DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) –While fighting continues six months after Russia invaded Ukraine, a Dauphin County church is holding their second prayer vigil for Ukraine.

First United Methodist Church Hershey held a vigil back in March shortly after the war in Ukraine first began. The church wanted to do it again, and this time, they invited the founders of a nonprofit working on the ground to share their story.

Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here

On Sunday, parishioners gathered for an afternoon of prayer and song.

“It’d been six months, the war’s still going on,” pastor Jennifer Parks-Snyder said.

It is the church’s second vigil this year. They also invited the founders of Raising Hope Ukraine, nonprofit helping refugees and those still in the country.

“They are in the midst of it,” Parks-Snyder said.

Founders Archana and Ruslan Tkachuk live in southwest Ukraine with their kids.

Get severe weather alerts with newsletters and push alerts from the abc27 Weather Team!

“We never thought that we would have war to begin with,” Ruslan said.

Like so many others, the morning of February 24 changed their lives.

“As we look up above, there were five rockets that flew over our home,” Archana remembered. “All of us were in shock, but then by the second day, we knew we needed to kind of wake up and get moving.”

The couple was ready to help, a result of the work they have been doing with their nonprofit for years.

“We have always been helping people,” Ruslan said.

Just before the pandemic, they had built a crisis center to help people access food and clothing. They never imagined it would house refugees.

“When the war broke out, we had space there to put beds up, we had the kitchen,” Ruslan said.

It started with just their nonprofit, but neighbors started pitching in.

“Locals bringing in pillows, blankets, mattresses,” Ruslan said.

Speaking at Sunday’s vigil, the couple also thanked people in the U.S. for their support.

Get the latest Pennsylvania politics and election news with abc27 newsletter

“It’s a huge blessing to know that so many people are praying,” Archana said.

The two have been in the U.S. since July, traveling to different states, and both said they have seen many signs of solidarity.

“People everywhere having T-shirts with the Ukraine flag or colors, and it is very encouraging to us because in the beginning, we felt we were alone in this fight,” Ruslan said.

The church community responded to their stories with a prayer for the family. Members also wrote dozens of prayers for peace and the people of Ukraine on blue and yellow peace doves, placing them on a large cross.

“You can want and will something better to happen to somebody else,” Parks-Snyder said.

Archana and Ruslan leave Monday to return to Ukraine. Their next steps are helping refugees prepare for the winter and getting supplies to Ukrainian soldiers, including two of their sons fighting on the front lines.