An alignment of vision, faith, purpose and commitment has ensured that the Mighty Youth Conference in East London will equip the young people of South Africa to become actively part of “The Mission of God”.
The conference which will take place from Monday July 7 to Friday July 11. But its beginnings go back to four years ago, when God gave Nathan van der Merwe, a youth pastor at the Seaside Family Church in Gonubie, a vision to host a Mighty Youth Conference in East London. He continued to pray about the vision and the event to make sure it was God’s plan and not man’s desire. Nathan then contacted Mighty Man founder Angus Buchan for permission to hold the event under the Mighty Men Conference banner and was given wise advice to “start small and let God grow the event”. Later, Nathan phoned Tiaan van Wyk, a youth leader at the nearby AFM Spirit and Life Church, to invite him to a meeting to discuss the possibility of helping to organise the Mighty Youth Conference.
Tiaan could not attend the meeting, because he was in Durban sourcing ideas to host the same type of conference, but when he was informed of the Mighty Youth Conference, he hurried back to join his quest with Nathan’s vision.
“We both prayed about the venue that the conference should take place on,” says Nathan. “God revealed to us that He wants the Mighty Youth Conference to take place on a farm nearby to the AFM Spirit and Life Church belonging to Johan and Milada Burger.”
When Johan and Milada were approached to host the conference on their farm, Milada revealed that a few years previously she had been standing on the veranda of their farmhouse when she saw in the spirit hundreds of people on the slopes of the valley with a big stage in the valley where activity was taking place. “I knew that the activity was all to do with God’s Kingdom. I was very excited and felt privileged that our Father would choose this farm for His use,” says Milada. “When Nathan and Tiaan told us about their vision, I immediately knew that it aligned with my vision!
“My husband and I have always been involved with the youth and had ‘Service Year for Christ’ students staying on our property for three years, so the youth is close to our hearts,” she adds.
Tiaan says the organising committee started with a vision of an open air event for youth on a weekend during the March school holidays in 2014, “but God showed us so much more”!
“The Mighty Youth Conference developed into a week-long event, which will be taking place from the 7th to the 11th of July 2014,” he adds.
Nathan says each day will have two conference sessions and in between the young adults will be encouraged to attend a variety of free-of-charge workshops that aim to equip the teens to overcome the challenges that the every-day life throws at them and have fun while doing so. “Leaders of both the conference sessions and workshops have been prayerfully selected, as they will be imparting Kingdom knowledge into the young peoples’ lives,” he adds.
Mighty Men evangelist Johnny Louw will lead two sessions at the conference with other sessions being led by Dion Pfiffner, Stefaan Hugo from YWAM Cape Town, Robbie Black, Schalk Steyn and Arno de Bruin. Prayer has been at the center of all the preparations for the Mighty Youth Conference, which aims to create a platform to: empower the youth to become mission minded; make the youth aware that ordinary people can be effective instruments for God; equip young people to take on and overcome the challenges of everyday life; and encourage young hearts to be committed to the Lord.
Tiaan says all decisions made by the organising committee are first prayed about and the committee has prayer sessions together every Monday and on a Saturday they meet at the farm to prayer over the conference venue. “Prayer has been critical to both the preparations for the conference and unifying the organising committee.” Tiaan says one of the biggest lessons for the committee has been to rely on the Lord for provision, for He has been faithful with sponsorships providing for everything from the stage to speakers’ travel costs. “The organising committee has learned to depend on God and walk in faith.”
Nathan agrees saying everyone on the committee has matured in their relationships with each other, in their relationship with God and in their faith.
The Mighty Youth Conference is not affiliated with any single church or denomination. Youth from all over South Africa have already registered for the conference including Cape Town, Durban, Queenstown, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
For more information visit the conference website at www.mightyyouthconference.co.za telephone 079 434 6453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org