It is through the organising of busloads of men to go to Mighty Men Conferences outside the Free State and the friendships and brotherhood that developed out of attending the events, that a resolute desire to hold a Mighty Men Conference in the Free State grew, according to Garth Batteson of the MMC Central SA organising committee.
“The most significant moment in my life was the final ‘Amen’ at the 2010 Mighty Men Conference at Shalom, which echoed seven times through the valleys, because that was when the Lord said to me ‘The Amen will come to the Free State’,” says Batteson. He says the purpose of the Mighty Men Conference Central South Africa (MMC Central SA) is to change men’s lives by reuniting them with God and glorifying Him, while offering them the opportunity to come together in greater strength for their families and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Batteson says the MMC Central SA also has the aim of being a unifying force among members of the body of Christ in the Bloemfontein, Bethlehem, Vanderbijlpark, Parys, Kroonstad, Potchefstroom, and Jan Kempdorp area.
Inspired by Angus Buchan’s Mighty Men Conferences at his farm Shalom in Natal, MMC Central SA will host its first event at the Bundu Game Lodge situated on the R70 between Riebeeckstad and Odendaalsrus near Welkom from June 27 to 29, 2014. “Angus’ evangelistic message is extremely powerful as is his call to step out in faith and practically live the messages of the Bible like loving your wife, doing God’s will, forgiving others as you would be forgiven, and loving your neighbours as yourself,” says Batteson.
“South Africa’s men are invited to join us to learn of faith, of miracles, and of becoming ambassadors for God starting-off within the confines of their own homes with parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children
“We are committed to changing men’s hearts of stone into hearts of flesh and building principled men of faith, leaders and brave fathers with character, and integrity. We support men to succeed, mature and be spiritual fathers in their homes, churches and communities,” adds Batteson.
‘Grow in the Spirit’
The theme for MMC Central South Africa is “Grow in the Spirit”. Batteson says an area has been provided in a game camp at a water dam where a cross has been planted and where men can be at peace in the presence of the Lord and meditate on His word. “Our theme for the area is Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God’.
“We want to provide men with every opportunity to grow in their relationship with the Lord God and go home on Sunday a changed men who are stronger, yet softer; who are more confident, yet more humble and who are more courageous yet more compassionate.”
Having only recently applied to hold the conference under the Mighty Men Conference banner, the MMC Central SA organising committee received the final approval from Shalom the day before the Easter weekend this year, which gave them only two-and-a-half months to bring the event into fruition. “If we did not have faith and attempted to organise MMC Central SA in our own strength, we would not have done it at all. It is only under God’s direction and by His grace that the event has been possible and that the Mighty Men Amen has travelled to the Free State.
“We have, as an organising committee been through trying times, but the trying times ensured that we have grown close to each other, because having to rely on God and each other brought us together in prayer, in truth and in spirit.
“Where one of us has been weak other members of the organising committee have stood in for him and we have become brothers in Christ,” says Batteson.
Piet Jacobs, who has been a speaker at the Mighty Men Conference in the Bushveld for the last four years, is one of the speakers at the MMC Central SA and is also a member of the organising committee. He says the Lord has placed the importance of relationships on his heart, which is the theme he will be conveying to the men who attend the conference. “The quality of our relationship with the Lord God, which extends to our relationships with our family and neighbours, determines how effective we are in the rest of our relationships and whether we can act as God’s instruments in the world around us.
“We need to get back to basics. God created us for a love relationship and it is that we need to get back to; our relationship with the Lord God.
“However, as somebody said: ‘How can you love if you don’t know the lover’; we need to restore our relationship with the Lord, restore men as spiritual leaders of their families and as examples to be followed by their wives and children.
“The change has to start with each one of us. Instead of wishing for change in our country or workplaces, each of us needs to become the change we wish for by spending time with our Lord God, relying on Him and getting to know Him.
“We need to become ‘ambassadors for Christ’ and take up Nehemiah’s challenge in the Old Testament of the Bible: to show our faith by our works.”
Jacobs says he is going to speak of men’s relationships with their wives (from Ephesians 5) and how they, like our relationship with the Lord, are sacred. He says he also wants to encourage young men about the importance of the roles they have to play in South Africa.
An evangelistic blessing for all of those attending the event will come in the form of Mighty Men preacher and inspirational motivator, Johnny Louw, who is a last-minute-surprise, Friday night speaker at the event.
The ticket price for the event is a once off R50 per person for the weekend, and the sleep over/camping cost is R100 per person for the weekend.
More information and detailed directions are available at www.bundugamelodge.co.za and additional event and ticket information can be obtained from Garth Batteson at email@example.com or on 082 576 6952.