Tag Archives: Family

3 Weeks in Northwestern Ukraine

Hello family and friends,
We will arrive in Poland from Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine on November 10. While in Ukraine, our tasks that we needed to do require small amounts of time. This left very much down time between appointments for Sveta and me. Our daughter Olya is working long days, leaving the children home alone.

Sveta is busy cooking, encouraging, and sometimes disciplining the grandchildren. As for me, my time is used for writing, playing chess with the grandchildren, and listening for the next step for MUCH. We are blessed to live in Bobova, Poland through September 2023! It is a peaceful community, where we will emotionally recuperate from our reactions to the eight months of war that has changed our lives in ways that we would never have imagined.

For me, being back in Ukraine has been somewhat stressful. There have been no bombs or missiles in Ivano-Frankivsk, but any place in Ukraine could be a target. Knowing this, my three weeks on the eighth floor apartment has not been so comfortable for me.

Mark’s Moments

While walking through the streets of Ivano-Frankivsk, Sveta saw what looked like a castle, high on a hill. We learned that it was a hotel. Intrigued as she was, this view had to be investigated. Sveta, Daniel, and Anya accepted the challenge. The long hike was quite rewarding. They could see the whole city, even on this overcast day.

Anya stands at the doorway, inviting you to come and sit with her. She has many stories to tell. This year she has been a refugee in Slovakia, Germany, and England. She has returned to Ukraine with her older brother, sister, and mother. They have found new beginnings in this city of hope.
The grandchildren are attending online classes one week, and in-person classes the next. For the in-person classes, the grade levels, for instance third grade, divide their children into one group in the morning, and the other group in the afternoon, for lessons. This is, as I understand it, to protect half of the population of children in case of an attack.

The history of online schooling began long before there was a line to be on. When education was a privilege, the opportunity to be educated had greater respect than it does today in some countries.

When I came to Ukraine, my first experience was that school was still a discipline that was followed. The teachers were deeply respected. As time went on, I learned that some teachers were selling grades. The teachers of corrupt character “taught” the children disrespect for education, and teachers through their example.

When COVID-19 arrived in Ukraine, and was followed by the Russian invasion/war, many children were without discipline and unable to organize their time independently. I don’t know about the general population of Ukrainian children, but the ones that I have experienced and heard about are not adapting well to online education. I hope that I am not correct about this.

Ukraine will win the war, and take back all of Ukraine. It must, to maintain freedom in Europe. The greatest challenge will be to take back the children that Russia has abducted. To catch-up on lost education of three years will be a big challenge. The Ukrainian people can, and will do this, but it will be a national task. We cannot afford to lose a generation of our children.

Thank you for reading and sharing our stories. Thank you for your prayer and financial support.

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site 


Crime Prevention Through Education

In 1975, I was studying Criminology as my college major. I wrote a term paper entitled “Crime Prevention Through Education” for one of my courses. I received a top grade from my teacher, but the students, many of whom were police officers, saw things differently.

In the 1970s, new approaches of preventing crime were being investigated. Of course, the general methods of crime prevention that the police officers in the class reported on were also good. The difference was that they were dealing with preventing the criminal from acting. I was writing about preventing the individual from becoming a criminal.

There are a multitude of methods used to prevent the criminal from acting. Motion-activated lights, glass windows on lighted stairwells, car alarms for theft detection, and keeping shrubbery cut and giving the property a look of being lived-in are only a few. This was the mindset of the police officers and other criminology students in my class. So much so, that one of the police officers stood up after my presentation, and challenged my “theory”.

My thoughts and the thoughts of a growing number, were that crime is the result of poor education. Not only poor education, but the lack of particular subjects in the education curriculum. Does education prepare student to know how to find employment, participate in an interview, raise a family, and become active in local community affairs? How does society, or education as a product of society, prepare teens and young adults for marriage? When should sex education be taught in the schools? That remains a hot topic. Parenthood is not something that should be a surprise. It should be desired and planned. Good education provides opportunities for students to become members of society who will be successful in life and not turn toward crime.

Why do girls turn to prostitution? Here is a video about prostitution in Ukraine which shows the result of poor education and bad family life.


The need for higher education in Ukraine and the effect that it will have in breaking the cycle of poverty can’t be overstated. MUCH believes that higher education is one big answer to changing the future of the small cities and villages in Ukraine. That is why we continue our scholarship program. If you can believe it, transportation from Illichevsk to a university in Odessa and back per school year, cost about the same as tuition for a university degree.

Will you help us help the students of Ukraine? It is amazing that $80 a month will put a student through the university program in Ukraine and provide a bite to eat each day.

Your $10 will help MUCH help our university students!
Click here!