Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

March 2019

Hello family and friends,

Spring is busting through, whether Mother Nature is ready or not. Most of our fourteen fruit trees have buds waiting to explode. Walking to the bus yesterday, the bees were hard at work looking for opportunities to pollinate. Our orchard should be beautifully colored with apple, peach, cherry, apricot, and pear blossoms in a few weeks.

Sveta and I were in Kiev on Thursday. I need a new passport. It should arrive in about 10 days. While we were there, we visited Sveta’s niece and her family. After ten hours on the train we arrived at six-fifteen AM. We took the return train at ten PM the same day. It was a very nice day.

Mark’s Moments

In years past, our massage therapy program was focusing on children with physical disabilities. They also had emotional problems, but those were not our focus. As we saw the physical results, the children’s emotional appearances also had changed.

About three years ago, MUCH began to focus on treating children with emotional and psychological problems who didn’t have physical disabilities. These children don’t interact very well with other children. Either they fight with each other, or they withdraw from everyone. There are additional symptoms.

In 2017, we began a massage therapy program for children at the Transition Home in Marganets. All of these children are from difficult homes. They are transitioning from a family setting to either a Foster-Home or an orphanage. They stay at the Transition Home for nine month. During that time, we are seeing excellent changes in their personalities and social interaction due to massage therapy. Here are two of the children that your contributions are helping at the transition home!

Katya

Katya is an orphan. She had been adopted locally. After unresolvable conflicts, she was sent to the Transition Home. If her character could be corrected, she would be returned to her adoptive family. While at the Transition Home, she complained of headaches, irritability, and poor sleep. The doctor prescribed head massage. After a ten-day massage therapy treatment, Katya had wonderful results. She began to sleep normally. A smile returned to her face, and she began to visit school. She is well on her way to returning to a good life in a good family.

Alex

Alex is a teen who had lost his desire to live. He was non-social, would skip school, and communicated with rude and cruel expressions. His talk about suicide and apparent attempts brought great concern to parents and school officials. He was sent to the Transition Home for counseling and whatever help they could give.

After a ten-day treatment of massage therapy, and some sessions with the psychologist, Alex is doing much better. He is interacting with children very well. He has found peace in his life and is looking for his purpose in his every day journey in life.

Sveta’s Journey

Valya

At the Dobromel Orphanage, Natasha has been giving Valya massage therapy treatments for about a year. Valya did not speak any words, and was unable to communicate what she wanted.

Now, the teachers are pleased to see positive changes in the classroom. She has become active and has begun to initiate activities for herself. Now Valya can say simple things like, “I want an apple.” She remains uncertain about many things, and at times will not speak at all.

Massage therapy, exercise, and game therapy, have improved her nervous system, spinal alignment, breathing, and mental processing.

Slava

At the Dobromel Orphanage, Luba teaches some of the children how to use the computer. Slava is 15 years old. He has changed a lot. He is always willing to work with the computer, but is not very focused. His attention is scattered among all of the visual stimulation. He wants to accomplish his task quickly, but this does not always work out for him. He wants to do well and receive good words for his work.

Unlike previous years, Slava no longer requires constant monitoring and care. He is more independent. He can turn the computer on and off, and use the mouse knowledgeably. Opening the desktop typing tutor independently brings him pleasure. The newest activity that Slava is developing is to go online and work with his own “word game.”

The keyboard simulator helps him to learn the location of the letters on the keyboard. He is doing well with this. The best part is that Slava is now reading in syllables. Luba, our excellent computer teacher, is very pleased with him.

Living my dream,
Sveta

Thanks to all who help Sveta and me continue to change the lives of the children in four cities and two villages. Your contributions, prayers, and encouraging words help us do our part in this amazing mission.

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 2019

Hello family and friends,

February has been an unusually warm month for us in southern Ukraine. Low temperatures were in the 20s F, highs were in the mid 30s F. It is true that the post-soviet generation can be found standing outside, talking with friends, in the coldest weather. Although, as soon as the temperature is above freezing for a couple of days, many people are found to be out in their garden, preparing the soil. To my surprise, some have already completed their spring planting. As for Sveta and me, we pruned our fruit trees, grape vines, and rose bushes. We are ready for spring. Even so, there could be more snow before the spring is over. We just never know.

Mark’s Moments

In the summer of 2017, Sveta and I visited the Stepovoya Orphanage for Boys with Physical and Mental Disabilities. We were visiting with a group from our church. Since that time, the director has been replaced and we have visited a few more times. Each time, Sveta and I talked with the director about massage therapy for the boys in his facility. He was absolutely in agreement with our program, but was having difficulty understanding how to implement it.

Natasha and Ira

Finally, with all of our ducks in a row, he introduced us to Natasha and Ira. Both Natasha and Ira work part-time. Natasha works as a care taker of the children, while Ira is the social worker. As we interviewed them to participate in the massage training course, they asked questions, wanting to understand the program that we were offering. I can imagine the unasked question, “Who are Mark and Sveta, and why are they giving us this opportunity?”

After completing the course, Ira and Natasha hold diplomas from their massage therapy course posing with their course instructor.

Natasha told Sveta that this opportunity has changed her life. As a wife and mother living in the village an hour outside of Mykolaiv, she saw no opportunities in her life that could change. (The common phrase is, “This is my life, what can I do?”) Now, with a diploma, she can give more of herself to children at the orphanage, changing their lives through massage therapy.

Vlad

Ira wrote in one of her progress reports about a 17 year old boy who receives massage therapy. His name is Vlad. He was born with spina bifida (open spine) on his lower back. Both legs are unable to function normally. He also has a flat foot problem that is common to cerebral palsy, which is his diagnosis. He can stand, but cannot walk. He can pull himself along the hand rails on the walls.

Vlad likes the massage therapy very much. He pulls himself along the hand rails each day, showing up at the therapy room on time. Ira gives Vlad a full body massage. She begins with conversation about his favorite singer. While they talk, Ira begins by asking Vlad to straighten his leg at the knee. They move on to massage therapy, step by step. At the end of the treatment, Vlad always gives Ira a big “Thank you!” — I can’t wait to read about the rest of the wonderful stories from the Stepovoya Orphanage.

I am continually amazed at how God has connected the dots over the past sixteen years. Sveta and I have made ourselves available, and God has used us. (Dennis Lennon shared this phrase with me in 2000, and I have lived it ever since.) The progression of introductions for massage therapy were: Chornomorsk, Froonza Crimea, Dobromel, Marganets, Veleekey Lubin, Mykolaiv, and now Stepovoya.

See all eleven of our massage therapists on our website page.

Glory to God for the great things He has done!

Sveta’s Journey

In the end of February, I received a report from our two new massage therapists in Stepovoya, Natasha and Ira. This is their first month of work. From mid-February, they began to give massage therapy for boys with disability in the Stepovoya Orphanage. All boys have several difficult diagnoses. Many children cannot walk and their leg muscles have atrophied. Massage therapy normalizes the work of internal organs and stimulates blood flow to the skin and muscles, helps to avoid pressure sores, and the immunity is strengthened. Natasha and Ira use a rehabilitation Turbota table. It is difficult to work with a child who is not able to lay flat from head to toe. This table can be adjusted for angles and hold limbs in place while the child is receiving massage treatment.

Mark and I were glad to see, through the written lines of their report, that the hearts of Natasha and Ira are full of love for the children. Seventeen boys received massage therapy for 14 days. Here are excerpts from what our massage therapists wrote:

Anton

I saw small results in 12-year-old Anton. He sits in a chair all day. This lack of exercise negatively effects his digestive system. After 14 day of massage therapy, Anton had a normal stool, and his muscle tension decreased slightly. He likes massage therapy. During massage therapy the boy always gives me a big smile.

Andre

Six-year-old Andre, diagnosed with hydrocephalus, almost from the first day, liked the massage treatment. He always smiles. The boy cannot walk. He sits in the chair all day, so massage therapy has good benefits to his circulation.

Igor

Cerebral palsy on the lower limbs of 16-year-old Igor led to atrophy of the leg muscles, especially from the knee to the foot. He also has strong contractures in his joints. During the first massage treatment, he immediately relaxed and smiled. Igor especially liked the fact that I was talking to him. Igor is not able to speak. The massage experience for him was so calming, 30 minutes was like 1 minute, one breath of air. Igor spends most of the day in a sitting position and therefore massage therapy has a big effect on his circulation.

Sasha

Fifteen-year-old Sasha was nervous during the first massage treatment. On his third visit, thanks to the establishment of trusting relationships, calm music and warm massage oil, Sasha began to relax. A few days later when he saw me, he was so very happy to see me in my new job. He was looking forward to his next massage therapy treatment. Sasha can barely walk, but he can stands, holding on to the wall rail. One leg turns inside. While doing massage therapy, I paid a lot of attention to his foot. As a result, Sasha began to more confidently step on his affected leg. Unfortunately, the affected leg has contractures. My work is aimed at overcoming the spastic condition.

******

The director of Stepovoya does not allow pictures of the children. As we see the progress, we will have to do our best to share vivid word pictures with you. Mark and I are very excited about Natasha and Ira in their additional positions as massage therapists! They have a great love for the children.

Thank you, dear family and friends for your prayers and financial support. These children can receive massage therapy and special attention from our massage therapists because of you. They have such a great need! Mark and I are glad that we are also partnering with you in this good deed just as you are our precious family and friends! Thank you so much!

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

January 2019

Hello family and friends,

Thank you one and all who contributed to the MUCH Christmas Fundraiser.

We Raised Over $7,000!

Contributions came from those who receive our newsletters, Facebook friends, and new friends of friends. Thanks to all of you! Our monthly contributions throughout 2019 and the Christmas Fundraiser will carry our programs through the year.

Mark’s Moments

Here is our program for 2019.

Massage Therapy in four cities and two villages. We have a total of eleven massage therapists serving a minimum of forty-four children per month.

Meet all of our massage therapists here on our website.


Our Transportation Scholarship Program sponsors four University students through the Evangelical Baptist Church in Chornomorsk. One was not able to meet with us because of illness.

Sveta, our manager Ira, and I met with the Pastor. He expressed great thanks for our sponsorship. He shared about how the students use their education to do ministry in the church with the children and the youth. They are giving back to the community even before they finish their education.

Our Clothing Program provides underwear and indoor slippers for the children at the Transition Home in Marganets. It is our smallest program, but the connection with the children and their need for clothing paved the way for massage therapy. Three years ago we started massage therapy at the Transition Home, which proved to meet a much greater need. Their lives have been changing for the better.

Sveta’s Journey

This month, Mark and I had a wonderful meeting with 9 month old Luba and her mother. We saw how much hope Luba’s mother has about restoring her baby, despite the new diagnosis that the doctors have set. An internal hemangioma has formed on the neck of the child, which has greatly increased in the last month to the size of a walnut. Next week the child will be examined. Doctors suggest that it is impossible to remove the hemangioma because the artery passes through this formation and also during the operation it can affect the facial nerve.

The good news is that the she no longer has several cystic formations in her head. Luba also learned to roll over to the left side. Previously, it was hard for her to do this because the left side of her body does not function as well as the right. She still cannot pick up toy with her left hand, but this baby found a way out of this situation; she learned to shift the toy from her right hand to her left.

Luba’s mom has a big faith and positive words about her child. She allows no doubt to creep into her heart. When people say that her baby is premature, she answers that her baby was in a hurry to come to this world. When people say that her baby is very small, her answer is that the little feet can do a great job.

We also met with Ilya. Once the doctors said that this child was hopeless and unpromising. But Dr. Natalya has been working with the boy for eight years already. Massage therapy and exercise are developing skills in walking, squats, etc.

Ilya continues with a great desire to learn how to walk with one cane or holding onto a wall. The child told us that his greatest desire is to walk on his own. Ilya persistently follows all instructions of the exercise therapist. After massage therapy, Ilya has a one hour exercise program of balance, climbing steps, sitting and standing, and walking skills. Earlier, Ilya could focus only on walking. If someone spoke to him, he would try to answer and lose focus and fall. Now the boy can talk in the process of learning to walk. He asked us many questions and at the same time moved forward with rearranging his canes. His speech has become clearer and he is more sociable. Illya no longer has a fear of falling, and if this happens he rises and goes on. Keep it up, Ilya!

Mark and I had a wonderful opportunity to lay hands on children and pray for them. We believe that every child is in God’s hands. Your and our part to love children and help everyone with the gift each of us has from the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers and finances for providing children with their needs.

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

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

October 2018

Hello family and friends,

2018 Christmas Fundraiser

We need your help

Our goal is to raise $10,000

for the 2019 Massage Therapy Program

We can do it with your help.

The children are worth it!

Donate Here

Sveta’s Journey

The last three months in our newsletters we asked you to support some of the children in our massage program. These children will receive regular massage treatments. Together with you, we will see what results massage therapists will achieve, and how the Lord works through their hands and hearts. Of course, other children who need massage therapy are involved in our program. Some of these children need a massage course on a monthly basis. Other children receive massage therapy every other month.

Ira is our massage therapist in Chernomorsk. She is working with a six-year-old girl Valya who was diagnosed with over extension of the joints. The lack of necessary treatment can lead to pain. It can become chronic and atrophy of muscles working the joints will lead to disability. The main part of the treatment is to strengthen the muscles of the surrounding problem joints.

Valya felt uncomfortable because her right shoulder was higher than the left. Girl was upset and irritable due to frequent pains in muscles and joints. After a course of massage therapy, her muscles strengthened, her shoulders became level. Valya said that now she feels better, the pain in the upper back region has passed. It became easier for her to perform special physical exercises to strengthen muscles and joints. She is so happy! It is amazing how a ten-day massage course can make a little child happy!

Baby Luba is now seven months old, but according to the developmental standards she is as a four-month-old baby. Since the mother’s pregnancy was proceeding with difficulty, the doctors performed a cesarean section much earlier than the term of delivery. With a weight of 1.65 pounds, a little girl came into this world. She spent a month in intensive care with an artificial breathing apparatus. Doctors had no hope that the child will live. But God had His plans to give life to this baby.

Doctors gave several diagnoses, some of which are haemangiomas (a benign tumor of the blood vessel) on the upper left arm, muscular myopathy and torticollis. Luba’s left hand is limited in movement, the fingers do not grip the toy as well as the fingers on her right hand. Perhaps this hemangioma affects the motor function of the hand. Doctors are not sure what to do with hemangioma which has increased in size. They continue to explore. If muscles and nerves are affected, there may be no way to treat some of her health problems. Please pray for Luba’s healing.

Tanya, our massage therapist is doing everything possible to treat this condition with the help of massage. In August, she gave Luba the first course of massage treatment. Muscle spasticity was significantly reduced. Also, she began to make attempts to keep her head in a raised position. In October, Tanya gave Luba a second course of a ten-day massage. Now Luba holds her head well. She no longer has torticollis. She can stand on her legs for a while.

 

 

These are good results. Slowly, step by step, we see progress throughout the process. Next month, Tanya plans to continue massage therapy for Luba. We believe that everything will be fine with the child. Thank you for your prayers and for your financial support.

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,

September 2018

Hello family and friends,

September has brought us comfortable weather in the 60s and 70s F. The children are back in school, the leaves have begun to fall from the trees, and Sveta and I are preparing to visit the children at the Dobromel Orphanage in October. It will be a beautiful time to travel to western Ukraine!

Mark’s Moments

Sveta spoke at church today. She talked about troubled times and how we overcome them. In a nut shell, she explained how we need to look to God to understand how He will bring the solution. — We have a number of opportunities to minister in conversation with different people in our church. It always amazes us how God directs the conversation, and give us the correct words to say to meet the immediate needs of our guests.

In my experience with MUCH, I see every day how God provides for all of our needs as missionaries. He is never late to provide locations, clients, and massage therapists.

Read how God provided a replacement massage therapist for Yana within less than thirty days.

Sveta’s Journey

For fourteen years, MUCH has been blessed with massage therapists who have a special heart for our children with special needs. Some continue with MUCH for many years, while others work with great joy for a shorter period of time. Yana is one of those whose stay was shorter, only two years. In those two years, she changed the face of dealing with the emotional trauma of the children.

Yana

Yana, providing massage therapy at the Transition Home in Marganets, has found a job working for the government that provides more money and long term security. She decided to accept this new position for the future of her family, husband and two children.

Svetlana, the director of the Transition Home, asked Mark and me to find a replacement for Yana. She sees the urgent need for massage treatments for the children. She told me how the children changed after massage therapy, combined with their interaction with Yana. She sees the wonderful results massage therapy brings.

These children are torn from their families because the parents don’t care for them due to poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, or parents whose own problems are bigger than they know how to deal with.

Because negative situations in family or even separation from bad parents bring stress, many children suffer from an increased tightness of the neck and shoulder muscles. They feel abandoned, unwanted, unloved, and have low self-esteem. One doctor compared the psychological traumas of children in dysfunctional families with the traumatic experience of war. This is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another result of children whose parents are suffering from, is that they endure stress comparable to the loss of a loved one.

Massage therapy has a special effect on children with injured souls. It brings each child a unique solution to their emotional and psychological needs. It has always been clear how a positive and caring massage therapist could affect the children and help them. It is wonderful!

Albina

Upon request, our Marganets manager, Inna, recommended a massage therapist, Albina, to replace Yana. She loves children and her massage therapy profession.

Svetlana has agreed for a trial month for Albina. In October, Albina will work four hours a day, for ten days throughout the month.

In November Mark and I will go to Marganets and meet who we believe God has prepared to replace Yana. We are looking forward to it. It is always about God’s provision.

You Can Help Our Children Here

Natasha and Two Children

Natasha, our massage therapist at the Dobromel Orphanage, provided massage therapy for eight children in September. She describes such wonderful results that she is seeing after the massage treatment courses. As you remember, Natasha combines massage therapy with game therapy, physical exercises, and the lighted sand box.

You can Sponsor Kate

She wrote:

“Kate has no physical problems but to me I see that she needs correction and recovery of psychological functions. She cries often, is very emotional, and is often aggressive. With the help of massage therapy, I was able to relax her psyche.

You can Sponsor Dan

These children are special. In my opinion, they come to this world to bring good. In their eyes there is no hatred, anger, and they don’t hide behind a mask. They are bright, open and with a good heart, these are children with Down syndrome.

In the beginning of the month Dan came to me for massage therapy. He was frightened and did not want to undress. In his contact with adults, he pushed everyone away. For three days, he came and we looked at pictures together, played games with balls, and other games in a dry pool. Eventually, he agreed to receive massage therapy, and we began to work actively.

As a result, he started to walk with me as soon as he saw me. When he sees me, he raises his arms and laughs. I am pleased to say that my work with Dan has yielded some very positive results that are changing who he is and will become!

Massage has actively influenced the state of the muscles, becoming stronger and more elastic. He has improved coordination of movements; his walking gait, running, and squatting, have improved. In mental development I did not notice big changes, but I have great hope for further positive results, and I hope that with God’s help we will be able to help this little angel.”

Living my dream,

Sveta

Do you want to change the life of a child in Ukraine? You can begin here!

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 2018

Hello family and friends,

The good news is that Sveta’s arm is healing up very well. She had the metal rods removed July 24, and has been learning to rehabilitate her arm. It has been an emotional challenge for her,trying to understand the pain and swelling that sometimes go along with self-directed occupational therapy. She is on the high side now, so that is good.

A Little History

In 2002, I started a clothing program at the Marganets Orphanage.

In 2004, MUCH was created and we initiated the massage therapy program in Chernomorsk.

In 2007, MUCH started the transportation scholarship program in Chernomorsk.

From 2007 through 2017 MUCH has completed many projects improving environment and education for children in towns and villages in Ukraine.

What is the main work of MUCH in 2018 forward? Our biggest contribution to the children of Ukraine is the massage therapy program. In September, we will be working with forty-two children. To make this happen, MUCH must raise $900.00 each month. This will pay nine massage therapists located in four cities and one village across Ukraine.

Help a Child Live a Better Life

Tanya visits the homes of the MUCH children for whom she provides massage therapy. Before she began working for MUCH, she had retired from twenty years of adult massage therapy in a hospital setting. She saw patients in private practice at her home as extra income to supplement her pension. When we met with her, the passion to work with children who had disabilities blossomed.

You may ask how parents learn about her. Word of mouth travels fast among parents who have children in need of quality treatment. Beginning in 2007, Tanya showed her skill, compassion, and loving personality toward children with serious medical needs. For eleven years, Tonya has been changing lives of children and their families. She brings hope and good results, month after month.
Sveta’s Journey

Vanya is one year old. During childbirth, he experienced asphyxia. Vanya is diagnosed with muscle myopathy. Myopathy is characterized by weakness or muscle atrophy. The child was constantly in a lying posture on his back. Subsequently, Vanya may develop scoliosis. It is also likely that he will become susceptible to pneumonia due to poor mobility. Massage treatment and breathing exercises are two of several therapies that Vanya is receiving. It takes a long time but his parents do not despair.

In August, Vanya received his first course of massage therapy. Tanya saw good results. His muscles are slightly strengthened and now he can take two steps without the support of his parents and stand two minutes holding on to the sofa. This is a good result. Tanya will continue to work with Vanya.

Sponsor Vanya or Lena — $20 a month

Lena was born after caesarean section with a weight of 1 pound 10 ounces. She spent a month in the intensive care unit in need of an artificial breathing apparatus. Now the child is five months old and weighs about 8 pounds 13 ounces. Lena’s doctors gave several diagnoses, two were myopathy, and torticollis.

In August, Tanya gave Lena her first course of massage therapy, which showed good results. Lena has no a muscle spasm, she tries to keep her head in a raised position. Thanks to you, dear friends! Because of your help Tanya will continue to help this little girl grow stronger and develop correctly.

Max is three months old. He went through a caesarean section and doctors diagnosed a muscle spasm and torticollis. Parents, in time, turned to Tanya. We see the result: now the baby has no torticollis, the muscles are normal and the development of the child is excellent in all respects!

How important it is to recognize and start the right treatment on time! Thanks to all who help our children!

Our focus on early intervention is bringing great results like Max. Sometime, the problem can be corrected in one course of massage therapy!

Living my dream,

Sveta

Mark’s Moments

As I was working on this newsletter, an article about the conflict in eastern Ukraine popped up. Take a look at the story that suggests there is unrest between the separatists and Moscow. The leader was killer in an explosion at a cafe in Donetsk.

There has not been any evidence of problems in our area and west. We don’t believe the danger has past. Life goes on, keeping one eye on the periphery. We look to God Who called me here to serve the children. We live one day at a time.

Bringing healing to Ukraine,

Mark

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 2018

Hello family and friends,

Your contributions to MUCH are helping Ukraine move forward and improve as a country of freedom!

Did you ever say to yourself, “Wow, I wish that I could impact a child’s life the way that he/she is doing! Unfortunately, I’m locked into my job and lifestyle.”

Friends, I understand that completely. Before God called me to Ukraine, I thought the same. In fact, the Bible verse where Jesus says, “… sell your possessions … and come follow Me,” was my favorite verse from my childhood. It left me with the question, “How do I do this?” At age 44, I began to understand what this meant for my life.

Interestingly though, I could not do this without the financial help of people like you. Come follow Jesus with me through your financial gift.

Sveta shares this story of a one-year-old child that MUCH sponsors who is having great success. Consider answering the call of Christ, “Come follow ME,” by contributing $36 a month to sponsor Andre’s massage and physical therapy treatments.

Help Andre grow and develop

Sveta’s Journey

A year ago Andre was born when his mother was only six months pregnant. This premature birth escalated when his parents were in a car accident. The boy’s mom spent four months with Andre in the hospital. Doctors saved the life of this child, but during the medical care they gave him more oxygen than was needed for the baby. This led to the rupture of one lung. Andre also had a cerebral edema.

From the age of six months, his parents brought their baby to Dr. Natalia’s rehabilitation clinic. Now Andre is on a permanent monthly massage and physical therapy treatment program. Andre’s parents are seeing good results and continue to believe that God will restore the health of their child. Dr. Natalia and her team continue to work intensely with Andre. Neuropathologists are constantly surprised at his results. And we rejoice and thank God for this baby!

 

When Mark and I met with Andre’s father who brought his boy for treatment, we saw great hope and faith in his eyes. He is very grateful to the MUCH sponsors for the rehabilitation program for his little son.

Here are the results to date: Andre smiles, reacts with emotion to light, and to sound. He turns his head in response to voices. He tries to keep his head in a raised position longer and longer. He starts to sit with support. Supporting his body on his hands and knees, he makes attempts to crawl correctly. The results are clearly positive, to which everyone is surprised.

Dr. Natalia wrote: “A huge thanks to each of the kind and sympathetic people from MUCH!”

Living my dream,

Sveta

Mark’s Moments

One of my projects this summer is to build a corridor for our front door. I’m ready to finalize the foundation and pour the floor. I’m waiting on supplies. Building the walls should be quick and easy.

I have been working on my second project for three summers. I want to complete the AAC block insulation this year. I hope to complete both projects by the end of September. Life seems to always be getting in the way.

A friend stopped by last weekend with his video drone. He took a 20 minute aerial video of our property and neighborhood. Sveta and I are building friendships in our community of Balabanivka, the southern city limits of Mykolaiv.

As we continue our MUCH mission, we seek a vision for our new mission as retired people in seven years. We want to minister to the people of our neighborhood community in some way. (Matthew 9:37) “… the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few.” Balabanivka is waiting for more workers to claim this community for God. Our property is the corner lot, left of center, with the small house.

We have a vision for how our home and property can be used for the Kingdom of God, so we continue to improve what God has given us for service to others. See how our house and property looked when we bought it. We have improved it step by step each year.


Our neighborhood has a mix of retirees with soviet mentality, and young families with the mentality of freedom and entrepreneurism. A number of new construction homes are in process. Some have been waiting for years to be finished. Twenty-seven years of freedom is changing the way people think, live, and dream.

Until next time,

Mark

Your contributions to MUCH are helping Ukraine move forward and improve as a country of freedom!

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

June 2018

Hello family and friends,

$36 = a fifteen day course of massage and physical therapy for Ilia!

Imagine the results that YOUR $36 can have for this child in Ukraine!

Help Ilia walk

Ilia is a long term out-patient of MUCH at Dr. Natalia’s clinic. Be his sponsor and help him become his personal best. Change his future with your contributions! Take two minutes and watch a video about his success.

Ilia is learning to walk video

Sveta’s Journey

Now Ilia is seven years old. His birth was difficult and he was born with cerebral palsy. Immediately after birth, this child was admitted to intensive care and his mother, Sasha, spent six months with her son in this neurological hospital. Doctors diagnosed his type of cerebral palsy as spastic diplegia and atrophy of the frontal lobes of the brain. They did not give hope for him to his parents. Their prognoses were disappointing. Soon, Ilia’s father left the family. The young woman was left alone with her grief. She returned to her parents and together they began to care for the baby.

The massage program began for Ilia when he turned one year old. Ilia could not hold his head upright, sit, or stand. For the past six years, three times a year, Ilia received massage therapy. At first, his grandmother took charge of taking him to massage therapy. Sasha worked to have enough money to support her son. Sasha is a very responsible mother. She tries to do everything necessary for Ilia. But the difficulties in her life continue. I’m surprised at her stamina.

Now, Sasha has the care of three people on her shoulders. Along with caring for Ilia, she also cares for her disabled father, and her mother whose health is declining.

We have written about Ilia on a number of occasions in past newsletters. He is a very charming boy. Thanks to a specialized massage program and physical therapy exercises, we see tremendous results. Dr. Natalia, has developed the best rehabilitation program for children with severe disabilities.

Today, Ilia can walk using a walker. The truth is that he practices at home. On the street, Sasha pushes him in a stroller. Now, Dr. Natalya is teaching him to walk with the help of canes. He ceased to be temperamental during physical exercises. Ilia began to understand that exercise is necessary for him and most importantly it gives him great pleasure when he sees that he can take several steps with canes by himself! He likes it!

Because of Ilia’s atrophy of the brain, what he learns in intellectual and motor memory is soon lost. Therefore, Ilia needs massage therapy and movement exercises every day. But it is also necessary to take medication to restore cells of the brain tissue. This is a very expensive treatment. With age, the brain and brain tissue will grow and skills will be consolidated. To maintain any and all of his progress, daily repetition is necessary. In Ukraine, you must be mobile to attend school. Accessibility is not yet a law here. Mark and I, Ilia’s mother, and Dr. Natalia are asking for your help to give Ilia a chance to grow strong in mind and body and go to school. Ilia’s future depends on his going to school.

Living my dream,

Sveta

Mark’s Moments

In past newsletters, we have written about doctor error, and lack of responsible treatment for patients. This month, we experienced a Ukrainian dilemma in our family. While helping her parents in the village, Sveta fell and broke her arm. She was taken to the hospital; the doctor realigned the break, and x-rays were taken. Satisfied that the bone was were it should be, a cast was applied. Very little direction was given to Sveta.

Two weeks later, she returned for evaluation. More x-rays were taken. The doctor said with disappointment, “It is not healing as quickly as it should.” Sveta returned home, unhappy with the report. She noticed that something was oozing out of her cast. She decided that we would go to a different hospital on the following day.

On the way, we met a friend of Sveta’s who suggested we see the main surgeon in the same hospital. We did visit the main doctor, but his diagnosis made Sveta less happy. He said that she needed metal rods put in to hold the bone together. I suggested that we would get a second opinion. With this, the doctor explained further why the rods were necessary. He asked when she had eaten last, and determined a safe time for surgery. It was 9:30 AM. He said, “I can do the operation at 12 PM.”

We went to our daughter’s home to talk it out. On the way, Sveta called two friends who were nurses. They knew the doctor and approved of his skill as a surgeon. On the way to the hospital, we stopped at the pharmacy to buy the metal rods and other items needed for the surgery. The surgery was done in a room across the hall from the doctors office. This is were minor surgeries and dressings are done.

The anesthesiology team arrived, I was told to wait around the corner in the waiting area, where you can see the wheel chair. The operation took a little longer than suggested. The anesthesiologist came to me and we went to the operation room to talk with Sveta. She was walking and talking, but not steady on her feet. She was also in a lot of pain. Our son was with me and we took Sveta down stairs for more x-rays. Next we went to talk with the doctor about the surgery. He answered all of our questions, gave Sveta a list of medication and daily wrap instructions.

Aside from the pain and swelling, Sveta is healing, day by day. She has a difficulty resting and keeping her arm raised.That is a discipline problem. We will keep you informed of her progress.

This was my first hands-on experience with hospital realities in Ukraine.

Until next time!

Mark

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