In early June of this year, I had the privilege of going to the Ukraine (formerly a communist country under Soviet rule) as a part of a mission team. This included providing support for 27 pastors and churches and two orphanages.
My involvement with this mission effort actually resulted from my work as seminar chairman for an Answers in Genesis regional seminar held in Hendersonville, Tennessee, near Nashville, in April of 1999. Just a few months ago, one of my former seminar committee members called and asked me to prayerfully consider joining his Ukrainian mission team. When I inquired about what I would bring to the effort, I was told that my background in creation ministry and creation evangelism was greatly needed to help with the evangelistic activities of the team. Also, the fact that I am a physician would perhaps enable me to better witness to the doctors and nurses at a local Children’s Hospital. Many attempts had been made in the past to lead these professional people to Christ, but for the most part had left little observable fruit.
Having felt the Lord’s hand in this, I began to prepare for the evangelistic work of the mission. I have always had a heart for creation evangelism-my walk with the Lord was transformed overnight when I became convicted of the fallacy of evolution and the complete authority of the Scripture. I knew that if a culture had no real belief in a Creator, the concept of sin and the redemption that Christ offered through His shed blood at Calvary would generally make no sense (see 1 Corinthians 1:23). As I would find out during our time in the Ukraine, this was correct.
I was able to spend some time on the phone with Ken Ham, AiG-US Executive Director, on several occasions before leaving, and his advice on the presentation of this material was of immense help. Also, through Ken, I was able to obtain a supply of AiG publications that had been translated into Russian. I was hoping that these materials would help break down some barriers in witnessing to the staff at the Children’s Hospital.
On June 8th our crusade began. We held two services a day for the weekend. We had a music team, a Ukrainian choir, a drama team, and two speakers per session. The theater held about 500 people, and it was packed for each service.
Creation evangelism was put to the test during the first service, as I was to be the closing speaker and offer the “invitation.” I began in Genesis and told of the sin of Adam, and how we inherited that sin nature. The crowd was told that the only way to escape the penalty of that sin was through a sacrifice to atone for this sin. Initially a sacrifice clothed Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:21), but now, no further sacrifice was needed. The death on the Cross of Jesus Christ was sufficient to “clothe us” and forgive our sins when we receive Him as Lord and Savior.
I was astounded by the look on the faces in the crowd. Many came to Christ, may His name be praised! One elderly lady told us that she had never heard a Gospel message before, but when she heard this good news, she received Christ that day!
My efforts at the Children’s Hospital were less dramatic, but still the creation evangelism message was heard. I was able to speak to over 100 doctors and nurses at this hospital and give my testimony. The Answers in Genesismaterials were distributed. My hope is that this message will touch the hearts of my medical colleagues as it had touched mine years ago.
I also had the opportunity to witness to the chief of staff of the hospital during a fellowship time there. He had many questions as to how my faith in Christ impacted my practice of medicine. He also promised to read the materials I brought. Please pray that the Lord will touch the heart of this fine gentleman.
I thank the Lord for the opportunity to go and spread the Gospel message. Creation evangelism was the key to the “success” of the mission effort, and many names are now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because this message of hope stirred their heart.