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Bakersfield community holds vigil for Ukraine

"Let us stand for them."
Posted at 10:52 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 12:33:12-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It’s been 13 days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began two million refugees have fled the country.

As Russian forces continue attacks on more Ukrainian towns, the death toll rises.

In an effort pray for Ukraine and remember those who have lost their lives from the violence a prayer held Tuesday night by Kern County community members.

The purpose of the vigil at Liberty Bell was to come together and pray and share words of encouragement for the people of Ukraine.

“They worry what is going to happen next.”

Galyna Koch is a Bakersfield resident from Ukraine and is more than 6,000 miles away from some of her family and friends who still live in the country.

“Its winter in Ukraine now. It’s snowing, [it’s] really cold, so it’s a very difficult time.”

She calls every day to check-in, especially to her mom who can’t leave her home because of her health condition.

“She says even though I’m like lonely, I’m not alone because God is with me and God [is] protecting me. So, I am happy she has that spirit and God gives her that peace which comes over any understanding you know that’s what really helped her to stay strong.”

Pastor Angelo Frazier organized the candlelight vigil and said it’s important for the community to come together and pray for everyone affected.

“Hopefully this will reach all the way to Ukraine, so that those people hiding in bunkers who cannot come out to shelter [know] that we stand for them and say we believe [in] freedom and liberty. Let us stand for them and pray for them and encourage them.”

But Koch said Ukrainians need more help. “We need help from other countries with weapons, we need planes, we really need planes.”

Frazier said Canyon Hills Church in Bakersfield is doing what they can to help. “Canyon hills sent a team; I think they are in Poland. They sent to feed the refugees there, they are there now.”

Andrea Woroch Dewitt said the Ukrainian Culture Center in Los Angeles is putting together medical kits to send to Ukraine.

“Right now, it’s hard to get material goods, that’s the problem. It’s getting cargo space on airplanes. I know that a lot of people have been donating and they are good on clothes right now, I think they need money because it can be disbursed where it’s needed.”

Koch said she is thankful for everyone doing what they can to help.

“Pray for safety, for stopping war, and for protection of all innocent people there.”

Pastor Angelo Frazier is asking the community to get involved in connecting with local organizations who are hoping to help the people of Ukraine by sending donations like food and supplies.