By Ashley Cloete
Farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan was in Cape Town this week to meet pastors and church leaders in preparation for the It’s Time prayer event in Mitchells Plain on March 24 — and to announce details of the much-anticipated event.
Addressing nearly 1 000 leaders from many different backgrounds at the Lighthouse Christian Centre, Parow yesterday, he emphasised that It’s Time will not be an evangelistic event but a national prayer gathering.
The event, which organisers believe will be the biggest mass gathering in Cape Town’s history, will take place on the Swartklip sports fields between the notorious, poverty-stricken Tafelsig area and the densely-populated township of Khayelitsha. It will be a day event from 11am to not later than 4pm. Gates will open at 6am and Buchan is expected to address the gathering from 12 noon. The gathering should conclude by 2pm.
Buchan told the leaders how during a quiet time God had called him to arrange the event, speaking to him through the testimony of a former gangster.
Addressing whites who might be anxious about the It’s Time location in an area known for violence and gangsterism, he quipped: “Don’t worry, the gangsters will take care of us!”
He said the objective of the prayer meeting was “to come against crime, murder, disrespect for human life, prostitution, alcoholism, drug addiction, racialism and hatred”.
That was why Mitchells Plain was chosen as venue, he said — because it was “the hottest place in South Africa”.
“God will show up!” he said, reminding his audience: “Fear is from the devil! The believer is not governed by fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
He said: “We are nevertheless in good company when we are fearful. When their lives were threatened during a storm, the disciples cried to the Lord in desperation: ‘Don’t you care about us!’ ”
The frantic efforts of people, buying and hoarding water during the current drought crisis in the Western Cape approached that kind of desperation, he said. But it was in such dire circumstances that we discovered the awesome nature of Jesus which prompted His disciples to ask: “Who is this man?” when he commanded the storm to be still.
Buchan likened the desperation currently being experienced by many people in the Western Cape with the fear that had gripped the Israelites in front of the Red Sea and the approaching Egyptian army before God miraculously delivered them. In later generations we would be able to tell our grandchildren about the awesome It’s Time prayer event, he said.
Saturated with God
Quoting John Wesley — aptly in view of the dire Western Cape water situation — Buchan shared a definition of revival people as those “saturated by God”. Not to be outdone, he came up with a definition of his own: Holiness is the end product of obedience.
Referring to personal character attacks he and his family have faced recently as a result of his public ministry, Buchan said: ‘The devil hates me… and I hate him too!’ But he said he continued to love people across the board, including those with a completely different lifestyle. ‘It does not mean however that I condone that!’
Buchan’s son, Andy, who was responsible for logistics at the historic It’s Time national prayer day in Bloemfontein on April 22 last year, narrated how God had overruled supremely in that event when 1.2 million believers turned up at short notice. This was humanly impossible, but God provided in supernatural ways.
In a similar way, he said the massive Cape Town event was God’s design and as happened in Bloemfontein, the Mitchells Plain gathering would be free of charge, with no offering taken, no vendors and no commercial activity. Buchan and his organising team trusted that God would provide everything needed for the massive faith project.
In his trademark way Buchan peppered yesterday’s meeting with loud exclamations of “Amen” — and the audience roared back in a similar way.
On the premise that has been raised by some that God was angry with Cape Town’, Buchan repeatedly said that God was however not punishing people but merely wanted to get their attention.
Referring to his training as a farmer in semi-desert arid conditions in Australia, he recalled how the owner of a 50 X 50 kilometere property had no way to gather his flock other than by turning off the taps. Within two days all the livestock would be at the farmhouse, he said.
Turning off the taps
“God has just been turning off the taps to get our attention because nobody can go without water,” he said.
Buchan said gangsterism and violence were not the only issues that displeased God in Cape Town. Other issues included racial division and the extreme disparity between those with vast riches and those in abject poverty.
Responding to critics who cynically asked: “Does he [Buchan] think he is the weatherman?” — possibly referring to his remark during a prayer day in parliament on November 24 that the Cape Town dams would be full by the end of March — he said: “I am the weatherman’s son!”
During question time at a press conference before his meeting with leaders, he said that biblical abominations that have been curbing revival would be addressed.
Asked why he had not used the platform at the Bloemfontein prayer day to address the government’s negative attitude to Israel, he said at the time the government had not yet given notice of its intention to downgrade the status of its embassy in Israel.
Responding to comments about alleged disunity among churches in Cape Town, he said there will be a focus on promoting unity among Christian leaders and that Christian radio stations CCFM and Tygerberg would immediately start encouraing daily intercession for the March 24 event and for diving protection for Buchan and his family.
Noting that the need for water was a great equaliser, Buchan said he expected people from other faiths would attend the prayer event that has been called by Jesus.
He said 18 playing fields were being prepared for the event. Secure parking would be available at 20 schools in the area but to minimise traffic congestion churches were encouraged to mobilise their members to make use of the Golden Arrow bus service which had agreed to make coaches available at cost price for the gathering. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 937 8800
Only toilet facilities will be provided at the venue. All those attending must bring their own food and water. Strict measures will be in place to ensure that no municipal water is used. Water will be brought in from other parts of South Africa and all visitors are requested to bring their own drinking water, chairs, food and sunblock. Parents with small children are advised to write their cellphone number on the arm of their children. No gazebos, beach umbrellas or drones will be allowed.
More than 2 000 volunteers will assist security companies, the Metro Police, and South African Police Service on the day. All visitors will receive clear directions to specially allocated parking bays. Arrangements with local schools and organisations in the area have been made. All parking bays are within a 5 km radius of the venue.
For more information about the It’s Time gathering and to book free parking tickets visit www.angusbuchan.co.za. Keep up to date by following It’s Time at Facebook: @uncle angus , Twitter: @angusbuchan , and Instagram: @angusbuchan