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Beyond the World Cup

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On April 16, 2010, I was seated on one of thousands of hay bales in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, along with 300,000 other men from around the world.

This was the seventh Mighty Men’s Conference held on the farm of Angus Buchan, farmer-turned-evangelist, whose story is told in the film Faith Like Potatoes. The idea is not that we are so mighty, but that we need to humble ourselves and ask for guidance from God who can do great and mighty things through us. We have the privilege of being Christian fathers, husbands, grandfathers, and sons, but it is also a great responsibility.

The other event that was on everyone’s mind was, of course, the World Cup. But there is much more at stake in South Africa than the World Cup, and most of the people I met were candid about it. They don’t want to lose their country to racism and violence.

What impressed me was the lack of bitterness among the people, who have endured so much persecution and suffering under Apartheid. They want to move on from the past. They want themselves and their children to be educated and to prosper. They want to work and see the country succeed together with all South Africans.

There are lessons we can learn from people in grave situations. One is to humble ourselves before God, to love and pray for our families, neighbours, and our nation while we enjoy the peace we have.  I believe another is for God’s people to pray and work together. The earth is in God’s hands, and his will is what counts for time and eternity.

Jeff Zak is pastor of H.O.P.E. Church in Nelson, B.C., which is currently not meeting.

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