TYLER, Texas (KETK) — “God, we thank you so much that we never have to spend another night in a bomb shelter. God, thank you so much that we never have to hear an air raid siren again,” said Ukrainian Field Coordinator for Serving Orphans Worldwide, Coleman Bailey.

This is the prayer a refugee child gave after they were rescued from the war-torn country of Ukraine. Bailey has been in Ukraine since a couple of days after the Russian invasion and helping refugees escape from hostile conditions.

“You just saw people just immediately leaving destruction during the first days of the war. They were just breaking down and just seeing firsthand the actual physical destruction on the land. It’s a pretty horrific scene,” said Bailey.

Serving Orphans Worldwide works with 64 orphanages around the world. Five of them are located in Ukraine. The one located in Mariupol unfortunately had been blown up.

“We’ve already moved thousands of people outside of the country and we are hoping to bring a few more to the U.S,” said Bailey.

With the help of Rose Heights Church making new homes for refugees in East Texas, the church gave them a warm welcome into the congregation Sunday morning while presenting them with Tyler’s famous roses. Development Director for the organization shared a special message as young Ukrainian men fled the country with families.

“One of the folks on the team was a 17-year-old boy named Daniel. The border agent actually ended up being from Tyler, Texas. She looked over the paperwork at the border in California and said, ‘Wow! You’re going to Tyler, Texas. That’s my hometown! Welcome to America!’”, shared Reece Anderson. He was granted the approval of a two-year visa.

Serving Orphans Worldwide expects to transport another 73 refugees to resettle in Tyler once they obtain visas.  

If you are interested in aiding Ukrainian refugees, go here: https://soworldwide.org/