It started with a few men who were touched at the Karoo Mighty Men’s Conference (KMMC) and wanted to share the experience with men in their city. It grew into a much bigger, Holy Spirit-inspired gospel outreach event that is touching, pausing and engaging the city of East London right now.
The Ladies’ Evening that kicked off the Guts4Glory week in East London on Wednesday and last night’s men’s Bokke&Biltong event with Johnny Louw, Ollie le Roux and Tappe Henning, were both sold out within days. And there is a buzz of anticipation about the Rugby Clinic outreach with Springbok legends lined up for this afternoon (Friday, August 31).
Event organiser Gerhard Moolman said that after the KMMC a few businessmen friends who had attended together discovered that they all shared a vision to organise a men’s event in East London to be addressed by evangelist Johnny Louw, a straight-talking, ex policeman and drug addict, whose testimony had connected with and inspired thousands of men at the KMMC. They liked the idea of an open-air men’s event involving rugby legends who would appeal to men who might not attend an event that was seen as purely spiritual.
“But to make sure it really was God’s idea and not man’s idea we agreed to pray about it,” he said.
After praying they decided to share their vision with Karoo farmer Jannie Moolman who hosted the KMMC on his Middelburg farm. He said that Jannie, who had hosted the KMMC 2011 and 2012, and was on the organising committee of the last two huge Mighty Men events on Angus Buchan’s farm, was immediately excited about their plans and offered to assist them by sharing from his experience.
From there on the vision just kept growing bigger, said Gerhard. They invited Louw and approached the Springbok Legends Association who brought in legends including Ollie le Roux, Braam van Straaten, and Heinrich Fuls. Then a rugby clinic idea involving 90 boys from local schools developed. Then they were led to arrange a ladies’ event in collaboration with Women of Worth, South Africa. The event, with Johnny Louw as guest speaker was so popular that a ladies breakfast was arranged for this morning. And so more and more ideas developed.
Gerhard said that over the past months he and his fellow organisers learned a lot about the importance of putting their plans aside and following God’s leading. Every time they pushed on with their plans they encountered obstacles. When they submitted to God events and venues fell into place. Even the name of the week — Guts4Glory — was agreed upon through a process of prayer. And during a prayer session, musician Jurie van Rooyen composed a Guts4Glory song which was being released as a declaration during the week.
During a visit to Jannie Moolman’s farm they once again prayed and asked God to confirm that they were following Him and not pursuing their own ideas. While they were there it started to pour with rain. But there was not a cloud in the sky. They had their confirmation from God that He was in control.
This afternoon and evening Guts4Glory moves into high gear at Grens High School with a sevens tournament, a rugby academy, a rugby panel discussion with rugby legends and Johnny Louw, testimonies by former Springboks and a final praise and worship session.
“There is a massive need for people to hear about God outside of the four walls of church,” said Gerhard.
He said he and his team, with the help and guidance of KMMC organising team members, had just set out to create a platform which the Holy Spirit could use to reach people.