Faith, expectancy and amazing testimony in countdown to MMC
Victor Lemmer, 37, has never been to a Mighty Men Conference (MMC) and has only been a Christian for three years but he will be hosting the first Johannesburg MMC in five weeks time — with the full blessing of Mighty Men founder Angus Buchan and the hands-on assistance of key members of the team that have done a great job of running the Karoo Mighty Men since 2011.
The MMC Joburg is taking place on a spacious site in the Eikenhof area south of Johannesburg from Friday, March 7 to Sunday March 9 and includes a seasoned lineup of speakers in Danie Botha, Afrika Mhlophe, Francois du Toit and Franna Benade. The event will have “an evangelistic focus similar to Oom Angus’s original vision”, said Lemmer.
“I do believe that we will be harvesting souls for Jesus on this weekend, but my focus will be on what will happen afterwards. We want to get most of the churches involved to be able to take the responsibility for the newborn Christians. My biggest fear is to win souls and lose them again because there is no support after the Mighty Men event.”
So how did Lemmer get the approval of Buchan who still sets stringent standards for the MMC event that he pioneered on his KZN farm for seven years, despite handing the baton over to his ‘spiritual sons’ in 2010, when he instructed them to hold regional MMCs throughout South Africa from 2011?
Lemmer’s testimony is remarkable.
“I have always been that ordinary guy that works for a living, watches rugby on Saturdays and had a few drinks (sometimes too many) with good friends. I worked as a business and financial advisor for a few years, but in 2008 the change in the economy, things went bad and we lost just about everything. Our house was sold on auction, we lost vehicles and for three years I could not find a job. I never blamed God for I did not know Him,” he explains.
He says he previously believed that God watched from heaven and kept a tally of people’s good and bad deeds which determined their eternal destiny. But that view was to change.
“About 3 years ago the Lord spoke to me (which I thought was only possible if your name was Moses and you have a burning bush in your yard) and I decided to give my life to Him and serve my Father in Heaven. I have a beautiful, wonderful wife Sharon, who stood by me through all of this and two gorgeous kids, my daughter Danika, 12 and son Zandre, 9.”
Lemmer says that in April 2012 he received a word from God that he should host a camp for men. He started arranging an event, thinking that 25 to 50 men would be a big event. But at a church service in May he got a word from God through Marc Bredenkamp who said: “The Spirit of the Lord said that you are busy arranging something for Him – you got to go bigger.”
He started planning for an event for 500 men but subsequently received a call from Bredenkamp who said he was not listening to the Lord and should go bigger.
‘You are the right person’
At the persistent urging of a friend, he contacted Buchan in March 2013. In May, he received a call from Buchan’s daughter, Jilly, who said he should come to the family farm as her father “has prayed about this and God showed him that you are the right person”.
“I met with him on the 8th July 2013 and he handed over the baton to me,” said Lemmer who says the MMC Joburg will become an annual event.
Lemmer and his team of speakers paid a visit to Buchan on his farm, Shalom, earlier this week, as part of the preparation for the approaching MMC. Buchan will not be attending any MMC events in South Africa this year as he recognises a need to spend more time with his family. His ministry calling in this season takes him to the United States and Israel.
Lemmer said funding is the biggest challenge currently facing the MMC Joburg organisers.
“But we know that God is in control. I must say that without the help of the Karoo MMC guys we would have had a much more difficult time. I want to thank Izak and Ruthi for all their efforts and assistance throughout this whole run up to this event. There are just a few loose ends that we still need to tie up, but I believe that through Him nothing is impossible.”
The campsite on plot 151, Alewynspoort in the Eikenhof area, about 15 min drive south ofJohannesburg offers camping facilities for up to 10 000 men and there is space for 25 000 men to attend the conference.
“The capacity is 50 000, but we must reserve space for the family to attend on the Sunday,” said Lemmer.