In September of 2018, John Mark Kilian of Impophomo spoke at the Taung Gold Spring Day event, celebrating the Broad-based livelihoods projects undertaken in Nyakallong and Kutlwanong in the Free State. He addressed the director, the office of the mayor, dignitaries, ward councillors, community stakeholders, the DMR’s regional manager and staff, and all others present at the event. John Mark had this to say:
Today is a celebration of the Broad-Based Livelihoods Programme. Today is a celebration of you and your households. Today is a celebration of your efforts and successes. Today is a celebration of the good things Taung Gold has done with Umsizi… even long before the mine comes. Today is a celebration of the partnership with the Majabeng stakeholders. Today we celebrate spring and new things. Today we celebrate revival and rebirth. Today we are thankful and rejoice. Today we praise Jesus Christ!
There has been much poverty and suffering in Nyakallong and Kutlwanong. People are struggling and have lost hope. Things are tough and there are no jobs. Many of the mines are closing down. People are not able to provide for their families. The Youth have no opportunities. There are much pain and depression. People are crying out for help. People are desperate. It would seem there is no future. It would seem there is no one to listen. No one to help. It would seem you are forgotten!
But there is hope! Revival is coming .. a new thing has come! Spring has come. In Spring, three things happen:
In winter, everything is dry and dead. It would seem there is no life. But when Spring comes, the earth is reborn and everything comes to life. Green shoots and buds appear from what is dead. How does this happen? How does what is seemingly dead become reborn? In Spring, the earth prepares for the summer. The warmth and rain make everything grow and become strong. Look around at the trees. Look at the fruit trees. They know Spring is here.
Are you ready for Spring and for the rain? Maybe winter has been very long for the people of Nyakallong and Kutlwanong. Maybe things have been dry, like a desert, where there is no life. Maybe your life is hard and you have lost hope. But God says today: “Rejoice, O rejoice, Winter is gone, and the Spring has come. Lift up your voice and celebrate! Rejoice, O Rejoice.”
Hear the Word of God today. Jesus is reviving what is dead and dry and bringing new life. God is taking away the old and doing a new thing in Nyakalong and Kutwanong. God is bringing a new season of life and fruitfulness into households. In this season there will be an opportunity for growth, well-being and hope for you and your children’s children. God is bringing revival. God is causing you, your families and your communities to be born again! The new has come and the old is going. The Winter is Gone, and Spring is here: Jesus preaching Good News to the Poor, saving people, doing many miracles, healing people and bring freedom to those who were oppressed and suffering.
(John 3:1-8) ‘Now there was a man named Nicodemus… Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
‘Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
‘Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”‘
On the cross, Jesus died to take away your sins, your hurt, your failures and your shame. Winter came upon Jesus on that cross, so that you and I could live in new life. When we put our trust in Jesus, we gain eternal Spring and salvation. At the cross the old passes away. At the cross, we are made a new creation. We are given a fresh start. Today we remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead. He rose in victory over sin, satan and death. We no longer need to live in fear. He has given us new hope. Through Jesus’ resurrection, we are reborn and revived. Jesus is making all things new in Nyakallong and Kutlwanong.
You, the households who have participated in the BBL, are like the fresh green shoots on the trees, and the buds for flowers, in the Spring. This is a sign that Summer is coming. The rain is coming. Just so, you and your successes are a sign of revival tothese communities. You are an example of new hope. You are a sign of new growth and opportunity for everybody. This REVIVAL is open to everyone. Everyone can grow. Everyone can produce. Everyone can benefit. Surely these communities will never be the same again. It’s time for everybody to join hands and start through Taung’s BBL. What are you waiting for? You can do it!
A good farmer has to believe that the rain is coming. The farmer plants seeds in September and waits for the rain, in faith. When the rain comes and waters the seed, the seed grows into plants and food that can feed and sustain communities. When you believe in Jesus, you are like the good farmer waiting for the rain. The seed is the Word of God, and your heart is the good soil. The rain is the Spirit of God. And when the rain of the Spirit of God comes upon you, the Word grows in our hearts. It makes us grow into strong people. We are reborn and we can revive and sustain our communities through this Good News. Do you believe this Word my friends, my brothers, my sisters? Rejoice O Rejoice! Winter is gone, Spring has come! A new thing happens in Nyakallong and Kutlwanong. Revival has come.