By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
Angus Buchan, a South African farmer, teaches that where there’s love, there’s hope. His story is so inspiring that the Faith like Potatoes DVD about his life has already sold over half a million copies. He left a 3,000 acre farm in Zambia in 1976 to start again from scratch in South Africa. There was no water, no toilet, and no lights. He couldn’t even speak the native language of Zulu. Angus was somewhat stubborn and hardworking. He literally worked night and day seven days a week and made a success of his new farm, paying back his debts. In the process, Angus went into a deep depression. He had no peace and no purpose in living. Anger, fear and destructive choices began to overwhelm his life and his family.
In 1979, he had a spiritual breakthrough and was pulled out of a deep spiritual pit. Receiving this second chance in life, he had a passion to tell others about what he had discovered. Angus began by treating his family and co-workers better. He learned to control his temper and seek inter-racial reconciliation. Angus now describes himself as a Zulu, saying that he is a white Zulu. When AIDS/HIV hit South Africa, Angus started an orphanage at Shalom Farm in Kwa-Zulu Natal to care for the children left behind.
Over the years, Angus has seen many miracles, including a maize crop driven to the ground by a hailstorm resurrected itself after three days, and unexpected rain was sent on a cloudless day in the middle of a firestorm. While speaking at Kings Park Stadium to a gathering of 25,000, he boldly spoke that he would plant potatoes in the midst of the El Niño drought. The experts had warned the farmers not to plant that season without irrigation. Many thought that he would lose his farm when the crop failed.
Miraculously large healthy potatoes were harvested, giving rise to the title of the movie Faith like Potatoes. “We all learned valuable lessons from that crop.”, said Buchan. “The Lord showed us the importance of walking by faith, and not by sight, of trusting him unconditionally and never giving up.” Often like potatoes, faith is just under the surface and cannot be seen until the time of harvesting, the time of testing.
Angus Buchan commented that “Peter Marshall, the great preacher, once said that we need ‘faith like potatoes’ – plain, simple, real faith that will sustain us in our everyday lives. Whenever I pick up a potato I remember those words. That’s the kind of faith I want. When we have faith and act on it, God will come through for us, no matter what our circumstances.”
Angus Buchan spoke to a sold-old crowd in Nelson BC. As our resident Film Producer Stuart Spani filmed the conference, you could obtain DVDs of the event by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Angus Buchan holds that “there is power in prayer. When men work, they work. but when men pray, God works.” My prayer for those reading this article is that we too may prove to have faith like potatoes, that is resilient in the various times of drought and challenge in our lives.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
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