‘Pray for peace’: Local community sends prayers, support to Ukraine as war wages on

NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. — The Inland Northwest in nowhere near Ukraine, but the support for those defending their homeland from the Russian invasion continues to grow as war wages on.

Spokane is home to thousands of Ukrainian Americans. While they can’t take up arms like their friends and family in Ukraine are, many are turning to the power of prayer to fight back.

“It’s excruciating. There are no words,” said Rebecca Taturevych. She just came back to America in November after living in Ukraine for over 20 years. “Having people say they’re praying for you, having people write and say they’re concerned about you and see the nations and the rallies behind them, it gives the spirit of the people who are on the ground, taking up arms, the courage that they need to fight against this aggression.”

Many gathered on Sunday morning at Lakes Community Church in Newman Lake to send love, support, and prayers from afar. Some haven’t ever met a Ukrainian or lived through the devastation the country’s experiencing, but they are all finding power in prayer.

“We pray for the protection. We pray for the peace in Ukraine, Lord,” the pastor at Lakes Community Church prayed on Sunday.

The Taturevych family can only watch as their loved ones suffer in their home country. All they can rely on is strength from above to see them through.

“For me, it’s the only way I can find peace. I literally have to pray every time I get some news. I’m worried about Ukraine, about people there, about friends,” said Roman Taturevych.

People from Ukraine are praying for peace all over the Inland Northwest. The First Ukrainian Baptist Church in Spokane put up a Ukrainian flag in the sanctuary to honor the community’s loved ones going into battle back home. During a Ukrainian-spoken service, the pastor asked people to pray for peace like we have in America to prevail in Eastern Europe.

“I want to pray for peace and for everybody to keep that in their minds and hearts,” said Yasha Topik. He has family and friends in Ukraine and attended the Baptist service on Sunday. “Pray and meditate for our world to have better days, regardless of their religion.”

“I think prayer for me is the only place where I can find peace at this moment,” Taturevych said.

If you’d like to donate to the Youth With a Mission Team welcoming refugees in Ternopil, Ukraine, you can do so HERE.

Once you follow the link, enter how much money you’d like to give and then in the FUND drop-down menu, select “Ternopil Relief”. This money will go to people welcoming refugees in West Ukraine as people flee from East and Central Ukraine.

READ: Spokane community gathers at Lincoln Statue in support of Ukraine