[notice]Patsy Fulton shares the passion for Jesus that was expressed at this year’s Witbank 4 Jesus family music festival.[/notice]
The roar of the motorbike cavalcade built to a crescendo as en masse bikers entered the gates of Cambridge Private School, in the picturesque suburb of Del Judor Extension 4, Witbank. The crowd, gathered at the scaffold stage for the Battle of the Bands, excitedly welcomed their arrival.
Biker and leader of the group, Fanie Dreyer, affectionately known locally as ‘Oupa’ is President of 17 Bike Clubs in Witbank Bike Community. “We want to show the public that Bikers also love Jesus; not everyone is bad,” he encouraged. “It‘s a show of force for Jesus.”
“We are making a statement, to the public” he reiterates, “Especially for the young people. It’s a good brotherhood to be in, and what we are doing today is to show that we do care.”
Pikkie Meyring, one of the organisers of the annual Witbank 4 Jesus Festival, appreciated that the infrastructure of this year’s venue was very user-friendly, “This year’s programme moves from the Battle of the Bands, this morning to the Feature Artists, in the afternoon.”
Herman Cronje, a driving force behind Witbank’s annual event, clarified that the five bands which battled it out were, two Witbank school bands and three youth bands — one from Rustenburg, one from Pretoria and one from Witbank. The two school bands were from Cambridge and Curro, two of Witbank’s Private Schools. The members of the youth band ‘House Generation,’ are ex-addicts,” Herman emphasised: “How awesome is that?” He kept moving, “From 1 o’clock the big artists begin.” Herman, as ever, quick and efficient, keeps a close eye on everything.
Jean-Michel Masson grew up in Witbank; he attended Liberty Christian College and was himself a child musician. Consequently, he has a heart for music and children and understands what it takes to perform on stage. “Today we have the awesome privilege of signing in two of our school bands through Masson Music School. There are five students in each band,” he explained before he proudly introduced Masson Music’s Curro Band’s debut; a sincere rendition of ‘I am a friend of God.’ Masson Music also produced the Cambridge campus band. “Some of these kids have only been playing for a year and a half,” Masson encouraged the audience to receive them with enthusiasm.
The guest Bands in the afternoon: One Crown, Supercool Jesus, Anja & Henrico as well as Joshua na die reen, escalated a beat and tempo, firmly concentrated on God.
Jaques, lead singer of the band Joshua na die reen, won two Ghema Afrikaans Music Awards in 2014 — Best Newcomer and Best Male Contemporary Album. He sincerely blessed the listeners with solos, and duets accompanied by extremely talented Lesandra VonHagen. ‘I will wait for you Lord Jesus’ was a fitting duet for the mellow toned vocalist and Lesandra; their exceptional blend of voices was powerful testimony. “Jy moet op Jesus wag,” he closed the song in prayerful manner. “I’m pleased to be in Witbank,” Joshua gently smiled; the humble response of a charismatic Ambassador for Afrikaans’ Gospel music.
On the other side of the festival grounds, ‘Heart Taking Flight,’ Deidre Britz and Tania de Klerk’s exciting new venture, was on display amongst the vendors’ stalls. They shared how God is taking them on a brand new adventure. “The Lord gave us an assignment to get women to dress the armour of God,” Tania points out the garments on display, “the first step is the breastplate. To wear the Word, we are honouring what He is asking us to do.”
Having known each other for about 3 years, the friends were already walking God’s path together. Enterprising ladies from Pretoria, they only started their project centred on the Armour of God this year. “Jewellery design is in process for the Sword and Shield,” added Tania in a quiet but excited tone. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dea, freelance journalist for ‘The Vessel” newspaper, based in Pretoria, which distributes nationally in print and also online, agreed, “We are working on the same team for the Lord, together with Christian media, like Gateway News, we stand for Jesus. How will the world know if we don’t tell them?”
Witbank 4 Jesus gets off the ground with volunteers like Karin who usually works at Jebez House, a safe house situated in downtown Witbank. She was on crew for the day, as where the ladies, cleverly shielding their eyes with dark glasses while peeling a load of onions for the celebration meals. “We’ve been here the whole time and the music has been amazing,” the ladies agreed their ears worked even when their hands where occupied. Everyone focused on making the day run smoothly.
Pastor Ledge Saunders of Metamorpha Church, Witbank, was there to enjoy Onbeskaamd, the Afrikaans Worship Band who were the highlight of the evening; their well-known album ‘Hartklop vir my stad,’ resonated the heart of this festival, a perfect way to wrap up a celebration of Jesus in Witbank.