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The Car Repair Shop That's Changing Lives: Higher Power Garage

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2023 3:00 am

The Car Repair Shop That's Changing Lives: Higher Power Garage

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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February 15, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Mike Gideon was just a gear head who loved working on cars and restoring classics (something he thought he could retire on). But, God had other plans...

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Learn more about their clean standards and shop clean at Sephora Beauty at sephora.com. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. You're about to hear from Mike Gideon. Mike was just a gear head who loved working on cars and restoring classics, something he thought he'd retire on, but God had other plans. Here's Mike with the story of how Higher Power Garage, his non-profit car repair shop, came to be. Been a mechanic most of my life. Started when I was a child.

A young man, I always had an interest in cars. Went to work in service stations fresh out of high school. Did that for a few years and then I left and went to a corporate job running a chain of quick lubes and in that chain of quick lubes I was also responsible for helping to develop new business. So I did a lot of that working with people to design buildings and inventory and train their staff and I did that for about five years.

Did car washes for a while. It was unfortunately about a 70-80 hour week most weeks and after about five years of that I decided it was time to do my own thing. I'd always had a desire to own a repair shop so in 1995 I started Gideon's Tired Auto. We started off small.

I started by myself as the only technician. Hired a friend of mine a year later but was doing really well in business and had gotten quite large. Had six bays, six technicians working full-time and then late 2000s or mid-2000s the economy kind of changed and our business plan had to change with it. We ended up going down to two technicians and did that for several years and just kind of hung on but it kind of changed my perspective in that it wasn't about bigger is better it's about building relationships. Over the years that that paid off as we just stayed steady.

Business came back and about seven years ago we had some major changes in our lives. The church that we had been attending for 23 years we really just felt God was leading us to leave there. So we we left and to be honest the next four years were really really hard kind of in the desert so to speak. It really didn't feel like God was very close. We were really struggling and where we were at. We knew God had us where he wanted us to be because every time we tried to leave something would happen that we would just end up staying there and and this went on for a while and I was really really questioning God.

Why did you call me to leave there and you know I just feel so far away. So through that time though I was really seeking God as the direction because I didn't feel like had purpose. I was out one day and I was just went on a hike and some place where I grew up there's some trails. I was out there just kind of one Sunday afternoon kind of walking around and come across the quote and the quote was we shouldn't fear failure but we should fear succeeding at something that didn't matter. I really I really felt like that was God telling me that my focus was off that I needed to be more focused on making a difference than I did on being successful. You know I believe God wants us to have nice things and live good lives but I think he also wants us to be generous and care for our brothers and sisters. So in that time frame we got connected with an organization here in town water gardens started a project called Neighbor Connect. We got to working with them and one of the things that we we found is as they referred people to our shop that were in need I got to visiting with them and I found out that a lot of times what they were dealing with yeah sometimes it was addiction or it was choices poor choices things like that but there was so many times it was things beyond their control. Being in an accident and being injured to the point they can't work any longer or a spouse that's sick or a child that's sick they have to leave their job to care for and and there were just so many different situations and as we started really getting to know people there was one couple in particular a younger couple and we got to know them and we worked on their their vehicle and helped them she was trying to get a job and needed a car and her brakes were on her car and her brakes were out and so we fixed the brakes on her car and but in the in visiting with them I asked them if they went to church anywhere and they didn't so I invited them to church.

Well they started coming to our church and over the next few months we just got to see God just make big changes in their lives and it really really had an impact on me. We started really looking how we can make a bigger difference you know in our shop we're busy and we were trying to do this as a sideline through our business and it was really becoming a challenge and I really felt like God was really calling me to do a non-profit. We do a class at our church it's about finding our God-given purpose in life and it's called Kazom it's based on a book by Craig Groeschel and we were doing that class and one of the questions that's asked is if God would bless you in anything you would do what would you attempt and I answered that question was I would do a non-profit to help people. About two weeks after answering that question God really just started dealing with me. One weekend in particular I just felt so burdened to do this so I came in that Monday morning and I was talking to my service writer and some ladies that worked for me and we were having coffee that morning and I just told them I said yeah I really feel like that I have a building that's empty and I think God's calling me to start a non-profit repair shop. One of the ladies that worked for me she just kind of spoke up and said you know what if you do this I really want to be a part of it and so we started talking about what it would look like and how it would work and you know I started talking to anybody that would listen. I got some really sideways looks you're going to do a free repair shop and well who doesn't want free repair you know and we just kind of just kept going. And you've been listening to Mike Gideon share his story and my goodness we've all been there in that wilderness wondering what purpose God has for us and then he gets that question in the Bible study if you're going to and then he gets that question in the Bible study if God would bless you in anything you do what would be your attempt he was looking for his purpose and so often well that's what so many of us are doing in our lives looking for purpose and meaning and very often God having a central role in that play. When we come back more of Mike Gideon's story Higher Power Garage's story here on Our American Stories. Lee Habib here the host of Our American Stories every day on this show we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country stories from our big cities and small towns but we truly can't do the show without you our stories are free to listen to but they're not free to make if you love what you hear go to our americanstories.com and click the donate button give a little give a lot go to our americanstories.com and give there's a recipe for getting your car running just right and whatever you're cooking up in the garage you'll find what you need at ebaymotors.com they have over 122 million car parts and accessories in stock all at the right prices and that can help you turn your ride into something really tasty the parts you need are just a click away at ebaymotors.com let's ride this february xfinity flex is unlocking premium entertainment for you to try every single week no strings attached celebrate during black history month with shows like unsung the decades snuggle up during valentine's day with a lifetime movie club pick like harry and megan a royal romance or crank up the action with godfather of harlem from mgm plus get down and funky with the classic soul playlist from iheartradio easily discover new free content each week across the best streaming app say free this week into your xfinity voice remote now i'd like to introduce you to meaningful beauty the famed skincare brand created by iconic supermodel sydney crawford it's her secret to absolutely gorgeous skin meaningful beauty makes powerful and effective skincare simple and it's loved by millions of women it's formulated for all ages and all skin tones and types and it's designed to work as a complete skincare system leaving your skin feeling soft smooth and nourished i recommend starting with cindy's full regimen which contains all five of her best-selling products including the amazing youth activating melon serum this next generation serum has the power of melon leaf stem cell technology its melon leaf stem cells encapsulated for freshness and released onto the skin to support a visible reduction in the appearance of wrinkles with thousands of glowing five star reviews why not give it a try subscribe today and you can get the amazing meaningful beauty system for just 49.95 that includes our introductory five-piece system free gifts free shipping and a 60-day money-back guarantee all that available at meaningfulbeauty.com and we return to our american stories and to mike gideon sharing his story of how his non-profit car repair shop came to be as we heard from mike when we left off there were some skeptics about how he might make it happen let's pick back up with the rest of the story a few years ago i had met a gentleman from conroe texas that runs a non-profit there called god's garage i had kind of kept in touch with him over the years so when we decided to do this i wanted to go down and just kind of see how their operation worked and so i went to texas and spent a couple days with them and they were just excellent in helping us what worked what didn't work what we need how we need to do it some really great insight but while we were down there the shutdown for covid hit so we decided to cut our trip short and come on back home so we got back and was like you know it's i don't know do we continue this you know this doesn't look good they're talking about businesses closing and not being able to go out and yeah i really don't know if we can do this or not and my spirit just kept telling me that we just needed to keep pushing forward so in march of 2020 we were in the process of trying to start a non-profit right in the middle of a government shutdown and they told us on our 501c3 status that we could be as much as two years getting that status and actually we got that in mid-july we would call for the city to get our city license and they said well you've got to have an inspection but we're not doing in person inspections and a couple days later got from the city showed up to do an inspection on our building and it was just things like that time after time you know our county government was telling us to get our license they were shut down most of the time they didn't have any online facilities to be able to get our license online but we got a hold of somebody and it went through so it was just things like that that just kind of told us that we were on the right track and i'm still amazed because we actually opened on june 1st 2020 as higher power garage i have a real hard time talking about this without getting emotional because one of the things that i've heard is you want to know what god's called you to do find what breaks your heart let me tell you about sam sam is a great example of what we do sam is a veteran and sam struggled with addiction and homelessness for a lot of years a few years ago he was able to get with the ba and get housing and he started to get some benefits and he started saving his money and after a couple years of saving his money sam was able to buy a car and the next day after he bought the car the brakes started grinding and sam was referred to higher power garage he came in and i mean his anxiety level was a 10 he was so worried about what was going to happen next that he had wasted his money he had enough money to pay sales tax and buy tags he didn't have enough money for any repairs and so we were able to fix his car put brakes on it for him that wasn't a big deal but in the process of the interview we found out that the reason why sam wanted a car he wanted to go back to work that he didn't want to be in the situation he was in and he was willing to get back out into the workforce and do that so we have a partnership with aarp which will work with seniors to train them job skills and so we were able to point sam into the that resource and sam got a job to train with a local organization here after a month he was hired on full-time with that organization so we were able to help him not only with his car need but we were also able to help him with his physical need his financial needs but in the process of that too we found out that sam was really wanting to find a church and he didn't really know where to go and so we invited him to church and he started coming on a regular basis and he started attending some of the classes that we had their discipleship and purpose and you know he really started to engage and after a couple months we had a baptism sam got baptized and to me that's it that's the reason we're here if we only do that for sam everything we've done here has been success but the thing is god has used us over and over and over again to do that and to see lives changed and people's lives impacted and you know we've had people come in that don't really believe in god too much but after experiencing the love of christ changes their mind we have built some wonderful relationships we've had people come back to the shop to volunteer and we just keep every day we come in we get to do this this is this is not work this is an opportunity we're not just fixing cars in fact if you'll notice in our logo there's a line through the word garage and the reason it's there is because it's not about the garage that's what we do but our purpose is far more than that we're here to help people to fix their lives to improve their lives so one of the things we really felt strongly about is education almost none of our clients we were seeing were uh budgeting so we started the budgeting class just to teach them the the basics to do that most of the cars that we were working on were neglected we found that some of our families were second third generation single-parent families fathers have been out of the home kids weren't taught to check the oil or rotate the tires or when to check the oil or when to change the oil or what the car was going to do when to check the oil when to change the oil or what the lights on the dash mean you know a car is the second biggest investment we make in our lives next to our house so it's important that they know how to maintain that so we have a model maintenance class where we teach them the basics of why and how to maintain their vehicle we want to be a hand up not a hand out so we empower our clients to uh pay for the parts and we supply the labor at no charge we sell the parts basically at what they would pay if they went into O'Reilly's and bought them we're really not making any money there we just want our clients to feel like they have an investment that's some skin in the game then we have a low-cost vehicle program we work with that we're primarily single parents families to help them with transportation we have cars donated to our shop and then we go through them do the maintenance and do the repairs that are necessary on them and then we sell them to our clients for 500 that way they have an investment in the car and so we're really happy to be able to do that and uh over the last two and a half years we've been able to provide about 36 cars to families that didn't have transportation you know we've been blessed at the end of this year we showed where we had done 715 repairs in the two and a half years that's just for two people we thought that was a pretty amazing number and then we've provided over a hundred thousand dollars worth of free labor that's 715 times we sat down with the person one-on-one and we were able to talk to them and find out their story and and we were able to listen to them and we were able to just point them toward resources to help them further improve their lives but the most important thing we got to do is we got to talk to them about their walk with God their relationship with God and we got to pray with them you know we've uh we feel like that's the whole reason why we're here if we really want to share God's love you can't do it any better than just sitting down with somebody and and listening to them and then not just giving advice or telling them you know well if you hadn't done this or if you do this but you know just tell them you know we'll help you we'll walk with you we'll do what we can do in most cases it's about hope you know we see that so many times as our clients will come in here and I hear over and over and over again that man it's just bad stuff just always happens to me it's just like I'm hitting one wall after another is my luck is so bad I just never get over this or get ahead and our purpose here our goal here is to break that to show them that there is hope and through the love of Christ and through the support of our community we're able to impact people's lives every day and that's exactly what we're praying to do is to break cycles and to encourage people to move forward and to be more and what a beautiful beautiful story a special thanks to katrina hein for sourcing the story thanks to madison derricott for the production and the sound design and a thanks to mike gideon for sharing the story and that story about what he did for sam oh my goodness he didn't just fix the car he was trying to fix a life and trying to love a stranger 715 repairs 36 cars donated and given away well 500 so there's some skin in the game and then all because god called on mike to do something different with his life and to serve him differently the story of higher power garage and how god calls on ordinary americans to do the most extraordinary and beautiful things this is our american stories welcome to biggie burger i'll take a cheeseburger two-door or four-door what sorry i'm shopping for a new car on the roto app did you know that roto finds discounts and rebates specific to each customer that's kind of cool right so you get the car you want at the price you want it's like getting your burger just how you like it get every rebate and discount available then save big on your next car with roto download the roto app or check out roto.com roto the easiest way to buy or sell a car right from your phone this february xfinity flex is unlocking premium entertainment for you to try every single week no strings attached celebrate during black history month with shows like unsung the decades snuggle up during valentine's day with a lifetime movie club pic like harry and megan a royal romance or crank up the action with godfather of harlem from mgm plus get down and funky with the classic soul playlist from i heart radio easily discover new free content each week across the best streaming app say free this week into your xfinity voice remote
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-19 14:35:06 / 2023-02-19 14:44:36 / 10

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