Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | May 6, 2009

Angus Buchan Heart Attack Mighty Men Conference 09

Was Angus miraculously healed?? You decide for yourself. Read the report by Hans Hartman of Event Medical Services who was the senior paramedic on duty for the weekend. (0861 367 367)

By Hans Hartmann, Paramedic, Believer – 28 April 2009

Three months ago the deal was finalized. I would supply the medical services at this year’s MMC event.  I was competing against a rival company, and was prepared to equal their quote for three vehicles on site.  I promise three vehicles, but would throw in a field hospital, two quads and ten outstations at the same price.  These would be manned from Friday morning to Sunday night.  Having done the event last year, I knew what I was letting myself in for.

After all, last year we had 65 000 men attending, and we coped with them with our 10 medics, all volunteers. With the 200 000 expected, we would have many more volunteers, and the money we would be paid, would cover our disposables and travelling expenses, as well as our meals.  I planned to discount whatever we did not spend, as this was an event I would not do for money.

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Only three days to go and I have not slept well for the last three weeks.  I have searched high and low for medics, but have only three and myself with one ambulance that I brought from my operations.

I phoned my stepson, who is one of the ambulance staff and plead with him to find me more staff.  Even the medics who attended last year have pulled out.  I have phoned my competitors and asked them to take over the event; assuring them that the exposure they will get far exceeds the little money they will get paid.  Again I am turned down.


OK, But I have already prayed and asked…  I am now in panic mode, and I change my requirements from Christian Male Volunteers to Christian Male Medics that will be paid, and eventually to any Male Medic who is prepared to work for money.  This will be financial ruin, but I no longer care.

One Day to go!  Thursday morning I receive a message that my North Coast manager has managed to find some medics, as has someone in Durban, and five are available in Pietermaritzburg.  I proceed to Mighty Men to set up the Field Hospital for Friday morning.  Buy sunset the first patients arrive, even though we are only on duty from Friday.  Already 60 000 men are on site.  My ambulance is dispatched immediately to cover the event during the night and by sunrise six patients have been treated, all minor ailments.

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Friday morning dawns, without any sleep.  Two medics from Durban do not show up, two from North Coast and three from Pietermaritzburg.  I am left with twenty.  Not quite what I was hoping for, but manageable all the same.  I hate myself for doubting in the first place.  However, I am the only paramedic, and should we have to move a serious patient, the event will be left with nothing but ambulance staff.  It will just have to do!

By 10am the patients are starting to arrive with all sorts of ailments from flu to runny tummies, asthma, allergies, silly things that means a lot to the patient, but are not what we are trained for.  We need the serious stuff to make our life worth while.

A Provincial Ambulance response vehicle pulls up with a doctor, required by Disaster Management to be in the OPS CENTER in case of disaster.  This centre is based about ten meters from our field hospital.

The Doctor strolls in and introduces himself in a heavy Zulu accent.  Great I think, just what I need, an intern who is forced to do his work at a provincial ambulance service.  He promptly announces to the organizers and police manning the OPS Centre that should they require him; he will be at the field hospital, and promptly starts to scratch through our equipment.  I am too busy to arrange medics at the outstations to worry about him at this stage anyway.

By the time I have everyone arranged, stations worked out, instructions given, I become aware that the Doctor is still in the tent, treating patients.  I wander across for a closer look, and discover that he is not just handing out the few medications we have, but is actually examining the patients with their aches and pains, and actually treating them.  “This simply wont do” he announces, and drives off to Greytown and returns shortly afterwards with half the hospital pharmacy, handing out anti-biotic and medication, the names of which you need to study at least seven years just to pronounce.

Wow, now this is what was needed in the first place.  In addition, he unpacks ventilators, heart monitors, vital signs monitors etc from his vehicle.  When the going gets really tuff, another doctor arrives to help out.  Another 3 doctors treat patients at the outposts…  “His provision will already be in place!!!!!”

Friday night Angus does an altar call and sees literally 1000’s give their live to the Lord.  Awesome!  Out the corner of my eye I catch one of my medics holding his hand high up.  Wow, and I wanted only Christian medics here.  The night offers little sleep.  Some patients need hospitalization.  There are some broken bones from falls on the motorcycles, some medical cases, all stable, none life threatening.  When things do quieten down, I am amazed to see medics sitting in small groups, bible in hand.  Words are falling on fertile land everywhere.  Another piece of the Lords way falls into place.  God has a plan with everything.  His way! – Not ours.

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Why is this repeated over and over again and again I am still surprised by it.
Saturday morning breaks cool and clear.  Soon the heat takes over, but all runs well. The medics are doing their job, the doctor is amazing.  The service is electrifying.  Men are called to honour God, to put him first, to honour their family.

Angus talks of the war that the devil is waging against all believers. We need to be fit to fight the war.  He does push-ups, runs on the stage, tells us that God loves us and wants a personal relationship with us, and tells us that God talks to us.  He tells us to read the bible, and makes us promise that we will.

Angus – “Good people don’t go to heaven, BELIEVERS go to heaven!”
Angus is a humble farmer with an unshakeable faith in God. He is used by God to minister to the men in South Africa calling them to a committed life in Christ.

He tells us how he has had a restless night with no sleep.  He has had a fever, but after his wife prayed for him, the fever has left him.  He tells us that he is tired, but must fight the war.  After two hours he is visibly exhausted and after praise and worship we make our way back, slowly, between 200 000 men.  No sooner do we reach out tent when a marshal rushes over with the news that we are needed urgently at the main stage for a patient who had collapsed.

We make our way back through the endless crowds, eventually reaching the stage, only to find one of our ambulances already there.  I find it strange that the patient is under the stage, but push through anyway.  Maybe they needed the shade for the patient.  Near the entrance I find an elderly gentleman lying on the floor. He is covered in sweat, already has a drip up, and has an oxygen mask on.  I kneel down next to him to asses him, and discover it is Angus.

Even lying there, he keeps telling us that this is a war; the Devil will attack every where.  He explains that he is exhausted! Whilst still lying on the floor he makes plans for the night service.  He will take it easy tonight; maybe even sit on a chair whilst preaching.  We all know that this will be impossible for him.  Even so, we remove the drip and help him to his feet.  Outside the stage area, men are praying and singing, and shout and clap when Angus appears.  He is taken to his house by car, still weak.

Thirty minutes after we arrive back at the tent, another usher appears.  We need a stretcher urgently at Angus’ house.  No other information.  Could be someone who has come for prayer, or it could be Angus himself.  We fly through the crowds.  Security men let us through, and we grab the stretcher and jump-bags before rushing into his modest house.

The walls are thick, with small windows, and little light. We are spotted and chased out.  Once we get out into the light, we are recognized and sent around the house to the front lawn.  There we find Angus, on his side, unresponsive, our Zulu doctor and another doctor at his side.  The heart monitor is already attached, a new drip running full speed.  I ask the doctor for an update.  He informs me that Angus collapsed, and glances at the monitor.

One look and my worst fears are realized.  The rhythm is very abnormal, with an inverted “T” wave, typically found with a Heart Attack.  I look at the Blood Pressure monitor – More bad news, it reads 80 / 40.  The oxygen mask is already on, with all holes masked up to try and increase the concentration of Oxygen delivered to Angus. I have seen this many times before.  I know what happens next.  These are the precious few seconds we are given to prepare for the inevitable.  Resuscitation is just seconds away.

Angus has already received his “Disprin” and TNT Spray to dilate blood vessels around the heart and assist with the breaking down of blood-clots.  He is deeply unconscious.  I know the drill, so I pull out my Drug bag and break open the resuscitation drugs we will need shortly.  Adrenaline in one syringe, Atropine in another with Calcium Gluconate in a third.  To counteract acidosis that occurs during CPR, I set up the Sodium Bicarbonate Drip, but don’t attach it yet.

Angus is still going, barely, which gives me a chance to select the tube that will shortly go down his throat to assist in his breathing.  I check the equipment to do this with. He is still going, barely.  I pull out the paddles from the heart machine, and place the gel next to it.  This will be needed to deliver the shocks to his chest to attempt the re-starting of his heart.

At this stage Angus’ blood-pressure remains low, despite the drip running full-out.  I select another, smaller drip and add to it 4 ampoules of adrenaline.  Sometimes this helps to increase the blood-pressure.  It seems to be working.  His blood pressure climbs slowly to 100 / 60, still dangerously low, but better.  Now we need to decide on how to move him to a specialist as quickly as possible.

A helicopter has already landed, but a quick inspection shows that we cannot lie Angus down anywhere inside the cramped aircraft, and his condition is too critical to take a chance.  A medical Helicopter is required, and is summonsed.  How lucky that I know the manager personally, and can dispense with all formalities of protocols and Guarantees of payments. Is this luck?  It leaves immediately.

In the distance, I hear the call over the massive speakers for the men to get together and pray.  Tens of Thousands heed the call and move in that direction.  Thousands more collect around Angus’ house.  Loud prayers are heard everywhere.  I am acutely aware of the chill in the air, the clouds that are suddenly building up.

THIS IS WAR keeps going through my mind. If this is a war, I am living in the middle of it. This servant of GOD is being struck down.

Angus slowly regains consciousness.  His family is by his side.  There is no panic, no fear. I have never experienced this before.  They are just by his side, holding his hand – such peace.  There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Angus is about to meet the Lord.

The helicopter lands and another paramedic jumps out. Caleb, one of the best paramedics I know and trust.  After a quick handover, Angus is loaded into the Helicopter and takes off.  I can still see his face, straining to look out, waving with both hands.  I feel exhausted, and spend a long time picking up the medical waste. With a heavy heart I get back to the tent.  I am dismayed at the number of people packing up their tents and leaving.

At the same time, I have no doubt that Angus will not be back soon, if at all. However, I know that I am not here to meet Angus.  I am here to meet Jesus.  That night, rumours spread that Angus has been discharged.  However, I know better.  I was there, I had seen the cardiac rhythm, had seen the low blood-pressure, and had personally infused the adrenalin.  Either way, I attend the night meeting, and find peace and joy in knowing God.

The next morning I am summoned to set up a station under the stage.  Angus will preach!  How can that be?  Obviously he has forced himself out of hospital, and barely clinging to life, will now attempt a sermon in spite of his condition!  How wrong I am.  He arrives with his family and friends, is full of life, kneels and prays before going up to the stage to present his sermon.
He talks of his day lying helpless on his lawn, and asks if we are ready to meet the Lord?  He was close to meeting him yesterday, but he was healed.  The cardiologist ran stress tests; they ran blood tests, and every other conceivable test.  Final diagnosis – NOTHING. NO ABNORMALITIES DETECTED.

No abnormal chemical levels, no traces of heart damage, NOTHING.  He is discharged three hours after arriving at the hospital.  Either I need to go back to study, because after 25 years I have no idea what I am doing, or accept that God is capable of great miracles.  Personally, I believe the latter.

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Event Medical Services at MMC 09

Angus has his preach, and many more give their lives to the Lord.  It is a war, and those that left before Sunday, are the casualties of this war.  Those that stayed saw the greatness of our God.  Those that came to meet Angus, were disappointed, but those that came to meet God, met Him and what a pleasant experience.

Sunday afternoon comes, and we pack up.  We are exhausted, but feel alive.  My body tells me it’s been through hell.  Every joint aches, every muscle complains.  It feels like it has been at war.  My sole is alive and on fire. God is mighty, He is good.  I pay my medics.  Total cost? EXACTLY the amount quoted three months before the event!!!

Travelling costs, meals and disposables will be recovered from the few ambulance transfers done by the ambulance.  The words “His provision will ALREADY be in place” keeps turning in my mind.

At the debrief, we hear of testimonies of men whose business back home improved dramatically whilst they were serving at MMC, we hear of SMS’s that were received before Angus’ collapse of impending danger, people phoning from around the world with prayers and words of encouragement.

What an awesome GOD we serve!  We are warned or the devils attack in the week to come, where he will try and destroy all the good that has been done.  Already there is talk of Angus having been flown to Hospital with a stroke and that this was done only for money etc.  The Devil is at work, and THIS IS WAR but OUR GOD IS GOOD…  ALL THE TIME!!!!  And victory belongs to them that believe.

In total we treated close to 200 patients.  Dr Ntuli was awesome.  The experience was great.  It allowed me to serve with the gift that God has given me.  It allowed me to grow in my faith.  Would I do it again?  ANYDAY!  Should we do it again?  The devil would have won the battle if we don’t.

Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | May 3, 2009

Mighty Men Conference 2009

Mighty Men Conference 2009. Aerial shot from

Mighty Men Conference 2009. Aerial shot from

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.

Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | April 19, 2009

Slideshow Charisse’s Graduation 15 April

Here is the slideshow of Charisse’s graduation. Enjoy if you have some bandwidth.

Choose “View all images” below. Once it loads,choose “Slideshow” from below the window.

Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | April 18, 2009

Charisse’s Honours Graduation

If you step closer you can hear then say, "Seize the day"
If you step closer you can hear then say, “Seize the day” – Dead Poets Society

Wednesday 15 April. Pretoria University.

What a day. The family all arrived on time! Four years of hard work and Charisse Roscoe Eilertsen has an honours degree in Criminology; also a lifetime of friends and memories.

She has grown up into a confident, well-balanced, beautiful young woman. Tukkies taught her to look outside herself. Also leadership, management, organisation, budgeting, planning and a passion to be the best. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. A joy.

This jouney, our journey, her journey; chosen by God.

A grateful thanks to Tukkies, her lectures, Dr Bezuidenhout, all her friends, male and female, boyfriends, would-be boyfriends, her HK family, the men’s residences, the woman’s residences, her confidants, her drinking buddies, those that reminded her, those that saught to make her forget, to her benchmarks, to her mentors, to her projects and those that made her their project . . . . THANK you for the great job you did! You cared for her and gave her back to us better than before.

Tess, we are very proud of you . .  we were spared the ‘sinking feeling’ that can come with the 15th April

on this day . . .

on this day . . .

World, I present to THE GRADUATE . . .

The Graduate

The Graduate

Posted by: livinglifeforward | April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday at Harties

We left early for a day out at Hartebeespoort dam to celebrate easter with Cherie, Michael and Charisse.  We thought it would be fun to introduce the whole easter bunny theme to Josh with lots of people getting involved and excited about it.  I hid some easter eggs and the kids showed Josh how to search.  He was a tad confused by all the excitement and was quite happy to find one egg and sit down to enjoy it without having to find more. 

He soon got into the swing of things and Michael and Charisse also had to search for their eggs and involved Josh in the process.  Great excitement and lots of chocolate was devoured.

Posted by: livinglifeforward | April 10, 2009

A challenging time

I share the story of my week because it’s had quite a profound impact on me.

On monday I was returning home after dropping Josh off at school when I recieved a phone call from a close friend.  What had happened was Carin – a very dear friend of mine had gone to work and opened her email to find an email from her son Craig.  The subject heading was, Farewell.  Without reading anymore she phoned home, where he was staying and asked the maid where Craig was.  His wife had arrived to drop off the kids with him at his mom’s place and had sent the kids in to wake him.  With a phone call from Carin saying he’s not sleeping, he’s killed himself the panic began.  I arrived several minutes after that to find his 7 year old daughter clinging to her grandfather sobbing and his 12 year old son standing at the gate waiting for the ambulance.  The expression on his face I’ll never forget.  I hugged his son and said, I’m sorry boy, are you scared?  He just nodded, not even being able to speak or comprehend what was going on.  I had no clue what to say and just hugged him saying everything will be ok, knowing that the words were empty even as they left my mouth.

Craig, as I write this has spent the week in ICU and is still not concious.  He has brain, kidney and liver damage from the overdose and has been on dialysis twice during the week.  He has seizures and thrashes around violantly when he attempts to wake up and the doctors have kept him medicated and calm.

I’ve sat with the family praying, I’ve done what practical things I can, I’ve listened to them share their hurt, dissapointment and desperation and felt their anger at what Craig decision has caused.  I’ve made myself available not because I’m a close friend of Craig but because I’m close to his mom and his wife and want to carry some of their burden.

What’s been so impactful is the desire not to pray for his return to full health but for God’s will to be done.  Do we want him to be restored to a life that he does’nt want and battled to cope with as a healthy man, now to be brain damaged and have major organ damage to add to his load.  Is’nt it better for him to return to God and allow his family to heal?  Maybe, or maybe he is still needed by his children in whatever state he’s in.  He’s still their dad and as long as he can offer love then maybe that’s enough to live for.

Please pray for this family, torn apart, broken hearted, with more pain and confusion than they were prepared to carry.  His mom Carin who loves her son desperately. His wife and children

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