I am in Australia visiting family and friends and spending considerable time with our elderly two remaining parents.
While over in Australia this trip, I also agreed to do two speaking engagements. One of these meetings was held this week in the country town of Dalby—about a three hour drive west of the city of Brisbane. The meeting was held at Dalby Baptist church. It was at this church 37 years ago that I gave my first ever presentation on creation apologetics.
In 1975, I began my teaching career as a science teacher at Dalby State High school. At one of the first classes I taught, a student said something like the following:
Mr. Ham, we understand you are a Christian. But how can you be a Christian, because we know the Bible isn’t true?“How do you know the Bible isn’t true?” I replied.
The student responded, “Because of what we were taught in our textbooks about evolution.”
I’ll never forget that conversation. The Lord used that incident to burden me and put a “fire in my bones” to do something about the influence that evolutionary thinking was having on students and the public as a whole. I realized that generations of young people were being taught evolution and millions of years as fact. This was a real stumbling block to their even listening to the message of Christianity.
When the opportunity arose for me to speak at a meeting associated with Dalby Baptist Church, I put together my first creation apologetics talk. After this, I was asked to give other talks in the town to Bible studies and other churches. This was all a part of the embryonic beginnings of what has become the Answers in Genesis ministry.
In 1977 I was transferred to a school in the city of Brisbane. In that year, another teacher (John Mackay) and I conducted the first ever major creation apologetics conference in Australia (in Brisbane). Out of all this grew a ministry that was established in our house in Brisbane.
In 1987 our family moved to the USA to begin work with the Institute for Creation Research with Drs. Henry Morris and Duane Gish. John Mackay continued with a ministry in Australia called Creation Research.
Then in 1994, Mark Looy, Mike Zovath, and I established the ministry that would be known as Answers in Genesis—for the express purpose of building a Creation Museum and establishing other outreaches. The museum opened in 2007.
Even the Creation Museum had its embryonic beginnings in Australia. While I was teaching, I took my students to zoos and museums, but I was really burdened that the information that was presented to them at these attractions came from an evolutionary, millions of years perspective. So over 30 years ago, a future board member of our ministry (John Thallon) and I knelt down on a piece of property and prayed for a Creation Museum. The Lord answered that prayer, but it was in a different way than we ever thought possible.
During our current visit to Australia, it was great to catch up with John Thallon (he and his wife have remained very close friends of us personally and the ministry of AiG). Here is a photo of John taken on the Gold Coast this week (and yes—he is promoting our Lie photo contest).
At the meeting at Dalby Baptist Church this past Tuesday night, it was a thrill to see many of our old friends from 37 years ago—some of whom were the first supporters of our ministry. Also in the audience were Jim and Kay Kitson. Jim was the pastor of Dalby Baptist church when we first moved to Dalby. They have remained personal friends and friends of the AiG ministry.
I praise the Lord that the current pastor of Dalby Baptist is a very strong supporter of AiG. He has read many AiG resources and is looking at using the new AiG Sunday school curriculum (Answers Bible Curriculum) in their church. Here is a photo of Pastor Pieter Henning as he spoke to the audience last night.
Pastor Henning told the audience that I had an open invitation to speak at Dalby Baptist anytime I am available. I praise the Lord for pastors like Pieter. We need more of them in our churches around the world.
At the meeting Tuesday night were people from many other churches—Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Anglican, Salvation Army, and others. There were also a number of pastors present, and some people drove in from other centers (e.g., Toowoomba, and hour east of Dalby).
Here is a photo of some of the audience from the Dalby meeting.
It was also thrilling to hear many testimonies, such as the following:
- A man originally from England said it was after reading AiG resources that he became a Christian. He couldn’t thank me enough for the AiG ministry, and he helped us with getting out the resources to people that night.
- A man told me he went to a Bible college that taught evolution as fact, and he had a “crisis of faith.” He said it was AiG resources that brought him back to a solid Christian faith.
- Other people told me how they use AiG resources with their children and what a difference it has made in their lives. Others shared how the AiG ministry has so impacted them that they are witnessing more effectively.
I have one more speaking engagement during this visit to Australia—Friday night on the Gold Coast (south of Brisbane).
It really was a special time for us in Dalby, as we visited the town that was a part of the beginnings of the Answers in Genesis ministry. And it was such a blessing to see a real hunger for the AiG message and our faith-building resources. I was also greatly encouraged to see a large number of young people in the audience Tuesday night.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,