Minister of Omaha forgives the thief and changes his life

Rarely does the victim of a serious crime reach out to the suspect in prison and ask, “How can we help you?” But that’s exactly the scenario that played out a few years ago in Omaha. A trailer belonging to Meadows Church was found burned down and all the expensive equipment inside had been pawned. Omaha police arrested the guy trying to pawn audio equipment and while he was in jail, Mike Smith had a visitor he didn’t recognize. Monte Gannon is the pastor of Meadows Church and he said he knew desperate people were doing desperate things, and he needed to visit the man who committed this crime. The Minister visited Smith on a video visit to prison and Smith broke down in tears, explaining a life of addiction and crime. “I said, ‘I just want to know how we can help,'” Gannon said. Smith said he started using drugs at age 12 and never committed a crime while sober. Now, well into his thirties, he had lost all hope. Smith had been back and forth between jail and prison. His long criminal record included a dozen passport photos. Monte advocated for Smith, contacted treatment centers and Smith’s attorney. “It was unreal to me after committing this heinous crime against him, his church, his family, his only purpose was to offer me help,” Smith said. Smith has been drug and alcohol free for a year and a half, attends weekly church services, leads a weekly recovery group meeting at Meadows Church, works with his brother, and repairs and builds fences. “He’s a completely different person,” said Gannon, who said Smith reconnected with his family, made new friends at church and was active in his recovery process. Gannon himself celebrates 14 years of sobriety, having been plagued by addiction in his teens and twenties. The two men marvel at the two items that survived the caravan fire: a Bible, burnt around the edges, and a white, charred and black prayer cross. “Like Mike, you would look at his life and say his life was a pile of garbage, it’s ashes. It’s nothing. It’s burnt. It’s done. But God cares restoration,” Gannon told Papillion. “I was a drain on the community and I have an obligation to the community,” Smith said. Smith recently started his own nonprofit agency to help others struggling after drug addiction and incarceration.He will hire people coming out of jail or jail and teach them basic home maintenance skills, especially building fences. check out www.newcreationsfencing.com

Rarely does the victim of a serious crime reach out to the suspect in prison and ask, “How can we help you?” But that’s exactly the scenario that played out a few years ago in Omaha.

A trailer belonging to Meadows Church was found burned down and all the expensive equipment inside had been pawned.

Omaha police arrested the guy trying to pawn audio equipment and while he was in jail, Mike Smith had a visitor he didn’t recognize. Monte Gannon is the pastor of Meadows Church and he said he knew desperate people were doing desperate things, and he needed to visit the man who committed this crime.

“I knew there was more than someone stealing a trailer,” Gannon said.

KETV

Pastor Monte Gannon visited a man in prison who stole everything belonging to his church and set it on fire.

The Minister visited Smith on a video visit to prison and Smith broke down in tears, explaining a life of addiction and crime.

“I said, ‘I just want to know how we can help,'” Gannon said.

Smith said he started using drugs at age 12 and never committed a crime while sober. Now, well into his thirties, he had lost all hope. Smith had been back and forth between jail and prison. His long criminal record included a dozen passport photos. Monte advocated for Smith, contacted treatment centers and Smith’s attorney.

“It was unreal to me after committing this heinous crime against him, his church, his family, his only purpose was to offer me help,” Smith said.

Smith has been drug and alcohol free for a year and a half, attends weekly church services, leads a weekly recovery group meeting at Meadows Church, works with his brother, and repairs and builds fences.

“He’s a completely different person,” said Gannon, who said Smith reconnected with his family, made new friends at church and was active in his recovery process. Gannon himself celebrates 14 years of sobriety, having been plagued by addiction in his teens and twenties.

The two men marvel at the two items that survived the caravan fire: a Bible, burnt around the edges, and a white, charred and black prayer cross.

the minister forgives

Mount Gannon

This charred prayer cross was discovered in the burnt out trailer after it was stolen and set on fire.

“Like Mike, you would look at his life and you would say his life was a pile of garbage, it’s ashes. It’s nothing. It’s burnt. It’s done. But God takes care of restoration,” Gannon said. .

He keeps the charred but preserved prayer cross in his prayer room at his church in Papillion.

“I was a drain on the community and I have an obligation to the community,” Smith said.

Smith recently started her own nonprofit agency to help others struggling after drug addiction and incarceration. He will hire people coming out of jail or jail and teach them basic home maintenance skills, especially building fences. Learn more at www.newcreationsfencing.com

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