All posts in Stepaneks from the Front

Creation Evangelism

 

Looking back over this summer’s camps and VBS programs… we had a wonderful year.  We had a full summer with a number of different teaching opportunities.  Many of the campers either trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, rededicated their lives to the LORD, or just had a great time of discipleship.

I have discovered using creation evangelism is a wonderful way to explain the gospel, and to proclaim the true character of God.  Using Genesis and creation science as our teaching tools, the students discovered interesting information about God and science.

In Genesis chapter one, God the Creator, demonstrates His great power and intelligence in His creation.

In Genesis chapter two, God reveals He is the Law Giver by giving Adam a commandment.  He is also viewed as the humble servant by making a very special place (the Garden of Eden) for man to live. God wants the best for mankind, so He supplies and meets every need for the man and woman.  We see the same characteristic with the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, when He washes the smelly, dirty feet of His apostles.

Then in Genesis chapter three, God reveals Himself as the Savior.  Adam eats of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus bringing death and sin into the world (1 Cor. 15:22 – For as in Adam all die,…).  The expression, ‘surely die,’ means to be physically put to death.  Adam and the Woman are to physically die on the day that Adam eats of the fruit, because this is what the law demands and God, as the just judge, must carry out the law.  But, God as the loving God that He is allows a substitute sacrifice.  Adam and the Woman were covered with coats of skin.  Which means innocent animals became substitutes and died, so the man and the woman would live, thus appeasing the law.

Being led to Christ through Creation Evangelism.

Being led to Christ through Creation Evangelism.

We know from Scripture that the death of animals does not take away sin and death, but God (‘The Word’ John 1:1, 14) takes on human flesh and dies for our sins.  He knows we can’t save ourselves, so the Servant of servants, Jesus Christ, does a task that no human being can do, die on the cross to take away our sins.  I believe this is God’s greatest act of love and servanthood.  All we have to do is trust in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to have our sins forgiven.  It is all very simple.

When the campers understand the meaning of Christ’s death through creation evangelism, they realize their sinful state and believe!  Glory!

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Glad Tidings Bible Camp

 

Gaga Ball

Gaga Ball

A couple of weeks ago, I was at Glad Tidings Bible Camp teaching a group of 5th and 6th graders.  They were a lively bunch of kids, full of energy!  It was hard trying to keep up with them.  The time was full of new games and activities.

One day, we took a short run in the morning after flag raising.  I played carpet ball with them.  At first they beat me every time, but I eventually got the hang of it.  I participated in ‘capture the flag’ and of course got caught and sent to jail early on in the game.  I also had the opportunity to play ‘gaga ball’ for the first time.  It is a fun and active game.

Glad Tidings Bible CampI didn’t just play at camp, there was also chapel time where I taught on creation/Genesis accompanied with the gospel message.  I have discovered by really being a part of the campers lives they are more open to listening to me and the gospel.  There is definitely more to camp than just fun and teaching, there is also counseling.

I discover many people who are hurting, confused, and some are in need of some spiritual advice.  I probably spend more time in counseling than teaching.  The needs are so great!  People want more than just milk, they want meat!  Even children!  People want to know the in-depth teachings of Scripture.  It is fun to learn the truth if you use the Bible as your guide to study true science.  It is a delight to see both young and old grow in the LORD!  Thanks for making times like this possible.

 

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

The IFCA National Youth Convention

 

IFCA Youth ConferenceIn June, I had the opportunity to teach at the IFCA National Youth Convention which was held on the Appalachian Bible College campus.  Over 370 youth (junior and senior high students), from 30+ churches, attended the conference.  Each year the convention seems to grow just a little more.  This is a good sign since the convention is focused on training youth to be more involved in the church.  The competition was fierce, but in a godly way.  The final Bible knowledge competition went into overtime with the champions winning by only ten points.

It is a great privilege to be involved in the lives of these godly young people.  I had the pleasure to teach sixteen hours while at the convention, sometimes ending as late as 10:30 pm.

Some of the comments are below:

“Thank you for speaking at the convention this week.  I enjoyed all of your breakout sessions, especially the one on astronomy.  It gave me a glimpse of just how small I really am.  It blows my mind that the God of this universe would love me.  The past few months I’ve really been struggling with committing myself to God’s will completely. Last night I did, and your session on astronomy is one of the reasons I did. Thank you so much!”

“Dear Mr. Stepanek, 
Thank you so much for your boldness in declaring the truth in your Friday breakout session.  If you hadn’t told me these things, I’d probably never have heard them.  May God bless you for telling the truth.”

I want to thank our donors and prayer partners, you really make events like this possible.

 

Rich with Pastor Travis Huseby - Director of Nat. IFCA Youth

Rich with Pastor Travis Huseby – Director of National IFCA Youth

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Dinosaurs at DIA

 

Pioneer Bible Camp 2Pioneer Bible Camp just continued to get better.  The campers were just getting started and began asking even more questions.   I believe in part because I took the time to partake in some of their activities. A wise man I knew from Minnesota once said, “people do not care what you know until they know that you care.”  How true!

Most of the counselors attending Pioneer Bible Camp are from Bible schools and colleges.  It was an encouragement to dialogue with the counselors as well as the campers.  One counselor made the observation that by reading Genesis literally it would help prevent him from falling into false doctrines and also help him to defend the faith.  One camper expressed his excitement in planning to attend a Bible school so he could learn even more about Scripture.  Another said his goal was to focus on becoming a godly man, and to prepare himself for whatever God has planned for him.  It is always exciting to see young people get excited about the Word!

After I finished teaching at Pioneer Bible Camp, I departed as soon as I could for a six and half hour drive home.  I arrived home at 11:00 pm to unload and re-pack in preparation for my next speaking trip to West Virginia. My plane departed Saturday morning at 9:30 am, and I would not arrive at the airport in Charleston, WV, until 11:30 pm. I had a number of long delays along the way.

Dinosaurs and DIAOne such layover was in Denver, where I met a father and his two young daughters.  They also had been waiting for quite some time to catch a plane.  His daughters were getting bored.  We got to talking and I informed him that I taught about dinosaurs.  His girls had a number of questions about them, so I did my dinosaur PowerPoint program to answer their questions.  The father had so many of his questions answered that he thought this information would be valuable for his church.  You just never know when you may have a teaching opportunity that helps someone to have a better understanding about God and His creation.  I thank God for such opportunities.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Pioneer Bible Camp

 

Pioneer Bible Camp 1Recently, I had the privilege of teaching at Pioneer Bible Camp, which is located in the mountains near Eden, UT.  I had never been to this camp, so I did not know what to expect.  Upon arrival, I discovered it was a delightful camp nestled on the side of a mountain.  A beautiful environment.

There were about sixty upper high school campers in attendance, plus about twenty camp staff, which made it a nice sized group.  The teaching was focused on Genesis and its scientific content.  But the teaching was not just focused on the science, some was about events recorded in Genesis that still have an impact on our world and lives today.  In other words, to truly understand what is happening in the world around us you have to understand many historic events in Genesis.

Just in teaching the intro and the initial foundational information leading up to Genesis, the campers were already excited.  And only midway through the week, the campers were asking great questions about Genesis, and not Genesis only, but also many other portions in Scripture.  There is a hunger for deep and intensive Bible study and the related scientific topics.  I believe young people are eager to hear truth and are tired of the abundance of watered down Bible programs.  I am usually the last one to finish my meal, because of all the questions the campers are asking.  I also taught additional material in the evenings to anyone who had questions or just wanted to know more.

Pioneer Bible Camp HikeNot all of my time was spent in teaching. I also like to mingle with the campers and get involved in their games… if the time allows.  I was able to hike with the campers to the top of a nearby mountain, which gave me additional opportunities to talk with them and answer lingering questions.

I also had the chance to participate in some paint balls games, which I haven’t played for about twenty years.  I discovered I make a better target than a marksman.  It was fun and a good time to get to know many of the campers.  I am always eager to see what new questions will be asked.

On one morning, the temperature dropped down to 36 degrees!  Most of the campers, counselors (and even the speaker) were freezing up.  But the testimonies of the campers helped to warm a person’s heart.  One camper commented that he had never heard the creation/Genesis science message before.  He could not believe he could have fallen for the evolutionary lie. The Genesis science message fit perfectly with the observational evidence.  I am constantly intrigued to see what the LORD will do with these campers!

Check back soon for more reflections on the Pioneer Bible Camp as well as what happened at the airport on the way back.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Time well spent at CHEC

 

CHEC logoSue and I had a wonderful time again this year in hosting a booth and teaching workshops at the CHEC home school convention in Denver.  It is truly a place where old friends meet, as well as a place to find new ones.  Year after year we have the privilege to fellowship with former Twin Peak and Camp Redcloud alumni, parents who are interested in building a solid foundation for their children in science and Scripture, and some parents who are just curious about our ministry.

We also had the opportunity to meet Terry Beh, the author of a new dinosaur book called T is for T-Rex.  While at the AOI booth, Terry sold and autographed his new book.  He is a very delightful man and very knowledgeable in the subject of dinosaurs and creation.

Of course, I brought along my mini-fossil lab to teach both children and adults about the flood and creation.  I get a charge, along with the participants, when I have them guess what my mystery fossil is.  The mystery fossil is coprolite, or in lay man’s terms - fossilized manure.  Coprolites are good evidence of a catastrophic event, because manure decomposes very rapidly.

I also carry other fossils, like trilobites, which are excellent evidence for a designer because of the complexity of their eyes.  Also in the exhibit, I had both fossilized and unfossilized clams, snails, sand dollars, and others, that all demonstrate the stasis of a created kind.

We thank the Lord to be able to encourage many people at this event and to rest in the truth that teaching the Word of God is never done in vain.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Encouragement For Pastors…much needed

 

VacationsBlack Hills Ministries of Hot Springs, SD, just hosted its first conference for pastors/missionaries needing a time of encouragement and Christian fellowship. Its founders, Pastor Phil and Charlotte Shively and Darren and Becky Deford, who are also on staff with Cornerstone Bible Institute, have this dream to help pastors and missionaries who are overworked, burning out, or having difficulties in the ministry, and desperately need a time of rest and relaxation.

Pastor Phil and Charlotte themselves, while on the mission field, were approaching burn out and were blessed when someone helped them with a much needed two week vacation. This vacation was just the ticket to help energize them and encourage them to continue in the ministry. From this experience, they wanted to help uplift and energize others in similar circumstances. I had the opportunity at the conference to encourage these pastors and missionaries by teaching the scientific evidence for Biblical creation. Giving them a firm foundation for their ministry, and that their work is not in vain.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

 

Richard Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Cornerstone Bible Institute Graduation

 

Rich and EugeneI had the honor of giving the Cornerstone Bible Institute commencement address for our daughters’ (Claudia and Abby) graduation in Hot Springs, SD.  It was a lovely day, and graduation went very well.  The girls’ old friend, Eugene the Lion, showed up to congratulate the graduates.  Of course, Abby and Claudia sank deep in their chairs when they discovered that Eugene was there.  They have fond memories of Eugene and traveling with the Johnsons as we taught creation.

But how did I become the commencement speaker?  Well, I had just joined the board of CBI  (it was my very first full board meeting) and they needed a speaker.  I did not realize until it was too late, the board usually has a new board member or someone who has a graduate speak. Well, I had both!  If I had to speak about bacteria, black holes, or junk DNA, then it would not have been a problem, but this was out of my comfort zone.

GraduationThat is where God likes us to be, out of our comfort zone. Beyond our abilities so we cannot get the glory, He gets the glory… and that is exactly what happened.  He received the glory during the address.

But why would I join the board of a small Bible college?  Cornerstone Bible Institute is a Bible college dedicated to protecting and defending the Word of God.  Many Bible colleges are compromising with evolution and liberal theology, but Cornerstone is standing firm on the Rock of a literal Genesis and creation.  The Creator, Jesus Christ, is the Rock and the Truth.  Cornerstone believes that there is absolute truth and they teach it.  Because of their commitment to the truth, I wanted to be a part of equipping  students to be sound in the Word.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Ministering to the homeless

 

Homeless-Please-HelpWhile I was on tour teaching creation in Eureka, CA, my host pastor asked me to teach to a particular audience I had never taught before.  I have taught in jails, private and public schools and colleges, homeschool groups, private homes, camps, churches, etc., but I had never taught to the homeless.

I was invited to teach at a rescue mission.  I really did not know what to expect.  Would they accept or even care about trying to understand the scientific information for creation?  Would they even be interested in this subject at all?  After all, they are without jobs, homes, and many without families.

To my surprise, the experience was far beyond what I had imagined!  They were excited, supportive, humorous, and some were very knowledgeable about the subject.  It was a wonderful time.  By teaching a firm foundation in which the Bible is true, the men were encourage to know that God is real and He loves them.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

A Primary Intent….To Reach The Lost

 

Just ThinkingAs I reflected on my last speaking trip to California, a couple of thoughts stood out in my mind.

A pastor from Eureka, CA, asked if I did debates or if I was, instead,  just interested in teaching on a university campus.  I informed him that I was not interested in debates, but I was interested in teaching and dialoging about scientific ideas.

The primary reason I hate debates is that people who disagree with my ideas, on the origin of life and the universe, are not my enemies.  I love those people and so does God.  God actually loves them so much that He died for their sins, so He could have a close relationship with them.  I would sooner be seen as a fool, so they can have a close relationship with the God of creation, than win any debate.  Debates have the atmosphere of a battle, or war.  I am not at war with flesh and blood.  My enemy is much more powerful and resides in a different realm.  I see people who reject God’s Word and His plan of salvation as victims of a masterful deception.  This concept does not come from my own thoughts, but from the Word of God.

I spoke at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, CA, this last trip.  We had a good turnout, but only people favorable to my ideas seemed to have attended.  This was in a way sad.  Please do not get me wrong, I was very glad they attended, but I knew where most of them will spend eternity (in heaven).

It was very good to encourage and edify the saints, but what about all those who have rejected God and His salvation?  Where will they spend eternity? This I felt was the matter at hand.  Evolution is the number one reason why people reject God’s love.  My teaching at the university was not so much a discussion about evolution and creation, but more about where we will spend eternity.  What was sad is that those who would disagree with me did not even attend, so they could learn about my arguments for Genesis and creation, and be able to dialog about creation/evolution and the scientific concepts in Genesis.  They don’t seem to be concerned about their eternal state.  I pray for these people and I hope you do to.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.