Tag Archives: Village life

February 2017

Hello family and friends,

The end of February is bringing sunshine and warmer temperatures. Spring in Ukraine is just around the corner. The trees have been pruned and are beginning to bud. We have already begun a great year with MUCH. Read on to learn more!

Mark’s Moments

IMG_20170207_093010We are very pleased to share the results of the Christmas fundraiser in more detail. The Director of the Ternava Village School sent us pictures of their purchases.

1. We are very happy to have provided medical first-aid supplies that were needed for the nursing station.
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2. The elementary school children now have ten computer tablets to enhance their learning experience.

3. Three sewing machines and one embroidery machine have expanded the education system for the children from the three villages that IMG_20170201_134057_BURST5attend the Ternava School. Operating sewing and

embroidery machines is not only a skill for girls and women.

You can see in the picture that boys learn to operate the machines also. The textile industry is big in Ukraine.

4. They may not have the interactive board completely installed, but that doesn’t stop their enthusiasm to put the provisions from MUCH to work.IMG_20170222_131128

5. Since I arrived in Ukraine in 2002, eastern and western Ukraine have had an ongoing discussion about which language should be the official language of Ukraine, Russian or Ukrainian. The EuroMaidan conflict in 2014 had nothing to do with language conflict, but as with the Georgian war, Putin decided that language would be a good excuse to involve Russia with Ukraine’s business. At the Ternava school in western Ukraine, the official language, Ukrainian, is being taught with a vengeance. The wall charts will deepen their understanding of the Ukrainian language.
IMG_20170222_1310026. Two great writers and poets of Ukraine, Ivan Franko, and Taras Shevchenko, made powerful and political influences on Ukraine.
Ivan Franko is quoted to the right of his picture, “Language grows with the soul of the people.”
Taras Shevchenko is quoted to the left of his picture, “Learn to read, be proud of your country, learn about other counties and the world.”

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To all who helped make the Christmas Fundraiser a success, the children thank you! The teachers and administration of the Ternava Village School thank you! Sveta and I thank you for helping us promote education here in Ukraine.

Sveta writes some wonderful news about the progress of some of our children in the Massage Therapy Program.

Sveta’s Journey
Massage therapy is the biggest program in MUCH. We continue to pray and give thanks to our Lord for every child who is able to get this help. Through this program, parents see your compassion and participation in the lives of their children. This is very encouraging and supportive for them. In such difficult situations many parents feel lonely.

Chornomorsk
Seven-year old Andrew, (left), struggles with cerebral palsy. He is not alone in his struggle. His parents, Dr. Nataliya, and you, my dear friends walk by his side. You who pray for and sponsor IMG_20170125_110332our work with Andrew, you help him make it through his struggles.

Andrew began his first course of massage therapy in October 2016. He could barely standing without someone giving him support. He could crawl on all fours, and he could jump forward on all fours like a frog.

After a second comprehensive course of massage therapy in January 2017, Andrew learned to walk with canes. You can see his great results in this picture!

 

Dobromel Orphanage
Nick, 12 years old, (right), was diagnosed with urinary incontinence, and a delay in speech development.

Because of these limitations, Nick became very self conscious. He was almost afraid to be around his peers. This caused him to become shy, and often withdrawn, spending time alone. Sometimes he would become aggressive.

Our massage therapist, Paul, began working with Nick. He explained that God loves him and IMG_9598 - Copythat he should not be afraid of his peers. He was told that the other children are the same as him. Each one has a unique difficulty. By the end of the 20-day massage course the boy gained confidence; timidity and indecision disappeared. Paul and Nick established a good friendship. The child began to feel more confident in the environments of his peers.
Nick used to wet his pants in the classroom, and wet the bed at night. Now, such cases are very rare. Quarterly massage therapy courses will also improve his self image and speech. The bladder problem will be corrected completely in the near future.

Children, from two months of age and up to age eighteen get help through the MUCH massage therapy program. Many diagnoses are corrected. It is possible that we may not see the great end results during our part of the child’s life. We see the results that we see, and God continues to walk with each child! God bless each of you and fill your needs in each area of your life!

Living my dream,
Sveta

MUCH continues to grow. We work in five cities and one village, with two more village projects waiting for approval and funding. God continues to open doors, introducing us to the people whom He has prepared to do His work, and glorify His Name through blessing the children of Ukraine.

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

September 2013 Newsletter

Hello family and friends,

The first of September fell on a Sunday this year. Even so, the school system brought in the ceremonial First Bell where the children dress in their best clothes or school uniforms and honor the teachers with flowers. The ceremony includes music and speeches, kicking off the school year with enthusiasm and new energy.

For MUCH, September brings our focus to education scholarships, and the great need for seasonal clothing for the children in the Marganets orphanage and school. In our scholarship program, Vika is in her last year of medical college. She wants to continue her medical education and become a doctor of microbiology. See her video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-NGTPT3a-Y&feature=c4-overview&list=UU7wsKHT3uX4x-VzXgDH8gUw[/youtube]

Two other girls in Illichevsk desire to continue their education. They talked about their vision for their futures in this interview.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFEMAc2Hh_8&feature=c4-overview&list=UU7wsKHT3uX4x-VzXgDH8gUw[/youtube]

Moving is always a great adventure. There are seasoned movers, novice movers, and those who see it as a challenge to overcome, something like a contest. A young couple we know took the challenge. The husband said to his wife, “We can pack in three days!” When I told Sveta that we would move in April 2014, she began to pack in July 2013. It is a good thing that she did.The rent went up quite a bit in August, so Sveta looked at me and said, “I’m ready to move when you are!”

I have been visiting a language school as a guest speaker for the past two years. During my final visit, one of the students asked me why I wanted to leave Illichevsk. It is a seaside resort, and a very clean city. Soviet and post-Soviet people often remain in the same city, in the same flat or private home most, if not all, of their lives. After a moment’s thought, I realized the truth. I replied, “Sometimes we get too comfortable in our lives and need to be pushed into something new and challenging. We need something that will bring out our best selves.” There is a phrase that goes something like this “Comfort those who are bothered, but bother those who are comfortable.” I was getting comfortable.

When Sveta and I got married in January last year, we pushed ourselves from our individual lives into a life that causes us to become selfless toward each other. On September 21, we moved to a village south of Nikolayev where we will live until our house is built. Now, living with her parents and her brother, we push ourselves out of our comfort zone to become selfless toward them.

The travel distance between Illichevsk and Nikolayev is about 124 miles. Waiting for buses and travel time, usually takes us about five hours and three bus changes. We hired a truck to move us, and friends helped us load and unload. The travel time was close to four hours. It was a full day for Sveta and me. Our work has begun! In June we had started digging the foundation for our house that we will build in a year or two. Sveta and I began by moving the Together 2topsoil from the foundation area to the back of the property where we will have a garden. (Sveta and I are pulling a two-wheel-wheelbarrow in this picture.) We are very excited about our new adventure.

My time and opportunity have come to expand my personal involvement in ministry. Our involvement with MUCH will remain the same. Ira Kolosova, my previous assistant and contributor of the Ira’s Insights articles for the MUCH newsletters, will manage the ministries in Illichevsk. Sveta and I will visit Illichevsk, Dobromel, Marganets, and Froonza twice a year, as we currently do. In the house that we will build, there will be a multipurpose room that will give us opportunity to minister to the village community with programs such as exercise for the elderly, Christian small group meetings, Bible study, and other social activities.

Life in the village is quite the challenge if you are used to city life. The many luxuries that were within walking distance in Illichevsk are now a twenty minute bus ride away. Any project that I may do must be very well planned to avoid spending the day traveling to and from Nikolayev.

On the other hand, our opportunities to reach out to people in the village may be greater than they were in Illichevsk. In the village, everybody knows everybody. I think that many people know about me already, even though I have only met two people from this village of Galitsinovka.

Sveta and I are pushing ourselves into the reality of the vision that we have talked about for the past year. Exercise for the elderly will begin with Sveta and me encouraging each other to exercise. Once the garden is finished, we will have a large area to exercise in. We are almost unpacked, so we will begin soon.

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The first week of October we will be in the cold northwest at the Dobromel Orphanage. It is always interesting to me to see new and old buildings beside or across the street from each other.

 

The results of Soviet times effect the buildings as well as the people. What a great contrast of these two pictures that are across the street from each other in Dobromel.

The second week we will visit the Angelina Foundation Maternity House near the city of Zhytomyr, east and bit north of L’vov. Marina narrates their story. Take a look!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/73537937[/vimeo]

Our goal is to better understand the lives of girls from the orphanage system, the problems that they face after leaving the orphanage, and what is available for them. It has been on my mind for about nine years as we ministered to the children at the Marganets Orphanage.

Sveta’s Journey
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I am waiting for our visit to the orphanage. I am thinking, “What can I prepare for the children when we will have meetings with them? What interesting and instructive things can I do to leave a good mark on their lives?” I remember a year ago; I prepared a few games and tried to get the children to play them. I was not successful. I was saddened to tears.

Under the terms of the game, children were divided into two teams in a competitive manner and as quickly as possible they were to bring some balloons to the finish point. I explained to them the rules of the game, but the children were focused on the fact that each of them wanted to have a balloon. There was a disappointment among the children. The children did not want to join in the game; each child wanted to have his or her own balloon.
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Mark said that I have a talent of very good communication with the children, asking about their lives, their dreams, and encouraging them. Therefore, I decided not to create games. We would bring God’s love through us, through our communication with them.

Living my dream,

Sveta

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

Thank you for continuing with us on our journey of service to the people of Ukraine, particularly the children.

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta