Several years ago, Dutch millionaire Johan Huibers set out on a massive adventure. He shoveled millions of dollars into a project of Biblical proportions – literally. Hubers wanted to recreate “God’s ship,” so he set out to do so, dropping $1.6 million to replicate Noah’s ark. Since that day, the ark has been an attraction as people travel from all over the world to see what Hubers has created.
But now he is asking for the public’s help. He may have built a replica of “God’s ship,” but he’s not done with it yet. Now he needs to get it to the Holy Land in Israel. He needs to sail it there as there is no other way to transport the ship effectively. But to make that pilgrimage, he needs donations from the public to the tune of $1,300,000.
The announcement that Hubers plans to sail the 2,500-ton vessel to Israel has come as quite a shock. The boat includes replicas of the animals themselves in wood. The boat currently resides in Dordrecht, which is south of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. But Huibers does not believe the replica of the Biblical ship should stay where it is. He wants to take it to “God’s land” as he said in an interview with JTA this month.
To get his replica of Noah’s ark to the Middle East, Huibers needs donations from the Good Samaritans of the world. He told JTA that “My preferred destination for the ark is Israel.”
Huibers, 60, doesn’t care if his idea “sounds crazy,” he wants the ark to be where he believes God intended it to be.
“It may sound crazy, but I believe everything written in this book, cover to cover,” he told JTA. During the interview, he had his Hebrew Bible, which was translated into Dutch.
Huibers’s ark is 410-feet long, 95-feet wide, and 75-feet tall. It is a massive vessel that mirrors the size of Noah’s ark as described in Genesis 6:15.
“This is a copy of God’s ship. It only makes sense to take it to God’s land.”
Although Huibers planned to sail his ark to Israel soon after it was created, he had to put his plans on pause. Israel was swept with destructive wildfires as the time and was unable to accept his replica of “God’s ship.”
Now he has spent the $1.3 million fortune he had saved for the ship’s passage to Israel. Because he ran out of money, he needs the Good Samaritans of the world to fund his dream of relocating “God’s ship” located in the Netherlands to “God’s land” in the Middle East. The reason it will cost so much money is that Huibers needs to rent tugboats to sail the ship. It has no motor and therefore no way of navigating the waters itself.
“I love the land. I love the country. I love the people,” Huibers said of Israel. “They don’t obey. They do what they want. They drive like mad, shove while waiting in line, and don’t listen to anyone. Just like me.”