people that she helped to climb the steps in their fields of study. It was so impressive to me. It was not as if she gave a one-time financial gift, but rather, she helped people see their hidden talents and opened opportunities to use them. It was a gift from God, and Pat used it fully.

Mom loved God and loved people. She believed in the Son of God and lived the golden rule: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”

It’s hard to part with loved ones, particularly when you share a common Spirit. Mark and I believe that we will meet her in Heaven in the mansions of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The work that Mark and Pat started in 2002 continues. God is the director, we are the vessels.

Computer TabletsDSC01941
Marganets School № 3 received a great blessing through the Christmas fundraiser. Now, all of the elementary classes use computer tablets for many lessons.

The fifteen computer tablets that MUCH bought for the school are stored in a safe, in a secure room. Each of the elementary classes is scheduled to use the tablets in their classroom at different times of the day. In this fourth grade class, two children work with one computer tablet. The children were very excited to show us the video programs that they created.

The children of grades one through six are using the computer tablets in each of the subjects to enhance their learning experience. Internet access is available throughout the school. I call this a Christmas gift that keep on giving. Thank you MUCH sponsors!

Lighted Sandbox table
The lighted sandbox was another gift from the Christmas fundraiser. The school psychologist and speech therapist use this sandbox to connect with the emotion, creative thought, and self expression of the child. They are having many great positive results.DSC01960

We saw great joy on the children’s faces when they worked in the sand. Mark and I watched as the children and School Psychologist showed us how they use this gift from MUCH.

Sponsors of MUCH, we are very grateful to you for helping the staff of this school improve their programs to connect with the children in the best ways. Your gifts are improving their education, and helping to heal the brokenness of the children. Thank you very much!

Living my dream,
Sveta
Two years ago Anatoliy Vlasov, the visionary for the programs and projects in Marganets, left this life to go to his final reward. This May, Mom, the heart and soul of promoting MUCH, has also moved on to her final reward. What will become of MUCH? As always, God will provide. MUCH is ready for more missionaries. We will talk more about this in the June Newsletter.

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

February 2016

Hello family and friends,

P1010003 (2)

It is 37F as I write this letter, but the sun is shining and the wind is blowing the clothes dry. It is time to start the tomatoes inside, prepare the land outside, and think spring. Sveta is chomping at the bit, so to speak.

In Sveta’s Journey, she shares our first picture result from the Christmas Fundraiser!

Marks Moments

Your purchases on SmileAmazon have earned MUCH $41.59! Shop SmileAmazon

DSCN9442

Sveta and I haven’t written much about our church life in the newsletter. Here is a brief explanation of our ministries in our church. Two years ago, the pastor of the church where we were married asked us if we wanted to be members. We had attended Sunday services for about four months. We accepted his invitation joyfully. In the same meeting, he asked if we were interested in any particular ministry. We said that we would like to begin a healing ministry. He thoughtfully said, “We will go forward step by step.” Now, each Sunday while the worship portion of the service continues, we have a few chairs in the back of the church where people may come for prayer for healing. Our team has grown from two to eight.

DSCN9271

Within six months of attending the pastors home group, Sveta and I asked permission to begin a home group of our own. We live on the edge of the city where there are a number of people from our church. Quickly, our home group grew and one of the members was ready to lead a group of her own. While we were in America, four more home groups began. The need was evident. It seemed that the church was waiting for an example.

The people in our home group now attend other local home groups, leaving Sveta and I to meet another need in the church. We have discussed using our home group setting for teaching new and spiritually young Christians the foundation beliefs of the faith with the pastor. He has approved this and we will begin in March.

Our church is interested in the work that MUCH does and is interested in participating. In our city of almost 500,000 people, there are a number of orphanages. Our church has visited some of them and wants to expand their connection with the children. We will see what new opportunities develop in the future

Sveta’s Journey

December2015

In October 2011, Mark sent me to Dobromel, northwestern Ukraine, to give a twenty-day massage therapy demonstration. He was confident that there would be results within twenty days, but to tell you the truth, I was not. It was a very difficult time for me, but in the end of the twenty days, I did see results. I will share about some of the children who continue to benefit from massage therapy and the exercise items that you provided through the Christmas Fundraiser.

I will tell you stories of two of the boys in this picture. Sasha, on the far right, came from a Baby House a number of years ago. (A Baby House is an ill managed facility where the system maintains life for infants and preschool children who are without family.) He was quite wild when he first arrived at the Dobromel Orphanage. In social settings he was unable to interact calmly with other children. In the classroom, he sat on the window sill, looking out the window. After a number of massage therapy treatments, Sasha became calm, sat at his desk in the classroom, and became more sociable with the children.

Igor, second from the left in the same picture, was new to the orphanage last year. Mark and I watched him in a classroom setting. He demanded attention, acting out while the teacher was instructing the class.

Paul, our second massage therapist, connected with Igor through the massage therapy treatment. Paul has a great personality and interacts well with the children. Now, Igor is doing much better in the classroom.
His interaction with the children has improved, also.

DSC_0604

I wish that you could be a ‘fly on the wall’ to see first hand the big changes in the children that I see when we visit the Dobromel Orphanage. Thank you so much for your contributions to the Christmas Fundraiser. You can see in this picture the items that Natalya, our first massage therapist, bought with your financial gifts. She compliments her massage therapy treatments with exercise, using different instruments to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the children. They send you a Big Thank You!

Living my dream,

Sveta

We are seeing big changes in the children as each year goes by. Sveta and I, and all of the MUCH team thank you for reading our newsletter and participating in our work through financial support, prayer, encouraging letters or Emails, and sharing about our journey with your friends.

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

 

January 2016

Hello Family and Friends,

We reached and passed our Christmas
Fundraiser goal of $5966! YourP1010007
contribution of $6287.50 exceeded our goal by $321.50! What is so magical about this number?

First things first!
January 2016 begins with new energy for the MUCH children of Ukraine! Can you imagine the excitement of walking into a computer classroom that now has computers to study with, or wall maps to study other countries? Even better, can you imagine now having
the vitamins and medicines needed by your
classmates!
This year, the children of MUCH will lead the way in better education and healthcare. It will happen because of your generous donations.

Here is a list of all that your donations will provide:

15 computer tablets, 1 Power Point projector, 11 classroom wall maps for history and geography, 3 wireless microphones for sports events, a table sandbox that is lighted from the bottom – for school psychologist, medicines and vitamin for one school year for the Transition Home and for School #3, craft materials for one year for the Orphanage in Marganets, and camping equipment for the children at the Dobromel Orphanage.

MUCH Sponsors, you made this possible!
THANK YOU!

This is the highest goal that we have ever attempted to achieve. And because of your overwhelming generosity, we achieved our goal! The children of Marganets School #3, Marganets Orphanage. and Dobromel Orphanage thank you, “Spacee-ba Bol-shoi!” (translation, ‘Thank You Big’)

How will we use the extra $321.50? A special need surfaced while we were in America. This is Natalya’s story. We visited Dobromel in September of last year. We visited Natalya and Paul, the new massage therapist. We talked about massage oils and other small items, but nothing else was mentioned.

While in America, we received an Email from Natalya. She shared that the exercise equipment in the room beside her massage room was moved to another part of the school to be used for another purpose. She sent us a list of things that she needed to do her exercise work that goes hand in hand with the massage therapy. She was shy to ask for help, but knew that she had to bury her pride and share her list of needs with Sveta and me.

The list was about exercise balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, gymnastic sticks, exercise mats, a tread mill, and some other items. These are all items that we have seen her use with the children. The total that she needs is $414. The additional $321.50 has been approved to go toward Natasha’s exercise program. So, we will almost made a whole other Christmas wish come true. Natalya will have enough to get most of what she needs. The remaining $92.50 will come when the time is right.

Friends of MUCH, you have done it again! Thank you for your love for our children and compassion toward their great needs!

Sveta’s Journey

Our return to Ukraine took five days. When we were expecting our first flight from Raleigh-Durham to Washington DC at 3 PM, our plane was late by two hours. As a result, we were late for all connecting flights. In Washington, Mark stood in line three hours to get a new flight schedule. It was not easy to find flight connections, given that without a Schengen visa, I could not stop in more than one European Union country.

Our next flight was 28 hours later and we had to pay for a night at a hotel. Upon arrival in London, we spent 10 hours in the airport waiting for ourDSCN2823 next flight. We arrived in Munich at 11PM. Since I did not have a Schengen visa, I could not go into the city to stay at a hotel, so we had to spend the night at the airport sleeping on the bench.

Other than the maintenance staff, we were alone in this huge building. At 6 in the morning, when the airport terminal stores opened, we were able to have breakfast
before the next flight to Lviv. Our time in Munich was also 10 hours.

Finally we arrived in Ukraine! I thank God that we got the last two tickets for the Lviv-Mykolaiv train, albeit in different wagons. We were waiting for our next surprise. Mark stayed with the luggage inside the station and I ran to buy some food for the long eighteen hour journey. Later, I learned that a police woman tried to tell Mark to leave the building. When she could not communicate with him in English, she grabbed my two bags hoping that Mark would follow her. Of course Mark followed her with the rest of the luggage.

After 15 minutes, I returned to see a huge crowd of people standing near the building of the train station. It turned out that someone had call in a bomb scare. The police and station staff evacuated all the people to the street. Where was my Mark? Our train was receiving passengers. It is so nice that Mark is tall. I quickly found him in the crowd.

We made our way to our train around the outside of the building. I felt fear begin to attack me, but quickly remembered that God is my Defense. I put my hope in Him. All around me I saw panic, fear, and hopelessness in the faces of many people.

Although we had many problems during our trip to America and back to Ukraine, I saw how God cared about us. We stayed with eight different families during our 70 days in America. I felt and saw the love of God through these people. We are very thankful to our dear family and our precious friends who opened their homes to host us. We were very comfortable and it was pleasant to spend time with you, to get to know you better and love you more! Thank you very much! Many thanks to all who participated in the
Christmas Fundraiser to cover the needs of Ukrainian children in schools and
orphanages that MUCH helps!

Living My Dream,
Sveta

Thank you again for all of your interest and support for our work with the children. I believe that 2016 will be a very important year in Ukraine!

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