Blown away by An­gus Buchan’s pow­er­ful ser­mon of hope

The Star Late Edition - - LETTERS -

SATUR­DAY, Novem­ber 19, 2016, FNB Sta­dium, Soweto and 60 000 peo­ple pour in to hear what An­gus Buchan is go­ing to say this af­ter­noon at the Sa­cred As­sem­bly he has called.

I have never been the slight­est bit sus­cep­ti­ble to any kind of evan­ge­lis­ing, but my wife ac­quired tick­ets and so, sens­ing a story, I de­cided to go and we headed for the Cal­abash.

The sta­dium was al­ready fill­ing up when we ar­rived at 11am but we got good seats, with good el­e­va­tion so we could see the stage and the large real-time screens around the ground.

I started look­ing around and cas­ing the set-up and the peo­ple who were pour­ing in in their thou­sands. I’d no­ticed a cou­ple of tow-trucks in the park­ing area – and here were some of the driv­ers – built like tow-trucks them­selves.

But they were in the mi­nor­ity. Mostly, the peo­ple were 40-some­thing, well-dressed whites who looked like they were do­ing all right in­come­wise. I’d es­ti­mate the per­cent- age race groups present were 60 per­cent white, 30 per­cent black and 10 per­cent other groups. By the time the head­line act got on stage there were about 60 000 peo­ple present.

My pre­con­ceived brief to my­self in at­tend­ing this event was: as­sess the au­di­ence and try to un­der­stand how so many dis­parate char­ac­ters and per­son­al­i­ties can come to­gether in praise and fel­low feel­ing for one straight-shoot­ing preacher who pulls no punches. At this point I had no idea of the whirl­wind that was com­ing.

An­gus Buchan’s son in­tro­duced him and the great man took over. I have never heard such power and con­vic­tion, sin­cer­ity and ur­gency in one voice. I was mes­merised. I was hum­bled. I was blown away, torn apart and put back to­gether again. There is not an iota of pre­var­i­ca­tion or PR in An­gus Buchan. He is the most plain-spo­ken, down-to-Earth or­a­tor I have ever heard. He speaks di­rectly to your heart – and to the soul of the na­tion.

I have never heard a more pow­er­ful speech, ser­mon, call it what you will, in my life.

By now I was putty in his hands, as was ev­ery­one else in the sta­dium. He spoke with tran­scen­dent pas­sion of the glory of God and at the same time shot down the liars, thieves and crooks, and the cor­rup­tion in our coun­try. It was hair-rais­ing.

Ap­par­ently there were “dig­ni­taries”, politi­cians by an­other name, in some of the boxes at the sta­dium; he didn’t spare them – say­ing they must stop ly­ing to the peo­ple and re­store our na­tion to the high­est mo­ral val­ues – and, ac­cord­ing to Buchan, that means only God’s val­ues and pre­cepts should pre­vail, have to pre­vail, if we are to save South Africa.

Of course the bulk of his mes­sage is ad­dressed to the need to reaf­firm, strengthen and safe­guard fam­i­lies – the lifeblood of our so­ci­ety. By now I was in tears. Tears of pain, but mainly tears of joy – I had found a man, a mes­sage, a faith I could be­lieve in.

As our coun­try con­tests ev­ery back­ward step it takes in the courts, 60 000 peo­ple knelt down in a sta­dium in Soweto and prayed for their trou­bled souls and begged God to heal their torn coun­try. Big ask, maybe, but this is a time for big ques­tions. And they are not the kind that can be ar­gued by lawyers or an­swered by the high­est courts in the land. Sorry, but no ad­vo­cate, no public pros­e­cu­tor, no judge, no politi­cian is up for the job.

We are not in­volved in a le­gal dis­pute here – this is a fight for our lives and our free­dom. We are filled with fear on the one hand and drown­ing in dis­gust on the other.

What do we care if one ly­ing lawyer re­cants? What dif­fer­ence will it make if an­other politi­cian be­comes pres­i­dent? How will that change any­thing? It may give the po­lit­i­cally driven some pass­ing sat­is­fac­tion but it won’t change any­thing! We are in such dire straits that there is no vot- ing process on Earth that can im­prove our lot.

No, we don’t need a new pres­i­dent, but a new prece­dent – one that puts oth­ers first.

No, I agree, not pos­si­ble, not in this life­time, not in RSA, not in the US of A! No sir! You’ve got to get in there, fight for your rights, get yours, get what’s owed to you – yeah – gotta get­sum, get­sum, get what’s mine!

Huh? How’s that work­ing for you South Africa? Sleep­ing well? Di­ges­tion okay? Fear fac­tor un­der con­trol? Good, good, go for it man – you’re gonna make a killing!

Ah well, I can’t do it any more; I’ve tried, just can’t make it work. Cashing in my chips, don’t want to play no more – so long, say­onara, adios. I want to do what An­gus Buchan called on us to do: the right thing, the kind thing, the un­selfish thing – the only thing.

And do it to the most haunt­ing re­frain sung that af­ter­noon – the words Njalo, njalo – “Al­ways and all the time.” RB Simpson South Hills, Joburg

PIC­TURE: AR­MANDO FRANCA / AP

THE RIGHT THING: The 60 000 souls who gath­ered to pray at FNB Sta­dium on Satur­day heard An­gus Buchan speak di­rectly to the soul of the na­tion, says the writer.

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