Category Archives: Massage for children with disabilitiees

June 2019

Hello family and friends,

We have been making plans for our trip to America. Five family members and friends have opened their home to us. We still need a place to stay from September 29 through October 3. As soon as a gracious host opens their door for those dates, we can buy tickets while the prices are still low. Thank you in advance!

Mark’s Moments

Stepovoya

On Friday our Pastor and his wife took us to the Stepovoya village orphanage for boys with disability. They brought clothing for the children. Sveta and I went to check up on our newest massage therapists, Natasha and Ira, and to talk with the director. Although it was his vacation time, he made a special effort to be there when we arrived. The director was extremely happy to share the results that he has been seeing since January. The big news was that many of the children normally needed to be hospitalized over the winter months. Because of the massage therapy treatments that they received this year, they did not need to go to the hospital.

The facility serves children who have four levels of mobility. The lowest level of children are unable to move on their own. The highest level of children are mobile, but have problems with movement and mental growth. Our goal is to have a massage therapist for each group. This would allow each therapist to specialize their massage skills.

As we discussed the needs of the children, we agreed that they needed two more massage therapists. The director has one in mind and is looking for the second.

Children everywhere love to have their pictures taken.

 

 

 

 

 

We had a nice visit with some of the children who were outside. Sveta helped one of the massage therapists guide a blind child back to the main building after enjoying some nice time outside.

Ovidiopol

Four years ago, Ira, our manager in Chornomorsk, introduced Sveta and me to the director of a grass roots organization for children with disabilities in Ovidiopol. About a month ago, I spoke with Ira about the needs of the same city where her husband pastors a church. On Friday, we spoke again. As it happens, a young woman in her church has a passion to become a massage therapist and work with special needs children. (The doors keep opening.)

For eight years while I lived in Chornomorsk, Ira was my assistant. Now she is energetically working with the Ovidiopol government and the organization for children with disabilities. One of her many goals is to find a second person to train for massage therapy in September.

Our goal with MUCH is to have four, maybe five people in the massage therapy training program in September. MUCH is growing the massage therapy awareness and availability for children with special needs throughout Ukraine.

Sveta’s Journey

Transition Home in Marganets

Valya has been living at the Transition Home in Marganets for three months. This is the fourth time that she and her brother are staying at this facility. They are waiting for a court decision regarding their parents. How will their fate be decided? Why is the court system so slow to protect these children from the violence of their own parents? It is terrible when children need protection from family closest to them.

Somehow, Valya received a head injury. An operation was required. Her face is disfigured by a huge surgical scar. Valya’s mind was wounded. She is very sensitive to sound. Loud noises will cause her to shrink into a ball. Very often she complained of headaches.

Albina, our massage therapist at the Transition Home, treated Valya with massage therapy. Her mental condition improved somewhat. Valya shows confidence toward Albina who does her job with great love and compassion. The child responds to her by opening her wounded heart to the healing love she feels through Albina.

In the family of five-year-old Katya, scandals of drunken parents constantly occur. They did not care for their daughter. This influenced the character of Katya. She became a withdrawn, scared child, complaining of frequent headaches and continued sleeplessness.

After a ten-day massage course, Katya’s headaches disappeared, her mood improved, and a blush reappeared on her face. She began to show interest in communicating with other children, peace was felt. These are some of the results of living in an atmosphere of love and acceptance!

Albina not only does her job lovingly, but she does more. On weekends, she takes the most difficult child from the Transition Home and spends time with him or her. In edifying communication and spending time together with Albina, children begin to feel that they have meaning and are loved.

How wonderful it is to know that there are such people who are not indifferent to the pain of children. They will rush to surround the soul of a child with love. God connects people like Albina with MUCH to share their love and compassion. This opportunity is possible thanks to our precious sponsors! Can you imagine what a great and beautiful thing you are doing sponsoring our massage therapists and the children that they serve? This is how one sows and the other reaps. Everyone has their own life work. The Lord, Who pours out love through all of us touches baby souls! Thanks to all of you, and glory to the Lord!

“…serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13

Living my dream,

Sveta

We send a BIG THANK YOU to all for your involvement with 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

May 2019

Hello family and friends,

We had very nice weather in May, from the mid 70s to the lower 80s. A few big storms blew through to water our fruit trees. Our apricots, apples, peach and quince trees are all producing this year. The cherries are on our table every day or so. I am learning a farmers patience as I wait for big harvests from each of our trees. We need to study more, particularly about spaying. Write to us if you have tips that help keep ants and insects off fruit trees!

Mark’s Moments

School is out, but for two weeks the schools of Ukraine puts on a “camp” program. This year will be the third year for our church to run a Christian Camp at schools during their second week.

I was invited to speak in the first week with the fifth, sixth, and seventh grade English pupils at the school beside our church. Pictured here are the fifth grade children. I enjoyed talking with children and teens about the English language and all questions about life that they have. It is a great opportunity to connect with children of all ages.

They were shy at first, but they warmed up to me as my funny side appeared. They had many questions, but some had to be coaxed out of their secret comfort zone.

From the previous camps, it was learned that some of the children have hidden traumatic experiences. Our church continues to receive permission to do Christian camps, ministering to the children’s deepest needs that the schools cannot address successfully.

Sveta’s Journey

Many children who receive massage treatments have very difficult diagnoses and may never be healthy. But thanks to massage treatments, the pain and discomfort of these children is reduced. Parents also see love and support through our massage therapists. They see that they are not alone in their life challenges. When Mark and I visit such families, the parents always express great gratitude for the fact that you, as sponsors, and we, as missionaries, participate in the lives of their children. They see God’s love through you. We always emphasize that God loves them and their children so much. Some of the parents make a connection with Mark and me. They gladly share with us the lives of their children.

Fourteen-year-old Kate has a thyroid problem, poor weight gain, scoliosis, and osteoporosis. Since last year, she is receiving regular massage therapy every month for 10 days. Originally, when they took a break from massage treatments for three months, Katya’s spasticity of the arm muscles increased.

After a course of massage therapy, she began to sleep more calmly, her fingers began to open and close better. Kate is very receptive to massage to the calming affects of massage.

Our massage therapist, Anya, shares the good results that she is having. Kate’s knee joints are much more relaxed without much effort. Her back muscles have become more balanced especially in the upper region. The lower back muscles are still in hypertonia, especially on the left side.

Katya is being cared for by her grandmother. We talked with her for a long time. She told the story of her hard life and about her granddaughter. It is not easy for her to take care of Kate, but her love for her granddaughter gives her strength and thirst for life. Grandma Katie strongly believes that God will restore and heal her granddaughter.

Fifteen-year-old Maria started receiving massage treatment in December 2018. Here are some of her many diagnoses: congenital malformation of the brain, microcephaly, convulsive syndrome. The calf muscles were completely atrophied, the ankles did not unbend. The girl moves around the apartment in a seated position supporting herself with her arms.

The first massages were very painful for the girl. But after a twenty-day course of massage treatment, Maria reduced the number of convulsions she was having, and her knees became easier to straighten. The calf muscles have strengthened and now the girl can stand on her feet with the help of her mother. Her sleep patterns are much better. When she receives massage, she no longer is crying. The use of anticonvulsant and analgesic drugs has decreased. Maria has become much calmer. Mom asks to continue physical therapy and massage. Our massage therapist, Tanya, also gives massage treatments for Maria every ten or sometimes twenty days a month.

Our massage therapists, Anya and Tanya, have a great love for these children and have become part of their lives. They pray for them, support their grandmother and mother through ongoing communication, hanging out and even make plans for the future for these girls. Maria’s mother is very interested in motivating the local government to provide a neighborhood facility and program for special needs children.

Living my dream,

Sveta

Your contributions are changing individual lives. Grandmothers, mothers, and children are being transformed into hopeful and happy members of society. You are changing Ukraine, causing a ripple effect from the unseen to the epicenter of society. All of Ukraine thanks you for your part, initiating the ripple!

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

April 2019

Hello family and friends,

After a grey and dreary winter, spring has made everything green again. Sveta is planting and watering in the orchard and flowers. Her plans for our property continue to develop. My work on the house insulation and corridor will be complete before we visit America in September and October.

Speaking of our visit, we would love to connect with you. We are making plans to visit sponsors in North Carolina and Florida. Even if you are in another state and would like us to visit you, your friends, or your church, let us know. We would love to visit with you and share our stories. We hope to hear from you by July. That will help us be more organized. We are eager to hear from you!

Mark’s Moments

We began our massage therapy program in 2012 and our computer program in 2013 at the Dobromel Orphanage for Children with Disabilities. Luba, the orphanage librarian, joined the MUCH team at Dobromel to teach computer skills in 2015. I encouraged Luba to find a program to teach the children to use the keyboard. She enthusiastically did some research and found a number of programs. Choosing the best one to meet the special needs of the children, she initiated her program.

In April, Sveta and I visited the Dobromel Orphanage in northwestern Ukraine. We were eager to observe the progress that the children were making. It was a delight to see the children busy with their tasks. Each one showed us their progress with the keyboard. It was so great to see each child actively pecking the keys.

Interested to hear about more results, I asked Luba what changes she saw in the children. Also, I was eager to knowing if the teachers were seeing differences in the children’s performance in the classroom. I was very excited to hear her stories.

Working with the keyboard stimulated the lower functioning children to learn the alphabet. One child who could not read, learned to see words by syllables. Now he is working with words. Reading is not far away! The interaction between children during the computer class is also interesting. Children who are not friends are happy to help other children solve a small problem. This is a milestone for some of the children. Other teachers report that the children are more calm and focussed.

Sveta’s Journey

Recently Mark and I visited our little friends and massage therapist, Igor, in the Veleekey Lubin Orphanage. It was wonderful to hear and see how children have changed compared to last year. Anton is 10 years old. His diagnosis is autism. When we saw him on our last visit, he did not look into our eyes. He always looked away. This is one of the symptoms of autism. He would not allow anyone to touch him. He was sullen. Anton could bite other children if approached, and was protective of his own space and personal little world. He did not initiate contact with other children.

This visit, when I looked into Anton’s eyes, I was afraid that I would scare him away. With a smile on his face, he looked into our eyes without looking away. In his eyes I saw love and trust. The boy has become calm and sociable. Although he does not speak yet, he understands everything. Now he undresses himself and jumps up on a massage table with enthusiasm. Two years ago, no one could touch him. Now, he really likes massage treatments!

It was so nice to watch Igor work with children. Another child that he has been working with is Oleg. He is 11 years old. He has hemiparesis. This condition effects his left arm. Previously, he could not straighten his left arm. The muscle tone was high. Oleg could not dress independently. He could not fully raise his arm. Of course, this brought the boy great discomfort. After three courses of a ten-day massage treatment during one and a half years, his arm is working much better. The boy can dress himself, can raise his arm, bend and straighten it. This is so wonderful!

It is impossible to describe our joy when we see how the children are changing!

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

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

May 2018

Hello family and friends,

What can you do with $10 in America?

We can do MUCH more in Ukraine with $10!

$10 = a ten day course of massage for a child!

Imagine the results that YOUR $10 can have for one child in Ukraine!

$180 will train a caring person to become a massage therapist!

Imagine the influence that $180 will have on an orphanage, a village, a family.

We need your Help!

Donate

We have three people wanting to become massage therapists in two villages. They need financial assistance to take the three month training course. In return, they will give massage therapy to MUCH children for twenty hours a month for nine months for free. They will also give massage therapy to MUCH children for twenty hours a month, receiving the payment of $1 per hour from MUCH. The general course of massage therapy is ten days.

Yura, in the red, white, and blue jacket, is a pastor in the village of Shostakova. He and his wife manage our projects with the village school. Yura is very interested in learning massage therapy and working with the special needs children in Shostakova and the surrounding villages.

At the Stepovoye orphanage, there are two staff members who want to become massage therapists. The need is great for these children. You can help these two staff increase their professional care for these boys.

Donate

Sveta’s Journey

Last week, together with our pastor and members of our church, we visited an Stepovoye orphanage/boarding school for boys with disabilities, our second visit. When children of different ages entered the hall, we were moved to see how the boys who could walk normally supported other children who could not walk without support. Our hearts were full of tears and compassion for these children. We were moved to see their concern for each other, friendliness, and trusting faces.

Many of these children are left here by their parents because of their disability. Many parents cannot take care of their children with disabilities because of financial need. We had a wonderful opportunity to hold the children’s hands, tousle their hair, and look into their eyes.

How necessary it is for these children to receive massage therapy!

Massage affects the body in a number of ways. Here are three. First, mechanical action results in better circulation of the blood and lymph systems. This is necessary to prevent bedsores in children who spend their days in a wheelchair or in bed.

The second effect is a neural-reflex action. Parts of the body do not function on their own due to injury to the brain. Massage stimulates the end receptors, sending the signal to the brain. As the repetition deepens the signal pathway, embedding the process in the brain, the signal can be initiated from the brain.

The third effect of massage is a humoral-hormonal effect. This effects the digestive system, releasing endorphins, creating pleasure and improving the operation of the digestive system.

All massage therapists of our mission touch the children not only with hands, giving them massage, but the most important thing is that they touch them with love. Love is from God.

******
In the orphanage in Dobromel, 11-year-old Yulia has received two courses of massage. Natasha, our massage therapist, already sees excellent results. The girl had insufficient clarity of basic movements, incorrect walking gait, weak regulation of muscular movements, difficulties of independent performance of motor exercises, low level of orientation in the environment, slow memory, and fuzzy speech.

Thanks to massage, the reflex excitability of muscles decreased, blood circulation and lymph flow improved, and the child developed positive emotional interaction with the other children. She began to stutter less and increased her vocabulary. She has improved speech and thought processes.

At the Veleeky Luben orphanage, ten-year-old Ivan is diagnosed with autism. After several courses of massage, Ivan’s results were blossoming like a flower. Last year, when the boy was brought for his first massage, he did not want to undress and did not allow anyone to touch him. Thanks to his love for children and his professionalism, Igor, the MUCH massage therapist, helped this child change, and open himself to the love of those around him.

We observe how varied types of massage affects children according to their needs. We are so amazed and happy to see how these children are changing, thanks to the massage program of the MUCH mission!

How necessary it is for these children to receive massage!

Living my dream,

Sveta

Donate here!

Change Ukraine a little bit at a time!

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

July 2017

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I are working on many projects as the summer races by. Our eight-year-old grandchild, Sonya, enjoys helping Sveta harvest the onions and green beans. I am making progress on the exterior insulation. The other morning I went to the church that we attend and help stack wood for the winter heating system. We have a circulating hot water heated floor system. The cost of gas is too high, so few years ago, the church turned to wood heating.

Mark’s Moments

In last month’s newsletter, I shared some of the process of how MUCH has grown over the past fifteen years. On a more personal and spiritual level, the grassroots process is like this. I listen for the voice of God. When I am clear that it is His voice, His direction, then I do what He says.

Last year, God put three more village schools on my heart to assist with their education needs. Sveta and I investigated each school, talked with the director, and evaluated the need. We looked at the physical condition of the school, the classrooms, and the floors, to understand the governments lack of interest in the school, and the administration and teachers interest in the school.

In each of these three schools, it was clear that the teachers were investing what they could, to do the best that they could for the students. Unfortunately, the teachers don’t make enough money to make a significant contribution.

Will the next Galileo come from a Ukrainian village? Let’s invest in them and find out! This may be a three year project for each school. Fortunately, MUCH has funds to begin the project. Our first provision will be for September 1,2017. Please begin to pray for the success of these projects.

Here are some details that may help you understand the common needs that we find is each village school.

Northwest Ukraine, on the border of Poland — Migovo Village School

 

 

 

 

 

This is the building for the high school children. There are four or five classrooms in this building. If you walk further up the hill behind me, you will see Poland. — In this Chemistry classroom, the director of the school stands toward the front of the class.

The teacher who approached me about help for this school was very shy to talk with me. When she finally got up the courage to ask for help, she only asked for one computer, their greatest need. We talked some more, and Sveta and I agreed to visit the school the following day. We rode in an old car on dirt roads that were peppered with potholes.

When we visited the chemistry class, we learned that nothing had been updated or provided since Soviet times, at least twenty-six years ago. Two new windows and four desks were provided by the directors relative as a gift. The government has done nothing for this school.

South central Ukraine, northeast of our city of Mykolaiv — Shostakovo Village School

 

Between Sveta and I stands the director of the Shostakovo school. To the right of Sveta is Dasha, the first grade teacher. This school of about seventy children is a little better than Migovo. They do have a computer. The Chemistry class at this school is a big room with some technology, but no chemicals to do experiments. The gymnasium is in the “dungeon” of the school. They need sports equipment and some items as simple as jump rope. When we visited in early spring, it was very cold in the gymnasium.

I talked to the director about resurfacing the blackboards with blackboard paint. I asked if they would do a test blackboard. She looked at me with big eyes and said, “We will be happy to do it over the summer.” This school is focusing on building maintenance in the following way. At the end of last school year, the parents of each class pooled their money to buy a new door for their children’s classroom. The parents of Dasha’s first grade class of six students needed outside assistance to come up with the money for their classroom door. Dasha uses her personal computer to inspire her class.

South east central Ukraine, north of Marganets — Maximovka Village School

I first visited this school a number of years ago to talk with the children in the English class. The teacher was my translator at the time, and is now our manager in Marganets. This young woman was very aggressive about creativity for her English classes.

Dissatisfied with the English material available, Inna created her own English study book and teachers manual. Some of the teachers bring their personal computers to enhance the classroom experience.

On our last visit, I talked with the director about the education equipment needs of the school. She showed us the school, stopping in different classes in progress. It was clear that the school was not a big concern of the local government. The Chemistry class was in need of chemicals for experiments, like the other schools.

Each class on every grade level is in need of many items of education equipment and materials. It was that way with Marganets School #3 and Ternava schools that MUCH has helped in the past. This is why MUCH always has children waiting for help, whether in education or healthcare. The government is in a state of change, as is the country.

It seems that the needs are pretty much the same wherever we go. Decentralization of the government is bringing control of spending to the local government. We are seeing road repair happening, but education does not seem to be such a great need.

I see change happening in Ukraine, although it is slow. The Ukraine Economic Update – April 2017 by the World Bank shows progress of the Ukrainian economy. The article and video at the bottom are very informative.

Sveta’s Journey

In Chornomorsk, Dr. Natalia continues to show progress with the children providing wonderful results. Mark and I watched how the children worked at following all the instructions of the massage therapist and coach with great desire. Children want to walk and run as other children do. They want to be with other children in kindergarten and go to school. They want to draw and do everything that healthy children can do. We see a huge thirst in their eyes and they are ready to work to change their lives. But they need help and encouragement from their parents and others. Thank all of you for helping the children in an invisible way. God sees your works of mercy through MUCH.

Last month, the parents of six-year-old George, carried him to the clinic to receive massage therapy. The boy has cerebral palsy, increased spasm in the legs, and he cannot walk on his own. After a 15-day course of massage therapy, ozocerite (black wax) applications, and special physical training, the spastic action in his muscles decreased. George can now walk a short distance using both hands for support! This was the first course of massage therapy for him. Dr. Natalia sees that the boy has a positive dynamic and it is necessary to continue receiving massage therapy. Thank you Dr. Natalia for your passion to help children.

For five-year-old Ann with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy, massage therapy began in January 2016. During this time the girl received nine courses of massage therapy. To date, Ann is already confidently sitting in an Indian pose with a flat back. She is sitting on balance board that rocks from side to side. You can see the difficulty for her to stay sitting upright. Day by day, Ann is painfully making progress.

She grasps objects very well with her right hand, but her left hand does not open so well yet. Ann has decreased the tone of tense muscles and her speech significantly improved. In this picture her task is to raise the bar with both hands to the level that Valya requests. The exercise program that parallels the massage therapy and other treatments is one big key to Ann’s progress.

 

Do you remember when your child began to crawl? The natural process begins at about seven months old. This is not the case for many of the children that we work with. Ann is five-years-old and must be taught the process. Valya is breaking down the activity into steps. Put this hand here first, then move this knee here …

Thank you sponsors for helping make this treatment possible for Ann!

Parents are deeply grateful that their children have the opportunity to receive a massage therapy!

Living my dream,

Sveta

One of our massage therapists may retire in the near future. We ask for your prayers for provision of her replacement.

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

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

August 2016

Hello family and friends,

We have come to the end of summer in Ukraine. We anticipate that a cool autumn will appear
Sept. 1. The change of seasons are abrupt in this part of Europe.

August 24 celebrates Independence Day in Ukraine. This is their twenty-fifth year of freedom from the Soviet Union. Children who were born in freedom, after 1991, are raising a second generation of children born in freedom. It is a great privilege for me to be here, watching the process.

We have been changing the lives of children at the Marganets Orphanage for fourteen years. August brings an end to this part of the MUCH mission in Marganets. The simplest way to 3dsc02082explain is that we are not seeing the results that we have seen over the years. The need for clothing is less, and the other goals have been met. The children have better self images, are behaving better in the classroom, and have earned the respect of the children in the community at large. Thank you for your support for these children over the years. Your contributions have changed the lives of a generation of children.

Mark’s Moments
Here is a story of how two people encouraged each other to blossom their visions to help disabled children.

In 2003, I was in great need of massage therapy. After living in Ukraine for a year and a half, stress caused my neck muscles to tighten so much that I couldn’t turn my head. I was introduced to Dr. Natalya Borisovna, a massage therapist. At the time, her patients for massage therapy were adults.

After my good results, I asked her if she was interested in working with children. She had been praying for the opportunity for three years! In March of 2004, we began the MUCH Massage Therapy program with two children a month.

Twelve years later, MUCH has blossomed the massage therapy program. We provide massage therapy for at least twenty children per month. We have: two massage therapists at the Dobromel Orphanage, northwestern Ukraine, two home visit massage therapists in Chornomorsk, and one in training for home visits in the village of Molodozjnoye in south western Ukraine. There is also a vision for massage therapy at a second orphanage in northwestern Ukraine.

For twelve years, Dr. Natalya has been on a journey of her own. When she started the MUCH massage therapy clinic in 2004, she worked part time for us and part time in her private practice. A few years later, she was hired to work at Golden Angel in Odessa, giving massage to children with disabilities who came from many parts of Ukraine for treatment.

Dr. Natalya has returned to Chornomorsk, reopening her private practice of massage therapy. She has blossomed her business into a complex treatment of full body massage, hot earth wax, facial point massage, treatment for joints, therapeutic exercise, and an ice bath. This full treatment requires about two hours and forty-five minutes for a ten or fifteen day program. MUCH sponsors six of her patients. She has a team of four massage therapist, and an office manager.

natalyas-teamDr. Natalya helped me: physically regain relaxation of my muscles, begin a clinic for children with special needs, and train our new massage therapists. God used me to: answer her prayer to work with special needs children, encourage her to continue through sponsorship, and ask for her help to train our new therapists.

This is the successful story of how Dr. Natalya and I encouraged each other to develop our visions to help children with disabilities.

Sveta’s Journey
We have made a lot of friends working at the orphanage in Marganets. Our hearts were sad when we had to stop the program. The children were always waiting for our arrival. When Mark and I entered the orphanage gate they recognized us from a distance and ran to us shouting, “Mark and Sveta are here!” We had limited time to talk and play with the children. When we told them that we had other children in their city to visit, they were jealous.

Our work continues in Dobromel. Children are also waiting for us at this orphanage. They receive massage therapy and attend computer classes because of the full sponsorship of MUCH. This is a great help that is changing their lives. The children enjoy massage therapy very much. Eagerly awaiting dscn7556their turn, they ask the therapist, “When are you going to give me a massage?”
Teachers are responsible to bring each child for massage, knowing the appointed time. Sometimes Paul takes a child for massage therapy and returns him/her at the end of the massage. Because the education building is across the street, sometimes the therapist will take two children. While waiting for their turn, they are happy to spend time in this magical room, running on the treadmill, playing on a massage mat, and using other exercise equipment. Some children are so interested in the procedure of massage therapy, they cannot look away from the working hands of the therapist.
We have written several times adscn7555bout children who came to the orphanage from a Baby House (orphanage from birth to first grade). What enormous changes have taken place in their character and health because of massage therapy mixed with the love of people who care about them!
The boy who is watching massage in the picture above came from a Baby House. When he arrived, he was wild and uncontrollable. He has been receiving massage therapy for three years. We are so happy to see the great changes that have occurred in his life during this time.
For me, this boy is a living example of how a child may change through the love of the people around him, and as the love of God unites hearts of Americans and Ukrainians! Thank you for your part in changing the lives of these children!
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

February 2016

Hello family and friends,

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

 

February 2013 Newsletter

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I enjoyed a couple of weeks of snow, but now the 35F plus weather has brought the rain. Snow may return before spring arrives, but it will not stay long here by the Black Sea. The weather changes most unpredictably. Sveta is moving my residency documents along quickly, as my Visa D will expire February 21. Life is good.

The Christmas Fundraiser has made it possible for the computer program to begin this month at the Dobromel Orphanage for special needs children. We are so pleased that we are able to offer the children massage therapy that began last January, and computer classes this year. We look forward to hearing and seeing the progress results. We have talked with the director of the orphanage, and he is very grateful. We pass this note of thanks on to you, the sponsors.

The sewing machine for the Marganets Orphange will be delivered this month. Sveta will order through the internet, it will be delivered to a shipping company in Marganets, and our manager there, Anatoliy, will pay for it and deliver it to the orphanage. Cash on delivery is quite common in Ukraine, and gives me considerable peace of mind because I don’t have to worry about my debit card being compromised. On another front, we provided the transition home in Marganets with one washing machine. I will share the rest of the washing machine story in the March Newsletter.

I want to share a story with you about one of my special children. D. was born with Cerebral Palsy. She began to receive medical attention at the age of two, which is the old Soviet mentality. I met her when she was four years old. Palsy affected her legs and feet, but she used all the muscles in her body when she would try to walk. Her inability to balance caused her to fall to one side or the other. It would soon be time for her to begin kindergarten, and then school. To do this, she would need to be able to walk on her own, maneuvering through her day independently.

Sveta and I met with her at a massage therapy session in the fall of last year. She was eight, and is winning her battle. She attends school, is walking independently, and is very happy. Her challenges will continue until she stops growing, but she works very hard combating her muscle imbalance and spasticity. I have assembled a video of her therapy and her triumphs. Take five minutes and cheer her on as you watch how far she has come. D’s Video

Sveta has some wonderful stories to share this month. Our massage therapists keep us in-touch with the progress of the children through progress reports. In Illichevsk, at the end of sessions, they invite us to take pictures and video the children, displaying their new abilities.

Sveta’s Journey

Yesterday Mark and I visited a new child; this is our first visit to him. His name is G. and he is five months old. Two months ago, he received his first treatment of ten massages. Now Tanya, one of our massage therapists, is giving him a second ten-day massage treatment. Immediately from the first days of treatment, Tanya and his mother noticed improvements in G. — relaxation of tense muscles in his neck and back, now G. can turn his head to either side. Before the massage he could only turn his head to one side.

G., things are looking up!
After the second treatment of massage, the spasticity in his right arm and leg diminished considerably. Some questionable movement in his left hand remains. We will watch as massages and special exercise may improve the operation and development of the muscles and give direction to the proper growth of the skeletal system. The problem is much easier and faster to fix in infancy than when the child is older. (I’m not talking about an extremely serious diagnosis. If a child receives massage early, the results will be greater, but if massage comes later for the child, it will take more time and more work to come close to the before mentioned results, if they will at all.)

A., is a sweet baby girl who was adopted by a lovely family. Her new parents are very caring toward their child, take good care of her, and have much patience with her. They need to work hard to help her develop properly in her body and mind. A. is one year and four months old, but she cannot walk like most children at her age. Doctors diagnosed her: mental retardation and spastic syndrome. She received her first twenty-day massage last month. These are the results that Tanya and A.’s mother saw. The girl began to crawl.

A. says,”Ok, I’m ready!
She can stand without adult support for about one minute.Now she can get off the bed by herself and she began to speak the word “mama.” When we met in the massage room, the mom enthusiastically told us what the girl is now able to do. The mother glowed with happiness. A. will have the next massage course after a month. Patience and love are winning. This is only the first step. She needs to continue to work with the muscles of her body to develop into a healthy child.
K. – Mmmm, thaaat feeels gooood!
Little K. has regularly received massage treatment from when she was eight months old; now she is two years old. Doctors and parents did not immediately find a problem in her physical development so the massage was started a little late, but even this did not interfere with the results. Before the massage, a big difference was evident; one cheek on her face was large and the other was smaller. Now, both of K.’s cheeks look the same. The muscles on the left side of her neck are shorter, causing stiff neck. Now she turns her head to either side. Tanya continues to work with K. and focuses on the left side of the body, relaxing spastic muscles of the arm and leg.
I described three children who had massages in a very short time, but received great results. All three mothers told us what their children’s problems were before the first massage, and how happy they are now, seeing such excellent results. We were also very happy with them. For me they were real miracles; whenever I see or hear about the results after the massage, my heart is filled with joy for these children and their parents. These are not the end-results; our massage therapist will continue to work with these children until our goals are met.
Living my dream,
Sveta
We are so grateful for all of your interest in our children and the love that you have for them. Your financial gifts and prayers make all of what we do here possible. Without MUCH, the children with special need, those in orphanages, and the poor wanting to attend higher eduction would be forgotten, or their needs minimized to a survival status. As you can see on the right toward the top, we have six programs that fall into three major categories. In March we will talk about the transportation scholarship program. We will give details of what is happening now and what our goals are. Until then, may God bless you and fill your lives with joy and prosperity.
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta