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60,000 men weep & sing together

Dave received an amazing article via email today. The news was featured in the Sunday Independent on 27 April, but is only accessible online to subscribers.

Here are some excerpts . . .

To draw more than 60 000 men to a non-sporting, Christian event is not just an achievement, it could be deemed a miracle.

From all parts of South Africa and various corners of the globe, they came to the Mighty Men's conference in the small KwaZulu-Natal town of Greytown last weekend.

In three Boeings from Cape Town, 17 buses from Nelspruit, with cars backed up for nearly 30km on the road from Pietermaritzburg to Greytown, men converged on the farm Shalom. There was even a contingent of 140 farmers from Queensland, Australia.

Lawyers, doctors, businessmen, farmers, an army general - from Ireland, America, England, Australia, Swaziland, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa - were there for one purpose: to hear farmer-turned-evangelist Angus Buchan, of Faith Like Potatoes fame, speak, and hopefully turn their lives around.

About 80 percent of those present were Afrikaner men - and many of these Mighty Men were soon weeping as they listened to the powerful message that they "should take back the family unit".

For Buchan, 60, what was particularly staggering was that men responded in such numbers.

While even a mixed gathering of such proportions, including women and children, would have been difficult to comprehend in a small rural town, for men to feel the call and make the pilgrimage was literally earth-shaking.

As businessman Myles Buxton of Durban put it: "They were shaking the ground with the power of their voices as they sang."

Buxton said many of the participants had not really been sure why they were there. "But we knew we were there for a reason, and boy, did it arrive. There were these big, strong men crying like little babies. So did I."

Clive McMurray of Kloof said he had been to several Mighty Men conferences and had watched the numbers grow each year. "Angus's messages don't change dramatically from year to year, but are always based on telling men they must get their act together."

McMurray said the emphasis was on committing and recommitting, on going back home and loving the people around you. The focus was also on repentance and praying for South Africa and on loving one another in the way Jesus had loved.

If people were harbouring prejudices against other races, they should get it out of their systems. "He [Buchan] cries 70 percent of the time on stage," said McMurray.

For Buchan, what brought all these men together is easily explained. "God gave me a directive to turn fathers back to sons and sons back to fathers, to take back the family unit," he explained, saying he was still pinching himself to see whether it had not all been a dream.

Although he has been asked why there was no conference for women, he said his directive had been to challenge men to stand up and be counted: "To be prophet, priest and king. They must be the breadwinners, protect their wives and discipline their children."

At the first Mighty Men gathering five years ago 240 men turned up; 600 the next; then 1 060. Last year the figure rose to 7 400. Then came this year's mind-blowing 60 000 to 65 000.

Buchan believes that with this kind of support, South Africa can flourish; that it will not start with the politicians, but with people learning respect for each other. To this end, he has booked the 50 000-seater Loftus Versveld stadium for July 19 - and tickets are already sold out.

I've ended up including most of the article, because it is so amazing! Who knows what God will do across Africa, and even the world, as a result of this gathering.

Rebecca Matheson  – (April 29, 2008 at 9:52 PM)  

It's interesting (and this is a fantastic story to share, thanks!), culturally - and I don't know a huge amount about African culture, but I'm going to assume they haven't been crippled like some western culture in regards to 'how males should act' - you wonder how well the church is culturally doing over here. Yes God can and does move in mysterious ways - but when we are his hands and his feet, do we pay much attention?

Thanks again for the article Sherrin.

Sherrin  – (April 30, 2008 at 2:32 PM)  

Hello Rebecca,

One of the bits I edited out mentioned that 80% of the men at this gathering were Afrikaans. Dave has met Angus (the speaker), who is English South African. So I'm not sure if it is a cultural thing. I know Dave hates to cry, and he is English SA! I agree that it is problematic that men here have been encouraged not to cry - even Jesus wept!

Apparently the men were praising God and saying "Amen" all the way home in the planes as well!

Dave Drew –   – (April 30, 2008 at 3:25 PM)  

It certainly is enormously encouraging to see this kind of event. I am always amazed how God works; using an unassuming man like Angus Buchan to achieve what I hope will lead to great changes and to bring Him glory. Angus wrote a book called "Faith like potatoes" which I have not read, but comes highly recommended by people I trust!

Dave Drew –   – (April 30, 2008 at 3:28 PM)  

By the way, I certainly wouldn't say that the (apparently predominantly Afrikaans) men who would have attended such a thing would be any more likely/comfortable with crying and weeping than any other westerners. I suspect that there was probably just a remarkable conviction there. Of course, its not the crying which is so encouraging, but the fact that men are actually interested in leading, disciplining, taking responsibility!

Homemanager  – (May 2, 2008 at 9:09 AM)  

Sherrin,
Thanks so much for sharing this article! The Lord is so awesome! Glory to God!
The Lord is waking up His church and bringing us back to the Gospel and the Cross...He is raising up men of God to speak truth. Only He can do it!

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