Recently the ship from Sweden went on a historical journey. It is a group of Christians. They sail to the Holy land, to speak on behalf of persecuted believers in the middle East and to bring blessing to the Jewish people.
When a vessel of length more than 30 meters into the Harbor of Herzliya, a lot of other boats, yachts and windsurfers, even welcomed it.
“I saw a fleet coming towards us from Herzliya. I thought, how many of them? Two, three, four, five? In the end, we were completely surrounded by large and small vessels. And I asked myself, part of what we are”, — says the press-Secretary of the mission “Elida” Karen Nitat.
On Board the ship called “Elida” emblazoned inscription: “Sailing for Jesus”. The ship arrived from Sweden for two reasons.
“We want to show our solidarity, to support the Christian minority in the middle East who are experiencing persecution, says Nitot. — His going to sea, we want to raise our voice and say – listen to others who left. This place is the cradle of Christianity. But Christians here, there are very few, because they are killed for the faith. We didn’t know where we can go with that message, and the only answer was Israel. First of all, everyone can see our sign on the side of the vessel — “We are for Jesus.” In the middle East there is no country that would open its port to the us. Israel is also the only country in the middle East, where the number of Christians increases. We want to support Israel in this.”
This idea called for captain Stephen Abrahamson in 2017 during a prayer Breakfast in Jerusalem. He says that if the waiter had a few words with him, which he did not expect.
“You are a Christian, you are a Swede and you love Israel? I’ve never met such a man before.” And I said, “In Sweden a lot of people who love Israel,” says the captain, “Elida” Stefan Abrahamson. — Returning home after this prayer Breakfast, I felt I had to do something. You can’t just sit still and do nothing. For me love is not what you need to say is that you need to show you.”
The desire to do something to become a historical trip to Israel on a special mission.
“I tell people, “Hey, you here for a reason, God gave you the 10 commandments and the Torah – and this is the most beautiful gift that you brought to the world.” Perhaps they did not hear this from Christians, especially from Sweden. But I believe with all my heart that it is. As a Christian, I must support Israel, support the values for which they fight” — shares, Abrahamson.
Many people believe Sweden is the most anti-Israeli country in Europe. Captain Abrahamson and his team want to change this belief.
“I pray for a warming of relations between Jews and Christians. I believe that what we are doing now, we are called to do the Lord,” says Abrahamson.
“Elida” has attracted the attention of many in Israel. Today on Board sea scouts from Israel to see with their own eyes. They raised the anchor, steering the ship and enjoyed the trip. With them on Board is Dan Shechtman, who received the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2011.
“We need such friends. They came to us, supported us in word and deed. And they tell people in their country, that Israel is a wonderful place,” says Dan Shechtman.
The team did not expect such a great reception.
“We were impressed by the love with which we were greeted, and the fact that we have been invited to different places,” shares Karen Nitat.
Some Israelis were skeptical but changed their minds.
“When people climb on Board, they meet with us and feel the love and friendship. It changes the heart. Little by little we change their hearts. Some even were crying, and one team member said that they seemed starved for attention from Sweden,” she continues.
Karen said that the words of the Bible come alive.
“If you read Isaiah, you know what they say about ships of the Gentiles going to Israel in order to support the people. And this is happening. The time has come when we should begin to Express their love and support the Jewish people, being around him,” says Karen Nitat.
When the trip ended, the captain Abrahamson shared his emotions and heart with the sea scouts.
“We arrived here straight from Sweden, to begin the construction of friendly relations between Sweden and Israel. I wish you all the best and hope to see you again. Thank you so much for visited our ship,” goodbye, Abrahamson.
The locals taught the Swedish captain Israel greeting, and he played the Israeli national anthem “Hatikva”.
They are true friends of Israel in Sweden. These Swedes took real courage to do what they did!