This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, December 2020
The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. – I Samuel 13:5
In February 1918, as the First World War approached its conclusion, British Major Vivian Gilbert found his forces in a deadlock with the opposing Ottoman forces as part of the larger campaign for control of the Holy Land. Gilbert, a Christian and student of the Word, had recently read the story of how Jonathan and Saul defeated the Philistines at Mikmash. Using his knowledge of the terrain, Jonathan exploited a secret path to gain the high ground and outflank the Philistines, defeating a far superior force. Surveying the Turkish position and comparing it to the Biblical description of the terrain, he realized that his adversary was camped in the exact same spot as the Philistines had been millennia before. At that point, a radical idea entered his mind.
Gilbert planned a morning attack, but sent a detachment by night to search for the secret path, known to him only because of his study of the Scriptures. Remarkably, they found the way up and took position on a small plateau overlooking the Ottoman camp. When the morning attack commenced, the Turks found themselves taking fire from multiple angles, and were decisively routed with their entire force killed or captured.
Using Scripture, Gilbert had exploited 3,000-year-old topographical intel to win a total victory over his enemy. At first, that sounds surprising, but the fact is the terrain hadn’t really changed since the days of Saul and Jonathan. The intel was still valid, and thus the battle plan was sound.
I like to view the Bible as somewhat of a “battle plan for life.” In Gilbert’s case, he made it literal. For all of us, the Scriptures remain as applicable to our daily lives as they were when they were written. The world might look very different, but, like the hills above Mikmash, the spiritual landscape remains the same. Whatever comes our way, whatever trials we face, whatever spiritual battles we fight, God has given us the tools we need in His Word. They never go out of date and they always apply.
When in doubt, refer back to the battle plan.
Col. Ken Vaughn
Chief Operating Officer
STORIES FROM THE HOME
Running the Race
The pandemic struck in earnest the week after this year’s Chick-fil-A Race, and kept us from getting together for what seemed like forever. However, last month we were able to finally complete the check presentation. Big thanks to ZORN Insight, Spivey Orthopedic Clinic, Altamaha Bank & Trust, Pineland TelCo, Smile Doctors, Woody Folsom Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Vidalia, David Sikes, Nathan & Courtney Perkins, Chapman Pharmacy, Brewton-Parker College, Lasseter Tractor Company, Canoochee EMC, Altamaha EMC, and Progressive Landscaping. Together, they helped to raise over $30,000 to benefit the PAYH as well as WinShape Camps. Our next race is on March 6th, 2021. We can’t wait to see you there!
The PAYH young men spent a week at Athens Y Camps last month. They enjoyed numerous fun activities, including fishing, canoeing, and even a pumpkin carving contest. On the way back, they continued a long-standing PAYH tradition and stopped by Paul Anderson Memorial Park, which features an 8 foot tall statue of our founder. However, they also broke with tradition and experienced an unexpectedly intense storm. Numerous trees were down across the campus, the gym was severely damaged, and the adventure building was completely destroyed. Thankfully, God protected them all and that despite the damage, there were no injuries.
It was a night to remember at the 2020 Paul Anderson Christmas Family Extravaganza. After enjoying refreshments, attendees enjoyed a program featuring everything from comedy routines to Elvis impersonations to the Vidalia Heritage Children’s choir to Christmas Carols with the PAYH young men. We wish to express our appreciation to all of our performers, sponsors, attendees, First Baptist Vidalia, and especially to Rev. Don Moye, who selflessly and tirelessly organized a truly God-honoring event.
As we gather together to celebrate this Christmas season, we are asking everyone to keep an open ear and open heart to spread the word about the Paul Anderson Youth Home and connect us with the families of young men who are struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger, and depression. Through our spiritual counseling, character development, and accelerated learning program, we share Christ with these young men. He is the one who transforms their lives for eternity.
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