ARLINGTON, Texas — It was an afternoon of prayer and song for Ukraine.
As nearly 50 people gathered for a prayer vigil Saturday afternoon at North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, Andrew Kelly led a group of North Texans in prayer.
“We pray for their safety,” Kelly said.
Kelly and his wife, Jenny, run an orphanage in Ukraine. People with close ties to the people of Ukraine bowed their heads for a moment of silence as they prayed for peace.
The prayer vigil comes as Russia-Ukraine tensions escalate. Friday, President Joe Biden said he has reason to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine in the coming days.
On Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Harris opened her meeting by saying that the world was at “a decisive moment in history.”
Dallas resident Marta Petrash, who was born in Ukraine, attended Saturday’s prayer vigil in Arlington. After the vigil, she consoled a tearful friend. The two have family members living in Ukraine.
“They’re worried,” Petrash said. “This weekend... lots of worry, lots of concern. It is not an easy time. Ukrainians are at war with Russia for eight years. No one wants this war, no one wants this suffering.”
Tom Sanchez, an Irving resident, is currently living in Ukraine while studying the Russian language. Sanchez’s apartment is in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. On Saturday, he told WFAA he has grown concerned about the escalating situation this weekend.
“It’s tragic,” Sanchez said. “I believe everybody is very apprehensive this weekend. Today, I think for people who were holding up really well, it was not a good day.”
At North Davis Church of Christ, colorful banners hung from above. They were filled with footprints and handprints of children from Ukraine who fled when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.
Mike Armour, former president of European Mission, has close friends in Ukraine.
“We pray that pathways of peace will be sought and found and will endure,” Armour said.
The faithful hope their prayers for peace will be answered.