Ark of Noah: Netherlands to Brazil
Johan Huibers has Recreated a Life-Like Noah's Ark
By Sierra Sumner
In 2008, Johan Huibers began to rebuild a replica of Noah's Ark. It took him until 2013 to finish this gargantuan project that currently sits in the Netherlands, but not for long as it will cruise around the world.
The Great Flood
The ark is a reconstruction of the biblical story of "Noah's Ark," which is a story about Noah and the great flood. In the tale, Noah is instructed by God to build an ark before He floods the Earth to cleanse it of sin. Noah finishes the ark and, per instructions, takes two of each animal onto the ship to repopulate the Earth.
To match this story, elements of the story are integrated into this modern ark. There are plastic animals paired two-by-two to signify the animals Noah saved from the great flood and there was biblical story re-enactments.
The Nuts and Bolts
It's 95 feet wide, 410 feet long, 75 feet tall (about the height of a five-story building), has 5 decks, and weighs 2,500 tons. The Ark can fit over 5,000 people at once.
In metric terms, that's 29 meters wide, 125 meters long, and 23 meters tall.
"Features will include many types of published and digital media; highly engaging and innovative content; groundbreaking experiences; real and virtual interactive technologies and music concerts that will thrill, educate and minister to tens of thousands of people around the world," said the Ark of Noah Foundation.
"The Ark of Noah will not only be a one of a kind experience but will also offer opportunities to the local communities through various outreach programs," said the Ark of Noah Foundation.
The Ark aims to spread its religious beliefs with a Juedo-Christian bible based experience for all ages. "The Ark of Noah brings the experience of hope through the teachings of Jesus Christ to visitors worldwide," said the Foundation. The voyage aims for an "interactive and amazing life experience," where the biblical history and teachings of time until Noah will be experienced.
"Visitors to the Ark experience a real life journey back in the time of Noah, and learn about God and the historical events of the Great Flood, Creation, and the Judgement in the Old Testament," said the Foundation.
Their site also states that "special interest groups" will be invited at no cost to them through donations. These special interest groups include orphans and underprivileged families who can sail on the Ark for free.
From the Netherlands to Brazil
The Foundation is still raising donations for its journey and it has a primitive plan so far. The hopes for the ark is to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil.
It will dock at many ports through North, Central, and South America. While there is still no official list of stops yet, the Ark of Noah Foundation plans to visit: Montevideo and Buenos Aires, Havana, Panama, Columbia and then the United States: San Diego, Long Beach, San Francisco and Seattle.
The voyage across the Atlantic will be live-streamed, so even if you are not aboard the ship you can still have a firsthand account of its journey.
A Change of Plans
This Noah's Ark replica originally planned to sail to Brazil for the Rio 2016 Olympics, but, due to safety concerns, the route of the ark has been placed on hold.
“Due to the current state of affairs and the challenges facing Brazil (i.e. the Olympics), political, economical and personal safety and Zika virus uncertainty, key supporters of the Ark have expressed grave concern about sailing to Rio at this moment in time," said the Ark of Noah Foundation.
"We believe it’s in the best interest of the Ark project and its entire team to postpone its voyage to Brazil. The Ministries and people we’ve met in Brazil have been very gracious and welcoming to us, and for those reasons this was a very difficult decision,” says Herald Jansen, the Director of the Ark of Noah Foundation.
“We fully expect our future plans will include bringing Noah’s Ark to the people of Brazil at a future time.”
“Yes, and in the meantime there are other countries who have sent us warm and enthusiastic invitations from other countries that we are now exploring discussions for alternative locations, such as Europe and the United States”, agreed David Rivera, the President of the Ark of Noah Foundation.
Johan Huibers grew up in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland. When he was 24 years old, he "encountered God, who planted a desire in his heart to help others."
At 33 years old, he dreamt that a "fierce storm-tide flooded the entire province of Noord-Holland in the Netherlands."
To find out more about the Ark of Noah, go to their website here
Sierra Sumner is a writer from Massachusetts, Hawaii and California. She loves the outdoors, such as hiking and kayaking, and has traveled all across the US. She hopes to continue her explorations and to encourage others to expand their horizons.