Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | May 3, 2009

Mighty Men Conference 2009

Mighty Men Conference 2009. Aerial shot from www.mmc09.co.za

Mighty Men Conference 2009. Aerial shot from http://www.mmc09.co.za

Mighty Men Conference, Greytown, South Africa, 2009

Two hundred thousand men gathered on Angus Buchan’s farm in Greytown over the weekend of 24, 25 April 2009. It was an open-air event with most of the men camping in the fallow meilie fields. Angus preached on the Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning (when the ladies were also invited to attend). This is the short version if you want just the facts. Perhaps I could add that Angus suffered a heart attack after preaching on the Saturday morning and therefore missed the Saturday evening slot as scheduled. From here on however the facts become less definitive and more subjective.

I don’t do crowds. I don’t sit in a stadium packed with fans. I don’t do ‘spectator’ and I don’t do ‘fan’. Watching other people have fun, and paying for it, is foreign to my narcisstic nature. But in life there are always exceptions; like when there are people that I care about; I’ll do anything for them.

Cherie cashed in my marker on 1 January 2009 and requested that I go to the Mighty Men Conference with all the other men in our circle. She would provide some vehicles, petrol and luxury accommodation in the area for the women who would be ‘manless’ for the weekend. She approached the other men and got a full house; it was New Year’s day after all – you don’t want to create bad karma for the whole year by saying no to the first request!

The men in our circle range from 24 to 54 years of age. Some Christian by lifestyle and other ‘Christian’ because they don’t want to be Moslem and therefore struggle to get international airline tickets. Some are businessmen and some are bums (by their own admission.). Despite our differences, we are united by family. Now however we were united in one additional way i.e. our common decision to attend the conference together.

By definition ‘Mighty Men’ camp in the field and pee in the open air trenches specifically dug for the purpose; we did neither. With our women in five star accommodation with Jacuzzis, heat and sprung mattresses just down the road we decided to give the weekend a more ‘family spin’ rather than the hardcore camping scenario.

Admittedly, I would camp should I ever go again. We strolled through the monolithic campsites and knew that we had missed an important aspect of the weekend. Two hundred thousand men camping in one place fills an entire valley and is reminiscent of an ancient Roman army on the move. We were massively impressed by the structure and organization of this weekend-tented-town in the middle of a valley that is usually a sea of meilies swaying in the autumn breeze and awaiting the harvest.

For the uninitiated, Angus Buchan is a 65 year old farmer with no bible school training. His conversion to Christianity and his call to the ministry are well documented in the internationally released film, “Faith like Potatoes.” Like Moses, he is a man who walks with God. Angus is a man of faith. His life story tells us that having a living relationship with God makes life tougher, not easier; he will also tell you that ‘easy’ is for wimps, because life is surely more than mere ‘comfort and security’.

Friday night.
The 5 degrees C, the rain and the sleet of the previous few days were gone! The refreshing night breeze brushed our faces as we sat down on the bales of hay under a vast black, star-filled sky. Angus will tell you that God speaks to him through the weather and the perfect conditions throughout the weekend were a testament to this contract. In some parts of the world he is called “The Rainmaker”, but he corrects them when he says, “I’m the Rainmaker’s Son.”

Mighty Men Conference 09. Open air stage

Mighty Men Conference 09. Open air stage

The stage was 600 sq meters in size and 8 stories high. The monitors facing the cardinal points were 3 tons each. We sat 120m from the stage but could see and hear perfectly. The sound and video quality were perfect although Friday night’s singing from the stage was horrific – a problem largely sorted by the next day. The bales of hay were comfortable and I had no desire to take one of the plastic chairs some 30 meters behind us.

Angus welcomed us as family guests onto his farm. He explained that the fallow fields were a decision of faith, as each would normally bear a sizable maize crop by this time of the year. This time however, the harvest would be of a different nature and far more significant. Then he started to preach about the love of God. I’ve always found it easy to listen to the still, small voice of God speaking to me through creation. Now however, creation was booming as the loudspeakers filled the valley causing some sentences to echo back and forth 5 or 6 times before fading into the distance.

Saturday morning.
Under a blue sky with thin wispy clouds Angus continued the next morning. He urged all the men present to actively seek God. To MAKE time. To read his word, to pray and to get to know God. Then he warned that difficulties would naturally follow in an attempt to discourage the relationship from deepening. He explained that faith in God’s love was the weapon against the trials; he urged us to learn to live by faith.

That afternoon Angus collapsed twice in what turned out to be a heart attack. He was flown by helicopter to Pietermaritzburg. The men in the campsite were rounded up and urged to pray for his healing. They spent many hours in prayer and later that night Angus was given a clean bill of health and allowed to return to the stage the next morning.

Sunday morning.
Angus, emotional and shaken by his experience spoke only for a short while. His message was simple i.e. “Feed my Sheep”.

What I loved about the weekend was his simple and straightforward message. We did not hear the religious words or the original Greek. We were all ‘men together’ representing our families, our communities and our country. We listened with a common ear and a single beating heart. As one, we opened our hearts to the word of God. As a group, we repented bearing one another up in solidarity. Together we evaluated those areas of our lives that were in chaos. Together we looked at those parts of our lives that needed urgent surgery. We knelt together, we cried together and we rose up together. At the close, we left with the words still ringing in our ears, ‘feed my sheep’, reminding us of all the work that needed to be done once we returned to our everyday lives.

He spoke to us as one man to another, understanding our weakness and without judgment. His love of God and of his audience was moving. The urgency of his message was clear. We left feeling that we were not alone in our battles and trials; that our experiences were common to all men and known by God.

The most important thing we took home was that we were loved; that despite our warts and our shortcomings that a future was possible, that things can change and that with God at our side a morning victory was inevitable, no matter how dark the night.


Our photos were mainly taken on the Sunday when the girls joined us. We stayed long after everybody had left the arena. We built a house for Josh out of the bails of hay. We took photos, messed around, before heading off to one of the tented camp shops to buy footlong hotdogs, caps and T shirts.

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Responses

  1. I have been waiting for the news about the conference and then I received and e-mail from Sal, in Australia written by medic who was there for the weekend.
    It is so uplifting to hear so many good reveiws. I know there are many who are against Angus but I think those for him are greater in number. He’s realy touched so many and given faith to those who had none.
    God bless him and keep him well!
    God bless all who found God, His love and Faith.

  2. hi angus since friends of mine went to the mmc09 and i saw how they changed, i made a promise to myself to get closer to god, im reading my bible and your book of everyday message’s every morning where after i pray for myself and my family, ever since then i can feel a change in myself and my family, we are still struggling a bit i cant seem to find a job, but i know that is going to help me and send me the right job. thank you for all your uplifting messages. god bless.


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