The message of repentance and reconciliation, which came out of the Karoo Mighty Men Conference 2016 (KMMC 2016), is very powerful, according to Premier of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle.
The premier paid a visit to the event for the first time last Saturday morning and listened to Bishop Joshua Lwere, the overseer of the National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches (NFBPC) in Uganda, who addressed the crowd of approximately 30 000 men together with Jaffar Amin, the son of Idi Amin, a brutal ex-military dictator of Uganda.
The two speakers stressed the need for reconciliation and forgiveness, which cannot be legislated or instituted through government policy, but has to come through a change in the hearts of the country’s people in order to develop as a nation.
Premier Masualle said he found the message good and spiritually strengthening.
“Perhaps many of the country’s solutions could be found in their message.
“Our country is troubled in many ways and we are searching for answers.
“The message today is one that could help heal our society,” said Masualle.
Bishop Lwere heads the peace mediation team between government and the opposition in Uganda after violence erupted in post electoral conflict that claimed more than 100 lives.
He advised the men at KMMC 2016 that there has to be healing in people’s hearts to reconcile all the people in the country, build the nation and ensure lasting and sustainable change.
Lwere and Amin have spent much of the last few years travelling throughout Uganda promoting reconciliation and restoration in the country. Amin has visited population groups that were victims of the violence perpetrated by his father and asked for forgiveness on behalf of Idi Amin.
Jannie Moolman, KMMC 2016 co-ordinator and owner of Renosterfontein Farm where the conference is hosted, says the event is all about reconciliation and improving relationships, from men’s relationships with the God, to family and neighbours, even conflict-ridden reationships.
“It is a time of forgiveness, letting go of resentment, being healed and renewed in body, mind and spirit in the presence of the Lord.
“It is a time of disregarding yourself and focussing on God,” says Moolman.
Men from all over South Africa congregated over the weekend on what usually looks like desolate Karoo veld, but became a tent-city teeming with tens of thousands of men near the foot of the towering Renosterberg Mountain for KMMC 2016.
While the venue, which is situated outside the small, rural town of Middelburg in the Eastern Cape, is an unlikely one to draw crowds of men from virtually every corner of the country, once-a-year the dry landscape fills with men thirsty for God.
The immensity of the space, the silence and the myriad stars at night combine to give men a powerful sense of being in His presence.