A month ago, he had billboards covered with inspiring scripture in fifty locations in the Ukrainian city of Kyiv to encourage his compatriots. Aleks Marchuk (left on the picture) is almost fifty years old and earns his living as a businessman. He owns several coffee shops and owns a billboard business. The Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, changed everything.In this article he talks about his work.
WIn the first few days of the war, I didn’t know what to do. I served in the military in my twenties but had no desire to fight the invaders with a gun in my hand. After a few days with a lot of stress, frustration, and a constant flow of information, I picked myself up and wanted to help my compatriots, but how?
Taxi driver for refugees
In the early days, my own car acted as a taxi to pick up people who wanted to flee abroad because of the unsafe situation. We brought them together in the church building and from there they left by bus to the West of Ukraine. We helped 200-300 people each day and since have helped over 3000 people with the start of their journey to a safe place.
God’s logistical providence
While driving others was good work, I wanted to be more meaningful. I shared this with my pastor, and he introduced me to Worldpartners, where I am now an active logistics manager in support of food transportation. Since my start, we have transported twenty trucks with tons of flour and potatoes across the country to people in need in the large cities across Ukraine. Logistically, it was an immense challenge due to roadblocks, destroyed bridges and impassable roads, but God continued to provide pathways through.
Tank pulls truck
A regular truck ride lasted 6-7 hours is now two full days. We’ve even had a truckload of tons of food unable to cross the road. Thank God a Ukrainian tank came to the rescue. He towed the truck through the field so he could continue down the road. It was not always clear from where we could distribute. God provided new distribution points in miraculous ways.
To help Ukrainians prepare for their future food needs, we currently distribute many seed packages of 120 kilos each. They contain seeds for potatoes, carrots, onions and more Today, we are going to distribute another 25 packages. The people of the villages are so very grateful for the seeds and that someone is thinking of them. They now have more assurance that in a few months they will be self-sufficient in terms of having vegetables for their families. That gives them hope in these anxious days.
Take your position
I personally believe that we must all take responsibility. Adam was commanded by God to till the earth. When something happens, we influence it. We can help by sharing, with encouragement, with your knowledge and network and I want to commit myself to that. We have nothing under control, as evidenced by the vagaries of war. I often think of the words of Isaiah 6:8, which says, “Behold, here am I, send me.” I will do what God wills and what is in my power to help my people in word and deed.
The brutality of war gut punches me. When I think of the victims in Bucha and many other places, I become very emotional. Every hour, rockets strike houses and apartments killing soldiers and civilians. And the conflict still continues on.
Hope for peace
But there is also hope. Hope in God, but also in the work we do. Tomorrow, we will go to the city of Mykolayiv to place a water treatment plant that can purify 4000 liters of water per hour. I see many people in need, who are deeply discouraged. I believe there will be a tipping point towards peace, hopefully as soon as possible. I hope and pray for peace and recovery. That many people will come back to rebuild the country, that we will join the EU and most importantly, that we will follow God’s principles as a people and become passionate about Christ.