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Claremore First United Methodist Church hosts Ukrainian families to sing

Ukrainian Families Claremore Church.jpg
Posted at 4:50 PM, Aug 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 07:57:57-04

CLAREMORE, Okla — The congregation at Vessel Church in Claremore received a special surprise Sunday morning from across the globe.

Two Ukrainian refugee families are now living in Green Country thanks to the U-4-U program and First United Methodist Church in Claremore.

Related Story: Two Ukrainian families helped by Claremore church

Sunday's service started like every Sunday does, full of prayers and singing, but today's went a little differently.

With the church building full of people, the Kasiiev's and the Matiash's got on stage and sang two traditional Ukrainian church songs and then a song in English so everyone could sing along.

Watching the families sing, you could see the emotions on their faces with that emotion spilling into the crowd.

Some members were even brought to tears from the beautiful display.

Senior Associate Pastor Jamie Willis said hearing such beautiful songs and knowing the pain behind them is something he'll never forget and is thankful to be able to see.

“It was very emotional. You know, I don’t know what the songs were that they were singing but to know what they’ve been through, we try to imagine what that’s like, feeling from a war-torn country but we can’t even imagine. And for them to get up and share a piece of their culture for us was just really moving and emotional for us. It was really good to have them here this morning”, Jamie Willis.

Pastor Willis said accepting these families into their church family continues to teach lessons each day.

Those lessons include love, acceptance, and the teachings of God.

He said he is so thankful to FUMC for raising the funds to be able to accommodate these families and show them love, even during the hardest times in their lives.

Both families told 2 News it was wonderful to see members of the congregation singing along.

They said they're so grateful to everyone that has helped them and accepted them as family.

Pastor Willis said having these families here shows the true meaning of loving your neighbor, even if that neighbor is across the world.

He said he's thankful for their willingness to share their story and he said he hopes it inspires others to be kinder, gentler, and more understanding with others.

Pastor Willis said showing love to them after all the terror and anguish they've been through is the least they can do.

“We try to show the kids as much love as we can so we know for them, they have been pulled out of everything that’s familiar to them. So we just want to be able to offer that to them so they can feel normal while they’re here”, Pastor Willis said.

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