For over 10 years, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis—USA, has brought a message of hope to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland through speaking engagements each spring.
For over 10 years, Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis—USA, has brought a message of hope to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland through speaking engagements each spring. This year’s tour, organized primarily by >Dr. Monty White and the team at AiG–UK, has taken him to key cities throughout the region, where he has delivered faith-strengthening messages on the relevance of Genesis to eager audiences.
In past years, these tours have generated a lot of press coverage (sometimes even international media frenzy—see Ken Ham stirs up England), and this year seems to be no exception. Throughout his stops, Ken has given numerous interviews with the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and various newspapers and radio stations.
With the widespread use of web “blogs” these days, it seemed appropriate to pass along an abridged version of Ken’s daily journal entries (which he sends to the USA staff daily when he travels internationally) and not make you wait until the tour is over and an update appears in our newsletter.
We will add more journal entries (Ken’s not ready for all-out “blogging”!) as they come in. As you follow along, please pray for the creation message as Ken delivers it and as hearers consider it in the days to follow. Pray for the Republic of Ireland, and pray that the UK—the home of spiritual giants like Wesley, Whitefield, Bunyan and Spurgeon—can begin rebuilding its Christian foundation by returning to biblical authority!
Thursday, March 3, 2005
Cork, Republic of Ireland
I was one of the youths in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Monday night when Ken Ham was speaking.
… Us as young people have SO many questions and it is so easy to doubt. I left that meeting feeling more assured of my faith than ever before. …You brought up so many issues that we as young Christians find so hard to talk about with others. … I went into school the next day and so many of my non-Christian wished they had been there because so many of them are longing to know the TRUTH that I know.
Thank-you also for your brilliant literature. May God bless you all for the AMAZING work you do each day.
– L.M., Northern Ireland
I think that most of the people there on Tuesday night (in Brackla, Bridgend, South Wales) were Christians. Many were probably already sympathetic to creationism beforehand, but conversations that I had suggested that there was a great deal of knowledge missing from their theology. One church leader described the evening as “handing me the weapons I need for the battle”. He believed Genesis before the meeting, but now he knew WHY he believed Genesis.
– P.T., South Wales
I just wanted to say a big thank you to AiG for organising the visit of Ken Ham to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast last night. I have been to many events in this great venue before however it is not very often that it is completely sold out. Apparently it could have been sold out three times over!
I hope it won’t be long until AiG can come back to host another event in Belfast.
– R.T., Northern Ireland
- I was told that 200 would be a good crowd for a Christian meeting and that 300–400 would be fantastic. Well, 500 people turned out for this event, which was organized by an evangelistic group that actively spreads the gospel in Ireland. It was considered phenomenal for this country! The man who organized the meeting also does a program on one of the local secular radio stations, and he interviewed me for an hour before the meeting. He was thrilled at AiG’s apologetics approach, which he says is SO needed for this culture. (I was later told that our meeting in Cork was more phenomenal than we realized at first. Apparently they estimate there are only 4,000 Christians in the entire province, so to have around 500 was really something!)
- Before the meeting started, one lady told me she had attended the meeting I spoke at six years ago and that it totally changed her life. As a result, she obtained our materials and has been able to share the gospel with many people.
- One came up and said in his Irish accent, “Aye, I don’t like the way you get people to laugh.” “Oh,” I said. “Aye, this is serious business—it’s not good when they laugh like this.” I thanked him for his comment and said that Christians can enjoy life and be happy, too!!!!!
- A few American students who are studying abroad came and spoke to me, including one young man who was convicted during the talk to somehow get involved in Christian ministry once he left university.
- One man told me he had heard me speak in California a few years ago. He said that the message changed his life and he was now working with a church in Cork where he uses our material.
- A lot of people came up and thanked me profusely for coming to Ireland and for equipping them. Lots of statements included the phrase “this has changed my life.” The organizers were thrilled with the response.
Friday, March 4, 2005
Last night I spoke in Dublin. We expected Dublin to be a much more difficult situation—and it was. A conservative Christian group at Dublin University sponsored the program. They had posters up all over campus because they wanted to use this as an outreach to the students as well as the public. They even had posters (with my photo) in the restrooms!
Dublin has 20,000 students, and they estimate fewer than 2% are Christians. Most of the Christians are students from Asia (Malaysia, etc.).
- Around 100 to 150 university students were in the audience, which pleased the organizers. I’m not sure what the official count was, but it looked like 300 or more. During the break and after the meeting I was swamped—I haven’t been swamped like this in a long time.
- During the first break, a large number of young people gathered around me. One man told me he had been reading my books and that they meant so much to him. He said the priests (they were Roman Catholics) were all so philosophical in explaining life and didn’t satisfy them—didn’t answer questions. So he brought a number of young people from this church, and they told me they were really impressed—that this made things “real.” They were so HUNGRY!
- Another young man was into Hinduism. Talk about mixed up! I don’t know if I got to him at all, but he said he was going home to read Genesis 1–11.
- One gentleman and his wife came up and asked about the days before the sun was created. I think he may have been a minister of some sort. He wouldn’t commit himself as to what he believed, but obviously he believed in long ages. But when I tried to push him on that topic, he refused to engage in conversation and just made some comment about vast ages and left.
- Because there were a number of university students present for the Friday night (150 or so) I did a philosophy of science/natural selection talk first. A man told me later that he worked at a quarry and had tried his best as a Christian to witness to his workmates but was unsuccessful—they kept bringing up evolution and “millions of years.” Well, he managed to get two of his friends to this meeting where I spoke. He told me he was shocked out of his boots, as these guys, who were not Christians, rushed down and bought the big set of Answers series videos. He was thrilled and will follow up with them.
- I had many other conversations—some really positive—some attacking. How sad it is to see a country like Ireland so devastated by religious hypocrisy and scandal. Most young people have very little to do with the church because they are disillusioned. The abuse scandals are to blame for much of this. But at the same time, there is a hunger. But how sad that most of the churches (even most Protestant ones—small as they are) compromise on Genesis.
Saturday, March 5, 2005
Astra Hall, Student Centre, at University College Dublin (Ireland’s largest university with over 18,000 students)
Here are some highlights from the three presentations given on campus:
- A group of young men (all university students) who went to the same church crowded around me with endless questions about ice cores, continental drift, starlight, tree ring dating, and on and on. They were hungry, wanting to believe the Bible but not having answers and struggling with what they were being taught. My heart went out to them.
- Quite a number of children came up pleading for autographs, etc. It is so thrilling when a number of elementary students come up and say, “That was a good talk, mister.”
- During the breaks, one man told me that he and his father had a terrible relationship because this man was a Christian and his father was not. His father kept bringing up evolution. Well, because of our materials, his father became a Christian over a year ago and their relationship has been restored. He was so thankful for the ministry.
- After my creation evangelism talk, a pastor/missionary came up and said they are going to be sending 30,000 gospel tracts to homes in Dublin. After hearing my talk, he said, “We just have to put one of your booklets/tracts in with this mailing. Please, do what you can do for us. Can we print one of your tracts—can you help us get this done?”
- I hardly had any break all day. People were so hungry—question after question. They crowded around me. One lady said, “Please can you come to my hometown in Spain? We need this.” Another lady said, “I need your material in Spanish. How can I get it?” Another person said, “Please, how can you come to my hometown in South America?” I was just overwhelmed—so much need and so few doing this.
- I was interviewed by a reporter for a Roman Catholic newspaper. Interesting! He, of course, began to pontificate that there’s no problem being a person of faith (whatever that means) believing in evolution and millions of years. So I started to talk about what Jesus said about those topics. He started to mumble a few things and then talked about Genesis being a metaphor. So I asked him if he was “a descendant of a metaphor.” And I asked about the genealogies that went back from Christ through Mary to Adam. Where did the real people stop and the metaphors begin? He mumbled something about the pope saying you could believe in evolution as long as man and woman were created with souls. So I talked about Eve being made from Adam, thus being one flesh and the basis of marriage/family, as Jesus taught. I told him that by saying Adam and Eve came from animals, one destroyed the doctrine of marriage, etc. I told him the pope was wrong and he should not interpret the Bible based on man’s fallible ideas. After this went on for some time, he finally said, “I’m just a humble reporter. I’m not a scientist or theologian.” Well, it would be interesting to see his article.
- Yesterday, the largest newspaper in Belfast called me for an interview. They are amazed that the Waterfront auditorium will be full with over 2,000 people on Monday night (March 7).
- I also was interviewed by a Christian newspaper/magazine today. The reporter in Dublin said our ministry and website helped him greatly. He said he loved our ministry and that he wants to see their publication do a special series just on creation, using our material.
Sunday, March 6, 2005
Near Belfast, Northern Ireland
Because the Waterfront auditorium for the main meeting tomorrow night (Monday) sold out (over 2,000), I was asked to speak in a couple of churches so people who couldn’t get tickets for Monday could come. Both churches (this morning and tonight) were packed. The church tonight normally gets 40 (it was in the country, a good 45 minutes from Belfast). I don’t know how many turned up for this little country church, but it was over 200. They were sitting on chairs down the aisle, out in the foyer—wherever there was any space. The church this morning was packed both downstairs and in the balcony.
- This was a conservative church. People came up afterward asking about dinosaurs, starlight and time—radiometric dating—all the usual questions. It shows again that even conservative churches have no idea how to answer these questions.
- One college student came up to say how thrilled he was to get books and get answers. He said all the students in his college class mock the Bible because they think science has shown it is a fairytale. He has never been able to witness to them because he didn’t have answers. He showed me the books he bought.
- One man told me he had never seen Genesis 5:4 before and never had an answer to Cain’s wife. He was thrilled.
- After the church service and lunch, I immediately went to the BBC for a radio interview for their Sunday church program. A minister interviewed me, but it wasn’t really an interview—it was a 30-minute aggressive attack that was exhausting! He started the attack by saying that great Christians believe in evolution. He quoted Warfield and others, even quoting some living conservatives. He even said Calvin was an evolutionist. He talked about Babylonian myths and insisted that Jews borrowed their myths. He mocked Ussher, he mocked me for believing in six literal days and for believing dinosaurs were on the Ark, and he attacked me on many other issues. Well, I did my best to give him a run for his money. Personally, even though he carefully prepared, I don’t think he was ready for someone to give answers. I was as aggressive as he was. It was like a tennis match—back and forth for 30 minutes. I was so exhausted at the end that it felt like I had just been through a two-day seminar! This program will be played next Sunday. Please pray for this.
I found out that so many had been affected by the ministry over the years and were using our DVD’s and resources. The BBC interview I did a couple of years ago on TV was still a topic of conversation. It had left a lasting impression on the church.
- One Presbyterian pastor said the talk gave him a sense of guilt, realizing he hadn’t taught these answers. Many people said similar things
- One couple told me that, after the seminar we did in Belfast about 11 years ago, they bought every book and video they could. They’ve kept up buying resources every since and have a big library in their home. They invite people over for meals and show them the room. They say their aim is to not let anyone leave the home without taking a book or video. Wow—I didn’t even know they were doing this for the past 11 years, but in their own way, they have been spreading the message.
- I received so many positive comments. Many expressed disappointment that they missed getting tickets to the Monday-night program. The businessman who funded this is so thrilled that he wants us back for even bigger events. He has such a burden to get this message out. I found out that he has been connected to AiG for only a year and a half. What happened was that his three-year-old daughter died. He was so distraught. He was searching the web and found our web site. It was there that he received answers to his dilemma! The resources—the answers we provided—helped him so much that he called AiG and said he wanted to hire the Waterfront (nicest and biggest auditorium in Belfast) and have Ken Ham speak. At first, we all thought it wouldn’t work. None of us thought he would fill this place. But he had this vision to influence people with the right answers. The Lord has mightily blessed—it sold out! He is already working on bringing us back in the future and talking about hiring the Waterfront for several nights!!!
Monday afternoon, March 7, 2005
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Today, the BBC sent a taxi to pick me up for an interview with David Dunseith, who is known to be an extremely anti-Christian and arrogant talk show host. Well, he started off the interview by asking me why I believed the Bible instead of science. That gave me a great open door, so I went for it. He then tried to keep pushing this line, but I kept hammering him that it wasn’t the Bible versus science. He then told me how ridiculous it seemed to believe that a Creator created the universe out of nothing. So I asked him whether he believed it just popped into existence for no reason. He abandoned that line and then started saying there were contradictions/inconsistencies in the Bible. We went back and forth for a while and then he walked to the door and showed me the way out and that was that! I have never had such an abrupt ending to an interview in my life!
- Well, tonight (Monday) is the big night. Monty thinks it’s probably the biggest creation meeting ever in the UK (possibly Europe), so please pray. I’m a little nervous.
Monday night, March 7, 2005
The Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
This meeting was held in the Waterfront, an auditorium that seats 2,009 people. Every seat was full. We think this may have been the largest public creation meeting ever in the UK (and most likely Europe) in modern history. Several people commented on the real buzz of excitement they felt as they entered the auditorium.
There were so many comments and discussions, but here are a few highlights:
- The box-office people who sold tickets for this event told us that, based on the calls they had received, they could easily have sold this event out at least three times over and possibly for the whole week.
- As I began the meeting and looked around this auditorium, what hit me was that at least one third, and possibly more, were young people. I have noticed in recent times that the number of young people attending our meetings has increased dramatically. They want answers—many people told me that these answers made sense.
- After the meeting, I stopped to talk to a group of about eight university students who were all carrying AiG bags loaded with books they purchased. One of them said, “We were just talking and planning on who we are going to talk to and how.” It was so thrilling that they had gotten the message, were fired up, and were going to start doing something about it. They told me that it is so hard at the university because evolution is really pushed there. They said this is a real stumbling block that keeps other students from even listening to the Bible.
- At the end of my second talk, two students and a man came down to talk to me. The man introduced himself as a university professor who had come with two of his students. Referring to his students, he said, “They often ask me questions on this issue, and I must admit, at times I’m stumped.” He then thanked me for the lectures and said he really appreciated the bit on bacterial resistance. I don’t know if he was a Christian or evolutionist, but he was obviously greatly affected.
- One man told me at the end of the night that he brought his non-Christian workmate. He said he has been trying to witness to him but could never get through to him. After last night, this man was so excited. He told me, “My workmate was really impressed. He said he wouldn’t be able to sleep all night thinking about the things he heard. I bought him the Answers Book and will follow up with him tomorrow at work.”
- Again, so many people told me they were using the website and what a help this was to them. One man said, as he passed me, “I go to your website every day. Thank you.”
- The businessman who had the vision for this and financially backed the
entire event (the man who found out about AiG when he was looking for
answers on the web to help cope with the loss of his young daughter)
was just beaming from ear to ear, and his wife was thrilled. They want
to come to the opening of the Creation Museum.
But not only that, he is already talking about doing something even
bigger next time. I’m not sure what, but personally I think Northern
Ireland is ready for a “real” creation blitz, where we bring
all our speakers for a week, get into churches all over the country,
and end with a big public meeting in the Waterfront again. We all think
this is feasible.
- At the end of the night, I gave the people a real challenge. I told them that Northern Ireland has not fallen as far as the rest of the UK. “Look at the interest in standing on God’s Word. Look at the interest in this topic,” I told them. “You people could make a real difference in your own country and in the whole of the UK, and who knows, maybe even the rest of Europe. This could be the start of something really big, really special. Take this information and do something with it. Make a difference. At this point in time, you are to do a great work for the Lord.”
- We prayed, they clapped long and hard at the end, and then they went out and purchased a ton more resources. The books and DVDs were “vacuumed” right off the tables.
- After showing the video about the planned museum, many people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland said they want to come for the opening. I think we can expect a lot of international visitors when it opens.
We all believe this was a historic moment. I wish you were all here to experience this. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. We all feel something special happened. While I was giving the challenge at the end, one man told me later, “Shivers went down my spine and my hair stood on end.”
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Brackla Tabernacle, South Wales (just outside Cardiff)
We flew to Bristol today, picked up a rental car, and drove to a hotel just outside Cardiff in Wales. We had about 30 minutes to check into the hotel and then leave to church for the night meeting. The church is located in an economically depressed area.
This was to be the smallest of all the meetings on this tour. Yet the church was packed with 330 people. Some highlights:
- Graham Scott, who was the initial full-time worker for Answers in Genesis (then known as Creation Science Foundation) but is now retired, came to the meeting and brought some people from the church he attends. I honored Graham for his work in getting the AiG creation ministry going in the UK.
- Graham told me about one man he brought along to the meeting—this man’s two oldest children were saved as a result of a conference I spoke at a number of years ago. The daughter actually came to the meeting tonight.
- A lady told me that, as a result of a meeting I spoke at in Cardiff two years ago, her 25-year-old daughter became a Christian (this daughter trained as a science teacher).
It is so thrilling to hear feedback from previous meetings regarding people who become Christians—I’m sure there are many other testimonies out there we probably won’t hear about until Heaven.
- One man told me he was a taxi driver and often uses that time to witness to students from Cardiff University. As soon as students get in his taxi, he begins to witness to them using AiG material that he gets from our website and books. One never knows how people are using our material. Another example of how the website is being used.
- An electrical engineer told me he so appreciated hearing such a logical presentation explaining biology. He said it made a lot of sense and really helped him.
- I had a number of people tell me that they had scientific qualifications and that these presentations were really a blessing to them.
- One man came up and pleaded with me to speak at a conference in Poland. He said, “We can get 100 people. We need this message in Poland.”
- Quite a number of people told me they are using the website regularly and thanked AiG for providing this material.
- Another person asked if I could come to Burma. There is no doubt these messages are needed all over the world. I get so burdened when I hear people asking for this ministry in other countries. How can we reach them all?
Well, it’s almost midnight. I have to get up at 5:30 am. We are going to an American missionary’s place (he has been a friend for many years) for breakfast, then on to Leicester for an AiG board meeting, then back near London for the final meeting (which is sold out—I heard of one church that wanted to bring 100 people, but the auditorium is already full). I fly home Thursday. I was rather tired tonight—starting to push myself. I really need a good days rest! However, just one more busy day to go on this tour.
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Last meeting of this tour was at Ashford on the outskirts of London. This was the only meeting in England. We arrived at the hotel near 1 am and found out that the hotel clerk had given away one of our rooms (that we had booked and confirmed).
A few highlights:
- 450 people attended.
- Before the meeting, a man and his wife came up to me and said they were so thrilled that I was here to speak. Their non-Christian friends had asked where they were going, and they said, “To hear Ken Ham.” When their friends asked who Ken Ham was, they answered, “Ken Ham coming to town in the Christian world would be like Elvis coming to town in the non-Christian world, or General Patton coming to visit the troops!” We had a good laugh about that one.
- During the meeting, I heard the usual comments as to how much the web was being used by people to equip them and witness to their friends.
- A mother brought her young son up to me and said, “He wants to be like you when he grows up. He loves your material. Can you sign an autograph for him? Also, he wants to know what subjects he should study and do best in if he’s going to be a speaker like you.” It is so thrilling to see so many young people who have said they want to be in the creation ministry. God is raising up the next generation of creationists! I’ve heard this comment many times on this trip.
- Many people thanked me for answering their questions. Lots of people gave positive comments.
- I had a discussion with a young man who was struggling to believe that the days were literal days in Genesis 1, and he wanted answers as to why God created beings like Lucifer and Adam and yet they fell. His whole approach to Scripture obviously had problems. I found out that his father is a pastor who does not believe God’s Word like we do but is quite liberal. One can see the effect of compromise from one generation to the next.
Well, I heard many other comments, but I have to run to fly back home. God mightily blessed this trip. I see a groundswell of support and interest like I’ve never seen before. The work of the past many years is showing great fruit.