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

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

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

April 2018

Hello family and friends,

April has ushered in warmer mornings and afternoons. Our young fruit trees are full of leaves and some are in blossom. We look forward to apples, peaches, cherries, apricot, and plums this year. Sveta planted fourteen fruit trees over the past four years.

I will begin working on the house again in the beginning of May. I hope it will be a productive summer.

Mark’s Moments

While visiting Marganets this month, we stopped in at the Transition Home to see how Yana was doing with the massage therapy program. She treats children who struggle with psychological and emotional problems. This visit, Yana introduced us to six year old Galina, who has cerebral palsy. She and her three siblings have been living at the Transition Home for a week.

As we watched Yana give massage to Galina, we learned about Galina’s home life. Poverty has made it difficult for her mother to care for her four children. The government removed the children from their mother and placed them in the Transition Home until the mother will be able to improve the standard of care for the children.

This has created some interesting opportunities for Galina. While at the Transition Home, she will receive massage and exercise therapies. We spoke to the assistant director and confirmed that the status of the Transition Home is now related to healthcare and respite day care. So, the therapies that Galina is receiving can continue on an “out patient” basis when she returns to her home.

We visited the school in her community of Maksimovka and talked with the director there. We informed her of the healthcare opportunity for Galina. She and Enna were happy to hear this good news. Enna is one of the English teachers at Maksimovka school, and is also our MUCH manager in Marganets.

In the process of our many conversations, Enna told us about her son. He is in his third year of dental studies at the university in Poltava. He wants to learn massage therapy as a second area of expertise. Here is one new individual interested in working with children.

Two days ago, Sveta and I were invited to visit an orphanage with our church pastor and four others. The director of the orphanage, Ruslan, showed us all of the facility and shared many things about the children. Before leaving, Sveta and I talked with him about his massage therapy program.

There are fifty-six children with varying degrees of physical and mental disabilities. Each will benefit from massage therapy according to their unique needs. Some do not speak, some cannot walk, some have emotional and social problems. There is one massage therapist who works part-time. She is expected to provide massage therapy for as many of the children as she can. The general treatment is for twelve days. To get the best result for most of the children, two additional part-time massage therapists are needed.

Now we have three new opportunities for massage therapists. Whenever we talk about finding massage therapists, the statement is always the same. People to become massage therapists are easy to find. Money to pay for their training is the question. Money to pay for their work remains the obstacle.

From 2004 until 2017, MUCH has trained five of the current nine massage therapists who serve our children. If we can find the sponsors, God will show us who He has prepared with a special passion to bring health and healing to the children most in need.

Sveta’s Journey

For a long time doctors could not establish the diagnosis or understand what treatment is necessary to appoint Andre. The boy was already one year old, but he could not hold his head upright, sit, or stand. As a result, the doctor diagnosed cerebral palsy and hypotension of muscles.

For the first ten-day-course of massage therapy for Andre, his muscles strengthened, and there was visual evidence of this. In the position of being on all fours, the child began to hold up his head. Ira, the massage therapist, and Andre’s parents were happy. They saw results! Two months later when Ira came to the child to give a second massage course, she found out that all the results were lost and the boy’s status returned to its original condition. She was surprised. What happened?

Ira began to think aloud, trying to understand why the great result disappeared. She encouraged Andre’s parents to have her child evaluated at the Institute of Genetics in Kharkiv. The mother urgently took the baby to this Institute where, after the examination, doctors found the cause and gave a new diagnosis. There was a lack of the vitamin B group. The lack of this group of vitamins disrupted the conduction of nerve impulses that can lead to such symptoms as cerebral palsy and hypotension. Now the parents know the diagnosis and how to fight for their Andre.

Ira has medical education and great knowledge of how to help children. She also believes and knows that God helps and heals. She always prays for the children. Parents and Ira see God’s action in restoring and healing their children.

Another child that Ira works with also has a very interesting story.

When a medical examination at school was conducted for Tanya, a 12-year-old girl, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and torticollis. The doctor said that the girl had one leg shorter than the other by 2 cm and suggested that she wear a wedge in her shoe. Her parents bought a wedge and Tanya used it for a while. Also, parents decided to visit the Center in Odessa. The doctor took x-rays of Tanya’s spine. It turned out that Tanya’s legs are the same length.The curve in her spine caused the hip to rise on one side. This created the appearance of a shorter leg.

Also unnoticed and certainly untreated in her childhood was torticollis, which aggravated this diagnosis. Ira began to do massage therapy for Tanya in the polyclinic four years ago and here’s the success! After the first course of massage therapy, the parents saw the result. The back and neck became smoother. Ira stopped working in the polyclinic and began to do home massage therapy. Tanya’s parents were very pleased with the results and the loving attitude of Ira toward their daughter. Subsequently, Ira continued to provide massage courses for Tanya at home. Her parents are very grateful and happy. Tanya is diligent and completes all the exercise recommendations of Ira. Everyone sees huge changes.

When Mark and I see joy in the eyes of the parents we are grateful. To have a massage therapy program for children who have disabilities is amazing in this country. We are most thankful to God, our massage therapists, and our sponsors.

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

March 2018

Hello family and friends,

Southern Ukraine received a thin layer of yellow snow. It was tested and determined to be sand and clay particles from Northern Africa. On March 24, we woke up to fresh white snow. We anticipate warm spring weather next week.

Step by step, life in Ukraine is improving. New businesses pop up here and there. The tech products, gadgets, and all modern conveniences are available in stores and small shops everywhere. People must have money to buy them. Low overhead is the standard in Ukraine.

Language schools are popping up everywhere. English is the most studied language. German, French and Italian, follow. People want to travel. They will save, save, save, to see their dream.

Mark’s Moments

Sveta and I traveled to Chernomorsk this month. We met with our massage therapists, children and their parents, our manager, and the students of our transportation scholarship program. See the video of our transportation scholarship students! We see that things are going well. We have many stories to tell.

Each visit, we talk with the transportation scholarship students. This time we have a new student (left) who replaced another student no longer needing our help. His name is Vitalik. He moved to Chernomorsk from war-torn Donetsk, Ukraine. Here is his story.

Vitalik is studying safety information, protection against viruses, for computers. He is in his fourth year of university. His parents stayed in Donetsk but he moved to Chernomorsk to be able to get a diploma that is not associated with Donetsk universities. Universities and businesses in the rest of Ukraine do not want to work with people who stood behind Donetsk in the war zone. It is assumed that if you live in the Donetsk area, you are part of the problem. Vitalik is not part of the problem, he very pro-Ukrainian.

In Chernomorsk he found a good church with wonderful friends. He is involved with a ministry that further strengthens his relationship with God and his friends. All four of our students: Vitalik, Nastya, Daniel and Artur are members of the same church. They serve in one ministry to help teenagers connect with God. They are successful in education and developing a relationship with God. Each of them send words of gratitude to our sponsors. They thank you!

Dr. Natalya B, wearing the lab coat, and I moved the massage therapy concept forward in 2004. The oldest patient in the picture is fifteen years old. When she was 3 years old, she was one of our first patients. Six parents brought their children to tell Sveta and me their stories. Each child is severely disabled, abandoned by their family doctors. Each parent is very please that MUCH initiated the program and sponsors a portion of their child’s treatment. They see progress for their child and find hope for their family. They thank you!

Sveta’s Journey

Nine months ago, when Barbara came to this world, the doctors set many negative diagnoses for this girl, one of which was liver cancer. Their verdict did not give any hope for the parents. The doctors predicted that the child would not live. The struggle for Barbara’s life continued. Every day, doctors prescribed a huge list of expensive medicine. They punctured the spinal cord and brain to remove fluid for analysis. Barbara’s mother spent three months with her child in the hospital. When the doctors suspected that one of the kidneys was functioning incorrectly, they wanted to operate. The parents understood this to be only an experiment (exploratory surgery).

They decided to visit another doctor and get a second opinion. This doctor, after the examination, said that the child did not have cancer. He canceled all previous diagnoses and the list of expensive medicines. As it turned out, the source of the illness occurred during childbirth. Barbara proceeded through the birth canal for a long time. As she breathed in the amniotic fluid it had a negative effect on the lungs, creating pneumonia. This is a rare situation.

It is very important to establish the correct diagnosis and conduct appropriate treatment. The girl was treated. Now Barbara is a healthy child. Only a small problem worried her parents. Her leg muscles were very tight at the hip joints and could not spread her thighs as they should.

Ira, our massage therapist, gave her a course of massage. On the seventh day of massage therapy, the hypertonus muscle disappeared, the legs at the hip joints began to spread apart correctly. Barbara’s mother sees this good result. She is very pleased and grateful to the sponsors of MUCH. Also, Mark and I had a great opportunity to tell Barbara’s mother about God. She showed great interest and asked many questions about religion. Thank you all for your support of the MUCH massage program. The children not only receive help and recovery, but also Mark and I can visit families and talk about the Father and Jesus. The parents, and Mark and I and thank you!

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 2018

Hello family and friends,

Our winter in south central Ukraine has been a mild one. February is ending with temperatures dipping to 4 degrees F. Our daughter took her son to school on the sled and used it for shopping on the way home. March will come in like a lion. More snow is on the way before it warms up for spring. True Ukrainians like Sveta, are waiting to get out of the house and into the garden!

 

Mark’s Moments

As MUCH has grown in fifteen years our sponsorship unfortunately has not. The exchange rate has kept us on track. In 2002 when I moved to Ukraine, the exchange rate was 5 UAH for $1. This month it has been holding at about 27 UAH for $1. You can see the history of the exchange rate for the last five years on this chart.

MUCH support began to grow by word of mouth. Are you sharing with your friends what God is doing through MUCH? We would appreciate if you would!

When I began this mission, I was very shy to ask for support. I told my story and people responded. This seemed to be working. Something changed, maybe the economy. For the last two years, we have been under budget with our monthly contributions. In 2017, our monthly support was $500 below budget. By the end of the year, MUCH was $6,000 below budget in contributions.

Our year-end report shares all that we are doing. To overcome this deficit, we need additional monthly sponsors. If you are reading this newsletter and are not a sponsor, please consider what $10 a month would do to keep our programs on-fire.

$10 a month a ten-day massage therapy treatment for one child — 271 children/year
$25 a month would provide clothing for a child in need — 45 children/year
$33 a month provide transportation to university for one student. — 4 students/year

Donate Now!

This is how I see the work of MUCH. Yes, we are doing God’s work, we are improving the lives and health of children. And that should be enough.

I see more. I see that we are taking steps to prevent the domino theory from becoming more than a theory. We are helping to build better community through reaching out to those in need of healthcare, education, and clothing. We are setting an example of strengthening individuals and family.

Ukraine is a pivotal country. We are helping it grow toward the EU and the West, away from Russian.
In 1992, Russia was part of the Joint Control Commission after the ceasefire agreement of the military conflict between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory. In 2008, Russian was involved in the Georgian conflict. In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Only months later, Russia assisted the pro-Russian separatists in the war in eastern Ukraine, the Donbass region. Many article have been written to strongly suggest that Putin and the Kremlin want their USSR countries back. I see the theory is more than a theory. The longer the time between conflicts, the less real the theory seems. Russian KGB mentality counts on that.

I believe that the more MUCH helps the people of Ukraine become more active in changing their immediate needs, the stronger the people, as a country, will become. I’m not political. I am only sharing what I see, and why I believe that you would be interested in strengthening Europe, Ukraine, and its people through the work that we are doing.

Sveta’s Journey

Children with mental disabilities experience learning difficulties. They cannot concentrate, read poorly, or have difficulty with memory. Here are a few examples of children who are breaking through their difficulties. They are battling their challenges with the technology of computers and computer tablets!

Kolya is a calm and obedient thirteen-year-old boy. He loves computer lessons. He has difficulty with remembering things, but in spite of this he learns well. In the beginning of the school year, he could not read sentences, or remember where the keyboard letters were located. Kolya studied the locations of all of the letters on the keyboard, learned to read by syllables, and type text from the textbook onto the computer. Success!

Misha studies in the 6th grade and strives to know everything and be able to do everything, but his attention is going in every direction. He always hurries, and in the end does not always succeed. But Luba is very impressed with his success in using the new keyboard program “Mouse Simulator”. Misha learns and remembers the arrangement of letters on the keyboard and simultaneously is learning the letters of the Ukrainian alphabet. He is very happy to study on the computer and often hugs Luba and says, “Thank you, I love you.” Success!

Some children, such as thirteen-year-old Nadya, have become better pupils because of their experience in the computer class. In Nadya’s other classes, her learning skills are changing. She is getting better results. Her attention is improving when she studies, her reading skills are better, and Nadya’s vocabulary is growing. Luba believes that Nadya will improve her intellectual abilities. There is a big possibility for her to begin to think and respond to unconventional situations. Luba sees potential for Nadya to achieve her future goals! Success!

Vova has a diagnosis of alalia-hypoplasia of speech. He cannot speak sentences, only individual sounds. Vova has learned to play on the computer tablet in logic games and therefore it helps him to improve memory, attention, thinking, and fine motor skills of the hands. Success!

Some children are not interested in learning on the computer but only want to play different games. To find unity with these children, Luba created a rule. “After you finish the task that I give you, then and only then, you may play a computer game.”

Yura, has difficulty with his attention span. He quickly looses interest, tears up his lessons, and is constantly distracted. To focus, he had to make a great effort. After massage treatment and exercises, he has good results. Positive impulses increase, aggressiveness decreases, and his psycho-emotional state of mind improves. Computer training together with massage therapy brought a very good result. Success!

Thank you very much Luba, our computer teacher, and our massage therapists Natasha and Paul! Your great patience and love for these special needs children helps them feel accepted and loved. Their work reveals the individual abilities that each child has. For the children in the orphanage, it is very important to have support from people who are nearby. Luba, Natasha and Paul are like loving parents investing in the hearts of the children with love, knowledge, example, rules of behavior and other character building attributes.

Living my dream,

Sveta

If you see value in what we at MUCH are doing,
If you see the value of Ukraine in the European overview,
Step up to the plate and Donate!

The children thank you! Ukraine thanks you! MUCH thanks you!

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