My, my, how Jesus works!
Eight years ago Paula was turning forty. She was a pilot, single, and a beloved member of our Burlington church.
To avoid a “black” birthday party, she and several girlfriends booked a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Tom was her river guide. In his late 40’s, bearded, he was clueless about the Gospel. But as soon as Paula stepped on his boat, he was smitten.
Throughout the eight day trip, he was drawn to Paula, to watch, to talk. She shared Christ with him. He shared evolution.
After the river season, May to September, he followed her to Burlington and church. My wife gave him a Bible to read. He took it to Pakistan, where he’d been hired to run a base camp at 17,000 feet for a climbing expedition’s attempt on summitting a mountain. Bad weather defeated the climb. Tom found himself weathered in his tent for three days. So he pulled out the Bible, shocked to find it opened with the story of creation. He read it and re-read it. He thought of what Paula had told him, of what he’d learned in church. And the third day, he said yes to Christ by faith.
When he returned he was different. But we thought it was “get-the-girl” religion. So we waited and watched. Soon the authenticity of Tom’s faith was so obvious it was beyond question.
I’ve never seen anyone converted and grow so rapidly as Tom.
He continued to court Paula.
And together we planned father-son trips through the Canyon. Forty-six degree water, 110 degree heat, terrifying yet thrilling rapids, enchanted side-canyons, close-knit groups, laughter, and man-dwarfing creation–surely the Grand Canyon never disappoints!
One night Tom and I sat on a big rock overlooking Granite Rapids, talking of his love for Paula and his faith in Christ, and what he would do with the rest of his life. “Teach what you know, Tom,” I said. “Take Christians through the Canyon and show them God’s handiwork.”
Since then, Tom has begun “Canyon Ministries.” Each year thirty-six believers venture through the wonder, hearing the creationist view, worshipping together, studying Genesis, and hearing Tom’s testimony.
Tom is a rarity in this Western clime. Park rangers teach evolution. Only Tom teaches the creationist view.
The river is eloquent testimony to anyone who will look and listen. Its igneous bedrock a mile down speaks of creation. Its layer upon layer of sedimentary rock atop that, rife with fossils, cries out of a catastrophic flood, Noah’s Flood to be exact. And Tom revels in showing it all, patiently answering questions, punctuated by some “I don’t knows.”
Right now, creation science is coming into its own. Within 25 years, it will surely flower, even among academia, as evolution’s theory is increasingly unable to stand up to the facts.
By the way, Tom married Paula. In one day, I had the privilege of baptizing him and officiating at his wedding! Such are the enduring joys of the ministry!
This summer I made my fourth Canyon trip with Tom and Paula. I went to encourage, to teach some of Genesis, and to learn. A doctor with the Institute for Creation Research joined us to interpret the geological record.
Again I was amazed, overjoyed at what Jesus is doing!
Tom said, “I used to come here to be on the river. Then I came on the river to be in the Canyon. Now I come on the river in the Canyon to be with people and tell them of Christ.”
You may find Tom’s ministry on the web at www.canyonministries.com.
Also…Pray! I’m seeking to form a university class for credit on the Grand Canyon, Creation, Noah’s Flood, and Genesis! It’d be for divinity school students, Christians in the scientific majors, teachers, even skeptics.
What more will Jesus do?
Stephen M. Crotts at Carolinastudycenter@msn.com
The Carolina Study Center
Phone: 910.313.1153 or 336.570.9305
As we enter the last quarter, praise and thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus Christ for opening doors to creative hungry opportunities in so many directions. This autumn promises chapels a Duke, Wake Forest, Elon, Alice Lloyd, UK, Center College, UVA, and others! Three marriage conferences, some pastors’ encouragement events, churches, writing and lots more!
We are at about 90% of our budget today or $3,900 behind for the year. Not bad for a recession and summer’s end.
Thanks to you who have kept us on the field of ministry by your encouragement, prayers and giving. Good results happening!
Our need is to expand our donor base by 26 more persons and our church base by 7. If you know anyone who would like to partner with us, would you put us in touch? We’d gladly make an appointment with them and present the vision of campus ministry.
Let’s press on until He appears in His crowning glory to rule! Jesus, our Savior!
Bible Memory Verse:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
“The worship of God does not always require words, sounds or actions. Sometimes worship consists of a god-focused stillness or hush. Scriptural precedent for this includes texts like Habakkuk 2:20.
‘But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before him,’
and Zephaniah 1:7,
‘Be silent before the Lord.’
It is not just a silence that’s enjoined, but a silence ‘before him,’ ‘before the sovereign Lord.’ That’s the silence of worship. There are times to speak to God, and there are times simply to behold and adore him in silence.”–Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines For the Christian Life