Prayer for Ukraine Planned in Arlington Saturday

Organizers say they will call of God to pray for people they love

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A public prayer for Ukraine is planned for Saturday in Arlington.

One of the organizers has a unique connection to the country.

Andrew Kelly and his wife Jenny spent about 20 years in Ukraine. They returned to Texas in June.

A Ukrainian flag hangs outside their home in Abilene.

“That's going to remain up until Russia leaves Ukraine,” Andrew Kelly said.

The couple did missionary work in the Chernobyl zone north of Kyiv.

They say they were drawn to the area because of the immense need that is there and the amount of poverty.

They opened an orphanage called Jeremiah's Hope and helped feed dozens of families each week.

Their shelter welcomed refugees from eastern Ukraine when Russia invaded the country in 2014.

“I want to make it really clear to people. Russia is not about to invade Ukraine, they invaded Ukraine eight years ago and they haven't left. What we're talking about is more Russians invading,” Andrew Kelly said.

He says the facility is between two roads the Russians might use if they try to take Kyiv from the north.

Meanwhile, in Kyiv on Thursday, Irving attorney Tom Sanchez said life feels normal -- sort of.

“When I say normal, they know there's a problem out there but nobody’s stopping to worry about it and sit at home and drive themselves crazy. They go to work,” Sanchez told NBC 5.

Sanchez arrived in Ukraine's capital in January for a Russian language course. He said he may stay longer than planned, despite President Biden telling Americans to leave.

“It’s just the correct thing to do,” Sanchez said.

North of the city, there’s a greater sense of urgency.

Andrew Kelly's ministry team is stockpiling barrels of diesel fuel for a giant generator, and he said there’s enough food to feed the 12 kids in the shelter for about two months.

“We're pretty concerned at this point,” Kelly said.

Kelly is helping host a prayer for Ukraine on Saturday at 2 p.m. at North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington.

It will also be live-streamed.

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