ICR just returned from Grand Canyon having completed another successful tour, with both a 10-day rafting option on the Colorado River and a 7-day bussing adventure throughout the American Southwest. Actually the ICR tours not only explore Grand Canyon, but also Mount St. Helens, Yellowstone Park, Galapagos Islands, and now the new tour to Yosemite accomplish several important goals. Some may ask, "Why does ICR offer such `vacation' packages? Isn't ICR's mission an academic and research one?"
Several reasons come to mind. Most obvious, each of the tours are to areas of ongoing ICR research. From radioisotope dating of Grand Canyon rocks to genetic diversity in the Galapagos Islands, important creation questions are being addressed. Furthermore, since ICR receives no government funding for this research, the tours help facilitate and finance it. Often the ICR scientists will be on site a week before the tour arrives, financed by tour "profits," doing the important field mapping and sample collection.
A second major goal of ICR is communication of creation information. Through the tours, numerous Christians have been more thoroughly trained than otherwise possible with first-hand knowledge gained from hands-on interaction with the sites and researchers involved. Tour veterans are thus prepared for a more effective ministry, and even have their own photographs and stories to tell.
Thirdly, these trained tour participants have tasted of the ICR passion for creation and received lasting input regarding creation's relevance to evangelism and society. Bible study and sweet fellowship impress these truths even more fully. These new ICR ambassadors leave better equipped to carry the ICR message into venues an ICR scientist might not reach.
Yes, the tours are a very important aspect of ICR's ministry. Join us if at all possible. The inaugural Yosemite tour this fall would be a good place to start!
A smiling crowd of creation enthusiasts!