Ukrainian medic Serhiy Chornobryvets poses for a photo in Kharkiv, Ukraine. He works to save soldiers on the front lines of battle. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukrainian medic Serhiy Chornobryvets poses for a photo in Kharkiv, Ukraine. He works to save soldiers on the front lines of battle. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Serhiy Chornobryvets, center, and others treat an injured man in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Serhiy Chornobryvets, center, and others treat an injured man in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Serhiy Chornobryvets, standing third from left, helps carry a man into a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Serhiy Chornobryvets, standing third from left, helps carry a man into a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Russian tank fire strikes an apartment building in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 11, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Russian tank fire strikes an apartment building in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 11, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 13, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

A woman walks past a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 13, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Running toward Danger

Posted: November 1, 2022

Serhiy Chornobryvets has spent over half a year risking his life to save wounded people in Ukraine. In battle, he has a nickname: “Mariupol.” That’s the name of his home city.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Mr. Chornobryvets’ city was under fire for nearly three months. Many lost water and power. The once-beautiful city became like a skeleton: just shelled-out frames of buildings.

“It was like going back to the Stone Age,” says Mr. Chornobryvets. “There was looting, constant shelling, planes . . .”

Now Mr. Chornobryvets wears the city’s symbol—a yellow anchor—as a patch on his uniform. He still has one year of college to complete. But he’s not studying. He’s learning hands-on as a paramedic (someone trained to help people in medical emergencies).

When Mariupol was attacked, many people hid in basements and bomb shelters. But not Mr. Chornobryvets. He stayed above ground, risking his life to help those wounded by the Russian attacks. For 22 days, he rarely changed out of his red paramedic uniform. He didn’t get much sleep either. His group of paramedics worked day and night.

“People around us were losing their minds, but we got on with our work,” he says.

He finally fled Mariupol on his birthday, March 18. Russian troops had begun to enter the city.

Mr. Chornobryvets left Mariupol. But he didn’t leave the fight. He traded his red overalls for camouflage. He headed to the front lines of the fight in eastern Ukraine. That’s one of the most dangerous places in the country. There he helps wounded soldiers in the thick of the battle.

Why? Not all of us face a literal war in our home countries. But we can all rise to the occasion where God has placed us.