The 6th-graders and I have got the grace definition pretty well nailed down by this time of the year. Grace consists of things that God gives us that we don’t deserve – gifts.

Gifts are everywhere but we take most of them for granted. Paul the apostle instructed believers to be thankful in everything. I think if we really took this to heart, we would be a more joyful bunch of folks.

So, here’s my most recent gracious find. I’ve mentioned the guy before and I’m gonna talk about him again. The man is Tio the mechanic from Singapore. Some of you reading this already know about him. You could say that his fame precedes him.

God has, in His grace, allowed Tio to become stuck in Cambodia so that he could be a blessing to all who come his way. My car died last night and it looked like a scary electrical problem. Even in the states, that could become a quagmire of trips to the mechanic and profuse bleeding of the pocketbook – not to mention serious downtime.

I started to become anxious last night as I lay my precious head down to try to sleep. After quite a bit of worrying, I decided to take the advice that I give often to the class: be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and requests, let your needs be known to God. And so I went to sleep, without giving it another thought.

At around 10 am the next morning, while my wife was getting showered, I picked up the phone and called Tio. He answered immediately and after I explained the situation he asked if someone could get me over to his shop so he could follow us back to my car. I felt that this would be an intrusion on my friends, so I said no. He said it was no problem and he would meet me somewhere around my neighborhood that we were both familiar with. Fifteen minutes later, he pulled up on his moto in front of the old Logos school. I hopped on and we zipped over to my apartment.

Tio parked in front of my languishing vehicle and reached for the metal box of mechanic stuff he had tucked under his legs for the ride. Out came a battery and a voltmeter. He made a quick analysis and said the alternator was bad and would need to be replaced. He installed his battery and told me to follow him back to the shop. My wife and I were on the road in less than five minutes with the windows rolled down. Tio said to avoid using anything electrical. No honking (would I make it?).

After arriving at the shop, an employee called a tuk-tuk for us and we went off on errands. Within about two hours I received a call that the vehicle had been repaired. As I write, the Camry is parked safely below our window at home with a replacement alternator that includes a 3-month warranty. Total cost – $38.

Where can you get this kind of service? I asked Tio why he was here in Cambodia. He said he had no place left to go. He came here as part of a business venture with another Singaporean. That venture turned to disaster when the other guy fell deeply into debt. Tio salvaged what he could and took out loans to resuscitate the business; he also fired all of the employees. He then went for several more years and went bankrupt again. He is currently in the middle of round three.

May God bless his heart. Tio’s presence here is an example of God’s grace to me.