[The following is a transcript (adapted) of a report which Ken phoned in on Tuesday as he gave the AiG staff (gathered in our “Special Effects Theater”) an update on his Scotland speaking tour, which is now winding down. Talks were held last night in the capital city of Edinburgh, and a final meeting is tonight in the large industrial city of Glasgow about 45 miles away.]
The cost of living over here in the UK is getting bad. As a comparison, when filling up with gas in your car, it is equivalent to $7 or $8 a gallon here—and people just can’t afford things. We’re noticing that people are only buying one or two books at our meetings, and very few buy bundles of books as they do in America. They just don’t have the money.
Also, I’ve heard that very few young adults are able to even afford buying a home. The cost of living is just horrible ... and the cost of food too: a few minutes ago I ordered some soup for lunch (which will probably be cold by the time I finish this report to you), and it’s a small mug—not a bowl. And it’s equivalent of $8 US. [Christians] are not giving to the church or Christian organizations. We need to remember how blessed we are in the United States compared to people over here, including the struggling churches and Christian organizations. Many churches are dying—there’s no doubt about it. There are only a few good churches here.
On this particular tour, in Stornoway [a small town on the island of Lewis off the coast of northwest Scotland] we had 300 people in the town hall. We were there for 2 nights and had some good responses.
A young man said that he agreed with me that Sunday school material is generally a waste of time. We need to try to raise up Christians in this generation to be equipped with answers.
One man was asked by another what he thought of my lecture, and he said, “I think it was all rubbish!” So, the man asked why. He said it was because I said that God made one Adam, but that’s not true because He made a white Adam and a black Adam. Now, I would have expected to hear that in some American churches, but not in Scotland—and certainly not on the Isle of Lewis.
Then we traveled to Inverness [Loch-Ness-monster country]. I rented a car, and so Mally and I have been driving to all the venues because we can’t fit in the AiG-UK van with all the books and equipment inside. At Inverness we had quite a good group there. It’s interesting: a local RE (religious education) teacher from a secular school brought his whole class to the night program. They were sitting in the front two rows, and some of them were mumbling when I was talking. A couple of them came up afterwards and argued with me during the break, but then just sat there for the next talk (and I heard them mumble every now and then). This religious education teacher was trying to reach out to one of the classes at his secular school. So, please pray for them. Who knows how the Lord will touch their lives?
Then we went to Gardenstown, a little village on the north coast [many Scottish maps don’t even include Gardenstown—it’s east of Banff if you want to attempt to find it]. Try to imagine a village built on a mountain that goes down to the sea. Driving to the church took us halfway down the mountain; I wasn’t sure I would be able to back out with our car and not end up in the sea!
I was told that generations ago, people stoned ministers when they came to this village.
We looked at its 17th-century harbor that’s still being used—quite a fascinating place. There was an old church building where they had skulls of Vikings who were killed—and put into the walls of the church, if you can imagine that. They must have been some lovely people!
Anyway, I spoke there and about 100 people turned up, and for that small village, it’s apparently quite an extraordinary turnout. Now when you compare it to American seminar numbers, you think it’s small, but the pastor was so excited. He said that you never know: there could be one person that you reached in a special way.
We were in [the coastal city of] Aberdeen last night and had quite a good group of people there. For drivers it is a difficult city to maneuver through, as it has many one-way, narrow streets—you get stressed out just trying to drive through. The church was in the center of the city, and there was no parking at all around the church.
This is probably the most grueling UK trip I’ve done. I’ll be honest—I’m tried, and have a terrible cold. And my computer crashed. It’s almost as if it’s been a spiritual battle day after day.
Last night, though, after I finished my talks, one man told me that he bought the Answers with Ken Ham video set last time we were there. He invited two families to their house; these families had never heard of anyone believing that God created in six days. So, he showed them all the videos over a period of time, and he said that all members of the two families became Christians as a result. So, I look back on our previous UK meetings and say: “Wow—that was worth it all.”
We were just about to leave Aberdeen and travel 1–2 hours to our hotel (it was around 11pm) when 3 teenage atheists came down to the front. The girl in particular said that I had no right to tell them what’s right and what’s wrong, and that she was going to live the life that she wanted. And how dare I come here and tell her that she can’t do this or that.
It was getting late, but I felt an obligation to witness to these kids, and that held us up for about 45 minutes. We didn’t get to our hotel until really late. [The next morning] we traveled to Perth, and dropped by to see a castle on the way and took some photographs and then hopped back in the car.
So, as I’m speaking to you [via phone and through speakers in the AiG theater], we’re in Perth trying to have some lunch.
These have been some highlights. Don’t forget to pray for the school class, the 3 teenagers, and the conclusion of the trip [in Edinburgh and Glasgow]. Then we have to drive nine hours back to Gatwick [Airport near London] and then get up early the next morning to fly home.
There you are—the joys and challenges of out-on-the-road speaking.
[By the way, to read a tribute about a Bible-defending pastor of Scottish ancestry who led an influential church in a denomination that was birthed in Scotland, go to: