Sometimes it’s not until you are asked to give a yearly review of ministry activities that you actually stop to take note of the amazing things God has done. As the director of the Answers in Genesis international division, this is precisely how it is as I report about the reach of the AiG ministry on a global scale.
Our international outreach team seeks to replicate the great teaching and resources from the US office all around the world. We are involved in activities such as managing translations, locating and working with local international distributors, training local creation apologetics speakers, supporting international creation apologetics ministries, conducting conferences featuring AiG speakers, and building international relationships with ministries and churches. Here are just a few of this year’s highlights.
This year we were privileged to help with the establishment of the Italian Biblical Creation Association. In three years this ministry, under the leadership of Tonino Cicerale, has grown from a small committee to a full association and is now growing rapidly in membership. We have seen the attendances grow for the Italian Creation Conferences and are so encouraged with how this ministry is impacting the church in Italy. The evangelical church in Italy is small compared to the overpowering Roman Catholic home-turf influence. However, through strengthening the church’s ability to answer questions, we have been blessed to see even many skeptics coming to conferences and being challenged about the truth of the Bible and, of course, the gospel of Christ.
In Seoul, South Korea, we were privileged to take part in the All Asian Creation Conference. AiG teamed up with the Korean Association for Creation Research (KACR) to organize an event that had delegates coming from countries throughout Asia both to hear and deliver lectures on creation apologetics and biblical authority. This was an amazing time of fellowship and encouragement for the Asian delegates as they were strengthened in their faith with answers and assured that they are not alone in this important battle for the truth of Scripture. The relationship built between AiG and the KACR group is ever strengthening, and we are delighted to share our strengths with each other.
Also in Asia this year, one of the great highlights was a speaking tour through Malaysia and Indonesia. We were able to speak in many churches and other meetings to deal with great confusion that many pastors and other church leaders had about the interpretation of Genesis. Many of the leaders gave testimony to how they now realize the damage of bringing the worldly philosophies of evolution and millions of years into the Bible rather than using Scripture to cast light on the bankruptcy of man’s fallible ideas. Indonesia is one of the most exciting mission grounds for the Christian church, and to be a part of strengthening the leadership and congregations of the churches in Indonesia is an honor that those involved will not soon forget. Our plans are to continue working with local men who have formed an exciting new apologetics group to help the church run AiG programs using our curriculum resources in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Many of you will be surprised to know that one of the languages in which the AiG message is having a huge influence is Arabic. The Arabic language now has the second highest number of our translated resources. Nagy Iskander, our dear ministry friend, has conducted dozens of television programs and distributed countless materials into Arabic-speaking nations. We have heard testimonies not only of Christians being strengthened in their faith but of people coming to Christ. By the way, electronic media is one of the most powerful platforms for this language group.
Our Spanish-language outreach continues to go from strength to strength under the great leadership of our Latin ministry manager, Joe Owen. This year Joe spoke in several Latin American countries, from Argentina to Mexico. We have developed solid distribution centers for our evangelistic resources and are very thankful for some key churches that have grasped the importance of a creation-apologetics and biblical-authority ministry for their church. One such church is in El Salvador where our Vacation Bible School (VBS) is currently in production to go through Spanish-speaking countries. We are also thankful for a church in New York City that has filmed many of our scientists and other experts, and has broadcast them over 700 television stations through Central and Latin America.
This year, with the Ark Encounter completed, we held our very first Día Latino (Latin Day) at this sensational venue. Over 2,200 Spanish speakers came from various states and even from some other countries to hear the message of the Ark exhibits translated into their own language.
With the great number of Spanish resources now being produced, we also organized a conference tour of Spain. Dipping our toes into the homeland of the Spanish mother tongue proved yet again the great hunger that people have for answers to the world’s skeptical questions. We have been able to meet and establish support for Christian leaders in Spain who are already teaching creation apologetics. Our new daily radio program Respuestas Hoy (Answers Today) is also now being distributed by radio stations throughout the country, and a new shipment of AiG Spanish-language resources is about to reach the Spanish church through our good friends at Editorial Peregrino. Attendances for our Spain conferences were very encouraging, and we were also surprised to see the same type of excitement at a Spanish-speaking conference we held in the middle of Paris, France!
We are again confronted by the magnitude of the mission field in South Asia, where one people group alone could keep our international team focused for a lifetime. AiG had the privilege of teaming up with the Bible Society (the world’s biggest branch of the Bible Society), and, through conferences and translating resources, are reaching a vastly populated country for the sake of Christ. (We are keeping the name of that country confidential.) We had the opportunity to train Bible students, pastors, leaders, and teachers throughout South Asia and to provide much-needed resources for their ongoing use.
We have been blessed to see the continued growth and impact of our sister ministry in the UK. Simon Turpin, our local speaker and leader of the AiG-UK ministry, is making the most of the opportunity to reach many people with answers that UK churches desperately need. We are excited about our 2017 conference in the Midlands of England and also about our British speakers coming to the Creation Museum next year for our Best of British Bible and Science conference. This is a conference not to be missed, with talks from scientists and speakers that many Americans have never had the privilege to hear.
While these are not all of the year’s international events and blessings, they still give you a taste of some things that the Lord has been doing in AiG’s global ministry. We are extraordinarily thankful to the Lord for providing these opportunities for us to serve the church with an international reach and to see brothers and sisters defending God’s Word in other languages all over the globe. Praise God!