Angus Buchan’s visits to six universites last month brought significant hope to Christian students who were disillusioned by ongoing protest action, says a student pastor who inspired the campus tour.
“I don’t think many parents realise the pressure that Christian students are under in the university classroom environment, nor do they realise the uncertainty and fear there is for the future, or the emotional heaviness and depression that students have had,” the Stellenbosch Shofar Christian Church student pastor, Sias le Roux says.
“However, after each of Uncle Angus’ meetings there was a great sense of deliverance, relief and hope.”
Le Roux says he brought the students’ plight to the attention of Buchan who prayed about it and was convinced of the urgent need to reach out to students and encourage them to stand up for Christ on campus without fear.
Buchan cancelled a trip to the United States in order to preach to students at six campuses that had recently experienced rioting and protests.
“After each of Uncle Angus’ meetings there was a great sense of deliverance, relief and hope,” says Le Roux.
“I now have much greater hope for the next generation,” he says.
He says the campus tour which attracted large numbers of students in comparison to the relatively small number of students involved in rioting, encouraged him that young people really are hungry for God and want to do His will.
The tour highlighted another important revelation — that South Africa’s youth are in need of father figures with strong ethical and moral values who encourage the younger generation.
“There is a young generation of South Africans waiting for the hearts of the fathers to turn to their children and the hearts of the children to turn to their fathers,” Le Roux says.
“There is urgency for the generations to come together in agreement and move for God.”
James Pringle, a worship leader from Shofar Christian Church, who was at three of the campus meetings, says he approached the tour with great expectancy that it was a move of God.
“God has a plan for this country and we were invited to be part of His plan. I was excited to see how the tour would unfold.
Peace and presence of God
“The first event at UCT was special. Although it wasn’t as big an event as at Stellenbosch the peace and presence of God was evident. At one stage we were singing about God’s holiness and there was such a sense of freedom with many students dancing in praise and worship of God.
“Something else that made a big impact was when Uncle Angus asked whether anybody suffered from fear or depression and almost everybody put their hands up. However, after a lot of prayer and ministering it was amazing to see the joy that manifested.”
Pringle says the meeting at Stellenbosch was miraculous from the outset, because the university does not normally allow religious events at that venue.
“It was a perfect location, a beautiful big hall. The students crowded in, filling all the seats and then sitting on the floor — I’ve never seen that venue as packed as it was, nor filled with such a sense of expectation.
“Through being involved in these events, I was so blessed and humbled by Angus’s ministry, because he was there for the people in that room. He was not thinking about the next meeting, He was there for those present and he was in the moment – God had something planned for each event.
“There were people healed at Stellenbosch, specifically a person that had come to the meeting trusting that he would be healed . . . and he stood-up from his wheel-chair and walked.
“At the end of the night there were students running around the hall in praise of God.”
Pringle did not attend the events in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein but he was at the Potchefstroom meeting.
“Similarly to the other events there was a sense of expectation. From a praise-and-worship perspective it was not so much the band leading worship as students coming prepared to worship.
“What was amazing was that during the praise and worship a lady was healed from paralysis as a result of a stroke without anybody praying for her or laying hands on her.
“God’s presence was evident from the beginning of the night,” says Pringle.
He points out that Buchan said at each event that he was not there to talk about politics or protests, but that he was there to serve each person.
“It was profound for me, because we tend to want big and broad change, yet we forget that God wants to touch and change each individual’s life and that they, in turn, will make a difference wherever they are.
“That is the power of Uncle Angus’ ministry — whether there are a few hundred or a few thousand people in the hall, each person has a personal God-encounter, and leaves there challenged, leaves there convicted about things that have to change, and leaves there trusting God to set them free in certain areas.
Power of being a child of God
“Uncle Angus trusts God to move in every individual’s heart. I really appreciate the way he approached it, because it was no quick-fix attitude, but rather that if people start to understand the power of being a child of God it will set them free.
“This was reflected in the words of the song we sang at the end of each meeting ‘I am no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God’,” says Pringle.
Theo Pedro of Shofar Christian Church, who was the coordinator of the campus tour programme, says his expectations for the outcome of the meetings were far exceeded.
“We never imagined there would be such a big response from the students to attend the events, nor did I expect students to respond so positively during and after the services.
“I would say that more than 90% of students who attended the events were committed to take a stand for Christ on campus.
“It felt like the next revival was starting in South Africa from the campuses with students coming together and being encouraged to share the gospel and the good news of faith.”
Pedro says while many of the campuses have been tense as a result of protests, none of that tension was evident at any of Buchan’s campus meetings.
“Quite the opposite, for example at Stellenbosch many of the students didn’t want to leave after the meeting and carried on worshipping.
“From our side we were aware of a joy among the students getting together. The events were all joyful.
“Students responded very well to Uncle Angus’ way of presenting the straight-forward truth of God’s Word. In Jo’burg he presented much of his message in Zulu, as the majority of the crowd were black students, which was appreciated.”
Plans to extend the tour
Pedro says there are plans to extend the tour after the midyear holidays to campuses that have not been visited yet.
“We really feel a spiritual shift has taken place on the campuses where meetings were held, which is wonderful, because we know God is moving.”
Jannie Moolman, coordinator of the Karoo Mighty Men Conference, who was at the meeting in Bloemfontein, says he experienced the Mighty Men Conference founder in a way like never before.
“He was really on fire. You could hear and feel his abundant love for the youth and how he would really like to make a difference in their lives, because he realises that the future of the country is in their hands.
“He spoke a lot longer than he normally does. It was wonderful to be in an audience of young people of all races, it was really a wonderful experience.
“The students were so receptive to Uncle Angus’ message. At the end of the meeting we sang ‘No Longer Slaves’ and it felt as though the roof would lift off.
“One could sense people being set free in the spirit.
“There was a strong sense of healing. Uncle Angus just talked about the love of Christ, healing and the meaning of life.
“He also spoke of an urgency for people to stand-up for Jesus in our country, which is the only way our country can be saved, according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land’.
“One could sense the Holy’s Spirit’s presence. I spoke to a few students afterwards and there was a common experience of the joy of the Lord.”
Reflecting on his experience at the campuses, Buchan says: “The students have been well-behaved and hungry for the truth. They want the Word of God straight and they want it undiluted.”
According to media reports, protesters have caused damage to property estimated at R400-million on SA campuses. However Buchan says the protesters are a very small percentage of the total student body and are giving the students a bad name.
“I am an ambassador for the students of South Africa. I told them that in 10 years they would be running this nation and when Parliament is started every morning with the Bible, ‘then you will see a country that will lead the world’.
Encouragement and support
“All the students want is support. We need to stand up for our young people. What they need is immense encouragement.
“I was so saddened at one of the major campuses when I asked the students to please raise their hands if they are suffering from fear, from anxiety or from depression. I was shocked to see up to 90% of the students raising their hands.
“We really need to stand with our young people and support them, and not criticise them or even worse to antagonise them to wrath.
“I am positive that there is a huge change coming through the young people, not only in South Africa, but the world. I shared with them at one particular campus that I see a herd of young, wild horses that are ready to run.
“They are going to run; that is a given, but which way they are going to run depends on us, the fathers of the nation. They can either run for Jesus, or they can run for the devil. We need to do our work.”
Buchan says the opportunity to preach on campuses was “not something that we have engineered it is a miracle from God!
“If you go to the last book and the last verses of the Old Testament it says that before the second coming of the Lord, “. . .he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers,” Malachi 4:6 (NKJV) and that is exactly what happened.
“For the last month I have been preaching at Mighty Men Conferences, predominantly to men, and then preaching to young people in all the major university campuses in South Africa. I can honestly tell you that I have never been so excited before in my ministry as I am at present,” Buchan says.
“It is quite amazing to have young men and women come to me at the campuses, and say that their father was at the Mighty Men Conference the week before; then to hear the fathers say that their sons or daughters were at the campus meeting.
“I really believe that we are now living in the last days and that God is turning the hearts of the fathers towards their children and the hearts of the children towards their fathers, but we as the fathers need to take the first step forward.”
He says that when he sees what is happening in the rest of the world where church attendance has dropped and there are more unbelievers than believers, he realises that in South Africa God is doing something very special.
“The response that I got, particularly from black students, really amazed me. I am a white farmer, but these black students embraced me.”
He says his theme at each meeting was the same: “What is the meaning of life, which is very simple, to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever — because if students know their identity in Christ as a child of God and know the meaning of life they will live with meaning and purpose.
“Since I have come back from this campus trail I am so optimistic about the future of this nation, because the students have an absolute interest for this country.”