Our lives were richly blessed when the Lord put upon our hearts to homeschool both Peter and Mark as Peter was entering 3rd grade and Mark 2nd. Part of our home education program included some hands-on Creation Science Workshops with Mrs. Gary Parker at the Clearwater Christian College. This experience was one of the highlights to which they looked forward. Through expanding our studies of the lab workshops, we took to the field. As Peter and Mark had been great “field scouts,” always discovering interesting articles and engaging their senses as much as possible, the world became their living lab. We accepted an invitation to participate in a canoe/fossil field trip, and thereby added to our growing collection of fossils. This set it in stone! We were hooked! It was no longer a hobby; it became our life. Where to look, when we could go, what we might find, and how it would support the creation message became our dinner table discussions.

During a period between 1996 and 2000 the boys and Leah Marie were growing in other areas too. Our family took an adventure in the business world and owned and operated a convenience store/gas station and restaurant. Many skills were learned and the “window view” to the lost and desperate world was invaluable. This period prompted a brief hiccup in the boys’ adventure activities, but not a halt. There were more class studies and less field time. There were times that only Mom and Leah Marie could accompany them, yet they went with Dad’s blessings. As we restructured our business obligation, we were freed to pursue to the desired passion of Creation Science. Back to the field we all went.

Peter and Mark became quite proficient at fossil identification. They donated years of service to a larger Creation Science ministry as river guides, excavators, restorators, platform speakers, and much more. Digging for others and giving away thousands of fossils were easy for them as they desired to touch the hearts of those recipients and store up their treasure in Heaven. In April of 2001 the guys responded to that ministry’s “SOS” call to do some excavation on a location near a previous dig. The excavation work they did produced multiple mammoth bones — mammoth vertebras, a large tibia, a scapula, a femur, a radius, a condyle, a humerus, an ulna, and various bones fragments — all of which were donated to the ministry they were serving. They simply enjoyed digging for the Kingdom work. These bones today are on display in The Calvary Chapel Museum at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Ruskin Shell Pit

Hunting fossils in Florida has taken us to many different places, one of which is the shell pit. Peter, Mark, and Leah Marie have visited there and have often taken friends along for the fun. On one of the occasions, an Urban Utherium ground sloth was unearthed. Some of the bones found by Peter and Mark were: vertebra, ribs, and a prized tooth. We often carry these along with us on our traveling presentations.

Peace River Expedition

This is “home turf” for us. We have spent years here fossil hunting and fellowshipping with many. There has been bank digging, canoeing, river screening, camping, and sweet worship shared here. There are memories of big meg teeth, children’s lit-up eyes as they see how God so miraculously created every thing, and the fun of campfire sing-a-longs. Needless to say, these memories are a storehouse of treasure in our hearts.

It was in November of 2001 that a really special find was made. While canoeing, Mark found a Columbian Mammoth along the shore of the Peace River. Along with Peter and a group of friends, they uncovered the mandible and pelvic section. On successive visits to the site, a few other parts were excavated. This well-preserved specimen has been stabilized and secured in a transport mount. This mammoth has been dubbed “Mark Mammoth,” as he has enlisted in the Lord’s service as a testimonial stone.

Colorado Expedition

In the spring of 2001, we accepted an invitation to attend a dinosaur dig in Colorado. We could see then the significance of the experiences the Lord had used in the guys’ lives to bring them to this point. It was quite evident He had (and has) a big plan for them. They became focused and purposed in their lives and ministry as they each embraced this unique calling. The Lord had brought people and events into their lives that nurtured them along in this call. The scripture, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” took on a savoring flavor as they each mulled over in their minds just what it was that the Lord had for them to do. On the dig in Colorado, the boys drank in the instruction and supervision given and quickly applied it to their ever-increasing repertory of skills. The new matrix that was arrayed there was as friendly as a broke-in hat. Working at this site was preparing them further for future work at the “Dragon’s Den.”

Our next trip to Colorado was to set up our own dig coined “The Dragon’s Den.” Upon arrival at the Dragon’s Den, the guys set out to investigate some float material found by the property owner. While on this scouting mission, Mark located a still-entombed vertebra, which soon became two, then three. Over the next couple of days as Mark and Peter worked to uncover the bones, it became clear it was an articulated spinal column. Over the next year the excavation continued intermittently. The Allosaurus “Ebenezer,” as he has been named, was excavated by the collaborated efforts of many. From home schoolers and grandmas, from skilled and unskilled alike, God selected the hands He did to lend skill and strength for this monumental find to the Kingdom cause. Since the excavation, the bones have been brought to San Antonio where a space at Vision Forum has served as a lab for the restoration work. Hundreds of hours have been spent in the restoration process. Peter has been keeping detailed notes on the work process. The two study the supporting evidences found which point to a rapid burial and hope the observed and documented “time capsule” will be deemed as supporting value to fellow creation ministries. Mark’s steady hand and keen eye are excellent tools of the trade as he labors on Ebenezer. Mark, too, searches for supporting data as he gently removes the matrix from around the bones and teeth.

While Ebenezer may be stone silent, and his wily grin is fixed, one can’t help imagining the horrific scene, that flashed at his life-loss moment. It is clear this stone is crying out: “Judgment did ensue.”

Dinosaurs are not the only thing that you will find these two adventurers into. In Colorado you might find them in a rappelling harness over the face of a sheer mountain wall, or rafting the rapids of the risky river waters. God’s instilled commission to man to take dominion affords a challenge they gladly embrace. While at the Dragon’s Den, just ask them about the hike to the “Top.” They will probably take you — just make good and sure that you are in top-notch shape! It can be quite a challenge.

South Dakota

In South Dakota the guys got to fulfill a childhood dream of being cowboys. They got a taste of the “wild west” as the ranch owners offered to let them partake in a round-up. They loved it. They’ll be back for more next spring.

As we entered the thousands of acres of ranch land to which we were invited, we had no idea what the Lord was about to reveal to us. Peter led out marking favorable “float” sites. Mark then climbed up the ridge to give it a better look. As we followed along picking over the float, Mark zeroed in on one specific location. It was there that he found “Ezekiel,” the Edmontosaurus. With the help of Peter and our excavation team, those dry bones did come up out of the ground. The Lord again has put His blessing upon their faithfulness. Restoration work is presently underway. Ezekiel has already made several public viewings with a side profile exposure. The full cutaway of the skull plaster awaits future work on the rest of the animal.

David and Goliath

Peter and Mark, as well as our family, have endured an outrageous attack against their work, and our ministry. This doesn’t surprise us, as we know the wiles of the evil one is to try to thwart the Kingdom advance. A discerning look at Peter and Mark can cause you to think of David. He, too, was laughed at and told that he was not capable of slaying the “Giant.” This is very familiar, as this is what Peter and Mark’s oppressors say too. The familiar rhetoric which David’s brothers used, “You have pride and insolence in your heart to think you can do this,” is really only the principality of pride screeching out. Then there was Saul; he had his own insecurities which reflected in his response to David’s faith. “You are just a youth, you’ve got no training, not the right equipment . . .” Yet all along, God had looked upon his heart as He has Peter’s and Mark’s. He knows their hearts and has said unto them, “If I am for you, who can be against you?” Just as David took up the five stones, God has given them five stones, i.e., a mammoth (Mark Mammoth), an Allosaurus (Ebenezer), an Edmontosaurus (Ezekiel), a sauropod, and a Stegosaurus. All of these stones belong to the Lord. At His beckon, Peter and Mark can slay a giant. If these stones, just like the one David slew Goliath with, have to leave these young men’s sling (care) in the battle, May the Lord’s will be. For it was the working of the Lord to slay Goliath, and it is the Lord who works the erecting of these dinosaurs. He is able to make wise the simple and to make young men able to erect dinosaurs. He knows how to create dinosaurs, how to erect them, and how to slay giants. Which tools He chooses, if any, are all of His doing. These young men simply respond to the Lord’s calling: “Here am I,” as they are willing to be used by the Lord.

As David was taunted by his own brothers, so these boys have been by proclaiming-Christian brothers. God is using this, too, as a training ground for their spiritual growth. Along with the many restoration skills which are continually being refined, so are their Christian warrior skills. It has been a bombardment of collaborating forces which have taken ungodly, even wicked weapons against them. Still they trust the Lord. They pray, too, that these “stones” will be a memorial to the Lord as “Thus far the Lord has helped us” 1 Samuel 7:12.