[notice]A monthly column in which we share testimonies of some of South Africa’s ‘True Champions’ who bring glory to God and bless their fellow-citizens, by opposing the tide of corruption and taking a strong stand for ethics in their spheres of influence.
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Faith, passion, humility, determination and awe are clearly evident within the man whom God entrusted with a vision 14 years ago, which would later become a vision for the world. It was only one year after this highly successful businessman had surrendered his life to Christ, while on holiday with his family in Spain, that he awoke at 4am and received what he calls “detailed instructions” from God as to what was required of him when he returned to Cape Town. The man, of course, is none other than Dr Graham Power who started a small construction company in 1983 and grew it into the Power Group, a multi-million rand entity consisting of Power Construction and Power Developments.
The complete vision, which Power eventually received, consisted of three waves based on 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, 1will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and 2turn from their wicked ways, then 3I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” So far, two of the three waves have reached shore; the third wave is still on the approach. The first wave started with 45000 people coming together to pray at Newlands Stadium in 2001 and, only eight years later, culminated in a Global Day of Pray (GDoP) taking place in 220 nations around the world and has continued to gain momentum. The second has seen the establishment of Unashamedly Ethical, a campaign that has mobilised people globally towards ethics, values and clean living. So far, the campaign is active in 96 nations with 4 500 corporates and about 20 000 individuals signing a public declaration in support of it.
No holding back
The obedience with which Power took hold of and carried out the vision is what sets him apart. There are many reasons that people, too often, know what to do but don’t do it, or start doing what they know they should but cannot complete it or see it through. With Power, the fact that he was heading up a large, multi-pronged organisation could have been reason enough to hold back. Yet, this was not the case. Once he had made the decision to live a life in surrender to Christ, his commitment was unwavering. As a result, a vision of the magnitude he received meant that business, at least for a while, had to take a back seat.
Not only did Power pour his heart, mind and spirit into working towards the fulfillment of the vision, but he ensured that a detailed account was recorded in print, on video and via the internet (www.globaldayofprayer.com and www.unashamedlyethical.com). In addition, he seemingly has no reluctance to share his testimony, surely, as God leads. A beautiful graphic illustration of the GDoP has been captured in the book, ‘Chronicles of Africa’, which has an accompanying DVD, while the more detailed story is shared in the book, ‘Not By Might Nor By Power’, written by Power and Diane Vermooten and published in 2009. The latter was followed by a guide to ‘Transform your Work Life’ co-authored by Power and Dion Forster and published in 2010.
In his 2009 book, Power recounts a “divine appointment” with two intercessors mere days after the first vision who confirmed that God was calling the church to prayer. The meeting ended with a firm date for the historical Newlands gathering. He also recounts another experience pertaining to securing the stadium as a venue, which he was powerless to do, as he would be on a flight to Israel on the day that the Rugby Union Board was to meet to consider his letter of request. After the plane landed, he received the news that the request had been granted. However, as with any move of God, there was severe opposition that needed to be overcome, not least from the church, but this did not deter him. True to God’s word, what the enemy plans for harm God turns around for our good (Genesis 50:20) and, as a result of the opposition, a committee called ‘Transformation Africa’ was born.
Power says his prayer in the early hours of the morning of the first day of prayer on 21 March 2001 was, “Father, have I been completely obedient, and will this prayer offering be pleasing to You?” The manner in which God has used this obedience, fear and humility since that early morning on the island of Mallorca is astounding. There can be no doubt that Power is an example of what God is able to do with an obedient heart.
In 2013, the Power Group celebrated 30 years of success and growth and marked its 100-year plan “to improve the quality of life in Africa through infrastructure development”. Like its founder, the company’s values and culture separates it from most businesses. Power says the group spends much less on marketing than most companies. He believes that, “Words may mobilise the masses, but it is the ethical practices and actions of our company that will ensure our ability to stand out in an ocean of unethical practices.” Under his leadership, the group and its people have won many awards over the years. In 2012, Power received the first Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year Award in Vancouver, Canada, from the Entrepreneurial Leaders Organisation and World Evangelical Alliance. This was followed by a Honourary Doctorate of Letters degree from Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. The latter recognizes an individual who has demonstrated academic excellence and who is globally engaged, intentionally diverse, personally transforming and socially relevant”!
Power, who describes himself as an African, has been married to his wife, Lauren, for more than 35 years. They have three children Gary, Nadene and Alaine and five grandchildren.