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

January 2018

Hello family and friends,

The Christmas fundraiser was a success!
We raised more than $4000 to help
four village schools and two Orphanages
Sveta and I are ecstatic!

Sveta has been busy connecting with the directors of the village schools. She wired the
money to each director or manager. They are in the process of ordering the educational
equipment to be put to use immediately. We will have receipts for every purchase soon.
Mark’s Moments
Take a look at our latest three videos. If you only have 6 minutes to spare, be sure to see our 2017 update video.
On our last visit to America, friends ask me if Ukraine is changing for the better. I say emphatically, “Yes.” Here is a current article that suggests that corruption is under attack. In Ukraine, a Successful Fight for Justice, Then a Murder It is not a pleasant story, but it does show that truth is what Ukraine is moving toward. Corruption is on the way out.

It is interesting to read how some journalists represent Ukraine. This article about the new police force in Ukraine is not exactly 100% correct. Read the comments at the bottom of this link page. I have lived in Ukraine for 15 years and I have watched change take place in different cities. I see the new young police force in our city. I see a generation of young people who want to change their country. When you read about Ukraine, challenge everything. With fake news and propaganda hackers, we must test the sources of all that we read.

I think that this article helps me, someone with high hopes for Ukraine, to better understand why the anti-corruption programs are not moving forward faster and better. Bringing about change in a country the size of Ukraine is not easy. What I found most interesting was how it seems that the Oligarchs have more control of the country than the government. MUCH continues to operate without any interference for any organization. It seems that the needs that MUCH meets will remain.
We see problems of corruption in Ukraine on different levels of government. Last year, a disgruntled employee anonymously brought false changes against a direct of an orphanage. The investigation went on for about 6 months. The director was found innocent of all charges. The orphanage is in Western Ukraine, very pro Ukrainian.
Currently, the director of a school that we have been working with for three years is in a similar
situation. This time, someone wants her job. After all possible complaints have been proven false, one was made up. We sent a letter in support of the director to the proper authority. It was returned to us, explaining that it was written in an incorrect format. The school pro Ukrainian, is in eastern Ukraine, influenced by pro Russian sympathizers in government. And the beat goes on.
Sveta’s Journey
Very often doctors are in a hurry to prescribe antibiotics for a child or a shock dose of treatment to relieve themselves of responsibility. If doctor prescribes a “weak” medication for a child or one that has “slow-effect,” it will have mild results. When this happens, it appears that the doctor is not so qualified. I saw it when our grandchildren were ill. The parents requested the doctor to make a house call. He prescribed antibiotics without knowing the results of the previous tests.
When Sasha was three months old, the doctor diagnosed him with dysplasia of the hip joints. If
treatment did not begin on time, pathology of the musculoskeletal system and even disability could occur. The doctor ordered the child be put in special stirrups, and remain in this apparatus for five months. The mother of the child decided to try another treatment, to begin a massage therapy treatment.
Oksana, our massage therapist in Mykolaiv, gave Sasha two
ten-day courses of massage therapy. Oksana and Sasha’s mother saw positive results. The baby’s legs were symmetrically and painlessly spread in both directions. After seeing these results, Sasha’s mother visited the doctor for a new evaluation. The doctor confirmed that the baby’s dysplasia of his hip joints was corrected. He made a new diagnosis and
cancelled his recommendation of needing stirrups.
A second similar story occurred with a four-year-old girl, named Victoria.
The child was repeatedly sick. Obstructive bronchitis of an allergic and
infectious nature lowered her immunity system. The main problem was shortness of breath and a clear lack of oxygen. The girl was regularly treated by a pulmonologist and took antibiotics quite often.
This time, when the doctor prescribed antibiotics for Victoria, her mother decided to delay using them. She decided to turn to our massage therapist Tanya and her child received a 10-day massage therapy course of drainage massage and massage to correct her spine. It was an unpleasant procedure. During the massage treatment the girl cried. Unfortunately, the pain was necessary.

Such a hard massage therapy is necessary in her situation and because of it, we saw good results. When in the middle of the massage course mother with Victoria visited the doctor, the doctor was surprised when he listened to the baby’s lungs. Her breathing improved. Chryps, the wheezing, decreased. The doctor said that antibiotics were no longer needed. How wonderful! Victoria did not need antibiotics! Massage therapy was the correct procedure for this illness!
We are so very grateful that God opened the door of massage therapy for Mark thirteen years ago. Because of his need and success, hundreds of children have been treated with positive results. Mark and I are thrilled to be a part of this and see the results!
Living my dream,
Sveta
Our goal for 2018 is to find more monthly sponsors to maintain and grow our massage therapy and Transportation Scholarship programs. The village school projects will continue as once a year fundraiser. There is so much to do here in Ukraine. God’s timing and your compassionate support will move us forward.

Thank you friends of 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

December 2017

Christmas 2017

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through Ukraine,

Were children whose hearts beat like the speed of a train.

Would this be the year that their school would have what it would need,

To explode their educational experience from the teacher’s dream seed?

In the Chemistry class to see the minerals combine,

Bursting in the air as the molecules create a picture sublime!

Could Physical Education class have sports balls to kick and that bounce,

And a climbing rope that would not unravel with each additional ounce?

Would this be the year that the chalkboard screech,

Would be replaced by a smooth chalkboard-wall that everyone could reach?

Or in the physics class where eyes would see, ears would hear, and hands would touch,

The mystery of an electric motor the children’s minds would finally clutch?

Would this be the year, in the village schools,

That the children’s education would be met with the 21st century tools?

It could happen, and it is within reach,

MUCH has received all but $470 to complete this years fundraiser beseech.

The lives of 400 children in four village schools and two orphanages you can touch,

This Christmas season by contributing to MUCH.

Your dollar will go far, the exchange rate is high,

For 27.6 Hryvnia, one dollar will buy.

If you have a few dollars just laying around,

Send them to MUCH, and a new purpose for them will be found.

Then know that the spirit of Christmas giving, from deep in your heart,

Has touched the children of Ukraine, and it is your Christmas of which they are a part.

Merry Christmas to all who read this poem of hope this year,

May your understanding of true love through giving be clear!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

November 2017

Hello family and friends,

If you tried to donate online, we apologize that our website was offline. It is working now and waiting for you visit again.

We trust that all have had a blessed Thanksgiving experience. God has blessed Sveta and I with many joys in our life these past six years. We pray that each of you take hold of the many blessings that God has waiting for you.

Sveta and I spent 7 weeks in America with our families and friends. We stayed with new friends in Virginia, and visited two home schools and a church. We were interviewed on a local Radio Station, WPAQ. It was a nice experience. We visited sponsors and spoke at a church while staying with four families of my relatives in North Carolina. We enjoyed meeting with our MUCH Board of Directors. Two weeks in Florida was a special time. My Dad and step-mother, Bob and Jean Koehler, helped us by organizing opportunities to present our story. They organized a meeting at supper with different people every night. It was wonderful to talk with people from all walks of life. We made new friends! It was such a blessed time!

Thank you everyone who helped us with housing and food, transportation, and all our needs!

Our Christmas fundraiser is moving forward! We are improving education in four village schools and two orphanages. Help us spread the joy of Christmas by providing many of the educational tools that will help these children change their future in Ukraine.

Thanks to the friends of MUCH, we have raised $1,500.

We still need to raise $2,720 to meet our goal by Christmas.

Donate Here

 

Shostakovo asks for help to improve their Biology, Physics, and English classes …

In September, MUCH provided a few educational tools! It was a great beginning.

 

 

Maksimivka asks for help to improve 5 classes with wall charts …

Migovo asks for help to improve their Chemistry, Biology, and Physics classes …

Ternava asks for help to bring instruments into its Music Program …

Veleeky Lubin asks for a tablet for the psychologist …

Dobromel asks for tools to teach the children to work with concrete and plaster …

In September, MUCH began to provide tools for the construction class.

Let’s meet this goal together!

October, 2017

Hello family and friends,

This is my favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp and cool, and Christmas is just around the corner. The children are waiting for gifts. What better Christmas gift could they receive than a better education?

For MUCH, it is time for the Christmas Fundraiser.
We desperately need your help!
Our goal is $4,220

This year we are focusing on education. Four village schools and two orphanages need your help to improve their quality of education! The government has not updated educational tools since before the end of Soviet times. If the children of Ukraine are going to compete in the world job market, they need better educational equipment.

MUCH believes that better education is what will change Ukraine. When we give new equipment to schools, we see very positive change in the children. Help us make Ukraine strong for a stronger Europe, a better world!

Donate Here

Shostakovo asks for help to improve their Biology, Physics, and English classes…

1. Projector – For biology class 1 = $150
2. Laptop – For after-school activities 1 = $261
3. Computer tablets – English class 6 = $335
4. Printer 1 = $111
5. Hula hoops gymnastics 15 = $ 41
6. Voltmeters demonstration (0-15Volts) 2 = $ 25
7. Ammeters laboratory (0-2 Аmps) 5 = $ 25
8. Voltmeters demonstration (0-6Volts) 5 = $ 25
9. Model of motor demonstration 1 = $ 25
Total: $998

Maksimivka asks for help to improve 5 classes with wall charts …

1. A set of charts for the physics class $71
2. A set of charts for the chemistry class $83
3. A set of charts for the biology class $53
4. A set of charts for the Ukrainian class $ 83
5. A set of charts for the English class $ 81
6. Projector $305
7. Monitor $186
8. Jump Rope $ 8
9. Hoop gymnastic $ 16
10. School classroom chalkboard 3 = $313
Total: $1,128

Migovo ask for help to improve their Chemistry, Biology, and Physics classes …

1. Microscope = $100
2. Chemical reagents = $123
2. Kit for electrolytes = $ 18
3. Chemistry kit = $ 25
4. Wall charts for biology and physics = $149
5. Printer = $185
Total:$600

Ternava asks for help to bring instruments into its Music Program …

1.wireless microphone 2 = $186
2.microphone stands 2 = $ 60
3. digital piano 1 = $485
4. music bells 4 = $ 41
Total: $772

Dobromel needs tools to teach the children to work with concrete and plaster…

1. Caulk gun 1= $ 9
2. Stapler gun 1= $ 9
3. Rubber hammer 1 = $ 3
4. Pry bar 2 = $ 7
5. Jigsaw for wood 2 = $11
6. A set of drills for wood 2 = $13
7. A saw of aerated concrete 1 = $13
8. Chalkline chalk 1 = $ 1
9. Ax 2 = $13
10. Clamps 1set = $ 6
11. Joiner’s clamp set 1 = $ 3
12. Miter box 2 = $ 9
13. Digging bar 1 = $ 7
14. Plastic bucket 2 = $ 4
15. Galvanized bucket 2 = $ 3
16. Battery screwdriver drill 1 = $35
17. Electric Drill 1 = $46
18. The hammer drill larger 1 = $67
10. The hammer drill smaller 1 = $56
20. Electric reciprocating saw 1 = $56
21. Electric circular saw 1 = $67
Total: $587

Veleeky Lubin asks for a tablet for the psychologist

Tablet 1 = $135

Donate Here

Thank you for your gifts this Christmas!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

September, 2017

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I will be in America between October 14 and November 28, give or take a day. If any of you would like us to visit with you, we would be happy to do so. We will be in the Greensboro area October 15 through November 7. Please reply to this newsletter, or write to us at [email protected].

Mark’s Moments

Our journey to Dobromel in western Ukraine began with a ten minute bus to Mykolaiv, and a thirty minute bus to the train station. The next twenty-three hours Sveta and I talked with cabin mates on the train and caught up on much needed sleep. At the Lviv train/bus station we quickly found a bus to Veleeky Lubin where we stayed overnight in the empty infirmary at the orphanage. After visiting with the director and the children, we took a bus to Sambir. From there our final hour of our journey by bus took us to Dobromel.

While at the Dobromel Orphanage, we visited our two Ukrainian massage therapists, our Ukrainian computer teacher, the school psychologist, and of course, the children. We visited Ternava village school, about three and a half miles south of Dobromel, and Migovo village school, about three and a half miles south west of Dobromel.

Dobromel Orphanage
Five years ago, Natalia began the massage therapy program at the orphanage. This summer she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She continues to provide massage therapy, but with a different schedule and for different needs. Now she provides massage therapy for children with emotional or psychological problems for three non-consecutive days a week.

Ten-year-old Galina was a very uncontrollable child when I met her three years ago. Her diagnosis is hyperactivity. Natalia is beginning a massage therapy program for Galina that will overcome this disorder.

Through her need to be with her child, she has broadened the scope of what MUCH is doing at Dobromel! Now Paul is focussing on children with physical disabilities and Natalia is working with children who have emotional and psychologically related disorders.

Paul continues to fine-tune his therapeutic skills of massage. He works with children who have muscular imbalance, scoliosis, and other posture problems. After his time fighting for his country, he now turns his attention and talents to the healing arts.

Construction classes

Paul’s education has also prepared him as a mechanic, and a trained welder. His additional life experience skills will help him train the children to learn different skill such as plastering, tile work, foundations, and building walls.

This month, MUCH provided $185 worth of tools to enable a new class to teach children construction related skills. MUCH will continue to provide tools each year to complete their wish list. I am very excited to see the children develop these new skills.

Ternava Village School

MUCH has been helping the Ternava Village School improve their education program for a few years. They are doing great with what we have provided. They are a community of educators and students who are most eager to take what God has given them and develop it to the max. In this picture, you can see that the elementary children are making good use of the interactive white board. The children enjoy the hands-on learning experience.

You can see the Christian cross on the wall. This school was originally developed by a Greek Catholic Priest many years ago. Although it is a government funded school, the spiritual foundation remains strong. My vision for this school is to become a hub that will reach out to of spiritual activities that will reach out to other schools and communities.

The music teacher, in red and black, shared with us the singing talents of three of her students. First, they sang a beautiful song as a quartet. The second song was a delightful duet.

The director has a vision for her music teacher to provide lessons to play musical instruments, but the school doesn’t have any. The highest priority on their list of musical instruments is a piano. We will address this dream in the October newsletter.

Sveta’s Journey

How can you teach children the interaction of chemicals without a live demonstration? How can you teach a child to work on a computer without having a computer? One of the directors said that the teachers must use abstract concepts to teach concrete experiences. Without the necessary equipment, the teachers must explain “on their fingers.”

In January 2017, MUCH added several new projects. In August, three village’s schools, the orphanage and Transit Home received help. MUCH could not provide the entire list of needs that they shared with us. Each teacher chose from this list several priority items. With the money of our sponsors, the mission purchased five notebooks, a tablet, an interactive whiteboard, sports equipment, a microscope, chemical reagents for chemistry lessons, equipment for physics lessons, construction tools for the construction class, a Swedish wall, and massage aids for $4,429.

In September we visited a small school in the village of Migovo. They are preparing for winter. Behind the school by the outhouse, the pile up the wood and coal that they will use to heat the school.

 

MUCH bought two notebooks and a tablet for this school. I was impressed as Maria, the teacher, taught three children a natural science lesson with a high professionalism suitable for as a class of thirty students. When Maria teaches, she shows how she loves her profession and children. She teaches with maternal tenderness and at the same time, a strong focus and deep knowledge of her subject.

The students and I listened with great pleasure about the planets of our Solar System. Following her lecture on the new notebooks they were able to see the presentation as she spoke. Maria not only taught, but she involved children to take an active part in this lesson. We are very pleased that the equipment purchased by MUCH helps teachers to teach their lesson and helps children visually and physically learn new concepts.

Great thanks to all of you for helping Ukrainian children! The teachers and children are very grateful to you! In the Shostakovo village school these two boys came to us and said thank you very much for your help. I saw that this gratitude was living in their hearts.

Because of your interest in our work, prayers, and funding, all of these children are beginning a new school year with new hope! THANK YOU!

Living my dream,

Sveta

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

August 2017

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I will be in America between October 14 and November 28, give or take a day. If any of you would like us to visit with you, we would be very happy to do so. Please reply to this newsletter, or write to us at [email protected]

After a very hot July, the first half of August challenged our patience. Finally, the temperatures cooled and the gentle rains visited us. We had a productive vegetable garden this summer. The fruit trees are producing more each year.

Life is good for us in Ukraine. Our son is finished with all connect with the military. He is back to work in his old job. His wife has started an internet based clothing design business. Her business is keeping her busy. Our daughter is doing well with her home based hair care business. Her husband is working in a family remodel business, and has started a rabbit farm. The grandchildren, ages 8, 7, 6 and 3, are showing interest in piano, swimming, dance, and organizational concepts.

Mark’s Moments

When I moved to Ukraine in 2002, my general focus was to provide humanitarian aid for children. MUCH moved forward in this direction. As we did, we saw something missing in this lives of the children. That something was knowledge of God. Communicating with the children, we saw a void of love, compassion, and involvement of adults in their lives. Who would tell the children about God? Who knew about God to tell the children. I have learned that in many cases, the children learn about God and draw their parents to church.

MUCH has always been a Christian organization. Who we are is not changing. What we do is not changing. Our goals are expanding, growing from sound roots.

As we put more focus on education, we will use that connection to draw the children to God. We are taking example from Ukraine Challenge, who have been providing camp experiences for children for many years.

We are talking with local translators about camps that focus on sports, English language, games,and maybe life skills. These topics will lead to discussion about God. That is the general goal. Finding enough people to staff the camps is a challenge. We will also be looking to short term missions to come help us.

Our church in Mykolaiv is providing camps for local children from schools in our district. They held three camps this summer. They were short on staff at times. Never-the-less, we want to build a team to help Yura and Dasha in Shostakovo, (July newsletter), provide a camp for the children of the three villages that attend the Shostakovo school. Yura is building church community in these villages as a spiritual leader. Dasha teaches at the school, so the two of them have the perfect opportunity to follow-up the camps with regular get-togethers with the children.

We would like to do this with each village school as God provides the people and the funding. The first step is building a relationship with the children and the school through provision of education equipment. As the school administration come to understand who we are, we can offer to provide a Christian camp experience for the children. If they agree, we need to be prepared to staff a camp. Our end goal is to connect the children to a church or Christian youth organization in their area.

Sveta’s Journey

The Transition Home in Marganets is a nine month waiting facility for children taken from difficult homes. They will be placed in a foster home, or an orphanage/boarding school. These children are very emotionally troubled. Children in the Transit Home do not have many physical limitations, but they have a huge number of emotional and psychological problems. Their character was formed under adverse conditions. Now, being in Transit Home, each of them is waiting for the decision of their destiny and this is stress for these children.

Massage therapy improves the psychological and emotional sphere for these children. Our massage therapist, Yana, has been working at this facility for only seven months. During this time, she gave massage treatment for 35 children. Six of them underwent two courses. Yana, with her personal character, such as kindness and a gentle individual approach to each child, compassion and a great desire to help these children in their difficult times, helps them to receive a partial healing of their wounded soul.

From several of Yana’s reports, I will show the emotional results in a couple of pictures. They show happier, more content children. I think that it will help you to see how much help Yana provides for the children.
1. Natasha was afraid to be touched. She gradually got used to Yana’s gentle touch. After each massage treatment she became more calm and balanced and her emotional state improved.

2. Igor had frequent colds and was sometimes whiny. After the massage treatment, his mood and his general condition improved.

3. All massage treatments for Vanya were accompanied by communication. At first, he was sharp, rude, and made many claims to others. After several days of massage treatment Vanya became more gentle and his emotional state improved.

4. Marina was a restless, irritable girl, at first she did not want to take off her clothes before the massage treatment. By the third procedure she began to undress herself. By the fourth treatment the girl began to perform all the physical exercises that must be performed after the massage treatment. Marina stopped becoming irritable and nervous.

5. Dima gladly accepted all the procedures, happy for the attention. At first he only smiled and nodded his head at all of Yana’s questions. By the fifth procedure Yana heard him speak his first words.

6. Nina is very kind; she answers questions with pleasure. She likes to sing songs during the massage therapy. Her posture needed attention. The massage treatments provided better posture for Nina. At the end of each procedure, Yana and Nina always hug each other.

7. Valya answered Yana’s questions inaudibly, she was a very touchy child and demanded increasing attention. After several days of massage treatment, Valya began to trust Yana and she changed a lot.

To remove psychological stress, to calm the child and develop a positive attitude to his or her body and to him or herself as a person, massage therapist Yana selects relaxing techniques of classical massage and individual methods of communication with the child. Thanks to this, the child experiences a feeling of emotional connection with Yana and trusts her. This allows the child to acquire a state of psychological security and improves the child’s development process.

Thank you for making it possible to bring Yana on to our team. Thank you for caring our children here in Ukraine. It is a big job, and it is growing each year. This year we will touch the live of more than 700 children through massage therapy, education, and clothing. The children 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

July 2017

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I are working on many projects as the summer races by. Our eight-year-old grandchild, Sonya, enjoys helping Sveta harvest the onions and green beans. I am making progress on the exterior insulation. The other morning I went to the church that we attend and help stack wood for the winter heating system. We have a circulating hot water heated floor system. The cost of gas is too high, so few years ago, the church turned to wood heating.

Mark’s Moments

In last month’s newsletter, I shared some of the process of how MUCH has grown over the past fifteen years. On a more personal and spiritual level, the grassroots process is like this. I listen for the voice of God. When I am clear that it is His voice, His direction, then I do what He says.

Last year, God put three more village schools on my heart to assist with their education needs. Sveta and I investigated each school, talked with the director, and evaluated the need. We looked at the physical condition of the school, the classrooms, and the floors, to understand the governments lack of interest in the school, and the administration and teachers interest in the school.

In each of these three schools, it was clear that the teachers were investing what they could, to do the best that they could for the students. Unfortunately, the teachers don’t make enough money to make a significant contribution.

Will the next Galileo come from a Ukrainian village? Let’s invest in them and find out! This may be a three year project for each school. Fortunately, MUCH has funds to begin the project. Our first provision will be for September 1,2017. Please begin to pray for the success of these projects.

Here are some details that may help you understand the common needs that we find is each village school.

Northwest Ukraine, on the border of Poland — Migovo Village School

 

 

 

 

 

This is the building for the high school children. There are four or five classrooms in this building. If you walk further up the hill behind me, you will see Poland. — In this Chemistry classroom, the director of the school stands toward the front of the class.

The teacher who approached me about help for this school was very shy to talk with me. When she finally got up the courage to ask for help, she only asked for one computer, their greatest need. We talked some more, and Sveta and I agreed to visit the school the following day. We rode in an old car on dirt roads that were peppered with potholes.

When we visited the chemistry class, we learned that nothing had been updated or provided since Soviet times, at least twenty-six years ago. Two new windows and four desks were provided by the directors relative as a gift. The government has done nothing for this school.

South central Ukraine, northeast of our city of Mykolaiv — Shostakovo Village School

 

Between Sveta and I stands the director of the Shostakovo school. To the right of Sveta is Dasha, the first grade teacher. This school of about seventy children is a little better than Migovo. They do have a computer. The Chemistry class at this school is a big room with some technology, but no chemicals to do experiments. The gymnasium is in the “dungeon” of the school. They need sports equipment and some items as simple as jump rope. When we visited in early spring, it was very cold in the gymnasium.

I talked to the director about resurfacing the blackboards with blackboard paint. I asked if they would do a test blackboard. She looked at me with big eyes and said, “We will be happy to do it over the summer.” This school is focusing on building maintenance in the following way. At the end of last school year, the parents of each class pooled their money to buy a new door for their children’s classroom. The parents of Dasha’s first grade class of six students needed outside assistance to come up with the money for their classroom door. Dasha uses her personal computer to inspire her class.

South east central Ukraine, north of Marganets — Maximovka Village School

I first visited this school a number of years ago to talk with the children in the English class. The teacher was my translator at the time, and is now our manager in Marganets. This young woman was very aggressive about creativity for her English classes.

Dissatisfied with the English material available, Inna created her own English study book and teachers manual. Some of the teachers bring their personal computers to enhance the classroom experience.

On our last visit, I talked with the director about the education equipment needs of the school. She showed us the school, stopping in different classes in progress. It was clear that the school was not a big concern of the local government. The Chemistry class was in need of chemicals for experiments, like the other schools.

Each class on every grade level is in need of many items of education equipment and materials. It was that way with Marganets School #3 and Ternava schools that MUCH has helped in the past. This is why MUCH always has children waiting for help, whether in education or healthcare. The government is in a state of change, as is the country.

It seems that the needs are pretty much the same wherever we go. Decentralization of the government is bringing control of spending to the local government. We are seeing road repair happening, but education does not seem to be such a great need.

I see change happening in Ukraine, although it is slow. The Ukraine Economic Update – April 2017 by the World Bank shows progress of the Ukrainian economy. The article and video at the bottom are very informative.

Sveta’s Journey

In Chornomorsk, Dr. Natalia continues to show progress with the children providing wonderful results. Mark and I watched how the children worked at following all the instructions of the massage therapist and coach with great desire. Children want to walk and run as other children do. They want to be with other children in kindergarten and go to school. They want to draw and do everything that healthy children can do. We see a huge thirst in their eyes and they are ready to work to change their lives. But they need help and encouragement from their parents and others. Thank all of you for helping the children in an invisible way. God sees your works of mercy through MUCH.

Last month, the parents of six-year-old George, carried him to the clinic to receive massage therapy. The boy has cerebral palsy, increased spasm in the legs, and he cannot walk on his own. After a 15-day course of massage therapy, ozocerite (black wax) applications, and special physical training, the spastic action in his muscles decreased. George can now walk a short distance using both hands for support! This was the first course of massage therapy for him. Dr. Natalia sees that the boy has a positive dynamic and it is necessary to continue receiving massage therapy. Thank you Dr. Natalia for your passion to help children.

For five-year-old Ann with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy, massage therapy began in January 2016. During this time the girl received nine courses of massage therapy. To date, Ann is already confidently sitting in an Indian pose with a flat back. She is sitting on balance board that rocks from side to side. You can see the difficulty for her to stay sitting upright. Day by day, Ann is painfully making progress.

She grasps objects very well with her right hand, but her left hand does not open so well yet. Ann has decreased the tone of tense muscles and her speech significantly improved. In this picture her task is to raise the bar with both hands to the level that Valya requests. The exercise program that parallels the massage therapy and other treatments is one big key to Ann’s progress.

 

Do you remember when your child began to crawl? The natural process begins at about seven months old. This is not the case for many of the children that we work with. Ann is five-years-old and must be taught the process. Valya is breaking down the activity into steps. Put this hand here first, then move this knee here …

Thank you sponsors for helping make this treatment possible for Ann!

Parents are deeply grateful that their children have the opportunity to receive a massage therapy!

Living my dream,

Sveta

One of our massage therapists may retire in the near future. We ask for your prayers for provision of her replacement.

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 2017

Hello family and friends,

June has been comfortably warm, something like winter in Florida. The garden is growing, the orchard is producing, and life is good in our neighborhood. This summer I will complete the final third of AAC insulation on the outside of the house. The two-thirds of AAC that I installed last summer has made the house warmer in winter, and cooler in the summer. We will use stucco as a decorative finish.

Mark’s Moments

A question was recently asked, “How do you find schools to help or massage therapists who are interested in special needs children?” This is a great question! The answer is that God introduces me to people in different situations. He prepared the people ahead of time that He wanted to do the MUCH work.

From the beginning, God has been my Guide. He introduced me to one person in Ukraine that began the very timely growth of Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope.
The MUCH tree grew in this way:

My first contact was Anatoliy in Marganets. The following three outreach programs developed over a period of ten years.

His passion for the special needs children at the Orphanage was the beginning.
Within a few years, God put the Transition Home children on his heart.
A few years later, School #3 became a burning passion in his heart.

During the same ten years, the following additional ministries began in this way. My first contacts were from my missionary school experience, CDTS, in Ternopol. After that, I lived in Chornomorsk (named Illichevsk at the time). I made contacts with other missionaries, and short term missionaries through the Evangelical Baptist Church in Chornomorsk.

The following are the additional ministries and who my connections were:

EBC Food program — I was asked to bring money to this church from America for a village church and camp. I was introduced to their Food Program and MUCH became a sponsor. Victor Sapegin was my contact.

 

 

Massage Therapy Program in Chornomorsk — My need for massage therapy led me to massage therapist Dr. Nataliya Borisovna for help.

 

 

 

Massage Therapy in Froonza, Crimea — Short term mission couple, William and Wynna, introduced me to the needs of this child.
 

 

 

 

 

Dobromel Orphanage — Missionary friends, Ukraine Challenge, the president of Lviv Baptist Seminary — A Pastor in Borislav, Volodya Grishko introduced me to the Dobromel Orphanage.

 

Ternava Village School — Director of Dobromel Orphanage, Vladimir Yevstahovich introduced us to Lyesa Vladimirovna, who replaced him as director of Ternava school.

In the past five years, the following ministries blossomed.

Veleeky Lubin Orphanage — Director of Dobromel Orphanage, Vladimir Yevstahovich introduced us to Stepan Eyosevovich, Director of the Veleeky Lubin Orphanage.

 

Mykolaiv Massage Therapy Program — Director of Young Life in Mykolaiv, Illya Peryevoznuk was on the construction team that worked on our house. His passion to help the disabled drew him to MUCH. Massage therapy will connect the children with Young Life and their camps for the disabled.

I was not researching how to grow MUCH, but rather waiting for God to show me where to go, what to do, and who to help.

Sveta’s Journey

It is really amazing how God provides opportunities for Mark and me. We never know what to expect day to day. Through people and circumstances, we connect with children in need of our help. When we do, we evaluate the needs and determine if they are within the focus of MUCH. We present the MUCH Board of Directors (BOD) with the new needs, and God confirms or rejects the program or project through the wisdom of the BOD. A fundraiser is our next step. It is at this point that we look to you, friends of MUCH, for financial help and prayer. Thank you for your generous giving.

We help the children with physical and educational needs, but our greatest goal is to touch the spiritual portion of their lives. We are so pleased to receive such wonderful opportunity to tell about Jesus, pray for children and adults, and correspond with some children. Fifteen years of interacting with administrations of orphanages, schools, and parents have built relationships of trust and faith.

On our last visit, we were introduced to a young teenager by our massage therapist. (We will keep the location private because of the sensitivity of the story.) While evaluating the massage therapy of three children, this teen walked in on her own. She wanted to talk with Mark.

In a previous meeting, we learned about this teen and her brush with suicide because of an online game. She received guidance and new direction while there. Also, she received two ten-day courses of massage therapy. A special tenderness and sensitivity developed between the massage therapist and the teen. This opened a door that began the healing process.

When the girl began talking with Mark, she asked why he chose to live in Ukraine. Mark explained that God called him to live in Ukraine and help the children. She was surprise on a number of levels. She, like many people, wondered why anyone would want to live in Ukraine. They discussed finding purpose for ones life as more important than finding the best place to live. Then, she asked questions about God. She was fascinated that someone could have a relationship with God. As her time was limited, Mark saw that she wanted to know more. He asked if she wanted to write more questions to him by E-mail. She agreed. Before she left, Mark asked if we could pray for her. She was very open to this.

With each letter, the girl asked deeper questions about life, and about God. As I translated each letter, I saw that she realized that Mark, as an adult, saw value in her. They communicated freely, giving new opportunity to discuss God on a more personal level. We believe that the seed of faith that was planted in her heart will grow and bear fruit.

We believe that each opportunity to communicate God’s love, whether in a brief or long-term friendship, will create a positive change in that individual’s life. Mark and I are very grateful to God for these opportunities.

We thank you for being receptive to the call of God to help MUCH carry out His plan for the children!

Living my dream,

Sveta

MUCH massage therapy programs operate through the summer in Chornomorsk and Mykolaiv. Twenty-two children are receiving massage therapy each month in the summer. You can change the life of one child. $20 will pay for 20 massage treatments for your child in July. Thank you for reading our stories and considering our children.

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