When I was 12 years old (55 years ago), I went to a fancy dress party (American translation: costume party) at the school in Australia where my father was the principal. I’ve never forgotten what I was dressed as—it is indelibly imprinted on my mind!
I think you will laugh when you see it, but it represented one of those many defining moments in my life, especially considering the ministry God clearly led me into.
We had moved to a country town in North Queensland and had started attending a local church. My parents were so upset when they heard the pastor of that church telling the congregation they could believe in evolution. My father told us we could not stay in that church as adding evolution into the Bible was an attack on the authority of God’s Word.
My father (and the ministry of AiG) understood that the idea of evolution and millions of years is not just a side issue or just about how people understand Genesis 1–11. What we believe about Genesis has consequences for how we read and understand the entire Bible—including the New Testament and especially the gospel! I am so grateful my father never wavered and always stood for the truth of God’s Word.
In June 1995, my late brother, Robert, was sitting with my father in the hospital (my dad died on June 9, 1995). Robert asked Dad, “Why did you love God’s Word so much?” My dad explained that his father had died when he was 16, and so he didn’t have an earthly father to talk to any longer. This caused him to turn to the words of his heavenly father and read them over and over again. He saturated himself in the Word of God.
Growing up in our family, we could all see that our father hated compromise. In 2 Timothy 1:14, the Apostle Paul gave Timothy the following command: “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you” (ESV). My father guarded every word of God’s truth and entrusted that Word to his children.
He was often studying what the liberal scholars were saying, and then explaining to his children why they were wrong. He didn’t want us to be led astray and doubt or not believe God’s Word because of false teaching. As I’ve often told people, I learned to smell liberal theology a million miles away because of how our father trained us.
This gives you a little background as to why my father was so distressed with this pastor’s teaching evolution as God’s supposed way of bringing life into existence. Well, needless to say, we quickly changed churches!
I remember all this, but most of all I remember my parents’ uncompromising stand on God’s Word! They taught me to stand up for all the teachings of Scripture, no matter what anyone else might say. What an impact this had on me!
Well, with evolution on our minds, the school’s annual fancy dress party date was approaching. My creative mother used to make the costumes we would wear to such events.
For this particular event, my parents came up with what we could call a “pun costume,” to poke fun at evolution. I certainly knew this costume meant that evolution was not true!
So, allow me to share this photo from my personal collection! It was taken 55 years ago so the quality is not up to today’s standards. I’ve never made this photo public before, but because of something else I did recently, I decided to open up more of my personal life to you—so here it is:
Sort of ironic isn’t it, that I wore such a costume 55 years ago (dressed as an ape and holding a potted plant with the words “Our Family Tree”)? How grateful I am that God led me into a ministry to help counteract the false teaching of evolution in the church and the culture!
When people see the ministry of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter, they are amazed at what God has done. So many have asked me to share with them how all this came about.
Although I’ve shared bits and pieces of my personal testimony and the history of AiG over the years, I’ve always wanted to produce a DVD in which I share intimate details from my upbringing in Australia to where we are today in the ministry of AiG.
At a special event held in Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum this past October, I did just that! And yes, there are many more personal photos in this presentation as I share a message of faith, struggles, miracles, God’s leading, God’s provision, and the resulting ministry outreaches that are impacting millions of people worldwide.
One of the images I display in my presentation is a photo from a special exhibit at the Creation Museum that shares about the legacy of my parents. It features my dad’s favorite book—the Bible—and a scale model ark he built.
The new DVD of my testimony, titled Fire in My Bones: The Fire That Started Answers in Genesis, relates the many personal events that were all a part of God’s plan in influencing my life.
One event I remember well is the time my mother’s mother (we called her Nanna) was standing on the steps of her farmhouse—Bible in her hand—preaching to Jehovah’s Witness representatives who came visiting.
I can still see her walking down the stairs following them as they turned to leave, and she kept following them, holding up her Bible, as she continued to teach them from the Bible!
I thank God for godly parents who raised children to believe God’s Word as authority. This powerful evangelistic ministry started with them and continues with you. Your ongoing prayers and financial support enable our creation/gospel ministry to continue to reclaim the foundations of our faith which are found in the Bible, from the very first verse. Thank you for your crucial support!