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Another dream come true

by Creation Museum on January 30, 2004
Dan Carlson

Since childhood, Dan’s dream was to create special effects and other cool stuff for Hollywood. But after years of training, he learned that opportunities in the art world are limited for Christians, especially in Hollywood. Little did he know how God was preparing him for an even greater opportunity (Psalm 37:4).

Six Years of Training

Dan spent six years in formal art training—two years in industrial design at the Columbus [Ohio] College of Art & Design, and four years on a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture at the Ohio State University. He learned about drafting, 3-D rendering, stage and set design, photography, video production, product design, steel, wood, clay and other sculpture techniques.

But his dreams of a special effects career went unrealized. The entertainment industry, often hostile to the Christian worldview, just didn’t seem like where God wanted me to go.

Dan spent the next four years as a self-employed drywall finisher, getting to know the construction industry—both commercial and residential—and the ins and outs of the trade. It was a blessing, but God was preparing him for a greater task.

Six Years of Waiting

During this time, Dan learned about AiG’s Creation Museum at a seminar in Columbus. He got fired up and sent an enthusiastic letter of inquiry about the honor and privilege to serve the Lord at Answers in Genesis.

Nothing was available at the moment, and six years would pass, while the Lord continued to prepare him—and AiG.

While living in Columbus, Dan volunteered to create graphics and set designs for a Christian radio/television ministry, geared for teens and young adults. There he heard many tragic stories about children—the amazing falsehoods they were being taught in secular (and even some Christian) schools, the struggles they faced each day in an amoral society, and the hopelessness that leads students to contemplate suicide even in grade school. He also heard stories about the many lives changed through hearing the truth of the gospel.

Recently, a friend suggested he get back into creative work fulltime. So, while on a walk with his wife, Tami, Dan considered resubmitting his resume to AiG to do just that. Even though they hadn’t heard from AiG in six years, they decided that if God really wanted him there, He’d work it out.

Meanwhile, Patrick, the museum design director, had been reviewing applications on file for a new position, looking for a person with just the right skills and experience. Three days after Dan’s walk in the park, Patrick decided to contact him about the position. This was the answer that Dan, Tami and their families had been praying for.

Finding Dan was an answer to our prayers as well!

Not Just a “Kid Zone”

Dan can hardly contain his excitement now that he’s here. He sees the museum mas a phenomenal way to expose young kids to the truth in an exciting atmosphere. It’s not just a “kid zone”, but he’s convinced that it’ll have a life-changing impact on young kids.

It’ll make such a difference in their lives, he believes, to see that they have a Creator who has answers to their questions and a plan for their lives.

Getting Right to Work

Dan went right to work when he was offered the position, even though he had many details to settle, including a home in Columbus (over two hours away) that he was in the middle of remodeling (the kitchen had been gutted!).

Dan will be helping Patrick in several capacities, both as an artist and as an experienced subcontractor. He can’t wait to nail down Pat’s designs, converting paper to real-live plastic and steel. At the same time, he’ll be sure to throw in a few special effects here and there.

Dan knows what it takes to bring together contractors and volunteers to convert dreams to reality. He’s seen the Lord do it all his life.

Please pray for Dan and the whole museum team, that the Lord would use each of us to glorify Him in this one-of-a-kind opportunity to impact the culture and the world.