South Africa, Mighty Men and Revival
From 18 - 20 April 2008 over 60,000 men from all over South Africa flocked to Angus Buchan's farm 'Shalom' near Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa [see map below] to the -
Mighty Men Conference 2008
'Being male is a matter of birth: being a man is a matter of choice'
Note: Skip (fast forward) through the above video to catch the flavour
Angus Buchan is from Scottish decent and is by nature a very fiery character. Before he came to know Jesus, he was very aggressive and tried to do everything himself. This caused him to clash often with his farm workers, especially Simeon Benghu, his foreman. What made matters worse was the fact that he had been forced to sell his farm in Zambia at a ridiculously low price and when he got to South Africa he had very little money to buy a farm. They eventually purchased a farm without a house and had to live in a caravan for several months. Jill was 6 months pregnant and they already had three other young children. In addition to the cramped living quarters, there was no running water on the farm.
The farm workers at Shalom soon named Angus, ‘Nkosaan Italiaan’, because they said he looked and behaved like a mad Italian. They used to laugh and mock Angus, saying that they were convinced he would leave the farm in a couple of months. That was in 1978. Now, over 30 years later, the Buchans still farm at Shalom.
The change in Angus came when he gave his life, his heart, his family and his farm to Jesus during a church service at the Greytown Methodist Church. He decided to take God at His Word and to trust Him in everything. Soon, with the same fiery passion with which he farmed, Angus began to tell people just how God had changed his life. This new faith in Jesus did not make life any easier, but it did give him peace beyond understanding and it assisted him to make sense of life.
When the Lord called Angus to start preaching and to share the Gospel, Angus acted in obedience and soon he started getting calls from all over South Africa inviting him to preach to farmers. His faith grew with every campaign and with every miracle that he experienced.
Angus's story has now been published in book form entitled "Faith Like Potatoes". The book has also been turned into a film of the same name and was shot at the the Buchan's own farm. It was recently shown at a Chit Chat ladies evening in Culduthel Christian Centre.
Andrew Strom now sends the following report (Feb. 2009) based on his observations while visiting South Africa.
I am writing this from Limpopo in South Africa - right near the Zimbabwe border.I have been here for about 10 days so far - ministering in different parts. Ithas been a great visit. The situation here is quite unusual.
Of course, South Africa has gone through massive changes in the last 15 years.It used to be the white South Africans who were in charge - ruling the countryand keeping the black people down. But these "apartheid" laws were done away with in 1994 - and now the rulership of the country is basically in black hands.
There has been quite a lot of turmoil and difficulty during this transition period - and one of the interesting things that I have noticed is how this hasaffected the white people. A genuine spiritual hunger has been taking hold.
People here are very aware of what has been happening to the white farmers inZimbabwe, just to the North. They know that many were forced off their land orkilled - and that Zimbabwe has virtually fallen apart. Even in South Africa many white farmers have been murdered in recent years. And the crime rate has soared. This "threat" overhanging the country has caused many people to begin crying out to God. There is a spreading spiritual hunger in the land.
There is a Scottish farmer here named Angus Buchan who began holding big Christian prayer gatherings around the country. He is a very simple man - not theologically trained - just an ordinary farmer full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Last year Angus held a men's gathering on his farm. They were expecting perhaps 30,000 men. But 60,000 showed up to seek God. This year they expect 200,000. Something is happening in South Africa. People are repenting, reconciling - getting right with God. I think it is just in the early stages.
When I was in Bloemfontein last week, I was with a man who is leading a growing prayer network in that area. He said he has full permission to go into the High Schools and present the whole school with a talk on prayer.
He then launches large prayer meetings in each school, where the students come together regularly to pray. Blacks praying with whites. Whites praying with blacks. It is awesome.
The sense of apathy and complacency that I often see in other Western nationsis simply not present here. The "threat" overhanging the country is too real.The potential crisis is too obvious. And so people pray. And they also become spiritually "hungry".
I wonder what it is going to take to wake up our other Western nations in this way? What level of "shaking", what level of threat or crisis will it take to finally cause the West to become spiritually hungry again? We desperately need a wake-up call. And being here in South Africa has shown me yet again how a long grinding crisis is the very thing that is often needed to cure our apathy and lukewarmness. Lord, bring "whatever it takes" to turn us back to you!
Thank you so much for your prayers, my friends. It has been a wonderful trip, with people repenting, getting baptized and also filled with the Holy Spirit. Glory to Jesus! This week I head to Capetown and Western Cape before headingback home. Please pray for my family as I minister here on the other side of the world.
In a day when our countries desperately need true Christian leadership and vision, it is most encouraging to see how God can raise, and has raised up men of calibre and courage who are - most vitally - energised by the Holy Spirit with a heart for building the Kingdom of God.
In his book 'Skye Revivals', Steve Taylor wrote:
We live in a day when anyone who is to be considered for what some term 'full-time Christian ministry', is expected to be highly educated and trained in matters theological. Yet most of the men God chose to use in the early days of awakening in Skye would today be passed without a second glance. In God's eyes, it would appear that the standards of the Church in our generation matter little.
John Farquharson - a poor uneducated man whom his tutors had given up as unteachable, and Donald Munro - a poor blind musician are hardly the people the Church would appoint today if it were considering a major evangelistic thrust in to a semi-pagan area. Yet these are exactly the men chosen by God for such a task. Yes - there were to be others with greater educational ability but even they, before being used by God, were to become objects of scorn and derision in the eyes of their clerical peers.
Is it possible that the Church today, with all of its emphasis on educational ability, and qualifications, has missed out on the vital importance of the ministry of the whole body? Might it be that, in a day of moral and spritual decline, God is calling us back to the simplicity of true faith, prayer and devotion as we see these qualities displayed in the lives of the men....we have examined.
In an earlier age, Charles Wesley wrote:
Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of Kings.
Rise up, O men of God,
In one united throng.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.
Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up, and make her great!
Rise up, O men of God!
Tread where his feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!
Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa