“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.
Col. Ken Vaughn
Chief Operating Officer
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, 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.
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!