By B.C. Manion
In a local version of the cable television show “Overhaulin’,” a group of men from Grow Life Church are overhauling a military serviceman’s 1998 Honda Prelude.
The car repair work is being done for Master Sgt. Matt Feldhouse, now deployed to Kyrgyzstan.
Ironically, the Grow Life Warriors men’s group approached Feldhouse’s wife, Brooke, with their idea the same week she applied online to “Overhaulin’” seeking to have her husband’s car overhauled on the program.
Matt purchased the car several months ago, and it broke down when he was driving home from MacDill Air Force Base, Brooke said.
“It just shut off. He drifted into a little pizza sub place,” she said, and gave her a call.
When the men from Grow Life told Brooke they wanted to do a makeover on Matt’s car, she was so touched that she cried, she said.
Tim Harvey, a member of Warriors, said he’d heard about Matt’s car and was talking about it with David Bailey, another member of the group.
After praying about it, Harvey said, “I felt pressed to rally people and businesses and our church to overhaul the whole car.”
Sam Hassan, another member of the group, said they have been asking businesses and the community to help with the project by supplying parts needed for the job.
Harvey estimated the total cost of the project – not including group members’ volunteer labor – at around $8,000.
Some group members were recently at Matt’s house, in Land O’ Lakes, working on the car. Most of the work will be done at a location where the car can be put on a lift, said Noah Schultz, a relatively new member of the church, who just happens to be an ASC certified master technician.
Group members said they wanted to help Matt, who also belongs to Warriors, because he’s been in projects to help others.
“Matt is a servant,” Harvey said.
The car repair project will be a big job.
“We’re going to completely overhaul it,” Harvey said. “We’re going to take care of the engine. Our intentions are to have the motor running like a top.
“The car is very hard to drive. It has no power steering,” he added. “We’re going to put the power steering back in.
“We’re going to restore the outside. It’s going to have all of the bodywork done. It’s going to have a whole new paint job. It’s going to be black with some red accents.
“It’s going to get new tires. It’s going to get new rotors. It’s going to get a new header,” Harvey said.
The previous owner had the car so low that the bottom scraped whenever the car went over a speed bump, Harvey noted. “We’re going to raise the car back up to where it is supposed to be. That entails getting new springs and new struts.”
They’re also going to replace the interior.
“It’s got two different kinds of seats in it. We want matching seats,” Harvey said.
Bailey made it a point to note that Matt didn’t ask for help.
“Matt is a very private kind of guy,” Bailey said.
Bailey said he wanted to get involved because he wants to repay Matt, in some small way, for his commitment to the military.
“I have a great appreciation for people who serve,” Bailey said.
“He’s my brother. He might not be my last name, but he’s my brother.”
“The whole idea behind what we do is relationships and being there for each other,” agreed Tony Scotto, another member of Warriors.
Matt has been in the Air Force for 21 years, with 18 overseas deployments, including stints in Iraq, Brooke said.
She and Matt live in Land O’ Lakes with their 15-year-old son Seth. They’ve been attending Grow Life Church, which meets at Veterans Elementary in Wesley Chapel, for about a year and a half, Brooke said.
She can’t wait to see her husband’s reaction when he gets home in October.
“He’ll be just thrilled. Thrilled and grateful,” she said. He’ll be even more pleased that his friends – rather than a cable television show – stepped up to take on the project.
“Those guys are wonderful,” Brooke said.
For his part, Harvey is delighted to be part of the effort.
“This is Kingdom stuff. I get great joy out of being a part of this type of stuff,” Harvey said.
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