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BELMONT They are calling it a Christmas miracle at a church in Belmont.

Last Sunday night someone stole the church van from the parking lot of the Upper Room Pentecostal Church on Armstrong Ford Road.

Church pastor Mike Brewer thought the church would never see the van again.

Most of the time that is usually what happens, he said.

The church then went one step further and posted the following on the sign out front: To whoever stole our church van, we forgive you.

Pastor Brewer said, In the community we live in, I know a lot of people have hard times and we understand that and we want to show the spirit of forgiveness and compassion in the world that we live in.

Brewer says no one will ever know if the thief saw the message of forgiveness, but just a day or so later, the van turned up in the driveway of another church in Gastonia.

Pastor Wavey Williams of Bethlehem Chapel said the van was found parked in a driveway of the church off Fairview Road.

Williams said the power of forgiveness can go a long way.

That is what we are all about. God has called on us to be forgiving people and to more or less turn a cheek on those who hurt us, he said.

A few seats were ripped out of the bus, but overall it is in good condition, and for many at the church, the fact that it was found and returned is a Christmas miracle.

Without a doubt, said Brewer. We still believe in miracles here at the Upper Room.

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