Mighty preparations at farm

2010-04-15 00:00

SOME of the 400 000 men who are expec­ted to descend on Greytown for the last Mighty Men Conference at Shalom Farm have arrived.

For the past seven years, men from around the country have gathered at the farm to hear farmer/preacher Angus Buchan deliver sermons aimed at Christian men.

The event begins tomorrow evening and concludes with a family service (which women are invited to attend) on Sunday, April 18.

Shalom Farm and two surrounding farms are being used as camp sites for the visitors. As early as yesterday, caravans, tents and gazebos dotted the farm, while men who had already claimed their camping spot milled about.

Men with long greying beards could be seen sitting in camp chairs under the shade of trees, while more sprightly bare-chested youths unpacked cooler boxes and gas stoves from bakkies.

Makeshift seats of hay bales have been placed at the main gathering area, making the setting positively farm-like.

The giveaway that this is no ordinary farm is the large technical crew, who were hard at work configuring giant screens and stage lighting.

Yesterday, a 360-square-metre stage was constructed. Over 2,7 km of power cabling and 1,7 km of speaker cabling have been used to ensure that all 400 000 guests are able to hear and see the activities of the weekend.

Shalom Ministries’ Bianca Ortmann said the event is the culmination of a year’s planning.

No detail was spared, from the sign language interpreters who will be projected onto the screens during the sermons to the eight-kilometre water pipeline installed underground specifically for the event.

According to Ortmann, biodegradable soap will be provided for all campers, as it was last year.

“We conducted a survey on the farm that showed ordinary soap and shampoo would have a terrible effect on the water table and ecosystems, hence the decision to use biodegradable soap,” she said.

Buchan was not among the frenetic staff at the farm.

Ortmann said he was away “in the bush”, preparing to address the crowds tomorrow night.

In June 2009, Buchan confirmed this year’s theme as “Watchmen of the House” and said it was inspired by Eze­kiel 3:17: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; Therefore hear a word from my mouth, and give them warning from me.”

According to Buchan, his hope is to see men “equipped, strengthened and fortified for the huge task of taking care of their houses, farms, businesses, schools, colleges, universities, and the country”.

THE small farming town of Greytown is bracing itself for the testosterone injection it will receive during the Mighty Men Conference that takes place this weekend.

With about 400 000 men expected to arrive in the area, Greytown businesses are looking forward to a peak in sales.

Petrol stations have been warned to be “full up” with fuel, and grocery stores’ shelves are packed and ready.

An employee at Ploughs Bottle Store said: “They come and bring money, so we increase stock. It’s a good thing for Greytown, for sure!”

The owner of a local general store said: “The extra people are very good for business. It’s an annual spike in sales that we look forward to.”

— Witness Reporter.

• THREE farms will be used for camping;

• There will be three million square metres of camping area;

• 200 hectares of grass has been cut and baled for seating;

• Eight kilometres of underground water pipeline has been installed;

• 500 000 litres of water per hour is available for showering; and

• 4 000 showers and 2 400 toilets are being erected at all the camp sites.

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