What Are Birthdays For?

We celebrate Paul Anderson’s Birthday this month. He would be 90 if he had lived beyond 1994. Born in 1932, Paul developed Bright’s Disease, a severe kidney illness, at an early age in life. Doctors told his mother it was highly likely that Paul would die before he lived out his teen years. As it was, Paul beat that by more than three times, living to age 61, before his kidneys finally failed.

Actually, Paul lived ten more years than he would have due to a kidney transplant from his sister, Dorothy Johnson.

What is a birthday specifically? It is a calendar marker for you and your mother to keep track of how old you are. Starting with your first breath until exactly one year after, when you blow out your first candle and eat your birthday cake with ice cream: one year old! Of course, you are already roughly nine months of age at that first breath; but those are not counted.

Very few people do not know how old they are, largely, because most of their birthdays are celebrated. You grow older, knowing just how many years of life you have achieved. And we all learn pretty quickly how to count to ten, then a hundred.

Paul did not pay much attention to the doctor’s prognosis for his life as he started in earnest to eat healthy things his mother chose for him beyond the current medical advice; then strenuous workouts, lifting weights, and soon searching out on his own many healthy protein “foods” to meet his prodigious needs. Better than dying as a frail and sickly teenager, Paul was soon setting records in weightlifting.

Providentially, God had planned out Paul’s life as he does all of our lives. He, according to that plan, chose a beautiful teenage girl to partner with him as his bride. When his disease began to catch up with him, she was at his side to take over. In fact, as he traveled extensively to speak, lift, and raise the money to keep the Home operating, Glenda was there with her staff family to keep it running smoothly.

After his 61st Birthday, Paul proceeded to glory with his successor already in place. She continues in that role to the present day, 28 years since his Homegoing.

Yes, our Birthdays are helpful markers in all of our lives. They tell us something about all the days God has ordained for us to serve him here. It is one way for us to keep track of God’s blessings in our lives. Perhaps we do not knowingly use our Birthdays in that manner. But we should. We should thank God for each successive year He gives you to serve Him in this world wholeheartedly to His glory.

We celebrate Paul’s 90th anniversary of birth this month and remember his 61 years of service to God’s kingdom before He called him home. None of this would be possible without your prayers and contributions to PAYH to continue this ministry of leading young men to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Your assistance in this labor of love is essential! And we give thanks from the bottom of our hearts for you. All of you make PAYH possible. God bless you!

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Stephen Leonard

Keep The Torch Burning During Our 60th Anniversary

Since the start of the pandemic, ten boys have completed the program, and we have increased the number of students we serve by 75%.

Now, we ask you to help us keep the momentum going and the torch burning as we conclude our 60th anniversary. Your tax-deductible donation will help support scholarships, recruitment efforts, security and technology upgrades, and general campus maintenance.

If you haven’t been able to give yet, please consider making a gift today. If you have already given during this anniversary year and have the capacity to give more, we implore you to do so. Your gracious generosity is sincerely appreciated.

Let’s keep the torch burning and continue to support the boys and the future God has for them. 🔥🙏🏻

Happy Birthday In Heaven!

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

On October 17th, which would be Paul’s birthday, PAYH will hold a special Day of Prayer on campus with our boys, reflecting on Paul’s legacy and the mission of our Home.

When Paul Anderson’s name is mentioned, several titles come to mind: World Champion, Olympic Champion, two-time U.S. National Champion, World Record Holder, and so on… For our Home, the titles include Father, Husband, Founder, Mentor, and Friend.

He was a true man of God and worked diligently to honor his Heavenly Father. What made his devotion to Jesus so strong, you ask? In the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Paul won weightlifting gold in the 90+kg weight class despite a high fever and inner ear infection. His triumph is known as one of the greatest comebacks in Olympic weightlifting history. As the New York Times reported, an ailing Anderson “fell so far behind his chief rival that on the final of three required lifts, he needed to clean and jerk 413.5 pounds, an Olympic record, to claim the gold. Twice he tried and failed. On the third attempt, HE ASKED GOD for a little extra help and received it.”

Paul is a true testament to the power and strength the LORD gives us. Go through this week with the confidence that the LORD is all-knowing and has given you His strength to lean on.

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