I’m a fan of fantasy, and I especially enjoy the works of JRR Tolkien, a devout Christian who wrote such classics as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. His works are highly allegorical and are filled with tales of tremendous bravery, heroism, and self-sacrifice. One of my favorites is the story of King Théoden of Rohan.
In The Return of the King, Théoden and his armies were reeling from an enemy invasion. While they had utterly annihilated their foes, they were severely depleted. Before they could recover, a neighboring ally called for aid, as they too were under attack and on the brink of destruction. Despite their own poor situation, the armies of Rohan prepared for battle.
However, when Théoden mustered his forces, fewer than half the troops he expected reported for duty. His lieutenants urged him to abandon the fight. They knew the enemy’s strength and told him frankly that there was no hope of victory. In one of the manliest one-liners in all of fiction, the king agreed and stated simply, “We will meet them in battle nonetheless.”
Théoden had pledged to aid his allies in times of need, and he was unwilling to let unfavorable odds prevent him from fulfilling that oath. He knew that the price of inaction would be thousands of innocent lives and chose to make the ultimate sacrifice rather than break his word. His sacrifice bought valuable time, and the city was saved when another allied force arrived to finish what Théoden started. Though he didn’t live to see it, his legendary courage paved the way for victory where lesser men would have fled the field.
As human beings, we have no hope of defeating the armies of Hell. Like Théoden, we know that our own strength is not enough to carry the day. Unlike Théoden, who had no assurance of success, we know that our help “comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:2). Scripture assures us that we will win, for “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). With such assurances, how can we do anything except “meet them in battle nonetheless?”
Director of Communications
Still on Station!
Schools are out and many local businesses are closed, but the PAYH ministry is still moving forward. We’ve sent our office staff to work from home, Glenda and Stephen are laying low in the big house, and access to campus is restricted, but our administration (Ken & Betty) and our mentors remain on station. The PAYH young men are still receiving the care and guidance the Lord has called us to provide for them, we are still learning the Scriptures, and they are still progressing in school. We’re not going to panic. We are just taking common-sense precautions to keep these young men safe. It’s why we’re here!
Nate McBride Visits PAYH
University of Georgia linebacker and Vidalia native Nate McBride visited with our young men last month and took the time to share his testimony with them. He spoke about his walk with God, the importance of controlling your feelings rather than allowing them to control you, and the importance of regularly spending time reading God’s Word. As he finished up, he stated that Jesus is the answer to everything and that only Christ can get you through life’s difficulties.
Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race 2020
We held our 5th annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race on March 7th, with nearly 500 runners in attendance. It was a record-breaking year, with PAYH and Winshape camps each receiving half the proceeds, or just over $15,000 each. Several of our young men placed in their age category, while Camden, one of our most senior young men, won 1st place overall! To learn more about the race or to see a video recap of the day, visit RunVidalia.com.
Finally, a skill from my past life that can be used today in these challenging times.
– Col. Ken Vaughn
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