Middelburg farmer Jannie Moolman and his team of 20 volunteers are working hard to prepare his farm for an invasion by an expected 30 000 men attending the Karoo Mighty Men Conference (Karoo MMC) from April 29 to May 1.
Moolman said he had been on the organising team of the 2009 and 2010 conferences on the Kwazulu-Natal farm Shalom of Mighty Men founder Angus Buchan: at the time he had no idea that he would be hosting a MMC on his farm Rusoord the following year. He was speaking to a gathering of about 60 men — mostly MMC veterans — at a pre-conference breakfast in Port Elizabeth today.
After the 2010 MMC, Buchan told his group of 100 spiritual sons that after seven straight years of hosting MMC events on his farm it was time for them to take over the responsibility. In the last few years the annual MMC on Buchan’s farm near Greytown attracted hundreds of thousands of men who responded to his message to become the men that God called them to be.
Moolman said:”The Eastern Cape guys got together and said let’s have an Eastern Cape conference and as Middelburg sounds like it’s in the middle, let’s have it there.”
He said he and his wife Marlize had for some time had a vision that the second homestead on their vast sheep and goat farm would one day be used to minister to people. They had envisaged perhaps five to 10 people coming there on retreat. They had never imagined 30 000 people, which is the number of people they are preparing for.
He said Isaiah 62:10, which says “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations” was a Bible verse that had proved both inspirational and challenging for the organisers. “We put up a banner in Middelburg but the gravel road to my farm was a problem. How could a road that was built to handle about three vehicles a day cope with 10 000 vehicles in a day?” But he said God answered their prayers and a contracting company provided them with free use of earth moving equipment to grade the roads.
Prayer was a key strategy in preparing for the event. The intercessory team led by Dave Turner who had been on all seven MMCs was organising monthly 40 hour prayer meetings and was planning a non-stop prayer vigil for the 21 days before the event. He said event planning had started in earnest in June 2010. “Most of the plans are now in place and now it is time to do the work.”
The stage, from which Buchan will address the men on Saturday and Sunday, and conference seating area, was being prepared on a 20 ha area of the farm. And adjacent 60 hectares had been set aside for delegates to pitch their tents or park their caravans. The organisers were busy erecting toilets and showers and bringing in water for drinking and ablutions. There was no power supply at the venue, so an outdoors even specialist was arriving 10 days before the event to install the power and sound equipment needed to pump out the megawatts of sound required for the event. Two airstrips were also being prepared. A number of large tents were being erected for ministry purposes and to accommodate local farm workers and township residents who were being encouraged to atttend.
Moolman encouraged men who had been to previous MMCs to bring friends — espcially those who were still “searching”. All town accommodation in Middelburg, which is 12km from the conference venue, had already been booked but there was plenty of camping space for all — even if the number of men exceeded the expected 30 000.
Tickets for the conference, including camping, cost R100 per person and can be bought online at www.itickets.co.za or by calling 079 947 3566 or 0861 000 291. Gates open at 6am on Thursday 28th April. Women will be able to attend the service on the farm addressed by Buchan on the morning of Sunday May 1. More information is available on the website www.karoommc.co.za
In addition to addressing the Karoo MMC, Buchan will speak at the Cape MMC in Paarl from March 19, and the Polokwane MMC from March 26, as well as at eight soccer stadium events.