For the first Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC) in 2011 the organising committee identified 70 surrounding towns and cities that are in easy travelling distance and could be important centres for drawing participants.
KMMC coordinators were appointed in each of the centres.
“This number has now grown to over 200 towns and cities and we are continually amazed at people’s willingness to help in coordinating the promotion of KMMC and encouraging men to participate in the event,” says Dave Turner, one of the local organisers of the KMMC and a lay pastor in Middelburg.
“These town representatives have done such incredible work: putting up and distributing posters, flyers and bookmarks; visiting churches; organising men’s breakfast’s and meetings; doing radio interviews; making hundreds of phone calls, sending emails and messages; and organising groups, transport and camping logistics so that others can attend.
“Their sacrifices have been huge in terms of their time (especially time with family), their work, and their finances, for which we at KMMC are incredibly grateful, because the event would not be as successful without them,” says Turner.
Warren Heyns, who is KMMC coordinator in East London says the sacrifices made are all for the salvation of souls and for the glory of the Lord.
Heyns first went to KMMC in 2011 with a group of about 15 men from his church.
However, he says it all began in 2009 at the Mighty Men Conference at Mighty Men movement founder, Angus Buchan’s home-farm Shalom.
“God called me to contribute to MMC by drawing men to the 2010 event by speaking to individual people and groups of people in churches.
“After Angus announced at the 2010 Mighty Men Conference that there would be no Mighty Men Conference at Shalom in 2011 and that regional conferences should be held instead, I attended KMMC 2011 and have attended each year since.
He says a significant percentage of the men attending KMMC come from the East London, Stutterheim, King William’s Town and Queenstown areas.
“There are a number of us in the area that motivate others to attend KMMC, because of the difference that it has made to so many people’s lives who have been reconciled with God at the event through Jesus.
“I visit about 80 Churches in East London encouraging men, putting up posters, handing out bookmarks and witnessing as to what the event is all about.
“I have been so humbled going to all these churches, because I am not a public speaker, but it is as if God has opened all the doors before I even arrive.
“I have always been welcomed and well received by people who are eager to hear about KMMC,” says Heyns.
He says one of the heartening aspects of KMMC and the interest for the event is that it is completely non-denominational and draws believers ranging from Presbyterians and Baptists to Catholics.
The East London support for KMMC and fellowship among men that have either been to KMMC or are planning to attend is also organized around a series of meetings, which Heyns says is a wonderful way to get the men together, develop unity and share testimonies.
The most recent meeting was a couple of weeks ago.
“What an incredible evening meeting we had,” says Heyns, “with a message from Angus on screen. Angus emphasised the importance of saving lives and going out and looking for the men that are lost.
“Every single one of us is capable of doing important work for the Kingdom by leading the lost, who may be our fellow employees, neighbours, friends, fathers, or sons, to Jesus to be reconciled with our Holy Father.
“Angus has often stressed the importance of being the Lord Jesus Christ’s ambassadors; to lead people to Him for salvation and reconciliation with God and their fellow men quoting from (2 Cor.5:20), ‘Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us, we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God’.”
Heyns reports that God just took over during men’s testimonies at the meeting and tears were flowing as a father and son hugged, reconciled and asked forgiveness of each other.
He says he is continually astounded by people’s goodwill towards KMMC, whether it is volunteering to print pamphlets at their own cost, sponsor or make banners, hand out promotional material, or offer radio advertising and airtime.
“Likewise, I did not know where to put up KMMC banners, but God opened the way and businesses that normally did not allow advertising of any sort allowed the banners to be put up on their premises in locations where thousands of vehicles pass daily,” says Heyns.
“All the Churches I visited last year have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the number of men that will be attending KMMC 2015.
“So many people that are new to the Lord have phoned me to find out about the event, and a number of businesses have allowed staff to take time off to go to the event as a group.
“There are firms that attended last year as a group of employees, who have been praying together daily ever since and are going again this year in a bigger group.
“Fellowship around KMMC is growing, especially because of the shared experience of the awesome presence of the Lord at the event and a common love for the Karoo, despite the cold of the early mornings and nights,” says Heyns.