Reaching out to your neighbours with the gospel - Noah's Ark Replica
Bryon Meyers, Arlington, Washington, USA
The ark is 11 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet high, (approximately 3050mm, 2440mm, and 1830mm) representing the front quarter of the ark, and is built on a 1 to 10 scale. When transported it is fully covered and is on its own trailer. It takes at least three people to set up the ark and the canopies that go over it. When set up, it has the three floors and the one door. The animals are placed in the ark after it is set up, although they are not to scale, and people are able to walk into the ark model to see the display.
One important thing is that the ark is very attractive. This draws people in from every age group. A 10 foot by 20 foot space (3050mm by 6100mm) is needed to set up the ark with a gospel table. As part of the stand/display that we set up with the model, we offer very colourful scripture verse texts, 8 inch by 10 inch (200mm by 250mm), 5 inch by 7 inch (125mm by 175mm) scripture verse texts, tracts, booklets, magnets, Bibles, bookmarks, etc., which are free. We get into many conversations and share the gospel with all age groups. We also have some good conversations with believers who are usually impressed that we are able to be involved in so many different ways with the gospel. If we are working with an assembly that is interested in building up their youth work, then we get a 10 foot by 30 foot space (3050mm by 9150mm) and have a craft table with crafts that fit in with the ark. At times we have someone making balloon animals which really draws in the younger ones.
We have used the ark at Country Fairs, Street Fairs, Exhibitions, Rodeos, Vacation Bible Schools, on Indian (First Nations) Reservations in Canada and the USA. We were in two parades in which we took first-place prize.
We try to ensure that most of these outreaches are in connection with a local assembly. Whilst this gives us somewhere to point interested people, this also gives the assembly a great opportunity to reach out to their community and also get involved in a gospel outreach. We generally have two people working the ark and gospel table, each taking a three-hour shift. Therefore, it is a good opportunity for younger believers to get started in serving the Lord in a public way.
My wife is very much involved with the work and we travel together. In the early spring, she starts to make a list of all the things we will need and then we get them ordered. We are very thankful that most of our supplies are available to us from the International Bible House of Delta, British Columbia, Canada. Once we have the ark set up, then she sets up the gospel table, puts all the animals and displays in the ark and does the crafts with the kids at the craft table.
We give out a lot of material at each setting and, over the period we have used it, we have many good conversations with both saved and unsaved. For the most part, only eternity will reveal the outcome of such efforts.
The replica of Noah’s ark was originally built for the gospel outreach effort at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, an effective outreach that the Christians from the Gospel Halls in the Vancouver area have had for many years.