Tag Archives: Ukrainian children

Your Generosity Helped Ease the Pain of War for These People …

As you saw in the video clip, the Christmas fundraiser was a wonderful success.

This is how the rest of your fundraiser gifts will be used. There was enough to help pay for the cost to replace windows and a roof of a friend in Mykolaiv whose house was bombed. Two churches that we sponsor monthly are reaching out to more than 100 families each with humanitarian aid, fresh water, and different forms of warmth. We will give them additional financial help. We provided the funds to purchase a generator for a family of eleven children who live in the Kiev Region. The generator will be used to pump water from the well for drinking, bathing, and operating their washing machine. In Kharkiv, northern east Ukraine, a woman that we know will help four families meet their most basic needs. We will give financial support to a single mother with two children in Ivano Frankivsk. They moved after her daughter received surgery. They could not afford to live in the city. We will give you an update on all of those whom you have blessed for the 2022 Christmas, soon.

All are extremely grateful for your Christmas Fundraiser giving!

Thank you!

Marks Moments

AmazonSmile has shared its profits with non-profit charities for the past ten years. MUCH is grateful for the opportunity to receive a portion of their profits through your Amazon shopping experience. As of February 20, 2023, AmazonSmile will be discontinued. This pertains to the AmazonSmile program, not the Amazon online shopping.

Our MUCH base location has moved to Florida.

Starting January 2023 checks sent to MUCH may be written to:

Mission Ukraine Children’s Hope Or MUCH

11 Kingfisher Lane

Palm Coast, FL 32137

Checks sent to the previous address will be forwarded to the new address for a few months.

Together, we will march into the new year with victory in our hearts for Ukraine.

Blessings of love and healing,

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site:

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

Twice a refugee, Always a Ukrainian

Hello family and friends,
We are grateful for your concern, your kindness to the people of Ukraine. Our great victory has been followed by more attack on Kherson from the opposite side of the river.

The infrastructure in Ukraine is under attack. Electricity grids are being damaged daily. We are receiving reports that electricity in Ivano-Frankivsk is turned off for large parts of the day, along with heating. So many chicken farms have been destroyed that Ukraine’s big export product is now an import product. Eggs are being imported, driving the price of eggs in Ivano-Frankivsk to $2.16 to per ten eggs, and in Kiev to $2.71 per ten eggs. That is at least 325% increase in ten months. The exchange rate is $1 for 36.95 UAH. 

This is only a small picture of the challenges. It will be a difficult winter for all of Ukraine.

Ira has been one of our managers for many years. Her husband, Platon, is pastor of a church in Ovidiopol. He and Ira sent us updates with pictures. Below are excerpts from their letters sent to Sveta and me.

Ira’s Insights

Each photo is a life story, a tragedy.

Many families were forced to leave their homes because, as we say today, the “Russian style of peace” occupied their village, town, or city. Some people left their houses because they were damaged. Some have lost their jobs because of the war and have no money for groceries. Some lost their families.

About 10,000 refugees from neighboring regions, such as Kherson, Mykolaiv, Donetsk and Kyiv regions, are now living in our Ovidiopol region. Since there are not many people in the local government social services department to help, many refugees turn to the church as a social service to get food, clothes, medicine, and diapers for children.

One of the refugees, who now lives in my town, Ovidiopol, survived the war twice. The first time he lived in Donetsk. He had a big business: a chain of stores that were seized by the Russian military in 2014. Then he lost not only his business, apartment, and car, but also some relatives and friends who were killed by Russian soldiers. He and his family had to move to Mariupol to live and start business again.

On February 24, after hearing the sounds of bomb explosions and realizing that it was a Russian invasion, once again. He gathered his family and left Mariupol. He already knew the “Russian style of peace” that this horrible army would bring to Mariupol. Now he and his family live in Ovidiopol as refugees and hope that the Russian army will not be able to come here.

All of these families are grateful for your compassion and financial support. Each grocery bag is delivered to people with God’s word — the complete Bible — for people to read. And with this, you also help people to hear God’s word. We don’t know if they will accept the message of the Gospel, Jesus, the Christ; but we know that we did what we should do. Please pray for those receiving this help to come to know our wonderful and merciful God, Jesus, the Christ.

We are grateful to God and to everyone who prays for Ukraine and who helps financially in this difficult time for Ukrainians! We thank God for your participation and partnership in the difficult times for our country. May God abundantly bless every heart whose desire to help the Ukrainian people endure, whose heart encourages us in our sorrows. Thank you for being a part of our lives!

Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site 

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

Helping children, families, and soldiers!

Hello fa and friends,

You know, dear friends, that now you are helping not only children and civilians in Ukraine, but also the military, in particular, our son Misha and his team; and our friend Dasha’s husband and his team. They protect the people of Ukraine.

Our son and his team often change locations, it is necessary to dig trenches and build temporary fortification underground structures for protection. We bought a chainsaw, an electricity generator, binoculars, and two water filter systems for the guys. Our son said: “Mark and Mom, you can’t even imagine what a huge help this is and how nice it is to feel supported.” He and the guys asked me to convey a big thank you to all of you! We are also very grateful to you!

Mark’s Moments

Sveta and I have returned to NW Ukraine for a three week visit with our daughter and three grandchildren. That is the best reason, but there had to be more reasons to endure the twelve hour bus ride. Sveta and I both needed some dental work, she had a Ukrainian document that she needed to have processed ASAP, and she has the opportunity to complete her driver training course.

Our daughter took us for a walk through the Ivano-Frankivsk Center tourism street. It is foot traffic only, and is an older historic section of town. You can see in these photographs that they honor the soldiers who have given their lives for their country. These bigger than life pictures fill the street for about a quarter mile, (440 yards). It is a powerful reminder of the awesome cost of this war.

Early in the war, all of the children at the Dobromel Orphanage who had family to go to, were sent home. The remaining children were true orphans. They were sent to other countries, to start a new life in foreign government facilities. This left the orphanage empty, and waiting for more children. As the war in our city of Mykolaiv intensified, the children in the Mykolaiv orphanages there were sent west. About one hundred of them ended up at the Dobromel orphanage.

Natalia M. continued her massage program with this group of children. Many suffered emotional trauma from their experience with the war in the places that they called home. Along with emotional trauma, poor posture and scoliosis appear. In the first picture, you can easily see the results that this girl has received. Natalia M. uses her massage skills, but even more importantly, she inspires the children with her love and enthusiasm.

Natalia believes so deeply in her work that she is successfully operating her own massage therapy clinic in her own city. Natalia M. is a perfect example of what MUCH is all about. We are so very proud of her success.

Sveta’s Journey

Life in our city of Mykolaiv is to live under shelling and bombing every day. But our friends with whom we communicate via the Internet do not complain and do not lose heart, they expect victory. Within five months, they got used to living without clean drinking water from the tap. Washing machines and boilers are out of order, unable to withstand the highly salty and dirty technical water that flows through pipes. They are accustomed to washing by hand while using a minimum amount of clean water. They are accustomed to using three to five liters of water for bathing.

It is necessary to save water for which you have to go to the place of distribution of clean water and use a special wheelbarrow or hand truck to bring this precious liquid to your apartment.
When my friend Lyalya told me all of this on the phone, at the end she added: “Don’t think that I’m complaining. I got used to it and have adapted to it.” She was unspeakably happy when she saw that money from our mission had come to her account: just in time! She was on her way to church, walking so as not to spend money on the bus (the prices for everything had increased several times).

Currently, we are providing massage therapy for twelve children a month in Ukraine. We have only three massage therapists in Ukraine. The other eleven have either relocated in Ukraine, or moved to other countries. About twenty children at the Dobromel orphanage participate in computer training programs. We have two children in the transportation scholarship program that we support when they are having classes in person rather than online. The other children who benefit from MUCH are in the families that receive humanitarian help through the teams that we support.

When MUCH supports our Ukrainian men at war, we are protecting the children of Ukraine! Thank you for your support!

Father and Son reach out to their community!

Hello family and friends,

A new adventure has begun for Sveta and me. We moved to a small town and are meeting new people, experiencing new terrain, rules, lifestyle, and getting around in a new part of the country. We maintain train and bus transportation; one of my joys is using public transport. We have a year lease on the house in our small town, and are happy for the opportunity to stretch our wings in new directions. Our activities with MUCH continue to provide encouragement and financial help through the various groups written about in the Sept. 7 update. Life is good when you have purpose and are walking in the path that God has set for us.

Mark’s moment

In our July, 4 update, we wrote about a pastor in Ovidiopol and his church. This update, I would like to look more deeply into Platon and his son’s ministry of outreach. The war has divided their family, sending his wife and daughter to Germany. Platon and Daniel remained to do what they could for the war effort.

This father/son story is amazing. I met Daniel when he was four years old. I watched him grow through the years. His education was almost complete when the war came to town. At this point in his life, Daniel was maturing both mentally and spiritually. The opportunity to walk by his father’s side, down the road of service to those in need was now on his plate.

At this time Platon had already risen to the position of pastor in the Ovidiopol Church. For a number of years, he had been building the congregation of this church in wonderful ways. Now the time had come to serve his congregation in a deeper way. Platon and Daniel connected with World Vision to receive boxes of food to distribute. Other local groups provide bags of food or supplies.

To have such an experience of giving, of extreme service, most would have to go to another country. Platon and Daniel step out of their house, and their mission is waiting for them. The danger is waiting for them. Delivering food and supplies to people in need is not their greatest task. Platon and Daniel bring the Gospel to the people along with food, supplies and a Bible, if they need one. They are living the truth of the Gospel.

The church stands as a symbol of hope, a symbol of provision. Platon has an awesome task. People are flocking to churches. Platon’s church is filled to standing room only on Sundays. This is his grand opportunity to share the truth, the love, compassion, and grace of the God that he serves. This opportunity could not be more timely. People are looking for God, God is waiting with a personal relationship. Platon could not ask for a better opportunity to share this Gospel of New Life.

As of September 30, 4,183,841 Ukrainian refugees from Ukraine registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe. That is about 10% of the Ukrainian population. The other 36,900,000 are struggling to survive as the atrocious Ukrainian/Russian war approaches winter. Thank you for reading our stories of life in Ukraine at this most challenging time. Thank you to those who sponsor our mission, helping people in need through those that we know.

We thank God for working through Sveta and me, from this distant neighboring country of Poland.

Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site 

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

From a big city to a small town

Hello family and friends,

Sveta and I have moved to a new location in the mountains of Poland!

After living in a two room flat with our wonderful hostess, Ludmila, for six months, we moved. A relative of hers has a private house in a small town a couple of hours from Krakow. They made a rental offer that we couldn’t refuse. We move on Saturday, September 17.

We arrived in Krakow with two back packs and a computer bag. We moved six months later with twelve bags. We added a few clothing items, and a few essential tools, but you would have to talk with Sveta about the rest of the inventory.

Life in this small town is so very peaceful. A number of Ukrainians live here also, but we have not met them. We will have to go to a city to do our banking, but that will give us an opportunity to learn more about Poland.

Sveta and I are truly bless!

Sveta’s Journey

At this time, the war is hard for everyone; those who left for other countries and those who remained in Ukraine. The elderly are especially affected. Some of them have no relatives at all, and some categorically did not want to leave their home. One of the many elderly people left behind, Grandma Nadya, has poor hearing. Although, she heard and saw the love of the Lord in action. She was very grateful to our friends in the North, for humanitarian aid, for visiting her and praying.

Alena was found by neighbors lying unconscious on the floor. When the police and ambulance arrived, they thought the woman was dead. On the way to the morgue, Alena came to her senses and was taken to the hospital. There she met our friend, who together with his team, came to the hospital to tell people about the love of God and pray for them. Alena was completely alone in this world. Therefore, her joy knows no bounds now that believers have appeared in her life who actually show the love of God and take care of her!

It is a great blessing for Mark and me to have friends who help others! It’s amazing how everyone is involved using so many different methods! Starting from the sponsorship of financial and prayer assistance of our friends, this stream of God’s love flows to us. Then His love continues to our friends and then to those who need support. It returns transformed into great gratitude to God, to us and to you, dear friends! Here is what one of our friends wrote: “I am very grateful to you and the sponsors for transferring finances for such cases in the name of our GOD! Glory to God the Merciful and thanks to everyone for such support in serving people!!!”

Living my dream,

Sveta

Thanks to all of you who read our stories and those who share our stories. May God bless you.

You can see all of our videos at our YouTube site

https://www.youtube.com/user/smMUCH/videos

Report on six months into the war.

Hello family and friends,

Change is constant in life, so it seems. Our son-in-law was working in England, and moved to Norway for the next season of work. Our daughter and three children have moved from England to northwester Ukraine, looking for familiarity. They flew to Krakow, stayed with Sveta and me for two days, and took the bus to a city in Ukraine. They arrived safely and will begin their new life, once again, in Ukraine. It sounds strange to me, although, Sveta struggles with letting go the past, and many have returned to Ukraine, even to the cities of Kharkiv, Bucha, and Kyiv.

Mark’s Moments

I think that it is a good time to update the status of MUCH, as we have entered the seventh month of the war with Russia. Here are the details for September:

3 massage therapists in Ukraine;

1computer teacher in orphanage in Ukraine;

1 massage therapist in Finland;

2 massage therapists in Krakow, Poland;

6 outreach teams for humanitarian aid delivery, evacuations;

1 refugee home in Krakow;

5 individuals or families in need of survival assistance;

massage therapy is received by Ukrainian individuals only;

estimated number of people that MUCH will help in September = 550;

estimated Ukrainian refugees being helped in other countries though;

MUCH = 32

estimated Ukrainians being helped in Ukraine through MUCH = 518

Here are some examples of our work this month:

This diaper size is one of the biggest needs for teenage children with disabilities who are incontinent. Dr Natalia continues her work at her clinic in spite of the war.

Paul, Elena and, team continue relocating and evacuation people from hot spots. I will guess that they move more than two hundred people per month to places of safety.

Early in August we reported on this woman living in Mykolaiv, Sveta’s and my city. She was collecting drinking water for her home. Mykolaiv has been without clean drinking water for (4) months. We continued communicating with her to learn more about her needs for herself, her daughter, and granddaughter. We learned that they needed firewood for heating this winter. Also, she had experience with goats, so we provided funds to buy two goats and enough food to feed the two goats through the winter. Now they will have heat for their home, milk, and cheese!

Twenty women and children are housed in the refugee home for Ukrainians. MUCH helps with monthly expenses. We have a massage therapist who provides ten-day massage therapy treatments for (4) children or adults each month.

Thank you for your part in the MUCH mission. We could not do it without you!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta

Do you talk the talk and walk the walk?

Hello family and friends,

A friend of ours introduced us to Sasha, in the Kyiv Region, who is quite the family man. He has ten children and his wife has one on the way. Sasha is a musician and teaches his children to play different instruments.

He is doing a great ministry outreach to people in a number of regions. He has a team of youth that he takes with him to share the Gospel to people in villages that other churches tell him about.

Sasha has access to large print Bibles in the Ukrainian language. The youth have been taught how to share the Gospel, and read to those who cannot see.

In this ministry, it is definitely not about numbers. This ministry is about making the Gospel of Jesus Christ personal. If this team reaches out to one family, or even one person, it is worth their time.

Some people think that sharing the Gospel is only about talk. It is not so for this team. As you can see in the picture, this young man is helping the owner of this garden plow his field of potatoes. For those who don’t know about potato growth, you should “hill up” or raise the level of the soil around the base. That is what they are doing.

These women have been working their garden all morning. Sasha’s team has come to visit with Bibles and some friendly conversation.

Encouraging words are well received, especially as the war drags on. Life in the village is quite isolated from those in the city. Television and radio may give news, but these days, it is better to believe those that you know.

Sasha is also involved with bringing humanitarian aid to people in need. At this time, we don’t have pictures to show you. We will in the future.

Thank all of you who share our stories with your friends, pray for our children, and sponsor the financial needs of MUCH!

Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

Helping refugees. Evacuating children with disabilities

Hello family and friends,
It will be two months on Saturday May 14, since we were evacuated from Ukraine. We are in Krakow, but our hearts, as are the hearts of many throughout the world, are in Ukraine. Sveta has daily communication with our team, church, volunteers, and friends in need.
A number of years ago, Paul came to the church we previously attended. He talked about his program that was finding homes for orphaned children, even if it was only for a weekend visit. As the years moved forward, Sveta and I met with Paul and his wife Elena, to talk about massage therapy for the children in the orphanages and temporary foster homes. We wrote about them in a newsletter a few years ago.
When the war began in late February, Paul gathered people with hearts for children. They began to trek a caravan of vehicles across Ukraine, evacuating orphans, disadvantaged, and disabled children from Ukraine. Every trip they are taking as many as 200 to 300 children to safety. We are helping Paul and his team through MUCH. We need your big help with this one. Fuel is the big expense. The price of gasoline and propane has risen to between $6 and $9 per gallon, depending upon the location on the journey. When Sveta and I evacuated, getting fuel was not possible at every gas station.
MUCH is asking for your help. We have already sent him money for fuel. Will you help us continue helping Paul and his team evacuate children across Ukraine? Follow their journey here!
This is just one van load of children and some parents. If you have ever taken a day trip with your children, imagine a twenty hour trip with 10 to 15 children, times a number of vans!
Their stories are written on their faces. Most of the children are orphans or come from difficult homes. All of them have had a hard life.


Paul is now focusing on evacuating children with disabilities. This is an even more challenging journey. Let’s work on this one together!
Thank you in advance for your generous donations!
Thank you for your prayers!
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

Chornomorsk and Krakow

Hello family and friends,
We are safe in God’s hand’s. His hands are working through us!
These first two months have been a nerve bending challenge as we struggled with moving money from America to Ukraine (MoneyGram), and later from American to Poland (MoneyGram). We have it all figured out. Sveta and I have bank accounts here in Krakow. The rest is safe and secure, enough said. Russia has big ears.
We are now getting money directly to people in need. We reported that our Dr. Natalia in Chornomorsk continues to treat children in need with massage therapy. This special child has been one of her MUCH patients for about five years. This precious child cannot chew food. She can only swallow and digest pureed food. MUCH is buying her a blender to provide fresh food, and better nourishment. Dr. Natalia is one of our Ukrainian Heroes!
If you remember Alyona, from our Christmas fundraiser, here is an encouraging update about her and her children. Alyona sat with children, imagining the dreaded experience, if she had to run for safety in another country with her two children. Thankfully, they survived the Russian attempts to attack her area. They are now finding a small amount of peace as they go about their lives. Her son has found an older friend. It is ok though, because so many people moved away. We continue to support and encourage this family.
Sveta and I were invited to the Refugee House for an Easter meal. Sveta has visited on occasion to translate or help with this or that. I have only visited one time previous. 
Something about food prepared the Ukrainian way looks so appetizing.
Sixteen or seventeen people squeezed around the large and small table, ready for a great feast, good conversation, and laughter.
What amazed me the most was that all of these wonderful dishes were prepared by the women refugees. Most of the food was donated, but the grandmother who has a paying job, used her money to buy much of what she prepared. She was the hostess, organizing and cooking/baking many tasty varieties of food.
I had a good time talking to those who spoke English. Thank you friends! 
As for Sveta and I, there remains a shock, a numbness. It is gradually fading away. Our emotions catch up with us now and then; our memories of our comfort zone remind us of what we called home. We look forward, finding home in our daily moment. We find our home, our strength in the Power of Jesus Christ Who lives within us.
Thank you for your prayers!
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta

Hunger for the Easter Spirit!

Hello family and friends,
Easter 2022
This Easter we shared the tradition of Easter breakfast with Lusia’s Family. It began at 10AM and continued through 4PM. We had a great feast that was followed by a walk to the children’s park. We returned a few hours later to eat more and have more family conversation.
Something about this day reminded me of my family holidays growing up. I thought about it for a while. As I write, I begin to understand what it was. It was the hunger of the spiritual connection of Easter and the physical experience of family. I felt the physical experience of family yesterday.
For so many Christmases and Easters, I have said that everyday is Christmas and everyday is Easter. I always felt that something was missing each year when I would experience these holy days. Now I know what it was. I missed the hunger for the spiritual experience. I missed the hunger because the hunger has been satisfied, it has been full in my heart and spirit every day, ever since I entered into that family relationship with God forty-six years ago. I wish this for all who hunger for the Spirit of Easter.
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta