God’s Recent Provision for the Ark Encounter

Letter from Ken, April 2014

by Ken Ham on April 14, 2014
We needed the Lord to “part the Red Sea”—and miraculously, He did!

We needed a special miracle—and the Lord recently provided it! As you read on, I think you’ll agree that this wonderful miracle was a very special sign of His blessing on the Ark Encounter outreach. Here’s the fascinating background—I think you’ll be greatly blessed to read how God has moved in this evangelistic project.

At Answers in Genesis a few weeks ago, we were feeling a bit like the Israelites at the Red Sea as they were leaving Egypt. We couldn’t go forward; we couldn’t go back. We needed the Lord to “part the Red Sea”—and miraculously, He did!

Recounting God’s Faithfulness

In over 30 years of ministry, I have witnessed many “Red Sea”-type occasions when we have stepped out in faith and then the Lord blessed the creation ministry. Before I get to the latest incredible miracle, here are just a few examples of the Lord’s blessings over the years:

  • In order to go into full-time creation ministry in 1979, I needed to resign my position as a public school science teacher in Australia. The growing creation ministry that had started in our house required my full-time attention. But there was no teacher to take my place. The principal told me that my departure would leave the school and students in a terrible position regarding course work, exams, etc. So we prayed. Then, “out of the blue,” a teacher called the school seeking a teaching job—the exact position I had. So I was able to resign and begin the ministry that many years later is known as Answers in Genesis.
  • At the beginning of our Australian creation ministry, we had no money to purchase books to sell at our lectures. Then Master Books, a creationist publisher in the U.S., agreed to sell us one large order. Because the owner back then only allowed one order per year, we realized we had to make a significant one: $20,000, which was huge for a small ministry. (Mally and I didn’t tell the publisher we only had $200!) But we trusted the Lord would provide. So we ordered this massive amount of books and asked our friends and family either to donate or loan us the funds so we could pay the bill. Eventually, we had raised all but $3,000. It was almost time to pay the bill and we were praying for the remaining funds. As we sat on our front porch talking about how we were going to find $3,000, a man pulled up in his car. He said something like, “I have been burdened to help you get this ministry under way. My wife and I want to help you—so here is a check.” The check was for $3,000! (By the way, the publisher was so impressed that he let us place more than one order a year. Distribution of creation books began in a big way in Australia!)
  • At another time in the Australian ministry, we desperately needed a vehicle to travel to speaking events around this huge country. It needed to be a vehicle large enough to carry hundreds of books and some equipment. Well, we found a suitable, used vehicle for $11,000—but we simply had no money. We held a prayer meeting in our rented office and asked the Lord to provide this vehicle somehow. And then the phone rang. A supporter said he was burdened to give us a donation and asked if we had any specific needs. We told him we were just then praying for a much-needed vehicle. He gave us the $11,000!

Over the years we’ve experienced many such special miraculous events. I must admit, the Lord has used those times of uncertainty to increase our faith—and I can see why! These faith steps, bathed in prayer, have become bigger and bigger over time!

Enlarging the Impact of the Creation Museum

When we first stepped out in faith in the 1990s to announce that AiG would be building the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, we experienced a number of “Red Sea” challenges. When we lost the zoning approval for the original property we sought for the museum, the Lord provided a far better piece of land—and in a much better location.

Also, as the media covered the museum’s rezoning and opposition by humanists, and as donors started to support the project, we enlarged the vision. We ended up building a much larger museum—which is now having a much bigger impact than we ever imagined.

Then, just before the museum opened in 2007, we had a massive problem—which could have actually stopped the Creation Museum from opening. Because we had been building the museum as we raised donations, and we were now in the final construction stage and trying to finish all of the exhibits at the same time, we had a severe cash flow problem.

If we didn’t have considerable funding in advance for the final construction contracts, the museum opening would have to be cancelled. The local banks we had dealt with over the years were not willing to help. And we couldn’t guarantee them that the remaining funds would come in through donations (even though we had shown for several years the Lord was providing).

Then a local bank, with a Christian board of directors, heard about our problem. They visited us and immediately arranged to help with the cash flow problem. You probably didn’t know this, but we were within two days of actually cancelling the grand opening of the Creation Museum. But then the Lord provided!

Moving Forward with the Ark Encounter

As you know, we have stepped out in faith to build a full-scale, evangelistic Noah’s Ark in a project called Ark Encounter. We want people to come and have an encounter with Noah’s Ark, and in so doing, have an encounter with God’s Word—and with Jesus Christ.

America’s Research Group has forecast that the annual attendance will be 1.2 to 2 million guests (depending on the economy at the time) with up to 60 percent of those guests being unchurched or infrequent church attendees. The Lord has burdened us to build Noah’s Ark as a sign—a reminder—to the world that God’s Word is true, and that the gospel in His Word is true.

As with the Creation Museum, we’ve had many struggles along the way, including massive attacks by atheists and some in the secular media—all aimed at trying to hurt or stop the Ark.

Phase one of the Ark Encounter, with a full-size Ark, is estimated to cost $73 million. Answers in Genesis has committed to raising around $29 million in donations (about $14 million of this has been raised so far). The rest of the funds were to come from a bond offering.

Now, let me tell you about that bond offering. The account will astound you. It’s a long and complicated story. You see, there were some very deliberate misrepresentations and untruths published about the bond offering, including by an influential financial news outlet. It led to major complications that almost shut down the bond offering and the project. (We were restricted from responding to the media during the bond offering.)

We had ample registrations for the bond offering, indicating tremendous interest in the Ark bonds that likely would have seen all of the bonds being sold. But brokerage firms—who had originally told us they would allow the purchase of the Ark bonds for their clients—began reversing their position after the negative media coverage of the Ark bond. This massive exodus forced the bond underwriter and trustee to set up a different method by which our supporters could purchase the bonds, all of which made acquiring the bonds much more challenging.

As a result, a number of people found it very difficult and complex to participate in the bond offering. We were at another “Red Sea” moment. AiG was within a week of the closing date for the bond offering—and we were several million dollars short of the minimum amount needed for the bond closing (and facing the horrible prospect of having to refund all the bond funds held in escrow). From a human perspective, the project was in great jeopardy.

But because we were convinced God had called us to build the Ark Encounter, and we had seen His miraculous hand so many times along the way, we believed that God would somehow bless this massive faith step we had taken—so we called people to pray.

Now in God’s providence, looking back, we can see His miraculous hand in circumstances that led to a “parting of the Red Sea” as we might call it:

  1. The debate between Bill Nye “the Science Guy” and me in February, that went viral around the world, occurred in God’s providence right before the bond closing. Now, registrations for the bond offering had already closed by the time of the debate. However, a number of people who had already registered for the bonds had not yet moved forward to fill out the complex paperwork. Some of these people became so enthused by the debate that they worked extra hard to overcome the seemingly insurmountable difficulties. The debate encouraged them to ensure their participation and make the bond offering successful.
  2. A number of AiG supporters who were bond holders were shocked by the media attacks, and they decided to increase their participation in the bond offering.
  3. Others who knew about the bond problem helped in ways we did not think possible.

So, we were several million dollars short of the minimum amount for the bond and were within a week of the closing date. Millions in bond funds in escrow might have to be returned.

But God “parted the Red Sea.” We can now begin to walk across! Construction of the Ark Encounter will now get underway. What a blessing! Thank you so much for your prayers and for your financial support for this ministry. Please rejoice in the miraculous blessing we just experienced with the Ark. This incredible project will reach millions of souls with the truth of God’s Word and the gospel of Christ.

Praise the Lord with us for His miracle of provision!

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.