“See a need, meet a need” is not only common saying around G.O.D. Int’l, it is a practice. Whether it’s picking up trash in the yard, signing up to volunteer in the community kitchen, or assisting a neighbor, the common and expected response is that once you see a particular need, you do all you can to meet it. This is the biblical paradigm that is exemplified in Jesus and also the one that is demonstrated in the lives of many of G.O.D. participants including Taylor Maute, a young husband and father of two.
Maute grew up on a farm and from the time he was very young, he worked with his father on repairing farm equipment, including tractors. Later, Maute gained experience in mechanical and high voltage electronics through an apprenticeship with a seasoned crane mechanic. During that time, Maute did everything from preventive maintenance, to emergency on-site repairs, to installation of new cranes. However, when Maute and his wife decided to follow the leading of God to prepare for and serve the people of India, he enrolled at the Institute of Global Outreach Developments Int’l to pursue biblical and missiological studies.
Putting down his toolbox and laying aside his mechanic’s coveralls, Maute devoted himself to studying and also to developing a working knowledge of aquaponics. Aquaponics is an alternative food production method that addresses the problem of limited land in India by incorporating the raising of fish with growing of plants. It is a sustainable food production system that combines conventional raising of aquatic animals (like fish, an important source of protein for malnourished bodies) with cultivating plants in water in a symbiotic environment.
“This (aquaponics) can help people who have limited space as a result of losing much of their ancestral lands under the guise of urban development. Today, so many of India’s poor suffer from malnutrition because they cannot afford market prices or they only buy inexpensive ‘filler foods’ and lack a healthy diverse diet of fruits, vegetables and protein.” Although Maute remains interested and researched in this need, there was another need, immediate and pressing, that came to his attention and altered his focus.
“We really need a mechanic—someone skilled and fair,” said Gregg Garner, “who can help some of our single girls with car repairs, give advice to our families, and train up some of our younger men.” Maute realized that his background and training equipped him for such a task but he wondered if he had sufficient capability or even the desire to serve in this way. He received his answer after he and his wife sought the Lord in prayer. Once the decision was made, he devised a business plan, secured funding, and launched the “The Car Guy,” a mobile mechanic service.
Maute did not just open up his garage door and tinker with friend’s cars; he invested time and money in developing his skills and building up his new business. “I started with a small tool set and some money my parents gave me so I could buy a service vehicle. The day I brought it home, the transmission quit working and I had to invest nearly $3,000 to repair it,” said Maute. For the next six months, Maute had to leave every job he went on in order to go buy another tool necessary for that particular job. Little by little, Maute was building up his inventory and gaining experience in business development, customer relations, and mechanical skills.
Today, Maute’s business enables him to provide for his family’s living expenses and help those around him. In the low-income neighborhood that Maute lives, he offers free diagnostic services to all of his neighbors. As of this time, Maute has done over 100 diagnostic check-ups—all at no cost. As his wife will testify, Maute is always on duty when it comes to helping someone who is stranded because of mechanical problems. However, sometimes what appears to be just a call to fix a vehicle turns out to be much more.
When Maute responded to a call to check out a disabled vehicle, he found a woman whose car problems paled in comparison to the life she was experiencing. Living alone, penniless, suffering from severe physical pain, and occupying a house with no running water, Maute came face to face with real need and, even though he was “only the mechanic,” he determined to do what he could to meet her need. Maute didn’t have money to give her, or the ability to ease her physical pain, but he gave what he could—he gave her his time. From that first encounter until this day, the woman calls Maute to “discuss her car issues” for 30 to 45 minutes each week. “She just needs someone to talk to,” says Maute. Maute not only offers her a listening ear but also encourages her with the word of God. Recently, someone asked Maute, “Why do you spend time talking with her, she can’t even pay you when you fix her car?” The mechanic did not hesitate to answer: “I guess I wouldn’t if I didn’t have an ethic that values human beings over money.”
Maute thanks God for the education he has received at G.O.D. Int'l--an education that compels him to seek the Lord, develop his biblical knowledge, and engage in the practical work associated with serving others. Recently, Maute has been able to employ another young man, teaching him mechanical skills. Auto mechanics is a need, no matter where you are in the world, but even more, it provides the kind of know-how that allows one to problem solve and comprehend the mechanical workings of various systems. Maute is confident that his interest in aquaponics will only benefit from the mechanical, critical thinking, and relational skills he is gaining as “The Car Guy.”