A few weeks ago, Kim and I joined 50 others from our church family for a trip to visit The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.
We chartered a bus for the 2 1/2-hour trip.
The parking lot is about a mile from the actual park. Don't worry...we didn't have to walk....
The sheer massiveness of the ark pretty much takes your breath away the first time you see it.
It was built to the dimensions given in the Bible (translated into modern measurement units)...510 feet long (that's nearly 2 football fields long!), 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high.
With people in the photos, it gives a better size perspective.
Wow. Just WOW!
Inside there are three decks of amazing exhibits, showing what life may have been like...
...for Noah and his family (3 sons with their wives plus his own wife) during the year they lived on the ark as floodwaters covered the earth and destroyed all life on it.
Countless clay pots to hold food and water...
And bigger pens for the others. It took LOTS of pens!
The dinosaur theory is quite intriguing to me, that Noah brought even dinosaurs onto the ark. Not sure exactly what I believe about all of that...but my questioning in that area does not cause me to doubt at all the validity of this true story found in the Bible.
The obvious was clearly stated as we entered the ark...creative license based on solid research was used throughout the exhibits. The Bible does not lay out all the specifics, so the modern creators of this ark did extensive studying beyond the Bible of other ancient writings as well as cultural norms of those times to create very likely possibilities of how things MAY have been inside.
Hard to prove things 6000 years old....
Kristoffer and Dana and their kids as well as Emily and Zach went too.
These crazy critters (my grandchildren Kelsey, Kaden, Kassie, and Karter) were NOT on the ark!
There were very life-like dioramas throughout the ark. When I first glanced at this scene, I thought it was a real, live human man fixing something up there! Then I realized he was part of the exhibit, showing how Noah's sons may have fed some of the bigger animals.
Even old Noah himself was there, "talking" and answering questions!
I was intrigued by their rendition of the living quarters for Noah's family, as well as the information about them. Much of that information comes from other ancient writings outside the Bible.
According to ancient manuscripts, Noah's wife was named Emzara.
And they had 3 sons who, along with their wives, also were on the ark.
It took a lot of man/woman-power to take care of all those critters!
In my imagination, I don't think of their quarters being quite so nice...but what do I know?
Certainly cooking for the family of 8 was the women's responsibility.
My favorite scene in this area was this one...I have TOTALLY been in this same situation 6000 years later and I know exactly what is running through Noah's daughter-in-law Kezia's mind...
"No more beans, Ham! I am sick to death of snapping green beans! Do not bring me any more!!!"
Yep. I feel your pain, Kezia!
I do also love this depiction of Noah and Emzara....
...as the dove Noah released returned with a green leaf in its beak! The earth was alive again!
Throughout the ark, I loved it that every opportunity was used to present the gospel message to everyone through the exhibits but also in video presentations.
Some gorgeous artwork depicting scenes from the ark story....
And a wonderful small Bible museum displaying old scrolls as well as how God's Word has spread and continues to spread across the world.
Outside there was a fun animal area.
I took several photos there, but this was the only usable one as I forgot to change my camera settings when I left the darkness of inside the ark and stepped into the brilliant sunshine outside.
(You'd think I was a beginning photographer...still make my share of dumb mistakes after all these years!)
We had a little time to spare before the charter coach picked us up, so we walked around the grounds a bit.
I snapped this photo just seconds before Kelsey lost her balance and fell, hitting her head on the cement floor and scraping her back on the wooden benches...
But after a few minutes of tears, she joined the other kids in our church group!
Love this bunch of hoodlums!
And I'm a bit partial to this hoodlum too!
A wonderful day learning more about God's provisions and love for His people...
...at the ARK Encounter.