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Local Ukrainian pastors share their thoughts on their home country following the Russian invasion

Many people are desperately looking to escape the country and seek safety. Here in Northern California, local pastors are ready to help.

ORANGEVALE, Calif. — Fear and terror continue to ripple through Ukraine Saturday as the Russian invasion of the country continues.

Many people are desperately looking to escape the country and seek safety. Thousands of miles away, the Spring of life church in Orangevale is preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

Senior Pastor Vadim Dashkevych says they're preparing to take in several Ukrainian immigrants in the next few weeks. He says they're just looking to escape war and live a normal life. 

"We care about Ukraine and the people living in Ukraine," said Dashkevych. "Because of an open door of this country for the immigrants and the people that need help, that's why it's a big dream for everybody else to get to America." 

Sergiy Pochapskiy is a pastor at Spring of Life. He was in Ukraine just two weeks ago. Pochapskiy says he knew a Russian invasion was likely coming but never expected tensions to escalate this far.

"Many people are fleeing Ukraine," Pochapskiy told ABC10 through a translator. "They're saving their families and their children. more than 70 countries condemn this situation, and then United States also."

He has three brothers who are also pastors and nine nephews living in Ukraine. He's been in contact with them every hour and says some of them are fleeing to Poland while others are going to the countryside of Ukraine seeking refuge. 

"I'm worried," Pochapskiy said. "We are grateful to Poland and Romania that they are accepting our people."

Fedor Gerasimov has five biological kids and over 30 foster kids in Ukraine. He says he can only sleep for a couple of hours each night and can't stop worrying about their safety. Gerasimov also spoke to ABC10 through his translator.

"Kids are scared and it's really hard to kids when it's gonna end and what to do because we as adults don't know what to do," Gerasimov said. 

He says most of the stores and pharmacies are closed and says it's hard to access necessities.

"We would really appreciate it if the American government and the American people can gather and do their best to make it happen and stop the war and help Ukrainian people in their hard times right now," Gerasimov said.

Sunday at 5 p.m., multiple Ukrainian churches in Sacramento will be at the west steps of the Capitol for an event called united in prayer for peace in Ukraine. All are welcome to attend.

Watch: Former Russian top diplomat believes Russia will not stop with Ukraine

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