WICHITA, Kan. (CNN Newsource) – A Kansas man taught a boy a lesson of redemption and forgiveness when he reached out to him instead of calling the police when the boy broke into his car.
A 12-year-old boy and his friend were caught on camera breaking into Aj Bohannon’s car, stealing valuables and cash. Instead of calling the cops, Bohannon chose to go speak with the boy.
“I aint trying to get you locked up. I aint trying to get you in no trouble,” Bohannon said. “I’m just trying to get you on a straight, narrow path, because breaking into peoples’ car at three in the morning, that’s not the move.”
Bohannon says he believed the boy’s life was worth far more than anything that was stolen.
“It’s things that just have small monetary value,” Bohannon said. “Every day I possess those items the value diminishes. Every day he’s on this earth, his value increases, so that’s what I’m more worried about.”
The grace-filled perspective shifted and stirred in the boy’s heart, Bohannon says.
“He actually kind of broke down, and it was that point that I knew he understood what was going on,” Bohannon said.
Having been in the boy’s shoes when he was younger, Bohannon has made it his life mission to never give up on children.
“He robbed the right person because with him doing what he did to me, it gave me an opportunity to really reach out to him and pour back into his life,” Bohannon said. “Unfortunate situation we had to meet on those terms, but I think it was a blessing in disguise that we did cross paths because now I’ll be forever attached to that kid.”
The two have a new bond forming on the football field.
“I got him to agree to come to the football team,” Bohannon said. “I talked to his parents. I talked to his mom. I let her know ‘hey this is what I do, I work with kids all day every day, all year round and so by getting him to come out to the football team, it’ll give me the opportunity to pour into him daily.'”
The boy will be joining Coach Bohannon’s team on Monday.