Chattanoogans march in support of Ukraine

Ukrainian Gospel Church sending prayers, supplies back home

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Members of the Ukrainian Gospel Church turned the Walnut Street bridge into a sea of blue and yellow Tuesday night.

Youth Leader Assistant Maksim Mikhaylishin said their message not anger and violence, but rather, peace, love, and most of all — prayer.

“We have a lot of family, a lot of relatives that are suffering,” Mikhaylishin said. “A lot of which had to leave their homes behind. They’re not really sure where they’re going to get their next meal. So what we wanted to do, we just wanted to share with the local community that we’re here, we want to pray for the people there. We just want to show support. We know our God is powerful to save and to deliver and to heal to both the land of Ukraine and Russia.”

Some in attendance even had loved ones currently overseas in the midst of the violence.

Angela Livarchuk, a member of the congregation, said there are still some on her dad’s side of the family caught in the turmoil.

“Some of the family is currently sheltering out, kind of staying home in the stay-at-home order,” Livarchuk said. “I know we recently talked with one of my cousins. She’s actually in one of the bomb shelters right now.”

In addition to sending prayers, the congregation will also send supplies to their families and friends in Ukraine.

The church is accepting donations of everything from clothing, sleeping bags, dry food, and more to ship overseas to those in need.

“We’re going to have a shipping container,” Mikhaylishin said. “We’re going to ship it off to some of our local brothers there in Poland who are able to carry it across the border and distribute it through local churches, which are pretty much becoming refugee centers for a lot of these people who are running away.”

Chattanooga’s Ukrainian Gospel Church is refusing to give in to fear and anger.

While they believe the war is “uncalled for,” they’re staying true to one of the church’s strongest teachings — love thy neighbor.

“We are here to pray for both the Ukrainians and the Russians,” Mikhaylishin said. “We have family across both countries and we know there’s power in prayer. We’ve seen miracles already and much of our family has messaged us and told us of the miracles that they’re literally experiencing every single day.”

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