Ukrainian couple who escaped to North Texas recalls Russian invasion 1 year later

A prayer service was held Saturday night in North Texas to mark one year since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

"My mother-in-law said that she saw multiple times, when the rocket flew above her head," said Iryna Shevchuk.

READ MORE: One year later, North Texas volunteers continue helping war-stricken Ukrainians

Iryna Shevchuk says her in-laws, 83-year-old Bohdan Shevchuk and 76-year-old Maria, left the only home they knew in Ukraine's western city of Lviv.

The refugees say they went months without consistent power due to Russian bombings.

"The noise was just so strange, and so strong, and then she heard the explosion — and in that moment you feel so helpless," said Iryna Shevchuck.

Reunion Tower lights up to show support for Ukraine 1 year later

They fled this winter to stay with their son and his family who lives in North Texas. They wonder if they'll ever safely return to Ukraine.

"It’s home. Yeah, it’s home for them," Shevchuck said.

A prayer service was held at St. Sophia Ukrainian Catholic Church in The Colony Saturday to recognize the one-year-mark of Russia's invasion.

"Despite all the crimes, violence, bloodshed, there is so much hope."

Down the street church members hope to remind North Texans the war is active and the pain some of their loved ones experience is real.


"It’s been a whirlwind of activities and emotions," said Chrystya Geremesz of the Ukrainian American Society of Texas. "But with God’s help, we were able to withstand 365 days."

A year full of unsettling emotions.

"Next minute, you are not certain of your future. You live in fear," said Shevchuck.

She says her in-laws are grateful for the support of the United States. They are happy to safely be here with family.

"But her thoughts are there, she’s constantly thinking how is everything there."