By Jeff Padgett, Ph.D.
“You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
Living knowing that your life is a vapor is different from just living. You’ve got to hold on to what will stand. To savor the things that matter. When Paul and Glenda began this journey back in 1961, no one would have dared dream where this pilgrimage would lead. Through hills and valleys, good days and bad, God has never wavered in His faithfulness.
And now, over 1,400 young men and their families later, we stand in utter amazement at the sheer longevity of God’s purpose fulfilled through a team of people single-minded of purpose. Pouring our hearts and souls into young men. To make a difference in their life as they, in turn, make a difference in the lives of others.
Saturday, October 23rd, 2021, became a milestone for PAYH, as we celebrated our 60th Anniversary. Due to COVID, it was not as large of a venue as we would have liked; still, it felt like a homecoming to those who came out (and those who joined us via social media). An opportunity to catch up with those from past and present.
With the theme centered around the Olympics, the evening both reflected Paul’s achievement of winning the Olympic gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games and honoring six young men as “Gold Medalists for Life.” It was a joy to have these men around once again. To see the seeds planted in their life become good fruit that will reciprocate back into their families and loved ones.
In keeping with the Olympic theme, there was a “passing of the torch” from our Matriarch, Glenda Anderson Leonard, to her daughter, Paula Anderson Schaefer and her son-in-law, Edward Schaefer. The torch used during the ceremony was the actual torch carried by Glenda during the 1996 Olympics. This powerful moment reminded us all that the mission is of such significance; perpetuation is a must.
God has set up our time on this earth to count for something meaningful. We have dedicated our existence at PAYH to having the frame of mind that the Apostle Paul writes about in Philippians 2:16, “In the Day of Christ, I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” We believe that PAYH will endure. Not because of ego, arrogance or even reputation. But because we rely on Jesus Christ to sustain us during our tenure of ministry to young men all over the United States.
Whether it be another 60 years or beyond, we reflect the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” Lord, allow us to be just that, as time is precious and every minute counts.
PAYH 60th Anniversary Celebration
It was a glorious fall evening on Oct. 23 as we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. We held a wonderful event on our lawn, complete with the lighting of an Olympic torch, a ceremony to honor some of our distinguished graduates as “Gold Medalists for Life,” and peaceful lighting of candles while Paul Anderson’s voice graced us in the background. Three generations of the Anderson family were there to participate, and the crowd could feel the love of this special group of people. Click the button below to see the pics and read more about the event.
The Paul Anderson 2021 Christmas Family Extravaganza
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