The Palm Beach Post (Florida) on Sunday had an article about high-tech VBS (Vacation Bible School) programs being used across the nation. In part of this news report, AiG’s first-ever VBS program received a mention:
Answers in Genesis is another company providing churches with material for Vacation Bible Schools. Their theme this year: Amazon Expedition. The 17-page curriculum points to a survey by America's Research Group that says a large number of young people leave church after they graduate because of unanswered questions about the Bible. The vast majority of those polled said they didn't believe Bible stories were true. "We trust that the Lord will use this VBS to help reverse this sad trend by equipping young children with the answers they seek," says the Answers in Genesis guide. Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter will use the Amazon Expedition curriculum for its program next week. VBS Director Carrie Fors of Hobe Sound says children will compare science with Scripture. For crafts, they will design their own T-shirts, decorate picture frames and other keepsakes. They will have field day, and the church will bring in bounce houses.(You can read the entire article at: Vacation Bible Schools try to convey excitement to lure kids to religion.)
Before summer is over, it looks like we’ll have sold around 2,000 VBS programs. Based on the article, “more than 25,000 churches had Vacation Bible School programs in 2007 with nearly 3 million children enrolled.” Our 2,000 out of 25,000 would mean that AiG was able to reach around 8% of the VBS market in the first year, and we’ll have up to 240,000 children enrolled. That is unbelievable considering this is our first VBS ever—and other publishers are much more well known, some having been established for many, many years. We have found an increasing hunger for VBS programs that teach apologetics and answer the questions of this age—rather than just being the usual Bible story-type approach. Even had only 1,000 churches obtained AiG’s VBS, that would have been an amazing first-year number, especially in an era when VBS is supposedly on the decline. We praise the Lord the VBS has been such a success. And we are already receiving phenomenal reports.
For instance, West Acres Baptist Church in Georgia used the VBS program and even had a talented member build an animatronic dinosaur. The VBS director sent us this email:
Attached is a picture of our animatronic dinosaur. It has been a huge hit!!! We also did the fossil dinosaur in the sanctuary to fill as we collected money. The kids have been bringing their money to fill it up! Our worship rally set looks like the Amazon rainforest. We had a local nursery donate a trailer load of plants for our stage. Not a tractor trailer but a nice load. We also were able to secure a LOT of bamboo for greenery. We have had 100% positive feedback on VBS. . . . Thanks so much for putting out such a great VBS curriculum.I thought you would all be interested in seeing the animatronic dinosaur—you can do so at this link.
AiG is already well underway with a new VBS for next year. (We are also going to keep this year’s Amazon Expedition product in print, as it is a classic—teaching the 7 C’s to children.) AiG’s VP of media and marketing, Dale Mason, visited a church where we are testing next year’s program, and he sent this report:
WOW! I’m still in the parking lot up here at the church, and just want to peck out a quick note to all of you who were involved in writing the content, creating the songs, finding singers and a studio, shooting video, creating and printing the “pilot” books and signs and myriad other materials for the 2009 VBS program. And the drama that the team up here performs is TOP NOTCH. Even as this year’s (2008) VBS is only just beginning to be run in nearly 2,000 churches across America (and other countries, too), the VBS that you have designed for next summer is every bit as good if not better than this summer’s. WOW! Wow wow wow wow. GREAT job. Now for all the “post-pilot” tweaking and details!!!Keep watch on AiG’s website and through the newsletters for the release of our dynamic VBS for 2009!
As I was writing this, I thought about the fact that AiG has reached:
- Over 420,000 at the Creation Museum in just over a year.
- Around 240,000 when all the VBS programs this year are completed.
- Over 100,000 at various speaking events across the nation and around the world.
- Millions through the AiG website (9.5 million visits last year).
- Unknown numbers viewing DVDs, reading books and magazines, listening to the Answers radio program, watching NRB-TV, using AiG materials in small groups and Sunday school classes, using AiG curricula in home schools and Christian schools—and much more!
BACK FROM THE CANYON
Dr. Tommy Mitchell—one of our dynamic speakers—recently returned from a seven-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Answers in Genesis sponsors a few trips each year in conjunction with Tom Vail of Canyon Ministries. Dr. Mitchell, Tom Vail, and Dr. Danny Faulkner, an astronomer from the University of South Carolina–Lancaster, were the instructors for this outing. Dr. Andrew Snelling (AiG geologist) also leads one of the trips.
The 28 hearty travelers spent a week on the Colorado River learning the true history of the Grand Canyon. The secular world teaches that the rock layers took millions of years to form and that the canyon itself was carved approximately 70 million years ago. Tom Vail, with almost 30 years’ experience on the Colorado River, has a passion for educating people about the true history of the canyon. He continually taught the canyon’s geology from a biblical perspective. Tom described the sedimentary rock and the carving of the canyon from a model based on the global Flood.
The group enjoyed tremendous fellowship as they ran the rapids, set up and broke down the camp daily, slept under the stars, and helped prepare meals. Dr. Faulkner taught about the heavens in a setting without the light pollution you would have in urban areas. Most had never seen the stars or the Milky Way so clearly. Dr. Mitchell spoke about the authority of Scripture and the foundational importance of the book of Genesis to the doctrines of Christianity. On Sunday morning he preached about worshiping the Creator God. The Lord’s Supper service in Blacktail Canyon was the highlight of the trip for many. As the group flew by helicopter to “the rim world” of cell phones and email, Dr. Mitchell remarked, “The Grand Canyon brought me face to face with the power of God’s judgment and His infinite mercy. I can’t wait to return next year.”
I have included a number of photographs taken on the trip by Tommy:
- Getting into the rafts
- Canyon view, showing a prominent cliff of Redwall Limestone, an enormous fossil graveyard for marine creatures buried during the Flood
- River wall, showing alternating beds of sandstone and mudstones rapidly deposited during the Flood
- Three amigos
- Tom Vail teaching, showing the boundary between Flood rocks (above), and pre-Flood to Creation Week rocks (below)
- Tommy Mitchell preaching
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,