A Father’s Legacy

At the Creation Museum, in the lobby of the Legacy Hall auditorium, there is an exhibit called the Ham Family Legacy exhibit. This exhibit features my father and mother and tells of the phenomenal spiritual impact they had on their family.

Inside a glass case is my father’s Bible, opened to Genesis, showing the many notes he had written beside the text. He would use such notes as he taught Bible studies–not just on Genesis, but through the whole Bible.

There is also a wooden model of Noah’s ark he built me many years ago, not knowing that one day we would build a life-size Noah’s Ark attraction.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to people at the exhibit as they contemplate what’s conveyed there. I’ve asked them, “What does this exhibit mean to you?” The answers go something like this, “It’s challenging us about what legacy we are leaving in our children and what legacy we are leaving in this world.”

I’ve told people that the ministries of Answers in Genesis, the Ark Encounter, and the Creation Museum that impact (conservatively estimated from our research) 30 million people directly and tens of millions more indirectly each year are really a legacy of parents who taught their children to stand boldly and uncompromisingly on the authority of the Word of God.

My father was a great spiritual leader for our family.

My father was a teacher, a school principal. Because he excelled at what he did, he was promoted every three years to a bigger school with more responsibility. We were transferred to different towns around the state of Queensland in Australia.

My father was a great spiritual leader for our family.

My parents had such a love for the Lord and his Word that they were always seeking ways to reach people with the saving gospel message. If they found a town where they were to live didn’t have a Sunday School, they would start one!

They were a great example to us in supporting various missions and missionaries as they wanted to do all they could to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. They would also invite missionaries to come to an area and run evangelistic campaigns. We often had missionaries staying in our home.

When I was ten years old, my parents were involved with a missionary from the Open Air Campaigners organization (which was founded in Australia), who was going to run a program for children at the church we were attending. My parents invited children from the local area to come to the program, and they offered to pick them up and drive them to and from the program. Those were the days when there were no seatbelts in cars, and you packed as many people in a car as you could!

During this particular outreach program, the missionary gave a challenge to the kids. I remember him saying something like,

For those of you who put your trust in Jesus and are willing to do whatever he wants you to do and go anywhere he wants you to go, I want you to sign this piece of paper with this commitment on it.

I remember saying to myself,

Yes, I trust the Lord Jesus to save me. I want to be like my parents and tell people about Jesus and his Word in the Bible. I want to do whatever he wants me to do and go wherever he wants me to go.

I really meant this.

I did not know that I would become a schoolteacher and that God would call me to start a creation apologetics ministry in our home. I did not know that the Lord would call me and my family to go to America and eventually start the Answers in Genesis ministry, which would also build the two leading Christian themed attractions in the world.

Yes, truly the Answers in Genesis ministry is a legacy of parents who loved God’s Word and had a burden to reach souls for the Lord.

My father heard about the plans for the Creation Museum, but he never got to see this God-honoring attraction, and he never knew about the Ark Encounter attraction. Yet his legacy lives on in these attractions and in the ministry of Answers in Genesis that is reaching millions around the world.

My parents never had much materially, but they used whatever material means they had and time they specially put aside to teach their own children the truth of God’s Word and the gospel and to reach so many others with this vital message of God’s Word and the saving gospel.

The Lord also brought a godly woman into my life (Mally) and gave us five wonderful children who all have trusted Christ for salvation. And they all are passionate about defending the Christian faith and never compromising God’s Word. Four of them have married godly spouses (we are still praying for a godly man for one daughter), and they are raising their children (18 grandchildren) to stand on the authority of God’s Word. Two of our grandchildren have married godly spouses, and now we have our first great-grandchild, who will be taught by godly parents.

Four generations of Ham men

Four generations of Ham men

Ken holding his first great-grandchild

Mally holding her first great-grandchild

What a legacy.

A good man leaves an inheritance [legacy] to his children’s children. (Proverbs 13:22)What legacy are you leaving in this world and in your children?

We often think about material inheritance when we read this verse, but I want to challenge all of us that the most important “inheritance” is that spiritual legacy that we can pass on to the next generation, and to the next, and next, and so on.

What legacy are you leaving in this world and in your children?

Oh, and Happy Father’s Day!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.






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