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Sep 29, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, October 2020

I WANT TO DIE FOR HIM

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. – John 15:13

In July 1941, a prisoner successfully escaped what at that time may have been the most terrible place on Earth – the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Frustrated by this occurrence, and wanting to discourage the remaining prisoners from repeating this feat, Commandant Karl Fritzsch randomly selected 10 prisoners to be forcibly starved to death in retribution. Upon learning that he had been chosen, a 39 year old prisoner cried out in agony, as he knew that his wife and children were about to be orphaned. It was at that time that one of the others, Maximilian Kolbe, stepped out of line and approached the Commandant.

He risked being shot on the spot, but Fritzsch noted that instead of the Star of David, this prisoner’s uniform bore a red “P,” identifying him as a Polish political prisoner. Rudely, the Commandant stated “Was will dieses polnische Schwein?” (What does this Polish pig want?) and called for an interpreter. However, no interpreter was necessary as Kolbe, a highly educated priest, replied in perfect German Ich will sterben für ihn.” (I want to die for him).

I want to die for him.

Everyone was silent for some time, until finally Fritszch spoke up and asked him why. Kolbe replied that the man had a family and that he wanted to take his place. “Gut!” (good) said Fritzsch, and allowed the substitution. Over the course of two weeks Kolbe calmed and comforted his fellow prisoners, leading them in singing hymns and praising God as they suffered through their final days. On August 14th he finally passed away, the last of the 10 to do so.

Franciszek Gajowniczek, the man whose life Kolbe saved, lived to the age of 93.

Christ hasn’t called everyone to die for others, but we have all been called to live for others. James chapter 1 tells us that true religion takes care of “orphans and widows in their need.” Indeed, Christ spent a large portion of His time on Earth in service to others. As Christians, we should be eager to do the same.

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Stephen Nichols

Director of Communications

STORIES FROM THE HOME

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More Than a Ring

Some time ago, Jonathan, one of our Alumni, was playing with his daughter, Sofia, who saw his PAYH class ring and put it on. He couldn’t help but snap a pic of her power pose! When asked about this, Jonathan stated “The class ring serves as a reminder of what the Lord has done in my life. In the Scriptures, there are numerous verses pointing to the past so that we may remember what the Lord has done for His people.”

PAGC-2020

PAGC 2020

It was a beautiful (but hot) day at The River Club in North Augusta, where we held our 27th annual Paul Anderson Golf Classic. The course was in immaculate shape and the friends and partners who played with us helped raise over $74,000 to help transform the lives of young men who need a second chance. PAYH alumnus Nathan Perkins and his team took first place, while Jonathan, the alum whose daughter is pictured in the previous story, took both the long drive and putting contest prizes. Click here for a video recap of the day.

Ken-Paula

Riding for the Nazarene

Our COO, Col. Ken Vaughn, took some time off from his duties at PAYH to engage in his own personal ministry – Riding for the Nazarene. Over the course of his 3,558 mile route, he visited 17 states and numerous historical locations, including Paul Anderson Memorial Parkin Toccoa, GA (where he is pictured with Paul and Glenda’s daughter, Paula Anderson Schaefer), raising funds and awareness for Voice of the Martyrs, which helps sustain and support the millions of Christians across the globe who have suffered persecution for their faith. Learn more about his story, his journey, and his mission at his blog, ridingforthenazarene.com.


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Sep 23, 2020

Seeing God

“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’“ – John 14:7-9


Only one person of the Triune God is visible to your eyes. You serve such a God, who is three persons in one, but you will only be able to see Him through His Son, upon whom you will one day look face-to-face.

We read in the Scriptures that no one has ever seen God, and in the child’s catechism we learn that “God is a spirit and does not have a body like man,” implying you cannot see the Father with your eyes. Should you be like some of the disciples, including Philip, and ask Jesus to show you the Father? Read again Jesus’ answer to such a question. But just as the Holy Spirit, you do not have the capacity to see God the Father. Two of the persons of the Trinity are fully invisible to your eyes. But Jesus is and always has been the visible image of the Godhead. The Apostle John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. and the Word was God,” and this same Word is and has always been the visible image of God.

In the first chapter of Job we are told that Satan presented himself before the Lord. Did Satan see God in this encounter? This is the spiritual world made up of persons not visible, except for when they make themselves visible, just as God and two of His angels did when visiting Abraham near Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you know if “the Lord” in this revelation in Genesis is God the Father or the pre-incarnate Son? But because the Scriptures tell us in John 1:18 that no one has ever seen God, then the theophanies of the Old Testament are always the second person of the Trinity.

He appeared to Joshua as the Captain of the Lord’s Hosts. He wrestled with Jacob. He was in the burning bush and spoke to Moses. He was in the pillar of fire and towering cloud which led Israel out of Egypt. These are “theophanies”, visible manifestations of God to man, and it is Jesus before His birth, as the Second Person of the Godhead, and after who expresses the Triune God to all His creatures.

So what is God, the Father, like? According to His Son’s revelation He is just like Jesus. The same in His nature. The same in His character. The same in every trait as Jesus except human flesh. Jesus told you He always did the Father’s works, He spoke the Father’s words, He has the Father’s heart. “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” This is something difficult for you and me to fully grasp, but such is received and accepted by faith.

Your faith receives as true the truth that flows from Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life. We may not comprehend it all, for God is infinitely beyond us, but He reveals Himself to us in His Son. It is not possible for you to fully comprehend the Almighty God, for you would be seeking what Eve sought when she believed the serpent, who told her in eating the fruit she would be as God. Utter foolishness! There is and will always be only one God, who has been from all eternity, and will be forever. All else is created and must be sustained by God.

If you truly desire to see God, look intently at Jesus Christ. Be intimate with His Word, for He is the Living Word. Imitate Him in all His ways. Place Him in the forefront of your mind and heart. Look always to Jesus as the founder and perfecter of your faith. Love Him with all your heart, strength, and mind. You will never know God apart from knowing and loving Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except through Him.”


“Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.”

(1st verse of Walter Chalmers Smith’s hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, “ 1867)


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Sep 16, 2020

Recognizing Jesus

“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” – Matthew 11:3


“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” In human terms you might label this the multi-million/billion/trillion-dollar question. But in the most significant terminology you could ever use, this is THE question which supersedes all other questions.

John the Baptist, imprisoned with a death penalty hanging over his head, sent messengers to Jesus with this peculiar question to ask him. For some reason John had become mystified over who Jesus really was, and this after already saying of him as he came to receive baptism from John, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

With what John had said of Jesus already you would think he was absolutely sure that Jesus was and is the Messiah. But you must remember that even though Jesus called John among the greatest of prophets, John was still a mortal, fallen creature born with original sin just like the rest of us. Yet he was a redeemed man, redeemed by the very One whom he announced to the world, as it was prophesied of him hundreds of years prior in the few last words of the entire Old Testament: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”

Jesus said of John, “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.” And then this “Elijah” sent messengers from prison to ask Jesus if He was THE ONE! Was he the one who had come to set captives free, to break down the bars of captivity? John thought of such promises of the Messiah as he languished in Herod’s prison, still a captive.

This question is also before all mankind. It is asked of you. Is Jesus the one to whom all the world must come for salvation? Is He the promised Messiah? Or shall we look for another? Another person? Another way? Another means of salvation?

This was asked of His disciples – “Who do people say that I am? But who do YOU say that I am?” Peter answered for them all – “You are the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of the Living God; to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”

In a world where there are so many people and things which claim to offer salvation to mankind; which claim to be “the way, the truth, and the life”; can any one person, thing, or way claim this? Isn’t this the height of hubris to make such a claim? The mantra of the modern age, in fact, the mantra of all the ages is, “there are many ways to God, there are many roads to salvation!”

This is either true or it is the greatest lie of all the history of mankind’s existence. This was the lie told in primeval Eden. And this same “serpent” has been repeating this lie ever since. And, what is more, people have been believing it. This is the lie that is like the fog which creeps in on little cat feet to every mind, seeps under doors of houses, slides through the cracks in window sashes to find residence in the hearts of men and women.

It was said in the days of Noah; it was offered in the days of the prophets; it was thought in the days of the wisemen who came from afar to worship Him who came as a babe in the flesh; it was said of Him who hung on a cross; it was spread as rumor about the empty tomb; it will be shouted from the rooftops; that is, until one day “every knee shall bow and proclaim Him Lord of lords, and King of kings to the glory of God the Father.” Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?

In many ways it might seem easy to believe the lie and not recognize Jesus for who He genuinely is. There is much to compete with His claim throughout the universe, except for this: the evidence of the world shouts, the intricate design of everything that exists says, the heavens especially declare in their glory, the perfect prophecy fulfillment over millenniums of time emphatically shouts, “I am that I am!”

The one who denies all the abundant evidence of who Jesus is says “my eyes are blind to everything and anything presented to me. I would rather rot in hell than believe Jesus is who He says He is; the Savior of the world!”

Count it all joy, brothers and sisters, if the scales fell from your eyes and you recognized Jesus as Savior and Lord, and trusted Him to provide you eternal salvation through His blood. You recognized Him, not as the gardener, but as the risen Lord!


“Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed thee. Amazing love! How can it be that thou my God shouldst die for me?”

(4th verse of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain,” 1738)


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Sep 09, 2020

You Are Not Your Own

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1st Corinthians 6:19-20


Strange words, perhaps, written by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians. Is it rational to say to a human being that you are not your own? After all, everyone has their own separate thoughts; a solitary mind, soul, and spirit.

Once past childhood, in which a young child understands they have parents who protect, nurture, provide, and discipline them, they move on into the teenage and adult years in which they begin to understand they are an individual; a separate entity from all others. They grasp the private life of separate thoughts, of conversation with themselves, of time alone, an intimate life known but to them, except what they choose to share with another.

Who “owns” this? There is an instinct born of fallenness that this realm belongs only to them. No one else can know it, except what you choose to share, and even then, you seldom share all. So you naturally think this is known only to you. The perception is that no one else is privy to what goes on in your brain and heart. No one shares your intimate “you” time.

But is such really true? Does God know and see your private self and life? Can Satan perceive your inner thoughts? Can you know this when you see neither? There truly is a whole other world apart from the material world you see and touch. And it is both, material and spiritual, which makes up your total existence.

It is very true you can ignore God, but that doesn’t make Him blind to you. When living in Scotland with a three-year-old daughter I was playing hide and seek with her in the backyard with few places to really hide. When it was her time to hide, she became frustrated to not find a place to hide as I counted down to “ready or not, here I come.” So she dropped immediately to her knees in the middle of the yard in full sight, and covered her eyes with her hands.

She thought, perhaps, if she could not see herself, then I would not be able to see her. It is a similar thing with God. Your chosen ignorance and denial of God and of His seeing you does not render you invisible to Him. He still sees and knows you completely. He knew you intimately in your mother’s womb, and He knows you throughout your life, inside and out.

He made you and His Providence sustains you. So who do you think “owns” you? Maybe this is a question you never ask. Your natural instinct is to answer, “I own me!”

In the context of 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 you are told that if you have been bought with the blood of Christ through His death for you on the cross, you are not your own, because you were bought with a price. God owns you, for He bought you with the price of His own Son. And I rather think you take great comfort in that!

Those who by their own choice do not belong to Christ, have rejected God’s ownership of them and willfully are on their own. Since they are unable to save themselves, they are consigned to condemnation. If they knew this was what they were doing by their rejection they would indeed tremble and succumb to horrifying fear. As it is they are quite oblivious, until confronted with the truth of their circumstance.

The problem for you and me is do we recognize and act on God’s ownership of us? Do we live and think of God knowing our thoughts, our words, spoken and unspoken, and speak and think them so that he is both pleased and glorified in them? This is what Paul refers to when he says you are not your own, if you indeed see yourself as a redeemed person in Christ.

Paul stresses how necessary and vital it is that you see yourself as not your own, but God’s, and intentionally choose your thoughts and words to please and glorify Him. It is this active, continuous work of “taking every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2nd Corinthians 10:5)

You can see yourself as either the owner of your private, individual self, or you can see yourself as an “open book” to God. Nothing is hidden from Him with whom you have to do! You live and think this purposefully and rest in the truth that it is so.


“And when, before the throne, I stand in Him complete, ‘Jesus died my soul to save,’ my lips shall still repeat, Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

(4th verse of Elvina Hall’s hymn, “Jesus Paid It All, “ 1865)


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Sep 02, 2020

Risking Your Life to Love Your Neighbor

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:37-39


Consider the story of Chiune Sugihara as a powerful example of loving your neighbor as yourself. This man saved as many as 6,000-10,000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing them from the train as he pulled away. He ended up saving 6,000-10,000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died. The monument to him in Vilnius, Lithuania is pictured above.

He was often called “Sempo”, an alternative reading of the characters of his first name, as that was easier for Westerners to pronounce.

His wife, Yukiko, was also a part of this; she is often credited with suggesting the plan. The Sugihara family was held in a Soviet POW camp for 18 months until the end of the war; within a year of returning home, Sugihara was asked to resign – officially due to downsizing, but most likely because the government disagreed with his actions.

He didn’t simply grant visas – he granted visas against direct orders, after attempting three times to receive permission from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and being turned down each time. He did not “misread” orders; he was in direct violation of them, with the encouragement and support of his wife.

He was honored as Righteous Among the Nations in 1985, a year before he died in Kamakura; he and his descendants have also been granted permanent Israeli citizenship. He was also posthumously awarded the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania (1993); Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996); and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2007). Though not canonized, some Eastern Orthodox Christians recognize him as a saint.

Sugihara was born in Gifu on the first day of 1900, January 1st. He achieved top marks in his schooling; his father wanted him to become a physician, but Sugihara wished to pursue learning English. He deliberately failed the exam by writing only his name and then entered Waseda, where he majored in English. He joined the Foreign Ministry after graduation and worked in the Manchurian Foreign Office in Harbin (where he learned Russian and German; he also converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church during this time). He resigned his post in protest over how the Japanese government treated the local Chinese citizens. He eventually married Yukiko Kikuchi, who would suggest and encourage his acts in Lithuania; they had four sons together. Chiune Sugihara passed away July 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Until her own passing in 2008, Yukiko continued as an ambassador of his legacy.

It’s a tragedy that the Sugiharas aren’t household names. They are among the greatest heroes of WWII. Is it because they were from an Axis Power? Is it because they aren’t European? I don’t know. But it is a worthy subject for a movie.

He told an interviewer:

You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. Among the refugees were the elderly and women. They were so desperate that they went so far as to kiss my shoes, Yes, I actually witnessed such scenes with my own eyes. Also, I felt at that time, that the Japanese government did not have any uniform opinion in Tokyo. Some Japanese military leaders were just scared because of the pressure from the Nazis; while other officials in the Home Ministry were simply ambivalent.

People in Tokyo were not united. I felt it silly to deal with them. So, I made up my mind not to wait for their reply. I knew that somebody would surely complain about me in the future. But, I myself thought this would be the right thing to do. There is nothing wrong in saving many people’s lives. The spirit of humanity, philanthropy… neighborly friendship… with this spirit, I ventured to do what I did, confronting this most difficult situation—and because of this reason, I went ahead with redoubled courage.

He died in nearly complete obscurity in Japan. His neighbors were shocked when people from all over, including Israeli diplomatic personnel, showed up at quiet little Mr. Sugihara’s funeral.

Tucked away in a corner in L.A.’s Little Tokyo is a life-sized statue of Chiune, seated on a bench and smiling gently as he holds out a visa.

Two days ago, September 1st, was the 81st anniversary of the beginning of WWII and September 2nd was the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender. So today is a good day to remember one who loved his neighbor as himself, Chiune Sugihara, who risked his own life to save 6,000-10,000 Jewish men, women, and children for Jesus’ sake.


“No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine! Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine, bold I approach th’eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own. Amazing love, how can it be, that thou, my God, shouldst die for me!”

(5th verse of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And Can It Be,” 1738)


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Sep 01, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, September 2020

CAUSE AND EFFECT

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

On this day, 81 years ago, German soldiers stormed across the Polish border and officially began the largest and bloodiest conflict in world history – World War II. Over the course of 6 years the world would be forever changed, and many tens of millions of lives would be lost. Many decisive battles were fought, such as the Battle of Britain, El Alamein, Midway, Stalingrad, Guadalcanal, and many more, culminating in Allied victory and the ultimate defeat of Nazism and Fascism. One such engagement, the Battle of Kalkhin Gol, is particularly interesting in that while it was fought before the war even began, it dramatically affected the course of the war to come.

The USSR and Imperial Japan had been in the midst of a border dispute for some time, and in August of 1941, their forces would meet at the Kalkhin Gol River on the border between Mongolia and Manchuria. The resulting Japanese defeat led them to abandon their hopes of conquest in the North and sign a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union that they would never violate throughout the course of the upcoming war.

This had two major effects on the impending conflict. First, when the Nazis invaded Russia in the summer of 1941, they had no support from their Japanese allies. This ultimately allowed the USSR to use Siberian troops to reinforce a beleaguered Moscow, helping prevent the fall of the city. Had they been engaged with the Japanese instead, they could not have turned the tide of this critical battle, which could have led to the fall of the USSR itself. Second, the Japanese shifted their focus away from the Asian mainland and began to look toward the Pacific theater – a course which would ultimately lead them to attack Pearl Harbor and draw the United States into the war. This massive influx of manpower and material support virtually guaranteed victory for the Allied cause. In short, without the Battle of Kalkhin Gol, the USSR might have capitulated, and America may not have entered the war at all, and the war itself may have ended with Axis control of the Afro-Eurasian landmass and dominion over 80% of the world’s population – a grim outcome indeed.

Like the Battle of Kalkhin Gol, the situations in which we find ourselves often end up having a greater impact than we realize. As Christians, we can recognize that these events are ordained by God and that, even when we don’t have the slightest idea how, He is executing a plan that will ultimately work out to our benefit. Just as we are able to look back and see the ripple effect that Kalkhin Gol had on the events of World War II, so will we one day be able to look back on the struggles that shaped our own lives and see how God’s perfect will was accomplished through us.

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Col. Ken Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer

STORIES FROM THE HOME

Paul-with-Medal

To Live is Christ, and To Die is Gain

Last month marked 26 years since our founder, Olympic gold medalist, and world’s strongest man, Paul Anderson, finished his earthly mission and went home to be with the Lord. Through his commitment God’s call, his fervent desire to share the gospel, and the Christ-like love he showed to all around him, Paul helped offer hope and a second chance to innumerable young men. Though he was a man of unrivaled strength, Paul knew that he could not get through one day without Jesus Christ. Today, 59 years after it began, his legacy continues at the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

Bryce-Skydiving

Freefalling

Bryce, one of our recent alumni, recently had the chance to do something he had wanted to do his whole life – skydiving. After taking off, they climbed to 10,000 feet before he and his instructor deliberately left the safety and security of fully functional aircraft and plunged toward the Earth. Reaching speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, Bryce described the experience as “just awesome.” A few short minutes later, they were safely on the ground after a successful landing. Bryce stated he not only wants to do it again, but he intends to get his own certification.

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Farmer to Family

In partnership with the Southeast Produce Council, Nickey Gregory Company, First Baptist Church Vidalia, Shuman Farms, Vidalia Heritage Academy, Vidalia Police Department, Handy Andy, and Pastor Ricky Cummings, the “Farmers to Family” food giveaway was a great success. With their help, we were blessed to be able to distribute over 1,000 boxes of fresh, high-quality produce to those in need in our community!


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