Hello family and friends,
When I first moved to Ukraine, my purpose was unclear. I knew that I would be helping children, but the details would be revealed as time moved forward. One thing was clear; I was not called to Ukraine to plant an American business on this soil. By 2004, it had begun to be clear in my mind that the mission was not to fix problems in Ukraine. Rather, if I could enable people to realize their passion and move forward with it, that would be enough. The deeper realization of this in my mind developed overtime.
In America, the majority of people are not leaders, builders of new ideas and businesses, but rather the majority are the gears that make the great machines operate. The same is true in Ukraine. After generations of being the gears, the labor force, of the Soviet Union, the people of Ukraine were ready to build their own dreams. Even so, a small percentage will be true builders of businesses. In the sixteen and a half years of experience with massage therapy, MUCH yields 28% of the therapists starting their own massage therapy business. Here are their stories.
God directed me to Dr. Natalya because my own need for massage therapy. She was renting the back room of a three room flat from a very elderly man. She worked with adult clients, but her heart wanted to provide massage therapy for children with disabilities. She partnered with MUCH in 2004, giving two patient hours for children with disabilities.
Over the years, she increased her medical rehabilitation education, and worked at additional facilities. By 2017, she operated a professional rehabilitation facility of her own in Chornomorsk. She, and three specialists in her employ, are serving the children of this city. Dr. Natalya has successfully met the goal of MUCH!
The director of the Dobromel Orphanage introduced Natasha to me in 2010. My wife, Sveta, gave a twenty-day demonstration of massage therapy that showed results in September 2011. Natasha began the massage therapy program at the Dobromel Orphanage for children with special needs in October of that year.
After a few years of treating children with various types of disabilities, she took a great interest in how massage therapy could interact with speech therapy. Natasha was so inspired, she acquired a masters degree in speech therapy.
By 2018, She was ready to open her own massage therapy clinic in her city of Cambir. Natasha rents a room in this cheery business building. Above the door on the right is her sign, “Studio Massage”. She continues her work at the orphanage, and has her clinic operating with another massage therapist as her employee. Natasha has successfully met the goal of MUCH!
Sveta and I met Ira in the church that we were attending in Chornomorsk in 2012. She had been a nurse for a number of years, specializing in giving injections. One Sunday after the service, she proudly announced that she had completed her training in massage therapy. I leaned over to Sveta and said, “We should talk with her!
She began working with MUCH in the Policlinic. The following year she changed to home visits, and expanded developing her personal clients. Her specialty is early intervention, working with infants and children from two months to two years old. Ira has made a name for herself. Although she does not work out of a clinic setting, she works full time, visiting her patients in their homes. Ira has successfully met the goal of MUCH!
Oksana (on the right) took an interest in 2016 to learning how massage therapy could help children with disabilities. She completed the training program and became certified to provide massage therapy.
Setting up a massage table in her living room, she began inviting parents with children in her district of Mykolaiv to receive massage therapy. Within a year, Oksana had enough patients on a regular basis to rent a small room in the exercise business “Fit Curves”.
Take a look at the nine certificates on her wall. Face massage, lymph drainage massage, and children massage are some of the extra knowledge and skills that she has learned in the past five years. She continues improving her ability to serve all of the massage therapy needs of her patients.
Oksana’s passion is for the infants. Being a mother of three children, she understands the value of early intervention. She is providing wonderful opportunities for infants to overcome physical differences that could become disabilities. Oksana has successfully met the goal of MUCH!
Ovidiopol is spread out over eight miles. There are no high rise apartment buildings that are commonly found in most cities and towns in Ukraine. To build a home visit practice would be difficult and financially impractical.
Nadya’s first year has proven to be successful. We look forward to seeing what she will accomplish these next few years as her practice continues to grow and develop. As time moves forward, we believe that Nadya will meet the goal of MUCH!
I am so happy to be a part of what God is doing through MUCH in my country.
Living my dream,
Thank you for following our stories of what God is doing through MUCH in Ukraine. Please continue to pray, share our stories with your friends, and contribute when you can.
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta
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