News Column

Modern-day Noah Displays his Ark in Yuma

Jan. 18, 2013

Mara Knaub, The Sun, Yuma, Ariz.

Noah's Ark made a pit stop in Yuma on Thursday. However, this one is a quarter of the original size, according to modern-day ark builder David Smith.

"I'm old, but not as old as Noah," joked the 84-year-old visitor from Vancouver, Canada.

On his way to Mexico, where he will display the replica ark, Smith stopped at Sam's Club on Thursday to give Yumans a chance to view his handiwork.

Smith said his version is accurate to scale. While the Biblical ark was 75 feet wide, 450 feet long and 45 feet high with three floors, Smith's is 8 feet wide by 11 feet long and 6 feet tall.

Noah built his out of gopher wood; Smith used Canadian red cedar and rubber ply.

The only inaccuracy is the door, which he built oversize so kids could go in and "mingle" with Noah, his wife and the animals, albeit in plastic form.

Smith and a couple of friends took a month to build it. The goal was to display it at the Pacific National Exhibition in Canada, which he did the past two years.

Why an ark? "It's a good illustration of God's salvation. People had an opportunity to go through the door, and only eight people did. They all had a chance. God doesn't have conscripts. We have a choice."

He also knew that it would start conversations. "The idea was to have a scriptural conversation piece, something to talk about."

And he wanted to stress that the Bible story of the flood is not mythology, as some people might suggest. "We think it's true," he said.

Dan Harvey, who helped share Smith's message, noted that the replica ark brings the story to life.

"Kids hear the Bible story. This is a visual, what it would have been like."

Smith is now headed to Mexico, where he will display his ark from Hermosillo to Puerta Vallarta and in between.

Source: (c)2013 The Sun (Yuma, Ariz.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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