A life-sized replica of Noah's Ark is set to be opened to the public in July at the Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky, but a different one will soon be crossing the seas from the Netherlands to Brazil.
"Transportation of the Ark of Noah from The Netherlands to Brazil will be an incredible undertaking made possible by donations," says the Noah's Ark Foundation, the organization that is raising funds to make the voyage possible. "The voyage will be streamed live on the internet. People will see the barge on which the Ark of Noah will be mounted for the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean."
The replica of the famous Biblical vessel will remain in Brazil from two to four years, and will dock in different ports, including Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Belem, Recife, Salvador, Vitoria, Santos-Guaruja, Florianopolis and Porto Alegre. The decision to bring the ark there first came when Dutch carpenter, building constructor and ark builder Johan Huibers learned about the underprivileged communities in the South American country. Afters prayer and support from the local church, he felt led to bring the vessel there.
"It was decided ... this was a message from God to bring the Ark to Brazil, where these communities, as well as many others, may receive the experience of hope. ... and what better time than during the Olympics so visitors from around the world can witness this amazing vessel!" a post on the Ark of Noah website says. "Johan decided the Ark doesn't just belong in the Netherlands and Brazil, but he should bring the experience of hope through South America, Central America and North America."
After Brazil, they are hoping to take the ark to different harbors, including Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Havana, Panama, Columbia, San Diego, Long Beach, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The 450-foot-long full-sized model, with a coastal trading vessels license, is the second ark built by Huibers. It is open to the public in Dordrecht, and has reportedly already received hundreds of thousands of visitors. Previously, he made a half-sized version, which was towed by a tugboat down the Netherland canals. He first came upon the idea to construct the ark, nicknamed Johan's Ark, when he dreamed of his home province of Noord-Holland being flooded.
The ark will provide different experiences to its visitors, one of which an interactive one that would present creation until the great flood, and also the teachings of Jesus. Through the coordination with local communities, churches, social welfare groups, and other organizations, they can arrange for orphans and underpriveleged families to gain free access to the ark.