In November 2004, Marine Reach Ministries (then the sole maritime ministry of YWAM) chartered the 42 metre, steel hulled, Swedish Sail Training vessel s/t Elida.  She then took YWAM outreach teams from Wales, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands to ports along the Morocco coast.  This was a great success and the vessel’s owners invited YWAM to purchase the vessel.

These were days of seeking God for fresh vision and YWAM England embarked on 40 ‘weeks’ of prayer and fasting during 2005/06. Towards the end of these weeks,  Captain Brian Sloan (Director of Marine Reach Europe) and his wife Anne, felt lead to offer his services to pioneer the ministry of this sail training vessel within YWAM.  Sharing his vision with the leadership of YWAM England & Wales, they readily agreed and later this was affirmed by the GLT meeting in Harpenden in August 2006.  A partnership was created with YWAM England who would purchase the vessel with Marine Reach Europe operating her.

In March 2007 YWAM England purchased Elida IV for 1.3 million Euros and renaming her s/y Next Wave and Brian recruited the first crew which he trained over the following months sailing around the UK. In September 2007, the first Bluewater DTS started onboard (though there had been 2 other Bluewater DTSs previously using other chartered vessels). She sailed from Liverpool (where she was registered) to Turkey, visiting ports in Spain, France, Italy and Greece along the way.

Over the years she has voyaged from as far north as Norway; west as Ireland; east as Ukraine, in the Black sea and south as Israel.  She has run a DTS every autumn, a School of Evangelism, a Discipleship Bible School/Voyage through the Bible, hosted dozens of outreach teams and medical outreaches to Albania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The vessel is ideal for deep discipleship and a great tool for evangelism, as well as providing a mobile YWAM base, often going to the places where there is no YWAM presence.

In 2012, in the midst of changing regulations, a daughter charity, YWAM Next Wave was registered to manage the vessel with Brian Sloan as the CEO.  Then in 2013, after sailing around northern Europe for 2 years, she was re-registered in Valletta, Malta as a Large Commercial Yacht with a clear dedication to the Mediterranean.

More information –

6 Highfield Oval, Harpenden, AL5 4BX, UK is the official website of Youth With A Mission Harpenden, a ministry of YWAM International and YWAM England. 
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