Over the years, I’ve heard many people relate the Christian life to something like a tapestry. You see, when you examine the back of a tapestry, it looks like a messy jumble of thread. It seems to be random and all tangled, with no apparent image or meaning. But when you turn the tapestry over, you see the beautiful pattern.
Likewise, many times life can be messy, and we find it hard to see the full picture and understand why certain situations occur. Oftentimes things seem to be a messy, tangled web. Yet, when looking back over the years, we can often see the other side: God’s miraculous hand has weaved a beautiful tapestry.
My wife Mally and I stepped out in faith in 1979 to go full time into a creation-apologetics ministry. Over the years, we’ve experienced many difficulties, faced perplexing situations, encountered seemingly impossible roadblocks, and had some heartache. Yet through it all, we can now look back and see God’s hand as He has weaved a superbly designed tapestry.
The Bible gives us a number of examples that help enable us to understand this tapestry concept, including in the lives of Joseph, Moses, Ruth, Esther, Job, and others. The lives of these biblical figures are a reminder to us that in all circumstances God is weaving a beautiful pattern beyond what we could ever imagine.
As I recently watched the video and read the book we have just produced on the building of the Ark Encounter, I looked back on the events of the past years and recalled how God miraculously brought people together and created situations to enable this world-class attraction to be built. Let me give you just some of the highlights to help you catch a glimpse of the beautiful tapestry God has woven.
- I was brought up in a home with a godly dad and mum who taught me never to compromise God’s Word and to have a heart for the gospel. My father taught me to defend the Christian faith and be prepared to stand for the truth of God’s Word regardless of what others say. He inspired me to have a “Nehemiah spirit”—to be prepared to step out and do the seemingly impossible from a human perspective and trust God.
- God raised up scholars like Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Duane Gish, Dr. John Whitcomb, and others to start the modern creationist movement. I was privileged to get to know each of these godly leaders. (Only Dr. Whitcomb is alive today.)
- The Lord gave me a beautiful wife who has always supported me 100% in this ministry God called me to. Mally was prepared to move our family to America in 1987 as we believe God called us to be missionaries to the USA. I ministered with Drs. Morris and Gish for many years.
- Back in Australia, the Lord had given me a burden in the early 1980s to build a Creation Museum. That passion came about because of my teaching days in the public schools of Australia and seeing my students going to evolutionist museums and being adversely affected.
- The Lord brought Mark Looy, Mike Zovath, and me together in San Diego, California, and burdened all three of us to start the Answers in Genesis ministry in December 1993.
- I met Buddy and Kay Davis in 1994 and saw the dinosaurs Buddy had sculpted. I heard their burden to see Buddy’s exceptional dinosaur models displayed for God’s purposes. As a result, God used our encounter to intensify my burden to build a Creation Museum.
- In the mid-1990s, we faced many battles in getting property for our Creation Museum, even involving a court case. The result was finding a piece of property far better than we ever hoped for, on land that allowed for bigger plans than we first envisioned for a Creation Museum.
- AiG began preparing the land and building the Creation Museum in 2001. But we didn’t have anyone yet to design the museum’s exhibits. Well, Patrick Marsh wrote to us from Japan, indicating that he had heard about the Creation Museum. Patrick asked if he could design the museum’s exhibits. He had worked for Universal Studios, the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and theme parks around the world. So Patrick moved back to America to use his talents for the Lord. Other artists noticed and followed him here. They too wanted to use their talents and experience to spread the truth of God’s Word.
- About the same time, God brought the marketing firm of Joseph David Advertising into our lives. The creativity of this talented group has taken the marketing of the ministry, museum, and Ark to levels we never thought possible. Perhaps you saw their excellent national TV spots on the Fox News Channel and NBC.
- In 2004, we began discussing building a life-size Ark once the Creation Museum was opened. In 2008, we had America’s Research Group conduct a general population study to determine if people (both Christians and non-Christians) would visit an Ark. The nationwide results were so astounding that we began master planning the Ark in 2010.
- Soon, highly qualified artists, sculptors, and fabricators came on board the Ark project to use their gifts and talents for the Lord.
- Through one of our board members, we met theme park consultant Cary Summers, who in turn introduced us to Leroy Troyer, an architect in Indiana. Leroy had designed what was at the time the largest timber-frame structure in America. Leroy then connected us to Orie and Ernie Lehman, two of the leaders of the Amish crew that built the timber-frame structure in Indiana. After I gave these Amish brothers the vision for the Ark, one of them said, “I believe God has been preparing us all these years just for this.”
- Leroy then introduced us to Colorado Timber Frame, a mill near Denver that had the largest CNC cutting machine,1 as well as the business contacts to enable us to obtain and prepare timber for the Ark’s construction.
- Tens of thousands of people were to become a part of the Ark project. In addition to the hundreds of people who have become staff members, there have been contractors involving hundreds of their workers. Many other people with special contacts and expertise have come alongside. We have also been blessed with several hundred Ark volunteers and 43,000 Ark donors.
I look back at the past 22 years of AiG’s history and marvel at what God has done. And the history above is just a small part of the wonderful threads God has woven into our lives and ministry.
The history above is just a small part of the wonderful threads God has woven into our lives and ministry.
After walking through the Creation Museum and the Ark, many visitors have asked me, “How did these incredible places come into existence? How did all of this happen?” Our guests find it remarkable that such world-class attractions, which proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel, could actually be built.
How do I respond to them? Well, I offer the verse from Genesis 18:14 where the Lord spoke to Abraham when the seemingly impossible was going to happen (i.e., Sarah having a baby at an old age): “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
No. Nothing is too hard for the Lord, certainly not the building of a Creation Museum or the Ark Encounter!
See the new DVD and book we have produced on the construction of the remarkable Ark that God has mightily blessed. I urge you to obtain them. You will be fascinated, encouraged, astonished, and will ultimately praise the Lord!