Hundreds attended, and the Ukrainian church was not alone as many other churches and people from the neighborhood came out to support their local Ukrainian community.
Pastor Jerry Boyechko’s son-in-law, Victor Selepina, said that at this moment in time, the Ukrainian community cannot do much, except pray.
“At the moment, there’s not much we can do, even the financial aspect, we have no idea how to send it and where to send it as of now because of how quickly everything escalated,” Selepina said.
Selepina’s family is currently in Western Ukraine. He said his family would like to evacuate, but can’t.
“So far they are safe, they have heard lots of explosions, and we also have family in Rivne, and they also have an airport nearby which was also attacked last night,” Selepina said.
So many Ukrainian families in Kentucky are concerned for their family back in Ukraine, including one young adult, Ester Maksimenko.
“My family is from Ukraine and so I have family in Ukraine and I wanted to come in support them and pray for them,” Maksimenko said. “They’re a little scared they just prayed and keep on praying. I’m praying for God to help them and to stop this war that Russia and Ukraine have.”
Among the crowd praying for de-escalation was Republican Senator Donald Douglas.
“Well it feels wonderful not just to be hear in prayer with the Ukrainian Church, but with all the people of District 22 that have come to pray,” Senator Douglas said. “We’re all one big family down here… but that tragedy that’s occurring in Ukraine right now, should have been avoided. It’s not necessary. They’re wonderful people, and I just hope that it gets worked out very, very soon.
The prayer vigil opened first with two songs, then broke out into prayer groups.
“We’re just asking God to protect the people, especially the children, the civilians, even the soldiers. Nobody wanted this. Ukraine is a peaceful nation they want peace,” Selepina said. “As the Bible say, ‘When my people humble themselves and pray to God, He will hear them and heal their land.”
In Ukrainian, Pastor Boyechko addressed the crowd and thanked the United States for allowing their families to start a new life here with Selepina providing the interpretation in English.
“I want to thank you all in this country for what you’ve done for us, accepting us at one point. Some of us have been here several decades, most of us were born here, and we’ve seen a lot of good from the people around us,” Selepina said.
The prayer vigil concluded with the church’s youth choir closing out in song.