Category Archives: massage therapy for children

August 2021

Hello family and friends,

Children in Ukraine

August 24 is Independence Day in Ukraine. This year we celebrated our thirtieth year of independence from the Soviet Union and Russia. There were big parades in many of the larger cities. We are grateful to the people of all of the countries who helped the people of Ukraine move through these years of challenges to become the country that we are now.
Sveta’s niece brought her two girls with her from Kiev area to share the holiday. It was so nice to have all of the cousins together for lunch and some play time. Their favorite game was “taxi driver” with the wheel barrow.

September 1 has come and gone. The children in Ukraine have returned to school. This is the first year in many years of my life in Ukraine that the weather has cooled considerably in early September. It reminds me of September 2003 living in Chornomorsk. It was as if someone had turn on a season switch for fall weather.

Mark’s Moments

Every Sunday, Sveta and I visit Maria and her grandmother after church. When the weather is good, we all sit outside in the “driveway.”
Sveta and Vera talked about many things, like finding a much needed wheelchair for Maria. They scoured the internet and found an organization that would provide one for free.
During last eleven years, Vera had limited interact with people. Over the four months that we have been visiting Maria and Vera, we were not exactly aware of all that was happening in their lives. As Vera shared her day to day struggles, we listened, and listened. What could we do? We brought some food each week, maybe enough for a meal or two. We prayed for each of them every time that we visited.

Then something changed! Vera began to realize God’s love through our visits. Step by step, God was working on her spirit and soul. Step by step, He was healing her broken heart. Her relationship with God was returning to what it had been eleven years ago. Vera told Sveta that in the beginning of our visits she did not want to see people in her house. Vera’s soul was broken, but now she was like a flower beginning to blossom. Now, her relationship with God will grow forward! Vera, Maria, Sveta and I miss one another during the week and are eager to see one another.

In the fall of 2000, I asked Dennis Lennon a question about missions. “What preparation do I need to become a missionary?” He answered, “If you make yourself available, God will use you!” That may sound pretty simple, but I have stood on that phrase like standing on a Rock, for eighteen-and-a-half years. I have shared this phrase in my past newsletter. As Sveta and I walked home after our visit, we spoke about this phrase with joy in our hearts.

Sveta’s Journey

Most of the world has been affected by COVID-19 for the past year and a half. For many people, their lives have been altered drastically. Great thanks to God, this has not been the case for the children of MUCH. I would like to share a story of one of these children.
Anna is eight months old. She and her family live in the village of Ovidiopol. Anna’s mother noticed that her child was not developing the motor skills that she should be.

The neuropathologist has diagnosed Anna with liquorodynamic syndrome. The most simple explanation is that the motor, or movement, activities of the muscular system are being delayed in the development of the child. The can lead to cerebral palsy.
After making his diagnosis, the doctor recommended that Anna undergo a fifteen-day course of therapeutic massage treatment. Nadia, our massage therapist in Ovidiopol, was chosen to treat Anna.

Nadia worked with Anna for fifteen days, paralleling massage therapy with exercise. Using a plastic fit-ball, about two feet in diameter, (see the picture), Nadia rested the child on the ball, rolling it back and forth, and side to side. The goal is to stimulate the motor activity in the brain having to do with balance and other movement related activities. Anna enjoys the fit-ball very much.

At the end of the procedures, the parents and the doctor noticed that the symptoms were much less obvious. The muscle tension had significantly decreased and Anna began to make sounds more often, learning to talk! The doctor recommended in three months to undergo another massage course to consolidate the result.
This early intervention treatment is key to reprograming the infants while they are developing. Anna’s parents are so grateful to MUCH for the results that they are seeing in their Anna.

We have been seeing good results in many children through the years. Other parents, whose children receive help through massage treatment, also thank everyone who takes part in this matter. Thank you dear sponsors and massage therapists!

Living my dream,

Thank to everyone who reads our stories and shares them with your friends. Sponsors and prayer warriors, thank you for your part in making it possible to do what God has called us to do!

Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site:

January 2021

Hello family and friends,

We received $3,060 for our Christmas Fundraiser. Our goal is $7,500. Thank you to all who gave to sponsor the massage therapy program for the children with disabilities. We are hoping that other friends of MUCH did fundraisers on Facebook.

We have been blessed with snow, temperatures as low as +1F for a week or so. We think that is enough of that kind of blessing!
In November, I promised some pictures of what we completed on our second floor project. Here are pictures of the two roofs, doors and windows, and the inside. Sveta and I floored the attic with OSB and covered it with RockWool insulation.
This spring we will complete the roofs with soffit and facia.
There is plenty to be done on phase 2 of the project. For now, the plan is to save, save, save!

Mark’s Moments

Nadya in Ovidiopol
Ira is the MUCH manager in the Odessa Region. She is also the wife of the pastor of our church, here in Ovidiopol. She introduced Mark and Sveta to Alla, a second massage therapist, and me in my home in Ovidiopol, west southwest of Chornomorsk, in 2019. Later that year, Alla and I were students at the massage therapy training course in Odessa.
Alla and I began working as massage therapists in our town of Ovidiopol in January 2020. MUCH sponsors four children a month for each of us.
I decided to work out of my home. I have three children. My son is 15, my daughter is 13, and my youngest son is 7 years old. In August of last year, my husband died of a heart attack. This loss, of my husband and father of three, added to our challenges of life in Ukraine.

How does being a massage therapist for MUCH change my life?

 feel and know that I can be useful for my loved ones and especially for people who do not have money. For me it is very pleasant to give them warmth and hope. Massage therapy for children is a very good avenue to tell parents about God, that He loves them in a special way, and He cares.
My three children have begun to have a different attitude toward me. They respect me more. They always ask, ‘Mom, can you help my friend with certain physical problems?’ Not only do they ask for help with massage, but now, they also ask for my advice.

I really enjoy improving myself. I find a lot of useful information about massage therapy and special exercises through various videos. I use this knowledge in my practice.
For everything, Glory to our Merciful Lord!

Marganets Transition Home Winter Needs

The children who live at the Transition Home are often taken from their parents without much warning. Many times they are taken with only the clothes on their backs. In some cases, the clothing they are wearing is all that they have.
During the Christmas Season, the director asked for funds to provide indoor foot wear (slippers) for twenty-two children. They may live in the Transition Home for up to nine months. An extra five pair were purchased for children in the day program. The children of the Transition Home thank you, sponsors of MUCH, for making their winter a little brighter.

Sveta’s Journey

What do you think can cause attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity in a child? ADHD has a number of causes with a variety of reactions, such as social maladjustments, lack of calm physical movement, and low self-esteem. Below is a story of two brothers who struggle through life in this way.

Alex and Stas

The mother of six and seven-year-olds, Alex and Stas, had difficult pregnancies with prolonged labor. The doctors believe that these two problems are the cause of the diagnosed ADHD.
The boys have very tense neck muscles. This, in turn, does not allow the nervous and vascular systems of the brain to work normally. They cannot concentrate on learning new things, and are restless. When they start a game or some activity, the boys cannot complete it, and quickly switch to another interest.

Alex and Stas’s mother turned to Nadya, the massage therapist of Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope, for help. During the first days of the massage, it was very difficult for Alex and Stas to just lie and enjoy the massage. 

They tried to get up and had to run about the room. But gradually, when the tense muscles began to relax bringing a calm experience. The boys felt peaceful and seemed to pause a little in their need for movement. After a ten-day course of full-body, relaxing massage, the boys’ mother and Nadya saw results. Alex and Stas became calmer and more attentive. Three months later, Nadya recommended that the parents repeat the massage treatment for the brothers.


Nadya gives children massage therapy at her home. The room that she specially equipped for massage is not as warm as the rest of the house. For the winter season, she moved her massage treatments to another room. For little patients like Maria, it is important to keep warm. At the age of four months, Nadya was already giving her massage therapy. Maria had a pronounced flexor hypertonicity of the extremities. At eight months old, she was receiving the second ten-day massage course. By the end of this second course of massage, the problem was solved. The child’s parents are very pleased with the result. In addition to the massage treatment for Maria, her body was being stimulated to initiate crawling. For this, the muscles of the child must be strong enough to support her body weight. When a child crawls, it develops memory, spacial orientation, and visual-spatial perception.

Exercises on the ball delight Maria! This is a great workout for the inner ear and balance, (vestibular apparatus)! When she started to crawl a little, this surprises her! The world around Maria looks completely different! It’s so wonderful to reach the goal by yourself, to crawl, and take what you want!


How important it is to detect a problem in a timely manner and immediately begin to solve it. Katya had first degree scoliosis. When her parents discovered this problem, they came to our massage therapist, Nadya. A fifteen-day course of massage therapy and exercises on the ball helped correct this diagnosis. After the first therapeutic massage, Katya said to Nadya: “I fell in love with you very much, I like the way you give me massage.”

All of these problems seem insignificant at first glance. But massage treatment today, for these children and many others, is the solution for how their health will be when they become adults.
Many thanks to everyone who helps us carry this ministry to children in Ukraine. Thank you for your prayers and financial assistance! God bless you and your families!
Living my dream,
You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

September 2020

Hello family and friends,

Here is the latest quarterly contribution update from AmazonSmile because of your purchases! This is the easiest way that you can contribute to MUCH. When you shop Amazon, make it Amazon Smile.

MUCH received $66.87 last quarter from AmazonSmile. MUCH has received $1,002.32 from AmazonSmile to date.

If you are not shopping AmazonSmile, you can begin  here and choose Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope as the charity that you want AmazonSmile to donate to. You can learn more about this program on this site. 

On June 8 we began a project that would test our patience and build our character. We planned to have the roof removed and add a second floor. As of September 21, the beltway is curing and the wood is being treated with fungicide and fire retardant. 

The roof work will begin next week. Our workers are busy every day. The exchange rate is 28 UAH for every dollar. The cost of living is such that our project is affordable, but still expensive for us. Our personal savings is going a long way on this project.

With fifteen inch thick walls, the inside of the second floor is a little less than eighteen by thirty feet.  

With the exception of the bathroom, the second floor will be one large room. As a multipurpose room, it will house guests, serve as a conference room, small group meeting room, and a room for prayer and healing.

Sveta and I look forward to the day when the windows and doors will be in, the walls will be stuccoed and the first floor corridor complete inside and out.

Mark’s Moments

Before COVID-19 entered Ukraine, I was invited to visit International Messengers. This mission team uses English to draw young people. The director, Caleb, an America missionary, was going to be out of town that Friday. I was asked to come as a native English speaker. It was here that Sveta and I met Dasha, a Ukrainian missionary with International Messengers.

Recently, Dasha visited us in our home from the North side of Mykolaiv. It took about a forty-five minute bus ride and thirty minutes walking. We spent the day talking about missions, her life as a missionary, and the outreach that she does with International Messengers. The discussion finally arrived at a common ground location of our two organizations.

Dasha was looking for opportunities for some of her girls to reach out to help meet the needs of others. It did not take long for me to connect the needs of MUCH children with Dasha’s girls. MUCH children have a very limited social life. Dasha’s girls needed to care for others.

She talked to her girls, Sveta talked with two MUCH massage therapists on Dasha’s side of Mykolaiv, and everyone was in agreement. The children and their parents were ecstatic! As we partner with Dasha, we are eager to see the results.


Sveta’s Journey

The Transition Home in Marganets has no days off or vacations. Children are moved here all year round. New ones come, some are assigned to families. Some children are returned to their old families, other children are returned from their new families. All of the children dream of becoming a part of a family that will accept and love them.

Here is Maria’s story. Her mother led an immoral lifestyle. She often forgot to pick up her daughter from school and teachers could not find her mother for weeks, so Maria was brought to the Transition Home many times. Maria’s mother was given several opportunities to fix her life, but everything remains the same. As a result, she was deprived of her parental rights and the Transition Home director began to prepare a new family for Maria. This summer, one family took Maria into their lives, but for some reason, two weeks later, they returned Maria to the Transition Home.

Maria continues to dream of living in a family where she is needed. Albina,  the massage therapist, encourages her and helps her to believe that one day she will be in a family. The girl has scoliosis. After the second ten-day course of massage therapy her posture has become much straighter.

Many children pass through the hands and heart of Albina. Since the beginning of this year, 44 children have received massage therapy by Albina, some of them for 2 or 3 courses of ten-day massage. Most of the children who enter the Transition Home do not have physical disabilities. Their pain is in their hearts, wounded souls, with many feeling useless and lonely. Albina brings portions of healing and hope through her interaction with them. We see an amazing value in the outcome from massage therapy for these children! We are constantly seeing very positive results.

Six-year-old Dima was also taken away from his mother, who leads an immoral lifestyle. He lived in the village. His mental development corresponds to the age of a two-year-old child. He does not understand what adults say to him. Dima is hyperactive, and his reaction to massage movements was very violent. It was not easy for Albina to work with this boy. But the results were noticeable. After a ten-day course of massage, Dima began to pronounce some words, and he became somewhat more calm.

How necessary love is for children to correctly develop in all areas of their lives, and then give love to others from themselves!
Living my dream,



Please consider donating to MUCH to help children with emotional problems and those with disabilities improve their quality of life.

Please Donate

Blessings of love and healing,
 Mark and Sveta

April 2020

Hello family and friends,

April was a full month for Sveta and me. Because of the school quarantine, the grandchildren came to visit more often. This is a delight, but wears us out. We had early warm weather; later, we had some evenings of frosty weather. One of the apricot tree had reached full bloom. We thought that it had lost all of its fruit potential for this year. To our surprise, we are seeing fruit develop.

Sveta’s mother has gone home to her heavenly Father. The last three years were difficult for her. A number of minor strokes, and the difficulty of her life in the village weighed heavily on her. Our pastor performed the funeral. In Ukrainian tradition, the funeral was open casket, set in the driveway of their home. Family and a few neighborhood friends attended.

Mark’s Moments

As of April 28, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are 9,410 in Ukraine; 992 have recovered, and 239 have died. The current population of Ukraine is 43,733,762, a little more than one half of one percent of the total world population.

Ukraine remains under quarantine restrictions, but some businesses that do not provide essential products or services are beginning to open their doors. Sveta and I visited Epicenter the other day. It is similar to Home Depot or Lowes.

When we arrived, there was a line of about 100 people. We waited in line for about thirty minutes. As one shopper would come out, one in line would go in. Before entering the actual shopping area, each person’s forehead was scanned to check their temperature. When it was time for checkout, only the four self checkout registers were open. No cash was allowed, only debit or credit cards. Can you imagine, 20 years ago Ukraine didn’t have ATM machines.

Sponsors of MUCH, the children and massage therapists are very grateful for your continued financial support. As Sveta reported in her last update, not all of our programs are operating. Even so, 51 children received treatments in April. Sveta and I thank you so much for remembering our MUCH children and us!

Sveta’s Journey

Due to quarantine, April was a vacation time for some massage therapists but others continued to work.

Nadya, a new MUCH massage therapist began working with MUCH two months ago. Her first client was her six-year-old son, Anton. Last year, he was injured with a hip fracture on his left leg. Nadya was in the hospital with Anton for a long period of rehabilitation. Even after treatment, he was hobbling along, and it was noticeable. Thank God that his mother became a massage therapist! After two courses of twenty-day massage treatment, Anton’s hobble was almost invisible!

During the quarantine period, Natasha, our massage therapist in the Dobromel orphanage, continues to give massage therapy to the orphans. These have no family and are forced to stay in the orphanage. This month, she worked in the dormitory building, since the heating was turned off in the school and it was very cold in the massage room. Natasha wrote a detailed report about the children whom she was giving massage therapy. She was seeing great results!

Paul (right) has muscle hypertonicity and rounded shoulders, or kyphosis. Massage therapy helped relax all tense muscles. With the help of exercise with the chest expander, the muscles of the arms and shoulder girdle were trained. Natasha also uses game therapy and manual therapy. Light manual therapy helped to unlock the spine in certain locations, to return the mobility of the spine to a better physiological state. The boy became more obedient, fear disappeared, and the child’s self-esteem increased.

Anya, an insecure child, is very emotional and excited. Often she is withdrawn into herself, sometimes crying for no reason. The girl did not want to receive massage therapy. She screamed and did not want to make physical contact with others. But Natasha always has a way to the hearts of children. Step by step, Anya opened her soul to meet the love she felt from Natasha. Massage therapy affected the calming of her nervous system. Thanks to game therapy, not only physical development has improved, but also the development of mental processes. The game allowed not only to survive the situation at a symbolic level, but also to express her own emotions and feelings.

Seven-year-old Dasha often had bouts of aggression, she cried and screamed. This is probably the consequence of how she grew up in cruelty, screaming parents and bullying. Dasha began to walk very late, somewhere around four years old. The girl complained of discomfort in the back, and fatigue. She declined coordination of movements. Also, she had violation of posture, head tilted to one side, and asymmetric arrangement of clavicles. In addition, her chest had deformation and deviation of the spinous processes to one side.

After a course of massage treatment and special physical exercises, the child’s muscle corset strengthened, back mobility was restored, the asymmetry of the shoulder blades was corrected and the pectoral muscles strengthened. Dasha became calmer, more relaxed, self-confident, her psycho-emotional state improved.

Thank you dear family and friends! We know that you, too, are walking through difficult times during the pandemic, but you continue to share your heart with children who need help. God bless you!

Please take a minute to view their thank you video!

Living my dream,


You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta