(This is part of an ongoing series chronicling memories of my life growing up as a missionary kid in Vanuatu. For links to previous posts you can go here)Dad has always been one of those people who could pull apart just about anything and then put it back together again. He would tell us crazy stories about the cars he had as a teenager and how he kept them going longer than possible.
This came in handy at Talua. The generator provided our electricity, the truck took us to town, the lawn mower helped keep the grass under control. Being a country without a lot of experience with mechanical things, most people weren’t sure what to do when things went wrong. And most things that came to Vanuatu they were second hand donations, and as such not in the greatest condition.
Dad could often be found with his head stuck under something mechanical, trying to coax it to work again. And mostly he did. Dad soon became known as the go-to guy whenever anything broke.
Every now and then a student would appear at our front door with a tape player or sewing machine and a smile; “Pastor?”
Dad was always happy to help – but soon worked out that if someone who had no idea what they were doing had had a go first, things were normally beyond repair. He developed a rule; “Has anyone else tried to fix it?” he would ask. If the answer was “yes,” then Dad would not touch it. The students soon learnt not to fiddle with things – but take it straight to Dad to be fixed up.