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Paul is shipwrecked

Paul and the ship's crew face shipwreck.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese
Paul was leaving to face trial in Rome before Caesar. He said farewell to his friends. – Slide 1
Paul had been arrested by the Romans and charged with causing trouble because he was a Christian. He had appealed for his case to be heard in Rome, so he was being escorted there, guarded by Roman soldiers. – Slide 2
Once the ship set sail, the wind began to blow strongly, forcing the captain to change course. At the port of Myra they boarded an Egyptian ship bound for Italy. After several days of rough sailing, at last the port of Fair Havens in Crete came into sight. – Slide 3
They sailed to the shelter of Fair Havens port and docked, where they rested for several days. – Slide 4
As Fair Havens was an exposed harbour, a poor place to spend the winter, most of the crew advised trying to go further round the coast to Phoenix to winter there. – Slide 5
Paul said, ‘I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on—perhaps shipwreck, loss of cargo, injuries, and death.’ But they did not listen to him. – Slide 6
Just then, a light wind began blowing from the south, so they pulled up anchor and sailed along, close to shore. – Slide 7
But then a heavy wind of typhoon strength, known as a ‘northeaster, blew the ship out to sea. They tried to turn back to shore but couldn’t, so they gave up and let the ship run before the gale. – Slide 8
They sailed behind a small island named Clauda, where they hoisted aboard the lifeboat that was being towed behind them. They banded the ship with ropes to strengthen the hull. Afraid of being driven across to the quick-sands of the African coast they they lowered the topsails and were driven along by the wind. – Slide 9
The next day as the seas grew higher, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. The following day they threw out the tackle and anything else they could lay their hands on. The terrible storm raged unabated for many days, until at last all hope was gone. – Slide 10
Paul called the crew together and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and you would have avoided all this injury and loss! But cheer up! – Slide 11
An angel visited me last night and said that none of us will lose our lives, even though the ship will go down. God told me: ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God has answered my prayers and will save the lives of all those sailing with you. So take courage! For I believe God! We will be shipwrecked on an island.’ – Slide 12
The storm blew until the ship was close to land. The crew took soundings and the water was getting shallower. Some of the sailors planned to abandon the ship and lowered the lifeboat.  But Paul said to the soldiers and commanding officer, ‘You will all die unless everyone stays aboard.’ So the soldiers cut the ropes and let the lifeboat drift away. – Slide 13
As the darkness gave way to the early morning light, Paul begged everyone to eat. ‘You haven’t touched food for two weeks,’ he said. He gave thanks to God and they ate. He reassured them, ‘Not a hair of your heads shall perish!’ The ship then hit a sandbar and ran aground. The bow of the ship stuck fast, and the waves began to break it apart. – Slide 14
The soldiers wanted their commanding officer to let them kill the prisoners in case they swam ashore and escaped. But Julius wanted to spare Paul, so he refused. Then he ordered all who could swim to jump overboard and make for land, and the rest to hold on to planks and debris from the broken ship. – Slide 15
All 276 on board made it safely ashore – just as God had promised. – Slide 16
Slide 17