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In 1989 as an air-traffic controller in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, I was introduced to Ken Ham’s powerful book The Lie: Evolution. It simply changed my life.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question above in the last few weeks. Let me fill you in on all the background, but I have to go back many years.
The book’s message of biblical authority excited me so much that I spent the next seven years working as a volunteer at many of Ken’s teaching seminars. On one tour I traveled with Ken and Dr Donald Chittick (a wonderful scientist-communicator based in Oregon) to Canada. It was an amazing trip, where I especially remember one young lady receiving the Lord.
Before we left Canada, Dr Chittick shared with me how he had become a speaker on biblical authority and Genesis, while also being a college professor. He had become so much in demand as a lecturer that he just couldn’t do both tasks well and was faced with making a decision.
I was quite touched by his commitment, as well as how the Lord had blessed him over the years with a keen mind and a passion to proclaim biblical truths. Before we parted, Dr Chittick gave me a Bible passage to hold onto:
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4–5)
I’ve remembered those verses for 15 years now. This last month, I’ve seen another fulfillment of that promise.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
In 1994 Ken asked me to join the board of directors for a new ministry the Lord was directing him to start—Answers in Genesis–USA (Ken was a founder of AiG–Australia in the 1970s). Well, I accepted his invitation, but was very afraid, for I didn’t have the qualifications most board members should have.
About seven years ago, Ken approached me once more, and this time he asked if I would consider becoming a part-time speaker for AiG. Again, I accepted knowing that I didn’t have the qualifications that a “creation speaker” should have.
In 2001, in order to accomplish the task of both speaking on behalf of AiG and working as an air-traffic controller at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (as well as being a husband and father), something had to give. After a year, I was finally allowed to become a part-time employee at O’Hare. This allowed me more time to travel on the weekends to speak to AiG audiences—and during the week to speak to planes (well, to pilots actually!).
Three months ago, my supervisor gave me a letter stating that at the end of May, I had to become a full-time air-traffic controller again. This posed a major dilemma for me. You see, I had already been scheduled for AiG speaking ministry for many months ahead and this meant that I would have to cancel several engagements. I was at a loss as to what to do.
Over the next couple of weeks, I was in Sarasota, Florida and then Las Vegas, Nevada, on AiG speaking tours. In both places I asked the seminar audiences to pray for my schedule. They obviously prayed! Here’s what happened next.
On 10 May at 9:00 pm I received a phone call from Ken that would again change my life. He point-blank asked me, “Carl, what will it take to get you full-time with AiG?”
Well, I had to speak to my wife about this possibility, of course. Ken waited as we talked, and I then told him that I didn’t see how it was possible at the moment. I explained that we have two children in college, my in-laws live with us and they’re unable to care for themselves anymore. The commitments appeared to be just too great. I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I got off of the phone with Ken. Masami and I prayed for clear direction.
The next morning, just ten hours after Ken’s first call, we were awakened by a ringing phone. You guessed it: it was Ken again, asking, “When can you start full-time with AiG?” I was stunned. I had prayed specifically for an absolutely clear answer, not a hint. Few times in my life have I received an answered prayer so clearly, so quickly.
About two weeks later, I was finally able to come to the AiG office in Northern Kentucky and speak with the leadership about the job. When we finished, I was offered the position of vice president for ministry relations.
Well, following a long pattern, I accepted Ken’s invitation again knowing that I don’t have the knowledge that I need to do this job.
Now, you might be thinking at this point that the title of this essay—‘Are you nuts?’—has something to do with my accepting all of Ken’s invitations! Well, let me go on.
The next day, I submitted my resignation to the FAA. During the next two weeks, I heard the question “Are you nuts?” countless times. “How can you give up over 24 years of government service?” many would ask me, adding: “Why can’t you just wait six more years until you’re eligible for retirement before doing that ‘ministry thing'?”
To be honest, I couldn’t give what they would accept as a rational answer. From my weak, selfish nature, yes, it made total sense to wait for retirement. From my heart, though, I know that the Lord is the One that I have got to put my faith and trust in, and not the USA federal government. My so-called “retirement” will be provided for by Jesus Christ, not Uncle Sam.
As I wrote this, my thoughts went all the way back to Dr Chittick and Ken so many years prior. Both of these men had to leave something they loved to serve the Lord.
So, here we go! All I can do is commit my way unto the Lord and hang on for the ride.
May I ask for your prayers? There is so much that I don’t know. It is overwhelming. In fact, the next two years are probably the most crucial in the future of AiG–USA. As we seek to raise $13 million to finish the Creation Museum, as well as to continue to obtain operating funds for the rest of the ministry, there will be many challenges in a still-uncertain economy and a world plagued by terrorism and conflict. Pray that we at AiG will trust Christ, make wise decisions and do His will.
Please contact me if there is anything that we can do to serve you. I’d love to take as many people as possible on a personal tour of the Creation Museum complex now under construction here in Northern Kentucky—simply notify me by email.
So, am I nuts? Yes, I probably am. Fortunately, though, I’m nuts about what the Lord is doing through the ministry of AiG, and want to serve in whatever capacity allowed.
Mark Looy, the previous VP for ministry relations, now becomes the VP for outreach for AiG–USA. In addition to overseeing AiG’s teaching outreaches like seminars, he will continue to write/edit the AiG–USA newsletter and co-host/help script the Answers with Ken Ham radio program.
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.