UKRAINE (WJBF) – A hellish scene in the town of Odesa; Ukrainian firefighters battle a blaze at a warehouse this week, following another Russian attack.
In Kyiv, five people were wounded Monday in a drone strike on that city. There’s a gaping hole in an apartment building where a balcony used to be.
And in Bakhmut, battle scars from more than 14 months of war, visible from the air. A Ukrainan minister is all too familiar with the dangers.
“It’s my helmet and you see this small part of shrapnel. A couple months ago this helmet saved my life,” said Aleksey, a Ukrainian minster.
Aleksey, we’re only using his first name, is a former pastor turned military chaplain. He puts his life on the line every day, delivering food, clothes and other humanitarian aid to victim’s who are trying to survive in a war zone.
“I see many in pain many people live on the street, don’t have a roof, don’t have walls. People cook food on the street. Just an open fire. People drink water just from river.”
NewsChannel 6 spoke with Aleksey via Zoom this week from Augusta’s first Baptist church.
In March, a mission team from the church traveled to Ukraine. Among them, retired First Baptist minister Dr Rodger Murchison.
Dr. Rodger Murchison, retired minister at First Baptist Church said, “Over this whole year, they have just been worn down. “We decided to give them a weekend retreat the pastors and their wives. Our purpose was to say you’re helping everyone else, we’ve come to help you.”
They joined a group from London.
Dr. Murchison said, “Flew into Slovakia to a town call Coschai, took a train about 20 miles into Ukraine to a town call Hoskh. The pastors then drove from the eastern part of Ukraine, which is the dangerous part. We were in the far west, They said you have come to help us? I said we have come to pray with you, to have bible study with you and to talk with you about how you are you are dealing with your grief and pain”.
Dr. Murchison shared with the ministers a book he has written on grief and they shared with him the personal loss they’ve suffered as a result of this war.
Aleksey said, “Four or five weeks ago, Russians soldiers come to my home, destroyed my gates, my doors.. and any electronics, food. They stole many of my stuff but thank god building is safe.”
Aleksey and his family are now homeless but grateful.
“Thanks you so much for without your prayer without your help we can’t do anything.”
First Baptist Church paid for the minister’s retreat and gave each of them a $1000 gift.
Dr Murchison said, “They knew that US money will buy a lot of resources, generators, blankets water food that they take to soldiers to civilians who’ve lost everything”
Everything except their faith in Christ.
If you would like to help, First Baptist Church works with DNIPRO Hope Mission in London, a group that helps those affected by the war.