By Jill Riepe
In Samban, men will spend months carving out a canoe. First, they must get the right kind of tree for the canoe and then they begin the hard work of carving the canoe so that it can travel through the water carrying them and their cargo. I was surprised to learn that at the end of this process they burn the canoe inside and out with fire. The fire causes the wood to create a tough skin which prevents the wood from going rotten from the constant exposure to water. If a canoe is not cooked in the fire, it will rot and fall apart quickly. A canoe made from good wood and cooked well will last for many years.
In the same way, when we are exposed to various trials we develop a stronger faith. Isaiah 48:10 says, “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” In Romans 5:3-5, we find that “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Jill is a Bible translator serving the Ap Ma language group.