There will be no Mighty Men Conference (MMC) in the Western Cape this year it was announced today but planning for the Bushveld MMC in Limpopo in March and the Karoo MMC in the Eastern Cape in April are forging ahead.
Announcing the Western Cape decision today, Radio Tygerberg CEO and WCMMC organising committee member Hardus Zevenster said it was time for men who had attended previous MMC events to stand on their own and live out the gospel daily in every sphere of society. Seeds that had been sown by MMC should now become deeds that would grow into mighty trees which would provide shade and meet God’s growth expectations.
He said past MMC events had provided a wonderful spiritual injection for men but it had been found that many of them reverted to their old ways until the next conference.
Passed the baton
After hosting MMC events on his Kwazulu-Natal farm for seven years, from 2004 to 2010 Mighty Men founder Angus Buchan passed the baton on to his group of 100 spiritual sons, urging them to arrange events in different parts of the country. In 2011 official MMC events were held in various centres. About 15 000 men attended the Western Cape MMC on Elohim farm near Paarl in March 2011 and many expected that there would be another MMC in the area in April 2012.
In an interview today, Francois Brits who is hosting the MMC Limpopo on his farm Snymansdrift near Polokwane, said he was “very excited” about this year’s event which will run from March 9 to March 11. Speakers at the event will include Buchan, Piet Jacobs, Riekert Botha and Dr Izak Burger and praise and worship will be led by Franna Benade.
7 years commitment
Brits said that last year he had decided in his heart to host MMC events on his farm for seven years. With six years to go still, he had decided to build a huge, permanent stage on his farm to reduce the high stage and sound costs they had experienced last year.
He said he believed men needed a place to be spiritually refreshed and he was honoured to make his farm available. He believed that the changes that took place in men’s hearts at such events were “the only hope for our country”.
He said that in his area men of all race groups were enthusiastic about the Bushveld MMC and that their website was creating a lot of awareness of the event.
“This year I have been getting calls from groups of 85 to 100 men wanting to attend,” he said. He said the enquiries were coming from as far afield as Richards Bay, Pretoria and the Vaal Triangle.
Lance Walton, a Port Elizabeth-based member of the Karoo MMC organising team for the event on Rusoord farm, near Middelburg from April 27 to 29 , said he too was experiencing the power of the Internet as he was getting calls from “busloads of guys” from various centres, as far afield as Durban.
The foundations of the Karoo MMC are being prepared in prayer with weekly meetings of the intercession teams, monthly 40-hour chain prayer sessions, and a 21-Day, 24/7 intercession event from 6pm on Friday, April 6 and end at 6pm on Friday, April 27, just before the start of the KMMC 2012. Anyone wanting to be involved in KMMC intercession teams should contact Dave Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org , 049-8421911 or 0798791848.
Once again Buchan and musicians Retief Burger and Joe Niemand will be participating in the ministry team at the KMMC, where the organisers’ goal is to bring men into right relationship with God and their neighbours.
Meanwhile Buchan’s Shalom Trust released a statement today requesting organisers of men’s events to refrain from branding them with the names “Mighty Men”, “MMC”, and “Angus Buchan”.
The statement, signed by Andy Buchan, on behalf of the Shalom Trust Management reads: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, it has become necessary for us to register the names ‘Mighty Men’, ‘MMC’ and ‘Angus Buchan’, a procedure which is already in progress, and would therefore request that any men’s events you organise be renamed accordingly. There are at this stage no MMC events planned for next year (2013).
“We thank you for your understanding in this regard and pray for God’s blessing on your preparations.”
Clearly there are a number of sensitive issues that are being debated in private as South African Christian leaders grapple with the challenge of building on the legacy of the Mighty Men movement that has touched tens of thousands of families since 2004.