On Saturday night, dozens gathered for a vigil to support Ukraine and a powerful service at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Many attendees said they were worried for friends and family back home and are constantly awaiting updates.
“The panic, every 20 minutes of someone not answering is an agony. Every minute is an eternity,” the Rev. Volodymyr Steliac said.
“It’s helplessness, we come to the church and we pray, and we do have to believe that God has his plan and Ukraine will triumph,” parishioner Tamara Woroby said.
The church is collecting money to send overseas, saying Ukrainians need food and resources for the tough days ahead.
“We are strong, we are resilient, we are fearless, but we want peace and we want to be an independent country,” Olga Kulibaba, whose family is in Kyiv, said.
“This day will pass, I pray, we all pray, that this shall pass. Until then we need your prayers,” Steliac said.
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) also attended the service and commented on the sanctions on Russia.
“I think we should intensify the sanctions,” Raskin said. “I think we gotta look at cutting off Russia completely from the financial system of the world.”
And amid the fear and the darkest of days, many people said they still have hope.
“Ukraine has existed for a thousand years despite what Mr. Putin imagines, and Ukraine will survive and thrive, and there’s a will and there’s God on our side,” Woroby said.
The church will hold another service on Sunday morning. They said they’re also praying for the many parishioners who flew back home to Ukraine to help with the fight.