NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Cleanup began at vandalized church Wednesday while churchmembers prayed for the 9 and 10-year-old children charged with thecrime.
Adult hands are washing away the work of 9 and 10-year-olds,putting faith in a higher power to find a way to forgive.
Norfolk police say the children who vandalized Christ FirstCommunity Fellowship from end-to-end live in the neighborhood.They're all charged with felony vandalism and burglary. Pastor JoeSpear said the children have walked the halls of the churchbefore.
"To know there's five of them involved," said Spear. "It's stilljust surprising..."
Spear said that the suspects attended vacation bible school andother events, but were not regular attendees.
An eight man Servicemaster of Southside team is painstakinglymaking progress with the clean-up. They've turned the kitchen --once cluttered with food and sprayed with ketchup -- into a placeto cook once again.
The sanctuary, where police say the children sprayed fireextinguishers on everything, will take the most time.
"All of the books, the hymnals, what have you. It really is ahuge undertaking in a sense of the vacuuming," said project managerChris Osborne.
What insurance does not cover will have to come from thechurch's tiny congregation. Spear will put his faith to work, forhis church and for the children.
"I just hope one day that they understand truly what's happenedwhat they did; it was personal property. I hope they never do itagain and learn from this," he said.
Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney spokesperson Amanda Howie saidthe children will appear before a judge; however, it's too soon tosay what punishment they will face. Currently, they are all in thecustody of their parents due to their age.
The church held a bible study and prayer service Wednesday at6:30 p.m.
If you would like to provide donations or help the church out inany way, you may contact them or visit them at 133 Woodview Ave.,Norfolk.
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