Answers in Genesis believes the Great Commission is an emphatic GO! Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Taking this command seriously, AiG led a team of over 100 volunteers to the Iowa State Fair to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).
The Iowa State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in America, with over 1.1 million guests visiting the fair during its 11-day run from August 8–18 this year. With the help of many Iowan supporters, AiG runs a 400-square-foot gospel booth that is dedicated to proclaiming and defending the authority of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every year since 2016, the Lord raises up volunteers from around the nation to help share the gospel through hundreds and hundreds of Christ-centered gospel conversations.
The Answers in Genesis booth is one of the highlights of the annual state fair for many visitors. Situated in the largest air-conditioned building on the fairgrounds, staff and volunteers give away up to 16,000 dinosaur-themed stickers for kids. Most vendors in this building give away temporary tattoos, but ours are the largest and most biblical ones as they show a dinosaur with a young boy and girl with the truth that “God Created Dinosaurs and People on Day 6!”
In addition, we freely give out hundreds of creation-apologetics books and DVDs such as Bryan Osborne’s Quick Answers to Tough Questions and the wonderfully Bible-based Begin books. Amazingly, by the grace of God, we touched about 7,000 people per day with the gospel message by giving out over 75,000 Ark Million Dollar Bill gospel tracts and other tracts or booklets.
Perhaps the greatest opportunity comes in the form of one-on-one, personal gospel conversations. With over 100 volunteers and 11 days of 12 hours each at the gospel booth, the Lord provides literally hundreds and hundreds (if not a thousand or more) meaningful gospel conversations that last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes each. Jesus Christ is faithfully exalted and glorified as we share him as Creator and Redeemer to lost and dying individuals.
At one point, two PhD scientists (and one PhD candidate) came into the gospel booth, scoffing as they took in the challenge from our exhibit that Darwinian evolution is not scientific. I engaged them in friendly dialogue, but their hostility toward the truth was apparent. Thankfully, as they asked questions and I gave them answers, their countenance started to change. They were surprised by the scientific and biblical answers we had for their objections. I spoke to them about the Law of Biogenesis and how this law states that life only comes from life. Life has never been observed to come from non-life. Chemical evolution takes a giant leap of faith to believe that, at least once, perhaps billions of years ago, life came from non-life. That is blind faith.
I explained that the Creator God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, is called eternal life (1 John 1:2), “the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us,” and he created lower life forms, so life came from life. My faith is confirmed by real science, but faith in big bang cosmology and evolution is refuted by operational science. I was amazed that they were agreeing with much of what I shared with them! By the end of our time together, they were truly surprised by how logical and scientific the Christian faith really is!
If you want to experience these kinds of paradigm-shifting moments with unbelievers, come to an exciting part of the fair outreach filled with biblical evangelism and creation-apologetics training provided by Grace Mally and her family’s ministry. Using AiG speakers and authors, the Mally family runs two four-day/night Witnessing Training Camps called Testify. These equip Christians with answers for today’s pressing questions on creation/evolution and the Bible. Each of the campers then puts into practice the training received by going out to fairgrounds and doing three skill-honing activities: (1) passing out gospel tracts at the gospel booth; (2) starting up gospel conversations on the streets of the fair; and (3) praying and fellowship time for the various teams.
Join us in praising the Lord for such a great opportunity to share the life-giving message of the gospel to hundreds of thousands of people over the years. And consider if the Lord would have you join us at the Iowa State Fair next year, either as a volunteer for the gospel booth or getting equipped through one of the witnessing training camps.
Stay tuned for more details about next year’s outreach and how you can be involved.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.