EVANSVILLE, Indiana (WFIE) – The First Adventist Church in Evansville gathered Wednesday night to pray for the people of Ukraine, who are currently experiencing war with Russia.
As the group of worshipers gathered and sang, their pastor, Kamil Metz, said they would also work to raise funds to support the refugee efforts.
“Sympathy is no substitute for action,” he said.
For Metz, the issue is also a bit personal. His grandfather was born in Ukraine.
“[My father] was sent to a [Russian] a labor camp, a death camp that is sometimes referred to,” he said. “He survived, came back. Before returning home, he was captured by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp. On the way to the concentration camp, he escaped from the train.
Metz said he still has family in Ukraine, although fortunately they are on the western side of the country, which does not face as much violence.
A friend of his spoke to the group about his current situation, saying a lot of people just don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Members of the congregation said they simply could not understand what was happening, but felt deeply for the people of Ukraine.
“I don’t remember a time in my life when a bomb went off or a missile flew over my head,” said a parishioner.
Metz said no matter where you come from, understanding their pain is universal.
“You would never imagine that in 2022 something like this could happen,” he said. “It’s a sad situation, and that’s why I think we have to, in a way, show them our support.”
Each member of the congregation was invited to share their own personal prayer to conclude the service.
The church also raises funds to send to other Adventist churches in Ukraine that are used as emergency centers for refugees.
These funds are accepted on their website adventistgiving.org.
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