Teaching Forgiveness After Burglary

By Ashley Doerzbacher

Published 07/13 2014 07:20PM

Updated 07/13 2014 07:25PM

PORT MATILDA, CENTRE COUNTY - The sign outside the United Methodist Church in Port Matilda reads 'forgive one another as Christ forgives you.' But this was more than just this Sunday's sermon; it's also a message from the pastor here at the church to the whole town after what happened here this week.
Port Matilda United Methodist Church Pastor Lysa Gibbs said the message of forgiveness is one she wants to spread.
Over the weekend, a 40 year old woman, a 19 year old man and 15 year old boy were arrested for breaking into the United Methodist Church and the Baptist Church on Main Street, along with a number of houses.
"I heard something at three o'clock in the morning but when we got up, nobody was around, but the neighbor’s motion light was on," said Lori Newton, a burglary victim.
Newton was on of the residents on Main Street who the three targeted. She said they broke the lock on her shed and stole gasoline.
"It’s just like what do you do? I grew up in this town. It's a nice quiet town and then you get kids like this."
Pastor Lysa said the thieves took money that the bible school kids were raising for mission work.
They were able to get some of it back, and other people donated to cover the loss.
Over the week at vacation bible school, Pastor Lysa taught about forgiveness and said sometimes it takes something like this to happen for the message to hit home.
"Forgiveness is definitely a very big, big lesson, not only for the kids, but for the entire area to have forgiveness.
"It’s a stress but it's not going to destroy the community. It will only make us stronger."
Pastor Lysa said it could have been a lot worse. Their sound equipment wasn’t even touched. She’s grateful for all the support.

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