Ukraine's president says Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won't give up its freedom.

Russia is shelling and conducting airstrikes on cities and bases, and Ukraine's government says Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border in what it called a full-scale war.

Ukrainians are gathering in train stations and clogging highways as Russian forces advance from the east, north and south.

Laura Kalmar, director of marketing and communications for Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC Canada) says they have a team on the ground in Ukraine.

"A few weeks ago, we did evacuate some of our team in Ukraine, those who were outside their home context, people originally from Canada and the United States. Now that it's full-blown conflict, a full-blown war, we're ready with partners on the ground to be responding to people who have been displaced," Kalmar explains

With the situation growing worse as time goes on, people in Ukraine are feeling fragile and very vulnerable. At the same time, Kalmar says people there are very resilient and are clinging to hope and asking for prayer.

"I think the prayer is a prayer for resilience, prayer for hope, a prayer for God to meet people's needs, to give them their daily bread. Quite frankly that may look like bread, like daily supplies, like a clean towel, like soap, like toothpaste."

"Pray for peace. Pray for the God of reconciliation to bring his spirit of peace to soften the hearts of leaders, to find ways to bring about peace between the countries, so that the people, like the citizens of Ukraine, who are the ones that suffer the most, who suffer the effects, the material effects of conflict, having to leave their homes, having to flee, but also suffer that trauma and we know that affects families, that affects people's ability to cope and to live their daily lives. Pray for those people that their spirits would continue to be strong through this and that they would find hope in the midst of a very terrible situation."

At this point, Larua says they are evaluating and assessing with their partners on the ground, trying to determine what capacity is, trying to figure out what people's next steps are in terms of their personal safety and their family safety. 

"Some people will be relocating, some people will be evacuating," said Kalmar. "We have heard from partners that many, many are committed to staying. They want to help, they want to feed people, they want to shelter people who are fleeing and becoming internally displaced."

Besides prayer, Laura says there are several other ways to help those living in Ukraine, including financial help and relief kits. 

"Make a comforter and send it to somebody who is going to use it to wrap a child or use it as a window covering or warmth on their floor. It's just a beautiful way to get involved. Really practical hands-on help as people have emergency needs"

Today on Connections, Laura shares what MCC is currently doing for those in Ukraine. She'll also share how we can pray for those affected.