Tragic Ukraine Story: Pastor Helping Women Flee Discovered, He Died a Hero's Death


Stories of bravery are coming out of Ukraine as churches work together to help those in need.

Karl Hargestam, a CityServe volunteer currently working in Poland, told The Western Journal on March 9 that thousands of people were flowing into the country daily.

Poland has received over half of the 2 million Ukrainian war refugees, BBC reported.

Hargestam explained there is actually a flow back and forth across the border: People are coming out of Ukraine, and food and other necessities are going back in, often moving through a network of churches.

CityServe has come along side church networks in Europe, helping refugees by providing food and other necessities. Please help by donating here

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“Now they’re risking their life doing this. In fact, [I] saw a picture this morning of one of the pastors” helping in this effort, he said.

“But that pastor, he was killed yesterday,” Hargestam added.

“The man that was moving products, the man was shot up. I saw pictures this morning, so they’re risking their lives, serving the people inside Poland, and they’re distributing through the network of faith, in other networks of goodwill really across Ukraine, where now you don’t have food. They’re in bunkers. They’re just trying to survive.”

Hargestam witnessed many refugees coming into Poland just west of Lviv, Ukraine. They were fatigued, dehydrated and many appeared in shock.

Are you inspired by the help people are proving to the Ukrainian refugees?

“There’s women, children. Their life is disrupted. And what was startling is this would be like our children, you know. It’s just, they don’t understand why this would happen,” he said.

Hargestam was moved to see a man playing a grand piano outside at the border.

Multiple news outlets have reported that man is Davide Martello, who drove over from Germany. He plays for hours each day, wanting to bring some joy and a sense of peace to the refugees.

In a tweet a New York Times’ photographer Erin Schaff quoted Martello as saying, “My goal is to tell everybody you’re safe now. They’ve heard bombs and all sorts of weapons, and I want them to hear music.”

In the clip below, he is playing, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

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“That was kind of moving when you, when he’s just sitting in the cold, playing music for the people coming across, finding buses, but there’s kind of this glimmer of hope,” Hargestam said.

The CityServe official could not say enough about the Polish people.

“I was just impressed by the people in Poland who are saying, ‘We are just going to open our arms.’ And they’re sharing the food they have. They’re cooking their food, sharing their clothes, their homes. Taking, receiving people.”

The houses of worship have been turned into processing centers.

“And they’re taking the people, and they can sleep, get a shower and a meal, and then they’re trying to find permanent homes, and people are receiving them in their homes if they can’t find a relative or somewhere else in Europe,” Hargestam said.

The Western Journal stands in partnership with CityServe. Help on the front lines by donating to provide food, shelter and the Gospel to Ukrainian refugees. Do more than just read about it, donate here.

Here in the U.S. one recent weekend, more than 1,800 volunteers working at City of Destiny church in the Orlando, Florida, area, assembled one million meals to ship to Ukraine.

CityServe was one of the partnering organizations overseeing the effort, Hargestam told The Western Journal, and a cargo plane carrying the meals is slated to arrive Thursday in Poland.

CityServe is then working with a network of thousands of churches to distribute the meals.

Hargestam said during the COVID-19 pandemic his organization also worked in partnership with churches in the U.S. to distribute over 17 million boxes of food.

“What we do in Poland and Romania that’s the same. We’re trying to just add more resources, more food, more clothing, just helping [with] the basic necessities through the existing network,” he said.

“There’s an incredible generosity in times like this from our nation, and I think [the Ukrainian refugees] sense it and see it,” Hargestam added.

Support CityServe’s efforts by donating here – you’ll be providing food, medicine and the Gospel to Ukrainians in urgent need.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith