Church Focus: Teens use Thursdays to serve others

HOOVER &045;&045; Riverchase Church of Christ wants its teens to know what it means to serve others as Christ served the world.

Youth minister Johnny Hobbie said the church sent 60 teenagers and adults to Childhaven, an orphanage in Cullman originally created in 1910. Hobbie said the trip was part of a continuous endeavor to teach teens about the world around them.

&8220;It&8217;s an effort to expose our teens to opportunities to serve,&8221; Hobbie said. &8220;We believe it helps teens be aware of the needs around them everyday.&8221;

While at Childhaven, the group painted rooms in the main building, landscaped around cottages and sorted items in and cleaned the gym.

The ongoing summer project brings teens together to do community service almost every Thursday. Cara Speegle, an upcoming freshman at Pelham High School, said the activities have often changed her perspective on situations.

&8220;We went to Rainbow Omega [a home for mentally challenged adults] earlier in the year. It was cool to visit with them. At first you are scared, but it makes you want to do it more because they&8217;re smiling, and you are having a good time.&8221;

Speegle said she and other teens involved don&8217;t mind giving a little time out of their summers to help others. &8220;We&8217;re serving other people and doing hard work, but we can make it fun,&8221; Speegle said.

Riverchase&8217;s youth ministry has also been to Lynn Park in downtown Birmingham to serve hot dogs and chips to homeless residents and took a trip to Wisconsin to help a church with its Vacation Bible School.