By Jennifer Kingry, Salem Central Adventurer director
There was mystery in the air as we walked through the fog and passed the rows of chairs to find empty seats. The stage had white designs on each side that were lit up by a greenish blue light. “Claws,” I said out loud as I tried to figure out what the design was supposed to portray. “Dinosaur teeth,” said my 6-year-old daughter. “Spikes,” said my husband. “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…!” You could hear the excitement in the youthful voices as the kids counted down with the timer flashing on the big screen center stage. “…3, 2, 1!” Right on cue, Rich Aguilera stepped onto the stage and thus began our Dinosaur Encounter experience.
The Dinosaur Encounter boasts itself as being “an exciting 75-minute stage show for kids and families that explores dinosaur evidence from science, nature, literature, logic, and most importantly: The Bible.” By attending, you will “build your family’s faith through this Bible-based, easy-to-understand, interactive presentation, and get answers to many questions about dinosaurs.”–– It did not disappoint. There were times of seriousness when facts were presented, then our listening skills were put to the test by trivia breaks throughout the presentation. There were times of silliness and surprise when we met a baby T-Rex that recently hatched from his egg and then the baby’s angry mommy as she chased Mr. Aguilera around on the stage. The show had a good ratio of lecture to fun, spontaneous, laughing moments.
The Dinosaur Experience’s website claims that “it’s a show that both kids and adults will enjoy!” This held true for our family. My daughter’s favorite moment was the 3D movie of Rexy at the end. When I asked her to name one thing she learned, she responded with “What fossilized dinosaur waste looks like.” My husband was telling the jokes he heard presented at the show a week later. He’s very much into dad jokes and the ones that were told by the baby Rex were his kind of humor. I liked hearing Mr. Aguilera’s take on if the dinosaurs were on the ark and what life might have looked like when the dinosaurs were roaming around on Earth.
Overall, it was an enjoyable learning experience that encouraged us to look to Bible scripture for the answers. I would recommend this to all dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages and even to those not so interested in dinosaurs, as it was a fun experience for all.
We’re glad Oregon Conference Pathfinder/Adventurer club ministries was able to coordinate with Rich Aguilera to bring this dynamic program to three of our churches in Oregon. Sunnyside Adventist Church, which had the largest group, hosted nearly 400 attendees on Saturday night! While the Medford Adventist Church had 220 attend their program, where more than half the families were from the community. Salem Spanish Church hosted the last event on Sunday that weekend. You can check out the other amazing resources for kids by Rich Aguilera and his team at onemustardseed.com.