Imagine following in Paul’s footsteps, sailing on a mediterranean adventure, evangelising and planting churches in each port of call-but without the riots, floggings and shipwrecks! This dream of Marine Reach-YWAM’s maritime ministry-is now becoming reality. The 42-metre ketch, t/s Elida IV, is being purchased from a Swedish foundation by Marine Reach and YWAM England, and will be recommissioned as the s/y Next Wave.
A downpayment of ¬£100,000 has already been raised in England towards the total cost of ¬£1 million. The vessel is currently berthed in Goteborg, Sweden, where outfitting is underway to upgrade her for registration as a UK Sail Training Vessel and for operation as a YWAM ministry.
Scheduled to begin service next March, the 52-bed two-master will sail initially to the British Isles in late February for her commissioning tour. The Next Wave will participate in official commemorations of the abolition of the slave trade in England 200 years ago, in former slaving ports such as Hull, Bristol, Liverpool and London.
Students of the Bluewater DTS will embark in London on March 20, and will be part of the abolition com-memoration activities over the ensuing weeks.
At the end of the summer, the ketch will sail for France, Spain and eventually her regular theatre of operation, the Mediterranean. More ports of call are scheduled for Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Albania, Crete, Turkey and North Africa. The Next Wave will host further Bluewater DTS’s and other training and evangelism activities, as well as reconciliation initiatives and mercy ministry opportunities.
Captain Brian Sloan, director of Marine Reach Europe, has appealed for volunteers to help with the upgrade of the vessel. “It is essential that we complete these upgrades over this winter while the vessel is in Sweden and the old crew are around to help,” he explained.
Volunteers could stay for the cost of food, about €4 per day, and should contact the Elida foundation office firstname.lastname@example.org for further details, advised Captain Sloan.
“We are also looking for qualified yacht crew to help sail the vessel and staff the training programmes,” he added, “as well as staff to set up a support office and coordinate ministry opportunities. That includes administrative staff, bookkeepers, publicity personnel, recruiters, trainers, mercy ministry staff and evangelists.”
Earlier Bluewater DTS’s have been run by YWAM on rented vessels, including the Elida. The purchase of this vessel will make this type of training a permanent addition to the variety of University of the Nations courses offered globally.
On a recent speaking tour in England, Loren Cunningham called for the ‘next wave’ of missionary pioneers to follow the example of the fathers and mothers of the modern missionary movement who left the shores of Britain beginning two hundred years ago: the William Careys, David Livingstones, Hudson Taylors and Amy Carmichaels. He called for the ‘Sauls’ of Britain to become the ‘Pauls’ of this generation, a new multi-ethnic ‘wave’ of messengers, an ‘Elisha’ generation, who would outstrip the exploits of earlier generations in reaching difficult regions.
Marine Reach was established within YWAM to promote boat ministries globally using vessels under 300 tonnes, providing flexibility and accessibility to smaller ports, rivers, lakes and islands. Other projects focus on the Amazon, Lake Tanganyika and the Pacific, where the 283-tonne m/v Pacific Link has been operating DTS’s as well as an on-board hospital already for many years.
Wouldn’t Paul have loved such a vessel?!
Till next week,
p.s. A short video on the vision of “Next Wave” can be down-loaded
from from www.marinereach.info.
Till next week,