Tag Archives: War in Ukraine

How the children are coping with the war

A Message from the Children to Our Sponsors

It was very difficult for us last year. On February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion began, changing the life of every Ukrainian. The war stole the gift of a peaceful and innocent childhood.

Even with the conditions of war, we continue to get an education. During air strikes/missile attacks, we are forced to stay underground. It is a little bit scary in the shelter, but we sing, play games, pray, communicate, and support each other. Due to problems with electricity, we are without light for hours. We do not lose heart. We know and believe that one day this horror will end and we will be able to live without fear in a free and happy country.

Like every Ukrainian today, we strive to be useful, so we help adults. In our free time from studying. We make blanks for trench candles for soldiers on the front line. We want to give a piece of warmth and light to the Ukrainian military. In addition, we weave bracelets, and charms for our soldiers. We draw pictures, because we want Ukrainian soldiers to know that we love them, support them and thank them for the opportunity to live and study.

We, Ukrainian children, want peace. We long for warmth and goodness, freedom and independence. Every day we turn to God, praying about it.

Life goes on and we continue studying in the computer class. Thank you, dear sponsors, for your generous support. We are grateful that you understand how we feel and continue to support our needs.

The Children of Ukraine

Walking Through the Shadow of Death

In the middle of New Year’s Eve day, Yura and Irina heard a strong rumble and at the same moment the terrible sound of exploding shells. From the blast wave, the house shook with powerful force. Plaster, glass, and stones flew at them. The roofing material was blown away in one-second with such a horrific roar that it is impossible to describe in words. Not just fear, but a blanket of horror covered Yura and Irina. (as if their lives would end in a moment) As a result of a Russian rocket attack, the houses of fourteen neighbors, a boarding school for deaf and mute children, and a boarding school for children with disabilities were damaged. Seven people were injured. Now they are in the hospital.

The next day, the city administration helped people cover the broken windows with OSB-sheets. Where it was possible, they repaired the truss systems and cover the roofs with a thick plastic film. But how should they live in winter in such a house? What will they do? They built this house with their own hands. But thank God, they are alive. Not injured, they have an opportunity to start all over again from a small point.

Yura always participated in the lives of others, helping them financially. He, as a jack of all trades, helped many, especially people who did not have enough money. From the beginning of the war, he helped to evacuate women with disabled children.

Yura and Irina will make great efforts to make their house habitable. Now, his first priority is to cover the roof and put in windows before the onset of cold weather. His friends partially helped him with finances.

Thanks to your generosity, dear friends, the mission received more for the Christmas Fundraising than we asked for, and we will send part of the extra amount to Yura to help restore the roof and windows.

We really appreciate what you do to make life easier for others. It means a lot to them and to us. You always do your best to help! Please accept our deepest gratitude!

This is only one way that your financial help is changing live of people that we know directly. Ura and Irina are most grateful.

Blessings of love and healing,

Sveta and Mark

What is our Mykolaiv community doing as the War rages on?

In 2014, Sveta and I bought a house in the annexed section of Mykolaiv. This section is called Balabanovka. Not long ago, the people of this area started a social media group to connect skilled people with people who had needs. This worked out very well.

When the war visited Balabanovka early in March 2022, this social media group altered their purpose. Now they organize the community to survive the war. Helping each other, they also help Ukrainian soldiers.

When explosions are heard, people write to the group and ask: “Are these our boys and girls shooting at the enemy, or Russian missiles coming toward us?”

Residents of our area weave camouflage nets, white for when there is snow. They send hand drawn pictures and the hand written prayer, “Our Father.” Candles are a great gift. Our fine people make candles that are so practical for the soldiers.

Delivery of water and food packages from the city administration, are an ongoing task. People collect money for volunteers to afford gasoline to deliver humanitarian packages. Some give $1.50, another gives $2.77, and still another $27.77. (The exchange rate was 36 UAH to $1.) Gasoline was $1.80 per liter. People give even from their small pension.

Since buses rarely run, drivers of personal cars write that at a certain time they can bring anyone to the center (our area is on the outskirts of the city, a former village)

The wonderful people of Balabanivka donate blankets, pillows, shoes, and furniture to those who are in need. Those who have the skills, help board up windows broken from the blasts. It doesn’t matter if those in need are neighbors in their community, or relocating from nearby villages that have been completely destroyed.

Without heat, there is a great need for another solution. Local craftsmen make potbelly stoves for locals and soldiers. The work is free, but they ask people for material for these stoves.

One woman wrote in the chat group asking for food for stray cats. They come to her yard; they must sense that she has a gentle heart for them. This woman adopted them and now she takes care of them daily.

Animals are deeply effected by the war also. The loud explosions, shock waves, and visual atmosphere disorient animals. When people find dogs that have lost their way, they post a notice with a picture on the Balabanovka social media group. It is a sweet reunion when pet and owner are reunited.

Why will Ukraine win this war? The most powerful reason that I see, is this. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their land, their culture, their lives. They are not sitting there watching the war go on. They are involved in the war. One way or another, they are all at war with Putin, the Kremlin, and autocracy.

Blessings of love and healing,

Sveta and Mark

2022 Christmas Fundraiser

Hello family and friends,
This winter is already a cold challenge for the people of Ukraine. It will get colder. Many people are relocating to other countries. For those who stay, humanitarian aid continues to flow in. Generators for electricity are the hottest items to purchase this winter. Imagine forty-million people looking for sources of heat.

The MUCH goal this Christmas is to help the people stay warm, have food to eat, water to drink, cook with, and bathe. Below are some stories that express the real essentials for Ukrainian people in great need.

1. Our son’s military group needs some basic items to do their job well. Winter camouflage clothing are vital for their survival. Our soldiers must be able to see their targets, communicate with each other, and hide themselves from the enemy at all times. Let’s help them do their job the best that they can.

2. The two church groups, in Mykolaiv and Ovidiopol, that we normally sponsor are delivering humanitarian needs to as many as one hundred families.

Ovidiopol church:
Daniel is packing food for refugees. Platon and Daniel deliver these bags of food on a regular basis.

These three girls were walking past the church while Platon was working in the church garden. They asked if they could have some food. He agreed with a smile. He gathered two bags of food, handed them these gifts, and invited them to stop by anytime.

Mykolaiv church:
This church stores bulk food for people to stop by to take home. Many people stop by. Some return on Sunday for spiritual food. Now, more people are aware of the church location, a rented room on the third floor of a commercial building.

The pastors and church members deliver food to families and the elderly who need assistance. It requires a lot of time and energy.

3. Sasha, the father of a family with ten children in the Kiev region, has an incredible out-reach ministry to people in deep villages and distant regions. We would like to bless this large family with a wonderful gift to meet needs of daily existence. Saha’s wife is pregnant with their eleventh child. Sasha is asking for help to buy a generator big enough to operate the pump for their well, and the washing-machine.

The children are involved in Sasha’s outreach ministry at homes for the elderly, and people who live in the deep villages. They bring the Gospel through music, song, and personal testimonies.

4. A woman in Kharkiv, a major city that Ukraine has recaptured, needs financial assistance for the four people/families that she is helping.

Luba Skubakova is 80 years old. She is disabled from childhood. She is single, no relatives. Her pension is enough for utility bills and a little for food and food for her dog, her only friend. She does not have the financial means to repair a denture. Neighbors help the woman a little and bring her food. She really needs financial help and basic nutrition

Nikolai Shuisky is 40 years old. He has a wife, she is disabled since her childhood (one kidney is not developed). Nevertheless, she gave birth to two children. (This stresses the one kidney during pregnancy.) They lived happily until the war began. Nikolai lost his job. Because of the shelling and destruction, he and his family had to leave their house and live as refugees. Their daughter was very afraid of the noise of the explosions and it was generally impossible to continue to live in that village. Now they have been taken in by Ukrainians in a safer community. They live on the money that the government provides for temporarily displaced people. The eldest son goes to school, and the daughter is 3 years old. His wife needs treatment and medication. The children are growing up and need clothes, food.

Nadezhda Shevchenko is 85 years old. She is single. She lives with her niece. Since 2014, she has not gone outside much, because she does not orient herself well in space. She could wonder off and become lost. Her niece accompanies her for her walks. Both receive pensions from the government. There is not enough money for medicines and food.

Valentin is 72 years old. He suffered a massive stroke. He does not get out of bed, and his wife had to leave work and take care of him. The thirty-year-old son helped before, but now he has lost his job. They live in a rented apartment. Rent and utility bills take more than half of their income. He needs an anti-decubitus mattress.

5. A month ago, when we were in Western Ukraine, to visit our daughter Olya, Sveta was able to meet with Oksana, (center), her longtime friend she had not seen for twelve years. Although Oksana did not complain and tried to show that everything was fine, Sveta could see her life is not easy. It is hard for a single woman to raise two daughters. The money that she earns and tiny alimony from her ex-husband was enough to pay for renting an apartment in Ivano-Frankivsk, and for food. But during the war, when prices rose rapidly for everything and the landlord raised the rental price, Oksana was forced to move to the village. The cost of winter things for children is as expensive as for adults. Nutrition and recovery after ear surgery for a smaller daughter also requires a considerable amount of money. If your hearts will open for Oksana, we will be very grateful to you. If the collected amount will be enough to bless Oksana and her daughters, then we would like to give her your donations as the love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ through you.

Our Goal is $6,000

It is an honor for me and Sveta to be of service and help those affected by this horrible war.
The needs in Ukraine are immense and despite the humanitarian efforts from other countries, there is a huge number of needs that go unfulfilled. While we can’t begin to address all needs, we can help those who are close to us. Please help us meet some of the basic needs such as medicine, food, and warmth this winter.

Take comfort in knowing that your donation to MUCH will make a difference and ease some of the suffering during this holiday season.

DONATE HERE

Wishing you God’s grace!

Mark and Sveta

A light in the darkness of Kharkiv

A good friend of ours, Roman, worked for two years on replacing a small dacha house with a total rebuild for a main residence for his family. He continued to expand his new home. The war came to Ukraine, and then to Mykolaiv. With no options, he sent his family to another country. While remaining in Mykolaiv, he had the opportunity to lead a church camp for a group of children in the village of Shostokova, about and hour drive from his home.

MUCH previously helped the children in the Shostokova school, updating education equipment. We were pleased to sponsor the camp event for the children this summer. 

Roman and his team brought a great camp program to the children. Lots of fun and games for the children. While the war raged on, the children had moments of patriotism. They were reminded of their part in keeping thoughts strong and positive about the Ukrainian soldiers and their love for their country.

A few months ago, the son of my friend Vika was wounded in the war. After treatment in the hospital, he was at home for some time. When she baked pies for him, he said that the guys from his team were so lacking in homemade pies. This is how the idea of baking pies for soldiers was born. Vika bought everything she needed to implement this idea with her small pension. Now, for the second month, MUCH is financially helping this woman to buy the necessary ingredients for pies for the soldiers.

Those who help others in various ways understand how wonderful it is to feel useful and be involved in the lives of others! This is the life of giving! Vika helps Ukrainian soldiers in the difficult conditions of the war to remember the aroma of home, the aroma of family when their mothers or wives were baking pies. Vika bakes pies with fruit and other fillings! The guys come and take away this delicious work of Vika’s hands. They are very grateful to her for such unusual delicious support! And we are grateful to you dear friends!

There is a small town seven kilometers from the border with Russia. Sasha and his friends came to tell people about the love of Jesus and give them food help.

In this house there are three apartments where people live. Sasha and his team sang songs about the grace of God to these people and also gave them food.

Thank you very much for financially and prayerfully supporting us and those who work and serve for the Ukrainian people and children! Thanks to you, we are able to send money to these workers!

Blessings of love and healing,

Mark and Sveta