Sunday afternoon marked the seventh week local people came together to pray for peace in Ukraine.

“I’m going to be here until the war is won,” said Carley Touchstone, with Assemblies of God World Missions and the Project Champion for Ukraine. “I’m here for the long run. I’m not here to say let’s pray and then forget it. It’s easy to move to forgetfulness when the war is going on.”

People in Springfield said their efforts are just as important now as ever, as the war is reaching a turning point.

“In many parts of the country, the Russians seem to be in retreat,” said David Nelson, who does ministry work in Ukraine. “Which is a miracle because of their massive capabilities they have compared to the Ukrainian army.”

Area church leaders said they have been discussing the possibility of welcoming refugees from the war to Springfield.

“A couple of weeks ago we started talking about what if there were some refugees to come to Springfield,” Touchstone said. “How would we react to that? What would be our answer? I’m pleased to say that we are moving forward with a strategic initiative for Slavic refugee initiative. That Slavic is for Russians and Ukrainians, or any persons who speak those languages.”

Things are still in the initial stages, but leaders said they want people to start thinking about how they can help.

“You can get involved, once the decision has been made, by hosting a family in your home for a week, for a month,” said Touchstone. “We need buy-in now. Buy-in from the Ukrainian community, buy-in from the greater Springfield community, we need buy-in from our local government.”

Organizers invite people with any questions to reach out to the Facebook page named “Prayer in the Square, Springfield, MO.”