* HALF-OFF SALE for new subscribers, now through 10/15 *

Running toward Danger

  • 1 medic
    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)
  • 2 medic
    Serhiy Chornobryvets, center, and others treat an injured man in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
  • 3 medic
    Serhiy Chornobryvets, standing third from left, helps carry a man into a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
  • 4 medic
    Russian tank fire strikes an apartment building in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 11, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
  • 5 medic
    A woman passes a burning apartment building after shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 13, 2022. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)
  • 1 medic
  • 2 medic
  • 3 medic
  • 4 medic
  • 5 medic


You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.

The bad news: You've hit your limit of free articles.
The good news: You can receive full access below.
WORLDteen | Ages 11-14 | $35.88 per year

Already a member? Sign in.

On the front lines, they just call him “Mariupol.” That’s the name of his home city in Ukraine. He 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. His name is Serhiy Chornobryvets. He’s 24 years old. And he has spent months risking his life to save Ukraine’s wounded.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The port city of Mariupol immediately came under fire, facing bombardment from explosive shells weeks before enemy troops arrived. During a nearly three-month siege, Mariupol’s residents endured some of the war’s worst suffering. Many lost access to water and power. Photographs revealed a once-beautiful city reduced to shelled-out frames.

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

Many hid in basements and bomb shelters—but not Chornobryvets. He stayed above ground, risking his life to help those wounded by the Russian attacks. For 22 days, he rarely slept or changed out of his red paramedic uniform. He and his fellow paramedics worked day and night.

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

He finally fled Mariupol on March 18—his birthday—as Russian troops began to enter the city.

The young medic left the city, but he didn’t leave the fight. He exchanged his red overalls for camouflage and headed to the front lines in eastern Ukraine—one of the most dangerous places in the country. He continues to use his experience to help wounded soldiers in the thick of the battle.

“If I had not survived Mariupol, I would not have gone to work as a paramedic now. I wouldn't have had enough courage,” he says.

Chornobryvets has decided to stay on the battlefield until Ukraine wins the war.

God puts people in the right places at the right times throughout history. As Mordecai said to Esther, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) When Russia invaded, ordinary Ukrainians like Chornobryvets discovered a courage they didn’t know existed. They risked their lives to help.

Someday, Chornobryvets hopes to return to his home city, which has now fallen to Russian forces.

“My soul will calm down when I enter Mariupol—and the Ukrainian flag is flying over it,” he says.

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