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Calls for Prayer Grow as Thousands Flee Ukraine Following Russian Invasion

Image Credit: Liberty University/Blue and yellow shines bright from Freedom Tower as students lift up Ukraine in prayer.
Image Credit: Liberty University/Blue and yellow shines bright from Freedom Tower as students lift up Ukraine in prayer.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled their homes for Poland, Moldova, and other neighboring nations amid the fighting against Russia's invading forces. 

The conflict has driven more than 120,000 people out of the country and the number is still rising.

"Almost 116,000 have crossed international borders as of right now. This may go up, it's changing every minute," said Shabia Mantoo, the spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "It's very fluid and changing by the hour."

The U.N. expects the number of Ukrainian refugees to keep climbing, possibly up to 4 million, if the Russian military continues to advance. 

Ukraine's health minister, Viktor Liashko, reported that 198 people, including three children, have been killed along with over 1,000 others injured since Russia's invasion started Thursday.

As Russian forces make their way towards Ukraine's capital of Kyiv, officials are urging locals to take shelter.

Many Kyiv residents sought refuge in basements, underground parking garages and subway stations.

"We're all scared and worried. We don't know what to do then, what's going to happen in a few days," said local Lucy Vashaka.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy turned down an American offer to evacuate, reportedly declaring, "the fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride" saying that he will stay. 

"We aren't going to lay down weapons. We will protect the country," Zelenskyy said. "Our weapon is our truth, and our truth is that it's our land, our country, our children. And we will defend all of that." 

As the crisis deepens, there have been a growing number of calls for prayer for Ukraine and its people - including on social media.

And thousands of Liberty University students in Lynchburg, VA gathered Friday evening for a campus-wide prayer event for the country of Ukraine.

"In the midst of a dangerous world, we are reminded that we serve a God who can overcome anything," said campus pastor Jonathan Falwell. "And so today, we want to pray for God to intervene and for God to bring peace in that region, peace in that area of the world which again really touches all of us, as represented by the fact that one of our own is sitting here watching her own family in harm's way."

Please continue to pray for all those involved in this tragic situation and for God's will to be done.

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