Vigils for Ukraine held at churches in Portage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Churches in Portage held coordinated vigils for Ukraine Monday night.

Weeks of anxiety and an overwhelming sense of helplessness weigh on the congregation at City Point Church. The images of families fleeing war torn Ukraine are indelible.

"We connect that we're parents too and we think 'that's a mom with her baby trying to save that child's life and leaving with nothing but the clothes on their backs,'" said Pastor Mike Hendon.

Most people in this parish don't have a personal connection to Ukraine, but they don't need to.

"I think that's what comes up out of our hearts is this compassion," Hendon said. "We connect on that level."

One Ukrainian refugee turned American citizen shared the plight of his home country's war; the real damage to a population that has endured so much.

"After 31 years of independence, Ukraine is a young nation. A nation that was full of life, full of opportunities," Dima Sergianko said. "Opportunities that are now put on hold until a later date."

Just back from two weeks in Poland and Ukraine, Pastor John Lowe helped deliver thousands of dollars collected by his congregation at New Life Christian Church.

"I know a lot of people love a lot of people that are there," he said. "Their lives are devastated. Anything they've ever had no longer exists."

The special service is the work of a conglomeration of five pastors and churches and the mayor of Portage intended, mostly, for prayers of healing and comfort.
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