A dream from God is coming to pass with the planning of a ‘Mighty Youth Conference’ in East London next year.
The ambitious vision for the 5-day conference for young people from July 7 to July 11 was literally birthed in a dream he had more than two years ago, said Nathan van der Merwe, youth leader at Seaside Family Church, Gonubie.
He said God clearly showed him in the dream that he should arrange a ‘Mighty Youth Conference’ for young people from East London and surrounding areas.
He said he prayed about the event for many months to make sure it was God’s idea and not his own. What followed confirmed it was from God. He emailed Mighty Men Movement founder Angus Buchan, telling him about the dream and asking whether he should aim to host the event in a stadium or on a farm. Buchan recommended a farm.
In July this year he asked Tiaan van Wyk, youth leader at AFM Spirit and Life Church in East London to meet with him to share his dream. The two youth leaders barely knew each other and unbeknown to Van der Merwe, Van Wyk was in Durban at a youth event at the time, and scouting for a venue for a big youth conference similar to what he had in mind.
Van Wyk said God told him in his quiet time that night that he should meet Van der Merwe. So he cut his Durban visit short and the two met in East London on Saturday, July 13.
The young men saw eye-to-eye and began to pray for God to provide a suitable venue for the event. The breakthrough came when they spoke to Johan and Milada Burger about the possibility of using their farm next door to Spirit and Life Church.
It turned out that God had already been speaking to Milada. She said she got “very excited” when the youth leaders shared their vision. Three or more years ago God showed her a vision of thousands of people sitting on blankets on their farm, watching activities on a stage. She said it was clear that the vision was about God’s kingdom.
“So when they phoned and shared their vision of using our farmland I said ‘Yes’ because I remembered the vision and said: ‘This is it!’ “
The Mighty Youth Conference has since grown into a joint venture to be hosted by the united youth of East London. The vision is to equip the youth of East London and surrounding areas to become actively involved in the mission of God. Young people aged from 13 to 20 will camp at the event. The MYC will be promoted all over South Africa and all campers will belong to groups of 10 under a youth pastor from their areas. This will facilitate ongoing discipleship after the conference.
In addition to main conference sessions built around the missional theme of the conference, there will be free afternoon workshops offering practical, everyday lifeskills to prepare teenagers for adult life.
For more information about the Mighty Youth Conference, or to register, please contact 079 434 6453, firstname.lastname@example.org or the website www.mightyyouthconference.co.za (to be launched soon), say the organisers.