Summer 2013: Once Again, Creation Movie Attracts Wide Interest
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Summary: Is Europe interested in learning about the Biblical account of Creation? Sold out crowds say, Yes!

Editor's Note: The Creation movie produced by Henry Stober, an Adventist film maker, has been touring Europe for the past 2 years. Using stunning photography, the creation story of Genesis is enacted and presented to a standing-room-only secular audience. For the first time in a long time, Europeans are showing interest in Biblical themes as the origin of the world is depicted in beautiful cinematography.

Henry Stober’s team along with Amazing Discoveries Europe arranged for public viewings of the film in major halls in cities across Germany. Following the film, Walter Veith presented a short presentation and FAQ on the evolution-creation controversy. As a result, many secular Europeans announced their interest to study the Bible further and find out what it has to say not only on the origin of the world, but also for their personal lives. Amazing Discoveries Europe has been blessed abundantly to see so many of secular Germany turning to God.

Following is a report by Henry Stober about the presentation of his Creation movie in Holland, translated into Dutch.

First Angel’s Message in Secular Holland

Among the people watching the Creation movie in Aurich, Germany, in the fall of 2010 were visitors from Holland. They had heard about the presentation through Amazing Discoveries Europe and decided to take this special trip to see if this film could be a good evangelistic tool in their native country. Two of the three Dutchmen had been introduced to the Adventist faith through lectures given by Walter Veith and had been baptized only a few years ago. Thrilled by what they saw at Aurich, they had but one question: Would God make just as powerful an impression in secular Holland? In the meantime, they set up the ministry Adventmedia and were highly motivated to set things in motion in their home country.

In May 2011, I [Henry Stober] received an invitation to Holland. Approximately 25 people from the Netherlands Union, plus the small, highly committed group, met to discuss the possibility of introducing the Creation movie to secular Holland. Four hours later, the talks had wrapped up for the day and there seemed to be no point in pursuing further collaboration. Why? Because of the “professor from Africa.” His message was not supposed to be spread in Holland. Anyway, one might just as well resort to any other movie readily available—after all, countless movies are out there that could be shown to people with just as much success. Sadness spread among the members of the small group. But they had already determined in their hearts: “We won’t be stopped.”

Johan, one of the three, came to Germany, and together he and I spent four days working on a marketing campaign for Holland. We produced literally everything, from start to finish. Would the congregation be willing to extend invitations to friends and acquaintances… maybe even to their secular relatives? Several days later, the first city buses started rolling through Apeldoorn, adorned with posters of the Creation Tour. Not any old non-descript hall had been chosen to present the event, but a rather impressive, very large auditorium called the “Orphesus House.” This was meant to send a signal. The same strategy was not only used in Apeldoorn, but in all other cities hosting the tour. In Emmen, it was the “Utopolis,” a facility that opened up only three years ago (they even rented it out three times in a row), in Meppel the “Ogterop,” and in Groningen the famous “Martini Plaza.”

Posters inviting people to watch the Creation film were put up everywhere. Three presentations were sold out.

In the meantime, I was still working on the production of the Dutch version of the Creation movie. The language still presented a hurdle. Then, emails and calls started coming in with information on how things were progressing locally: Radio interviews were scheduled (with stations contacting us), followed by a 30-minute TV appearance featuring Johan and a local SDA preacher. It had become a very public event. It was no longer stoppable. Even the Adventist congregations took notice. But not only them—the Union leaders were surprised and delighted and now wanted to get involved after all… but with a bit of caution and from the sidelines, as it were. God is powerful! He touches hearts and moves people, Including the leaders.

Brothers and sisters in the faith would regularly meet, praying for the tour to be successful, for wisdom when meeting other people, and for faithfulness, because each and every piece of marketing material included the sentence: “Organizer: Seventh-day Adventists”. But this was not all.

The Apeldoorn preacher told me, “Before, when we planned an event as a congregation and wanted to distribute 3,000 flyers, most of those flyers never moved, nobody would make an effort. When the 20,000 flyers for the Creation Tour were laid out for distribution and I wanted to take some for myself, they were all gone. The congregation was so into it; they were so dedicated. It was incredible.”

I then was approached by another preacher, and we talked a long time about his event in Groningen that was scheduled for the following week. He said, “Henry, I would never have thought that such a thing would be possible in our country. Last Sabbath we took Communion. Usually there are hardly any people there who join us for that. But last Sabbath, everyone had come!”

His eyes welled over with tears. “When we had to make a decision which hall to use for the showing of the Creation film, one that has 900 seats or one that seats 1500, a young girl piped up saying,“Do we trust in God, or do we trust in ourselves?” So, the decision was made right there and then. You know, we’venever experienced anything like this before. The congregation pulls together, we all pray together. For now, it has been a true blessing, and I would never have thought this possible. God does powerful things.”

Sunday, March 11, 2012, arrived—the day when it was all supposed to start. The local radio station had sent someone over. He did not only come for the interview in the morning. He stayed for lunch, watched the last minutes of our preparations, sensed the anticipation through the microphone, and listened to us pray. He recorded everything and asked many questions. He even joined us in prayer. A few days later, his interview was broadcast and reached thousands of people.

At 4:30 in the afternoon, the SDA members were sitting in this enormous movie theatre with tears in their eyes. They could not understand what was happening. The brand new, powerful projector was set up at a distance of 50 m and that was good, because the screen measured 200 square meters. The Evangelism director of the Netherlands Union was also there. He was beaming, and we hugged each other. He could not believe what he was seeing. His hands trembled as he took a photo of the crowd. God is powerful! Every seat was taken! Many people even had to be turned away.

The lecture started, and when Johan and I had to leave after the opening talk to drive to Apeldoorn where the next event was scheduled to start at 8 that same evening, we were met by the entire congregation. The brothers and sisters in the faith had not found a seat or had vacated their seats for visitors. They were forming a large circle and were holding hands. We prayed and thanked God for this miracle. Among them, the Director of Evangelism; he, too, had given up his seat for one of the visitors.

In Apeldoorn, 55 volunteers wore sport shirts with the logo “De Schepping” (The Creation). The manager of the “Orpheus” was not optimistic. Who would come to an event like this? The theatre held many seats. Would it be a full house? At 8 p.m. the lobby was filled with visitors. There were 1200 people in the theatre. In Apeldoorn—as in all other cities—the largest auditorium was filled to the last seat. Many interested in attending had to turn around and go home because there was not a single seat left. I do not have words to adequately describe how I felt then. I was literally blown away by the certainty of God’s presence, by the crowds of people, and by the quality of the event. There were three secular camera teams milling around, recording everything. During the intermission, people talked to each other in the lobby. Many had questions. Among them were young people who were searching for the truth and openly admitted that they had been touched by the presentation.

After the presentation, I found myself surrounded by many people and was answering questions. The owner of an evangelical TV station in Holland walked up to Johan. He and his wife attended the event and were deeply touched. He now offered to arrange, on his TV network in September, a complete Creation day, featuring interviews, talks by scientists, and much more. This channel reaches thee million people. Incredible! God is powerful. He has big plans for Holland and beyond! A few people approached me later, saying: ”Henry, Holland is by far the most secular country of the entire Trans-European Division. What happened here will also work in all other countries, God willing.” Truly encouraging, this thought!

I thank God for Amazing Discoveries Europe and for their connection to Walter Veith. The background work completed by Amazing Discoveries Europe for this project was outstanding. I could never do this kind of work by myself.

People ask me: “Large theatres, crowds of people in attendance, not a single seat left – is that all? Is this the goal of the Creation Tour?” A justified question, for sure. We often expect (frequently in the context of the Creation film) that visitors will join our churches immediately after the lectures, that they will want Bible studies, and will get baptized. But usually things don’t work that way—or very rarely. People need time to ponder their decision for God, time to have it ripen in their minds. And what they also need during this time is us—contacts, friends willing to talk about all the questions they struggle with. Because if there is no personal connection to us, there won’t be any conversations about faith. And if there are no conversations about faith, there is no hope. It is only through our personal experiences with God that we can truly touch and convince others. In Mark 16:15, Jesus says: “Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature.”

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