Never Underestimate the Enemy
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. – I Peter 5:8
In March 2013, a US MQ-1 Predator was on a mission in the Persian Gulf that called for it to fly close to, but not within Iranian airspace (16 miles to be exact). A few months before, a similar mission had seen the drone intercepted and attacked by Iranian aircraft, and this mission appeared to be no different as two IRIAF F-4 Phantoms moved to intercept. Unbeknownst to the Iranians, the US Air Force was prepared for this possibility, and immediately directed two USAF F-22 Raptors to intercept the Iranians.
Introduced to service in 1960, the F-4 Phantom was a workhorse in the Vietnam war, flying many thousands of missions and destroying 147 enemy aircraft. However, by 2013 it was better suited for museums and airshows than air-to-air combat. By contrast, the F-22 Raptor is one of the most advanced machines ever flown, outclassing the F-4 in speed, maneuverability, weapons loadout, and every other meaningful way. In a direct confrontation, it would never have been a contest. However, that is not what happened that day.
In addition to its formidable combat abilities, the F-22 is a stealth aircraft. Very few systems have the ability to detect its approach, and half-century old Iranian aircraft are certainly not among them. The F-22’s quickly caught the F-4’s, approaching completely undetected, and flew below them to inspect their weaponry before surprising them by “appearing” to their left. They radioed the Iranians and told them “You really ought to go home,” which they promptly did.
The Iranians severely underestimated the abilities of their opponent. At no point were they in a position to win the encounter, while the US aircraft could have destroyed them at their discretion. Similarly, we have a tendency to underestimate our enemy, Satan. We deceive ourselves and often pridefully believe we are up to the task of opposing him on our own. We tell ourselves things like “I can be strong. I can resist temptation when it comes.” Unfortunately, we invariably end up falling short. Consider this excerpt from Martin Luther’s hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work his woe;
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
In a fair fight, the “Prince of Darkness Grim” beats us every time. There is simply no comparison between his abilities and ours; no hypothetical set of circumstances could end with his defeat at our hands. This leaves us exactly one path to success – the Cross. If we don’t know Christ we are helpless against the enemy. Nothing but destruction and eternal torment awaits us if we choose to stand on our own. However, through Christ, Satan’s final defeat is already assured. God doesn’t need our guidance, our resources, or our help, but in His mercy He has invited us to join the winning side. For all who do, final victory and eternal life are both guaranteed.
Director of Communications
STORIES FROM THE HOME
Easter is a special time for us at PAYH, as it is to Christians the world over. On Easter morning, the young men had a special service on the knoll, where Paul Anderson is buried. There, Stephen Leonard discussed with them the meaning and significance of Christ’s resurrection. Afterward, they enjoyed breakfast at Shoney’s, an afternoon playing sports, and rest.
Dr. Crozier Visits PAYH
Last month Dr. Gordon Crozier spoke to the PAYH young men, telling them that their yesterday does not define their tomorrow. He explained that Christ provides hope for their future and can empower them to do anything, and they should take charge of their negative thoughts and surrender fully to Christ. Thank you Dr. Crozier for sharing your wisdom.
Hard Work Pays Off
Drake, one of our young men, has advanced to a leadership role among his peers. As a leader, he does everything from taking care of the animals on campus to being a positive role model for other young men and being his “brother’s keeper.” Moreover, Drake has demonstrated an awareness that his actions matter, and that he does the right thing even when no one is watching. Congratulations Drake for a job well done!
In Memoriam: “Aunt” Nell Hodges
Last month we said goodbye to a lady who has been a beloved presence at the Paul Anderson Youth Home for decades. For those who did not know her, she was a two-time cancer survivor and was determined to live for the advancement of a mission she shared with us: giving generations of young men a second chance through salvation in Christ. Nell taught our boys unconditional love and the value of respecting their elders. We will miss her dearly, and uphold her as a shining example of how great an impact one woman can have on the world. Now, “Aunt” Nell, may you rest with our Savior.
As we celebrate 60 years of operation and look to impact the lives of more young men, 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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