Mission To Ukraine

MTU Father Starts Rehab Foundation

Paul* is an incredible father to Yulia, a 9 year old girl with special needs. He is also a designer, book illustrator, interpreter, poet, and a co-founder of a charitable foundation. As a result of the generosity of MTU’s supporters, Paul started to dream big. I asked Paul to share his story. He asked me to keep it confidential. I hope, this interview will inspire you.   

Tanya: Your love for your daughter goes beyond anything I have heard of. You are the one who protected her even while she was in the womb. Tell me more about it.

Paul: I was about to move to Warsaw for a well-paid job when we found out we were pregnant, so I turned down the job to be with my family. Six months into the pregnancy, the ultrasound showed problems in our girl’s development. The doctors immediately suggested an abortion, and I said ‘no’. Outside pressure started mounting – relatives, friends, doctors. They just didn’t understand her value. For me, our child’s birth was the brightest, most joyous moment of my life. Nothing else even comes close. After Yulia was born and placed on my wife’s chest, the first thing the doctor said was, “Would you please sign a letter of rejection for your disabled child?” I hit him in the face, broke his jaw, and he ran away. Yulia is a living, breathing child that I love and will always take care of, even if finding support is difficult.

From what I understand, even though you needed help you didn’t trust MTU at first.

Well, yeah. Why would they want to help me? At that time we had nothing. We were in debt and help from our relatives was scarce.  But our daughter desperately needed professional care, and I decided to give MTU a chance. Now I know that everything MTU does is so valuable. I don’t know any other organization in Ukraine that does more for children with special needs and their parents. We take all MTU can offer. I’ve see huge changes in Yulia. Now she can stand still, sit by herself without falling, and she can interact with others. Though she doesn’t speak, she shows emotions. She understands, and she responds because of MTU’s exceptional care and therapy. MTU’s great example of doing good and doing it with excellence.

 So how did you come to a decision to start a charity?

 Several years ago I went to MTU to pick up our Christmas gift. I really wanted to return the favor. I asked ‘What do you need?’ I earned little, and was in debt, but still felt like giving back in whatever way I could. They suggested that I could help with monthly diaper packages. I posted an ad for donations in social media, and people actually gave! Over the next few weeks, we received several thousand grivna. At that point, I realized that I wanted to make charity a part of my life.

So how did it happen?

 Several months later, I met a marketing specialist with a vision for a global charity project. I told her “If I ever wanted to help anybody, it would be MTU. They helped my daughter with special needs.” So we started a charitable foundation called ‘Charity Postcard’. Our mission is to support rehabilitation centers in Ukraine. We raise money by selling postcards with the art of famous Ukrainian painters and illustrators. All profit goes to help various projects for people with special needs in Ukraine.

Thank you for your grateful heart and support! What are your plans for the foundation’s future?

Our ultimate goal is to raise enough support that rehab centers can continue to expand until every disabled child in Ukraine has access to a rehab services.

That sounds fantastic! We are with you. Thank you for your time and your passion. May God bless your family, your work, and your charity.

 *Names changed for confidentiality purposes

Together We Keep Children Out of Orphanages

By Luda Chaikovska, MTU nurse

Ukrainian women have to be strong. It’s in the culture. Even though many might be depressed and drained, they will smile and say they are OK anyways. They manage to get by. Mothers and grandmothers of children with disabilities who come to us for help come weary and broken hearted. Their eyes show pain deep down in their hearts. 

Every day I pray for the Lord to give me an opportunity to be a witness of His great love to our mothers. I have those divine opportunities when they bring their children in for medical treatment.   

Last November Valentina, the grandmother of six-year-old Misha came to MTU for help. As she shared her story, she would frequently have to stop as she choked back her tears. She wiped off the tears, ashamed of them, and made a great effort to continue immediately. Rarely, she allowed anyone to see her cry, but that day she felt safe enough to share her burden. 

For many years, Valentina had been taking care of her husband who lost his sight at a young age, and she still carried the pain of the loss of her 17-year-old daughter. She said she would never forget the sound of the ground falling onto her coffin. Her first and only grandchild was born with severe disabilities, and her daughter-in-law refused to take him in her arms after delivery. 

Her son started having problems in his marriage. Though Valentina tried hard, she could not save the marriage. The young couple got divorced. Valentina quit her job as a journalist at a city newspaper to devote herself to Misha’s care. Seeing how hard it was for Valentina to care for both her husband and her grandson, numerous times her friends and relatives would advise her to send little Misha to an orphanage. She believed she had strength for everyone and that one day it would become easier. She would never let her grandson go to an orphanage. Time went by. Misha needed more care. And then everything escalated when her son left to go to the front in the Eastern Ukraine. There she was, tired, depressed, and at the end of her rope. 
Valentina needed to be strong for all three of her men: her blind husband, her son in the war and her growing grandson, who needed more and more attention and patience. “There are days, when I have no strength to carry on, I give up,” she said.

I thank God for creating a safe place like MTU for such women.  When Valentina brings her Misha to our therapy sessions, she has some time to relax and connect with other women, and to receive encouragement and love from our team. Valentina appreciates every prayer lifted up for her and thanks God for sending her to our charity.  

Recently she taught Misha to sign "Thank God.” It is a great joy to see Valentina’s smile and for her to be part of our MTU family.

Friends, thank you for your support. By helping families we help children escape orphanages while surrounding them with a loving and caring environment. 

 

 

100 Thank you's

Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for your generosity, love, and faithfulness in caring for the least of these in Ukraine. On this special day, we thank our God for you and pray you are blessed with His richest blessings in your lives and families.

We are thankful for the privilege of sharing our Lord’s love through professional services for families with children with special needs as well as pregnant mothers in difficult circumstances. We cherish the ability to give testimony to His love to over 100 people every day! Thank you for your encouragement, prayer, expertise, and donations. You empower us to let His Light and Love shine bright.

Below we show how each of the children, families, and mothers we serve culminates to a 100 thank yous. These “100 thanks yous” are like a beautiful harmony that resounds in our hearts and theirs. It’s our prayer that you tune your own heart to share in our song of gratitude.

On a typical day at MTU:

An expectant mother with an unplanned pregnancy chooses to give her baby life.

30 students learn about the sanctity of human life, the realities of abortion, and how to pursue a healthy lifestyle and avoid risky behaviors.

Every day, 8 families living in difficult financial situations--some with children with special needs and some mothers who chose life for their babies--receive monthly food package and diapers.

35 of the families we serve receive free medical treatment and medicines.

17 children with disabilities grow in their physical abilities and have mobility, function, and quality of live improved at physical therapy sessions.

6 children with disabilities develop, recover, or maintain basic skills for living and work through our exclusive Occupational Therapy (OT) services.

6 children with special needs learn to interact with their daily environment by honing their senses. Our Sensory Therapy activates their brain activity and decreases anxiety, aggression, and over-stimulation.

5 children, who have never been able to communicate, are given a voice via special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices.

6 children improve their diction and speaking abilities at their sessions with our speech therapist.

6 children with disabilities learn to cope with their learning difficulties or manage behavioral problems in their psychology therapy sessions.

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22 children and youth with disabilities participate in meaningful lessons and purposeful play. These sessions help to develop social, academic, motor, and language skills, as well as competencies necessary for integration into the state education system.

25 mothers of children with disabilities and the mothers we serve through the pregnancy care ministry receive God’s guidance, encouragement and prayer support at individual counseling sessions and Bible groups.

 From us to you, thank you!