Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The One-Armed Backyard Mechanic

One of our friends from Guam, Dianne Shelton, from Trinidad, but who lives in Guam, came to Schooley’s Mountain for a visit. After staying with us a few days, we drove her three hours west to stay a few weeks with her brother, Adrian, and his wife, Joann, who live close to Lancaster, PA.

After delivering her, intending to only stay a couple of hours, Anne and I got back in the car and started driving away. Five miles down the road, we could hear something was terribly wrong with the car we were driving, that Toyota RAV4 you’ve seen in previous pictures. To make a long story short, it turned out to be a broken water pump.

But the Lord brought together all the elements of a rather entertaining drama that was to last for the next eight hours. We were in the middle of Amish country surrounded by buggies and plenty of farms, it was late Saturday afternoon, but the Lord provided us with an open auto parts store, a one armed backyard mechanic named Horace, a rainless, cool summer night in Horace’s backyard to get the car worked on, plenty of wood blocks to jack the car up, and another helper named Billy.

Thanks to Adrian, who provided transportation carting me all around the country-side looking for parts, and a place to stay in his house for the night since we weren’t going to be going anywhere for a while. Adrian and I used our four arms to hold the flashlights while Horace and Billy provided the brains and the muscles in their collective three arms to do the work, dismantling half the engine just to get to the water pump, unbolting the engine from the car’s frame so they could alternately raise and lower it to get at the bolts in the tight places holding the broken water pump.

As they confronted the monster-stuck, hard-to-get-at bolts, Adrian and I prayed. Actually, we fasted and prayed (we didn’t have dinner). We prayed for each bolt to come loose, and rejoiced when each one finally did. It was all extremely interesting as I watched Horace and Billy creatively confront jam after jam with backyard ingenuity, at one point even using a 6-foot long 2 X 4, a 4 foot length of metal chain, and a magnet.

When they finally got at the broken water pump, it was time for Adrian and me to pray for Horace and Billy to find the right place for each unloosed bolt, because there were an awful lot of them lying on the ground. The engine would alternately be raised and lowered again and again as each bolt was prayed into place. At midnight, the work was finally done, we could all go to sleep, and give thanks to the Lord for letting it all happen so close to friends like Adrian, Joann, Horace and Billy.

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