Men of all backgrounds, races and nationalities began arriving at Shalom Farm outside Greytown in KwaZulu-Natal already a week before the Mighty Men Conference officially began on 24 April 2009. They arrived on motorbikes, in cars, bakkies, buses, camper vans and even on foot, with one man rumoured to have walked 500km to get there. Others travelled to South Africa in groups from as far away as Australia.
The aim of the weekend was for men to be rejuvenated and empowered through well-known preacher and farmer Angus Buchan’s message, which he delivered in an uncomplicated and uncompromising way so all the men present could understand and take to heart. Many “tough-as-nails” types were humbled by and wept over the words spoken. Throughout the conference, men who would otherwise not have even greeted each other on the street, were often seen randomly striking up conversations between campsites, along paths and in the makeshift communal showering facilities, with many of these conversations ending in hearty laughter between people who, just moments before, had been complete strangers.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Men of Promise”, highlighting the potential of all the men to do good in the world, starting with improving their families, social interactions and businesses relationships by following the guidelines of the Bible. As Angus told his audience, “Men of Promise” also referred to God’s promise to protect all believers and he urged the men present to give their lives to the Lord to benefit from this protection. As yet, Angus and his event organisers have not confirmed whether there will be a Mighty Men Conference in 2010.
Angus Buchan spoke about how he, his family, and many men present were constantly being challenged. “We can only be suitably prepared for the trials and tribulations of this world by reading the Bible. This will help us strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ,” he explained. “But there’s no quick-fix for developing faith. It can only be achieved by constantly working towards getting closer to God and Jesus Christ by reading the Bible often and through prayer.
“The world is in turmoil, but the Lord is making a change. The men here at this conference are serious about God, and they have the power to bring this country, this continent and this world back to God. There’s not a man in the Bible that didn’t go through trials. “I’ve had plenty of trials on my farm, but the Lord made me strong enough to get through them by His Word. Don’t accept peoples’ lies that your farm is doing badly because you have sin in your life. You ignore them, but then make sure you immediately put things right between you and God. God will never give you a burden bigger than what He thinks you can handle.
“Stop talking negatively about the future. Who told you that there’s no future for this country? If the going gets tough, then you should get stuck in! Don’t be a coward. You must face your problems. If you’re having marital problems, go home and sort them out straight away. If you’re having problems with your employees or colleagues, sort them out as soon as you get back to the office. Pray for the wisdom and words that will allow you to settle these problems in a productive way to the benefit of everyone involved.
“There are men here with so much anger towards others. The Lord says that you should forgive these people and let Him deal with them. You should rather improve your relationship with God. You can either die one day, bitter and twisted, or you can get up, dust yourself off, get God on your side and try again. Do it now because who knows how soon it’ll be before your life on earth will come to an end? It could be as soon as today or tomorrow.”