On a beautiful July day we stopped in Irapa, Venezuela to visit with a friend I had made the previous year. Fidel the boat builder is a fourth generation boat builder and is a remarkable man. The boat you see pictured here is nearing the end of its production which, from start to finish, takes about three weeks. Fidel builds these 36 foot vessels from materials gathered from local forests and shaped into useful form on sight at his boat building hut. This is made all the more incredible by the simple fact that almost all of the work is done with simple hand tools; an axe, a hand saw, a hand planer, hammer, and generations of know how combined to efficiently build these works of beauty.
Fidel supplies the local fishing fleet with the boats they need to keep the fish coming in and there always seems to be a fisherman showing off his latest and greatest catch to Fidel. On the nearby beach a line of boats stand ready to go. All are brightly painted and proudly cared for. I was invited by one of the pescadores (fishermen) to go out with him. Alas, my schedule would not allow such an outing this time. Perhaps another day.
Each time I have been near Irapa, I have insisted upon stopping by to speak to Fidel. It is my hope and prayer that he will one day come to know the Savior. I have spoken with Fidel about Jesus and have left copies of the New Testament for him and for his employees. I keep praying that the simple seeds of the gospel planted in his life will grow and produce a harvest of righteousness for God's kingdom. Would you take a moment today and pray for Fidel? And if you happen to be near Irapa, be sure to stop by and visit. You'll be glad you did.