Answers in Genesis, Master’s Seminary, and Canyon Ministries have provided an opportunity for Christian educators and influential pastors to travel down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Their purpose is to equip those leaders with a more intimate understanding of Noah’s worldwide flood through hands-on lessons in geology, paleontology, and Scripture to better grasp the age of the earth.
This year marked their fifth trip and is by invitation only. Master’s sent an Old Testament scholar, Dr. Bill Barrick, Answers in Genesis sent Dr. Terry Mortenson and Dr. Andrew Snelling, and Canyon Ministries sent Tom Vail. The trip is a ministry to Christian leaders and is nearly fully funded through scholarships. Several School of Religion faculty members from Liberty University have gone in the past few years. The group this year had ministers from the United States, Russia, Romania, and Australia, with various views on the age of the earth represented. This led to many stimulating conversations about creation between the leaders and participants of the trip as we wrestled with God’s truths and science together. I had never been to the Grand Canyon. It was breathtaking. I found myself constantly singing songs of praise and adoration as I delighted in the majestic hues and the colossal cliffs that engulfed me.
The leaders of the trip defended a worldwide flood and creation from a young earth perspective. Evidence of animals being buried in a manner completely inconsistent with the secular perspective on the Grand Canyon was very compelling as I actually saw it with my own eyes. My soul will never forget that time meditating on Genesis 1 while quietly floating down the river with the splendor of the Grand Canyon surrounding me. One of the most indelible moments was when we were shown “creation rock,” which was explained to us as the rock God spoke into existence at the beginning of creation. In the quietness of the canyon we broke out in song, all of the men singing How Great Thou Art and O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing.
The rapids were a blast! The hot weather exceeded 120 degrees at times, which was a sharp contrast to the cold canyon waters which were about 50 degrees. At times the rapids were intense. The waters claimed hats, glasses, and slippers. It was not partial to any particular clothing.
We mostly slept on cots under the stars, and at times my cot was only five feet from the Colorado River. One night we were awoken from our slumber as it began to rain on us. I was thoroughly soaked! It drizzled through the morning and culminated in a downpour at lunchtime. As miserable as that might sound, one of the most glorious sites I have ever seen in nature resulted from it. As we floated down the river we spotted waterfalls–not just a couple, but dozens upon dozens decorating the canyon walls on either side of us; some were falling over half a mile down the sides of the cliffs! We endeavored to count them, but soon realized that it was useless to even attempt–there were too many! Someone’s camera was destroyed in attempt to capture the grandeur, yet a picture could never encapsulate the magnificence of what we saw. We were awestruck at the site.
I wish I could truly share how incredible this experience was but words fall short of adequate expression. These ministries teamed up to provide an edifying experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. I am confident that the friendships forged in the Grand Canyon will last for years to come, as will the lessons learned.