MILWAUKEE — As dozens of Ukrainians attended St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Milwaukee to celebrate the Easter holiday, their hearts were heavy.
"Previous Easters it was all happiness, all great and joy, and it's all like a big celebration," said church member, Andriy Ovod
But this year's Easter celebration is much different than the years before as members remember and think of their loved ones overseas in Ukraine.
"It was a bit emotional today for me and I know for a lot of other people who are praying and thinking about family who are in danger right now," said the parish council vice president for St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church,Joseph Spolowicz.
Andriy Ovod, a junior in high school, says some of his family including his 70-year-old grandparents are currently living in Ukraine - doing all they can to stay alive as the war persists.
"It's always a thought that I wake up with in the morning and the thought I go to bed with is how they are doing," said Ovod.
Which is why he says he's leaning on the message of Easter now more than ever.
"Jesus defeated death and we are defeating evil over there. The main idea right now is to keep the faith because that's the strongest weapon we have," said Ovod.
And that faith is what's keeping these church members' hopes alive during such a dark time.
"We just have to believe in our faith that Ukraine will prevail, will survive, and will get through this. We need to work on making sure that Ukraine survives," said Spolowicz.
If you'd like to donate to the church as they continue their efforts to provide humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Ukraine, click here.