There can be no doubt that God is raising up a new generation of leaders with vision, commitment, dedication and courage, based on the message delivered to young people at the Youth Transformation Africa (YTA) prayer day at Newlands Rugby stadium on Monday, April 27, 2015.
For evangelist Angus Buchan, affectionately called “Uncle Angus”, the main speaker at the #YTAUNITE prayer event, it was also no coincidence that God chose Freedom Day for this significant gathering of some 2 500 people in the same venue where the first Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) was held in 2001. According to Uncle Angus, God wants to set the youth free from oppression and suicidal tendencies by giving their life meaning and He is looking for men and women who are uncompromising and have the faith to believe that, with Him, all things are possible.
Many of the predominantly teenage crowd at the stadium were bussed there from outlying areas such as the Cape Flats. According to Cape Town youth pastor and visionary of the prayer day, Kyle Driver, it was organised as a response to a God-given vision for revival of the youth in South Africa and the rest of Africa, and to call the youth of the Western Cape to turn away from violence and crime and to commit themselves to peaceful transformation.
Uncle Angus quoted 1 Timothy 4:12 – “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”, and Genesis 18:14 – “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” to illustrate his message. He told the story of a soldier, a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who could not drive. One day the army captain told him to drive a jeep from point A to B and all the other soldiers started laughing. He got in, started the ignition and drove the car, at which point, his mockers started crying and immediately wanted to know more about Jesus. Then they opened the bonnet of the jeep he had just driven and showed the soldier that they had taken the engine out of the car.
Need for vision
Uncle Angus emphasised, though, that the youth must start by having a vision and not allowing their circumstances and current situations to deter them from having a dream for the future but, instead, allow God to sort out their problems. He shared his own testimony of how, as a youth he was underweight and had severe acne but he had a dream of speaking to thousands of people and telling them about Jesus after he was saved on February 18, 1979. He said he would get on the back of his bakkie and speak to the mealies on his farm until one day he found himself speaking to thousands of men at a Mighty Men conference, with which he has now become synonymous. He urged the youth to repent of being lazy and having no vision and invited them to join him in asking God to use them for His purpose. However, he cautioned everyone to only say the prayer if they had made a serious decision, saying that God is One to fear, not the devil.
Having led the youth in prayer, Uncle Angus advised them what their life would be like following their decision – they would need to separate themselves from past behaviour and practices, spend time with the Word of God, and be like a live fish that swims against the stream and not a dead one that floats with the stream, which will result in their friends moving away slowly. As followers of Jesus, Uncle Angus explained that a believer’s focus should be on becoming more like Jesus and less like the world.
Glory of the Lord
Pete Greig, founder of the 24/7 prayer movement, was next to address the youth and told them that while darkness is covering the world leading to fears about the economy and the future, violence, the xenophobia recently witnessed in South Africa, etc., the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. He says it is time for a new generation to rise up for such a time as this. He added that it was remarkable that the day on which the gathering was taking place was also the 21st anniversary of South Africa’s freedom, meaning that it has reached full adulthood, and that it was time for the generation born during the first year of freedom to take their place as future leaders. Greig said that God wanted to take the youth and turn them into leaders but it will require sacrifice on their part. He shared a vision God gave him of young people rising up from the pages of an atlas. He encouraged them with Isaiah 61 and urged them to utilise the Alpha course as a resource to help them walk in their purpose and achieve their vision.
One of the other testimonies shared was by Patrick Kuwana, a member of the Unashamedly Ethical (UE) campaign, one of the partners of YTA, which was instrumental in helping to organise the event. Kuwana made an impassioned plea for forgiveness on behalf of the fathers of the youth gathered who have failed in their leadership roles and responsibilities towards their children. He petitioned the youth to become members of the UE campaign by pledging to become leaders who are committed to ethics, values and clean living.
Aside from the encouragement of seasoned men of God, such as Uncle Angus; Dr Graham Power, Founder of the Power Group, GDOP and Unashamedly Ethical campaign; and Pete Greig, the youth were treated to a spectacular lineup of local and international artists, including Neville D, Vital Signs, Micassa and DJ Eazy; as well as personal testimonies.
Significantly, YTA leader, Kyle Driver, believes that the scripture that encapsulates the vision God gave him is 2 Chronicles 7:14, the same scripture that Graham Power says God gave him before the 2001 stadium prayer day, with the promise that God will release a positive wave of revival and transformation as people respond to His call by humbling themselves, praying, seeking His face, and turning from their wicked ways. The stadium gathering on April 27 was a short-term goal for YTA. It plans to host similar annual events in the years to come with the hope that the youth in not only Cape Town but the rest of South Africa, Africa and the world will be transformed as they begin to turn back to God and turn away from evil.