August 2019

Hello family and friends,

Summer is coming to an end. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been informed. We are struggling through the mid 80s F and above. On the brighter side, the corn-on-the-cob is delicious this year. The fruit and vegetable in Ukraine are so abundant and tasty!

School begins here September 1. That reminds me, when you shop for school needs or holiday gifts, use smile.amazon.com to set up Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope for your choice of charity to generate donations with your Amazon purchases. You would be surprised how much your purchases help MUCH.

Mark’s Moments

Two years ago, Sveta and I, sitting separately on the bus, were returning from a visit to the “down town” of Mykolaiv. Two people in front of me got off and a young woman and six year old boy got on the bus and sat in front of me. Sasha was very animated and I began a conversation with him, understanding that he had communication problems. His mother, Julianna, apologetically turned to me and began to explain in Russian. I smiled and shook my head. I continued with Sasha. The second time that she spoke to me, I turned to Sveta and ask her to translate for me.

Sveta was shy and needed to be “motivated”. I asked her to tell Julianna about MUCH. We switched seats, and the two began a long conversation about Sasha. He is autistic. She would bring him across town, a one hour trip by bus, three times a week to receive a complex treatment that included massage therapy. They exchanged phone numbers. Julianna and Sasha got off the bus two stops before our stop.

A week later, Julianna called Sveta. Sveta gave her the phone number of Anya, one of our newest massage therapist. Giving in-home massage therapy, it was difficult a first, but Anya has a special way with children. That summer, Anya invited Sasha to the Capernaum summer camp. It was a great experience for him.

Two weeks ago, Sveta met up with Julianna, again on the bus. She told Sveta of the great love that Sasha has for Anya. Julianna also shared that Sasha is more communicable. He will attend second grade this year.

Julianna continued her story, now about her second child, Liza. She was born with dysplasia, and later could also not bend her knee. Her massage treatment began when she was six months old. Liza was one year and three months old when she began to walk. This wonderful event occurred after the third ten-day massage therapy treatment, combined with exercise.

Julianna and her husband are so grateful to MUCH and Anya for the results that their two children have. Sponsors and those who pray for our children, we thank you. Because of you, the future of this family has change in big ways. THANK YOU FOR BEING A SIGNIFICANT PART OF MUCH!

Sveta’s Journey

Oksana began to give massage therapy when these twins were two and a half months old. Masha and Natasha were born premature at 29 weeks, low weight, and were very weak. They were in intensive care and then in the hospital for 1.5 months. Masha was born with less weight than her sister, underwent heart surgery, and was weaker than Natasha. After the first course of massage, both sisters began to raise their heads while lying on their chests, hypertonicity decreased.

Now the twins are seven months old and Oksana has completed the second ten-day massage course for the sisters. She is using exercise also, to prepare them to crawl, and to move from a lying position to a sitting position. By the end of this second massage course, Masha and Natasha became physically stronger, the hypertonicity of the limbs was completely gone, they became more active and are trying to crawl.

Their parents are very pleased with the results of Oksana. The pediatrician also sees many positive changes after the massage treatment and expressed gratitude to Oksana. The next massage course is scheduled in two months. Parents received a task from Oksana of what exercises should be carried out for their daughters during this period. It is so wonderful to see the results! It brings joy to parents, Oksana and to us! Masha and Natasha, you fell into blessed hands!

Early intervention through massage treatment is one of the wonderful treatments that help to normalize the lives of children with developmental disabilities. It improves their quality of life and level of function. This treatment at an early age helps children keep pace with their peers increasing their chances of success in life. Thank you dear sponsors for investing in the future of the most vulnerable members of society, the children. God bless 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

 

July 2019

Hello family and friends,

Summer is racing by. We have enjoyed friends from Singapore and family for shish-kabob get-togethers in our yard. It is so nice to enjoy time with friends outside. I built the benches two years ago. The little picnic table was finished in time for our friends from Singapore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our trip to America is closing in on us quickly. We have our flight tickets. Six families have graciously opened their homes to us for our fundraising time. Thank you everyone.

Mark’s Moments

It never ceases to surprise me how God is moving everything forward in His perfect time. We meet people that God has already been preparing to interact with us. This has been my experience from the beginning of my journey. God called me to Ukraine through introduction to one person. Step by step, year by year, God introduced me to another person or two. The mission grew steadily, as I met new people with compassionate hearts for our children that God had prepared. You may ask why I say that God had prepared them. It is a good question. Each one has a unique story.

Anatoly was retired with little future purpose in his life. With plenty of energy at age 64, Anatoly was filled by God with a heart to serve the children in greatest need in his community. He managed the Marganets programs for 12 years. As he lay on his bed, immobilized by cancer, he said, “Mark, don’t take my work from me.” I saw his reason for living was his service to the children. He managed the programs in Marganets until his dying day.

When I asked Dr. Natalya if she wanted to work with children who had disabilities, she looked at me with compassionate eyes and said, “I have been praying for three years for the opportunity.” She started the MUCH clinic in 2004 and now has her own clinic, serving the most severe children in need.

Tanya in Chornomorsk, was already retired from twenty years of massage therapy for adults in a hospital setting. God filled her heart with desire to help children and bring healing to their family. She has been touching the lives of children through MUCH for twelve years. She is totally committed to her patients with great love and compassion.

His provision continued in His perfect timing. You can read about each of our Ukrainian team on the pull down menu on our MUCH page Who We Are.

From Froonza, Crimea, southeast, to Dobromel, Ukraine, northwest, God prepared people ahead of time for the work of MUCH. Our team on the other side of the Atlantic is you. The wonderful sponsors whom God also prepared to make all that MUCH does possible through finance and prayer. Thank you for your many years of commitment to MUCH.

Sveta’s Journey

Some achievements of our little friends!

In the city of Chornomorsk, we have a great success story! Eight-year-old Ilya is walking along the streets with the support of the stroller that his mother used to push him in. Seven years ago, he could do nothing that a normal one-year-old could do. For seven years, Dr. Natalya worked with Ilya teaching him to grow through the developmental stages. Now he is walking, something the other doctors thought would never happen.

In the same clinic, two-year-old Andre is already on all fours, trying to sit with support. He stands in a verticalizer and reaches for toys. The verticalizer is a chair that allows the patient’s body to be moved to an upright position. The main task of this product is to prevent bed sores from sitting or lying in one position too long. Also, it provides psychological motivation for the person to be mobile and active.

The heartbreaking story of Anna

Anna is a seventeen-year-old girl with a childhood disability that left her with a one-year-old child’s mental development. How did it happen? During childbirth, the doctors were celebrating some event and did not focus on the process of childbirth. As a result, the newborn baby fell on the floor, and the mother died during childbirth. This is how the life of this girl began. Her father took care of Anna by himself. Over time, he was unable to cope with her limitations and began to drink alcohol. The cash allowance for his disabled child that he received for her care was spent on alcohol. He fed his daughter a diet of Ramen noodles. He did not take her outside, the child was in terrible conditions. Two months ago, he died and Anna was admitted into the Transition Home. Anna was very thin, dirty, and had lichen planus. She had a terrible chronic cough with bouts of suffocation. During a coughing attack, her sunken cheeks sank even more and her nose was sharpened. It seemed that she would die.

Albina, the MUCH massage therapist did a ten-day massage course for this girl. The result was that Anna began to smile. She loves to hug people and enjoys the kindness she did not see from her father. Coughing has become less common. As soon as Anna sees Albina, she says, ”Mom.” It is the only word that the girl can pronounce. She takes Albina’s face in her hands and strokes her face. The time she spent in the Transition Home gave her the love and care that she had not seen for seventeen years. The children learned to accept and love her. The teachers encouraged the children to help Anna. Now they lead her by the hand because Anna walks very badly, with a wobbly gait.

Since Anna is already seventeen-years-old, documents are being prepared to transfer her to a Home for the Disabled. We believe that there will also be good people who will give love for Anna.

Living my dream,

Sveta

We serve many children who are unloved and forgotten by most of Ukraine. All but three of our eleven therapists have never worked with children such as ours. God touched their hearts, connected them with Sveta and me, and began to pour his love through them into the children. Thank you for helping complete these miracles with your funding and prayer.

You can Donate 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

 

June 2019

Hello family and friends,

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

Mark’s Moments

Stepovoya

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

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

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

Children everywhere love to have their pictures taken.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Ovidiopol

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

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

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

Sveta’s Journey

Transition Home in Marganets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living my dream,

Sveta

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

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

May 2019

Hello family and friends,

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

Mark’s Moments

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

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

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

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

Sveta’s Journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living my dream,

Sveta

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

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

April 2019

Hello family and friends,

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

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

Mark’s Moments

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

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

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

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

Sveta’s Journey

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

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

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

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

Living my dream,

Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our Youtube site http://www.youtube.com/user/smmuch

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

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.

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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

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