The story you are about to read was told to me years ago by a missionary who had worked in Brazil.  I am sure my memory of it has reworked some of the details but the power of the message prevails.

Once upon a time there was a young boy who lived along the Amazon River. His family lived in a small hut. They made their living by harvesting sugar cane. Because the afternoon sun was scorching hot, the fieldwork was done in the morning. This left the afternoon, when the grown-ups were resting, for the boy to play.

He didn’t have any toys so he learned to be creative with his carving knife and pieces of wood he would find in the jungle. His masterpiece was a boat that he had been working on for a long time. He carefully planned the shape of the boat so it would both look great and work well. He carved every detail skipping nothing until finally he was satisfied that it was done.

With the strongest cord he could find he took his boat to the river. It was even more fun than he imagined as it sailed through the currents of the river and responded to his guidance. After several hours he secured it tightly to a strong tree and walked home.

That night he was awakened by a frightening storm. The wind and the lightening made him scared that maybe his boat would be torn loose and lost. When light dawned he raced to the river. His heart sank when his worst fears were realized. The cord was hanging from the tree but the boat was gone. After searching everywhere he went home with a broken heart.

A couple of weeks later his mother asked him to go into the village to the general store and buy a few things. As he reached the store his heart leaped into his throat. There for sale in the window was his boat.

Talking so fast he was barely understood he told his story to the owner of the store who was unconvinced. No, the man insisted, a fisherman sold me this boat last week.Now the young boy knew his only hope was to buy it back.

He made arrangements with his father to work in the afternoons as well as the mornings. It was hot and hard but maybe…

Finally he had the money at which the boat was priced. As he ran to the store he was filled with fear that someone else might have already bought it. But when he got to the store the boat was still there.  He laid his money on the counter and the owner of the store counted it carefully. Then he picked up the boat and handed it to the boy.

Hugging it to his chest with both arms the boy was heard to say to the boat, “Now you are twice mine, I MADE you and I BOUGHT YOU BACK.”

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