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Building a tribute to Dad blesses others

Building a tribute to Dad blesses others

Building a tribute to Dad blesses others

29 November 2021

Captain Nathan Hodges, Corps Officer at Victor Harbor, with his custom-made life-size nativity scene characters that will fill the corps worship centre stage this Christmas.

By Nathan Hodges

I was about five when I got to work on my first ‘building project’ with Dad. We needed shelving in the garage at the quarters. My mum and dad (Majors David and Coral Hodges) were officers.

It was an opportunity for Dad to teach me different wood working skills and how to use different tools; how to use a hand saw and cut the timber posts to length, and drilling holes for the bolts. I remember trying to drill holes in a concrete slab for the dyna bolts to hold the post stirrups in place. I am sure that my memories have me involved in the project a lot more than I actually was but these memories are the start of some great skills that my dad taught me that have significantly shaped my life and ministry.

Captain Nathan Hodges with his dad's hammer ... still using the woodwork and handyman skills his father taught him when he was a child to bless his congregation.

Such a precious memory. I still have Dad’s hammer – the one I used on that job 30 years ago. It is one of my most treasured possessions.

Dad passed away about eight years ago. Before he was commissioned as an officer, he was a school woodwork teacher. He was a practical man who loved to work with his hands and it was this love that he passed on to me as I helped with jobs such as the shelving.

I loved doing things like that with Dad.

Over the years, Dad became the ‘go to’ guy for my brother and me to trouble shoot a problem or give instruction on how to carry out a certain task. His instructions in many phone calls and Facetime chats were invaluable. He may not have been on the tools but he was always able to talk us through what we needed.

I followed my dad’s footsteps into officership and use the skills he passed on to build items for the various appointments – building slingshots for kids' camps, crosses for Easter, mangers for Christmas and stage designs to support preaching series themes. I led a construction stream at an Equip Camp and taught young people to build things – including billy karts - to assist in worship.

In my appointment at Victor Harbor, the corps relocated to a significantly larger property last year which means this year we need more Christmas decorations. We decided to fill the stage with a life-size nativity scene made from plywood. This has been a joy for me to make as it has used skills Dad taught me while also being something practical to bless the church and draw people into the Christmas spirit.

There were many things my dad taught me but I truly cherish the practical hands-on skills he developed in me that I can use to bless others.

Captain Nathan Hodges is the corps officer at Victor Harbor Corps in the SA/NT Division.

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