The Kalahari is a hard place and its farmers are tough and hard. But missionary Juan van Tonder is trusting that “hearts of stone” will be softened by the love of God at the Mighty Men Kalahari from November 11 to 13.
Speaking from the camp site at Tosca, about 170 km north of Vryburg, Van Tonder said the stage and all the infrastructure for the event were in place and he had a peace in his heart because he knew that the Lord was in all the arrangements.
The vision to hold the men’s camp on the wide open, arid plains of the Kalahari was birthed after Van Tonder attended the MMC Cape at Paarl in March. At Paarl he spent some time in prayer and conversation with Mighty Men movement founder Angus Buchan.
Back in Tosca he and Dries van Zyl, a friend and local farmer, discussed the possibility of hosting a Mighty Men event in order to to change their community. During prayer, Juan received a vision of Jesus Christ standing with the seven lamp stands in His hand, and the date of the event was made clear – 11.11.11.
Van Tonder got permission from Shalom Ministries to hold a MMC and planning for the Mighty Men Kalahari began. A site was found on the farm Grasbank of Jan and Mariaan Fourie — fittingly on a potato field (for any reader who may not know, this refers to Faith Like Potatoes, a book and movie about Angus Buchan’s walk of faith as a farmer.)
Van Tonder, who has many testimonies of God’s faithfulness from his own life as a missionary in some challenging situations in the Kalahari and Angola, said they initially expected to cater for local farmers only and planned to accommodate 750 men. But they started to get inquiries from men in other areas and so they started to cater for 1 500 men.
“But now a few thousand tickets have been sold. Who knows where it will end?” he said.
Angus Buchan, Johnny Louw, Wollie Grobler, Juan van Tonder, Retief Burger, Riana Nel and Lanzelle du Toit are in the line-up of people who will minister to the men at Tosca from Friday, November 11 to Sunday, November 13. Gates open at 12 noon on Monday, November 7. More information is available on the MMC Kalahari website and facebook page. Online bookings can be made here.