Grassroots Is Deep in the Soil of Jesus: The Angus Buchan Story (Show Review)

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans9 Minutes

Angus Buchan’s roots are deep in the soil of Jesus. Known by some as God’s Farmer, his life of faith transforms lives of people around the world. But his story begins in a very different way with a very different kind of man. Angus Buchan’s story reminds us that Jesus loves and welcomes everyone so He can change lives!

Building the Farm

The civil unrest of Zambia (circa 1970) uprooted the Buchan family from the farm they had built from the ground up. Forced to flee with their three young children, they moved to some overgrown bushland in Greytown, South Africa. With no electricity or water and no knowledge of the local language, they began carving a farm out of the bush.

The locals didn’t know what to make of this “strange white man.” The rumor mill reported a hard-working farmer who hollered a lot. But jobs were in short supply, and he was hiring laborers, so many went to the farm. With their help, in just two years Angus built a productive farm that fed his family and paid off their debt.

But a raging emptiness filled Angus, “My mind raced all the time. I just couldn’t find peace.”

A simple invitation to a church dinner would change everything. Decades later Angus Buchanan still recalls the date. February 18th, 1979. The Buchan family made the trip to a little Methodist Church and heard a laymen’s simple message. When an invitation was given to ask Jesus into your life, the entire Buchan family went to the altar. God filled each of their hearts with a passion to share the Good News, and they’ve never looked back.

Building Shalom

A desperate thirst for God replaced the emptiness that had driven Angus. He spent hours in his “green cathedral” (corn fields) asking God to show him how to do a life of faith. God answered—and now Angus shows others the way to put roots deep in the soil of Jesus. From that Sunday on, everything on the farm changed, even its name. The family named the farm Shalom, meaning peace, and dedicated every aspect of their business—from crops to relationships to farming methods—to the purposes of God.

Instead of financial gains and expanding the farm, the Buchans focused on planting food for the community and creating employment. The daily routine of the farm now included time at the Chapel—singing, reading the word of God and praying. The Buchan’s felt their farm was their biblical “Jerusalem,” and still today Angus tells believers, “Don’t try to save the world, just begin with those around you.”

Angus even relied on the Bible as his agricultural manual, and obeyed whatever God told him to do. God honored the bold faith at Shalom—granting bumper crops when Angus obediently planted despite the drought-ravaged and dusty fields. Unexpected rains came when fires threatened the farm. Crops miraculously recovered from devastating storms. Buchan is fond of saying “One miracle does more than 1000 sermons,” and God poured out miracles on the faith at Shalom.

One evening lightning struck one of the Zulu homes and left a woman dead. The workers ran to Angus begging him to come help. With fear and trembling, he went to the home—expecting to rush the woman to the hospital, but the family insisted he pray to the powerful God he preached about. When he did, God restored the woman to life! Mourning immediately transformed to celebration and for months the farm conversation focused only on the power of Christ.

Stepping Out in Faith

But God doesn’t always work in the ways that we want him to—even if we have great faith. In a freak accident, Angus’ beloved young nephew, Alistair fell from the tractor Angus was driving. No amount of begging God to restore the child’s life changed the tragedy. In a tear-choked voice, he recalls God telling him “Angus, I’m sovereign, and he’s mine.”

As the days passed, Angus went daily to his prayer room to be fed by God, and God faithfully met him. His brother, Fergus, Alistair’s father was also a man of deep faith. About three months after the tragedy, Fergus had a dream of Alistair running to him saying, “I don’t want to come back. I’m waiting for you here.” This critical juncture propelled Angus into larger service for the Kingdom.

The HIV epidemic in Africa was creating a growing crisis of orphan children. Learning of some prefab homes slated for destruction, the Buchans sought permission to take each home apart and resurrect it at Shalom for the orphans. Beth Hatlaim, the House of Lambs came into being. “You don’t wait for the money to start a ministry, you start it in faith,” says Angus. That way of life continues for the Buchans to this day.

Sowing Seed in the World

God’s next call was to become a seed sower. That sounded good to the farmer, but God had more than the farm in mind. He inspired Angus to purchase a 4×4 truck with a platform so he could take the gospel to remote areas from Cape Town to Jerusalem. With a projected budget need of 1,000,000 Rand, Angus stepped out in faith with only 500 Rand (picture having $25 for a $55,000 expense). Angus took to the roads in his bright yellow truck with JESUS plastered on the side delivering hope to souls who had never heard of Jesus.

Angus’ deep roots in the soil of Jesus give him the faith needed for the steps God calls him to take. At one speaking engagement, Angus recognized that no one was listening to him. He felt the Holy Spirit say, “Stop preaching.” Looking out at the crowd, he saw a crippled man in front of him. Boldly Angus announced, “I’m going to stop now and pray for this man. God is going to heal him.” As he retells the story, Angus emphasizes “Miracles require faith – if – gets in the way.” As he spoke with the man, and prayed, God worked, and the man’s knee suddenly became free to bend. Both he and Angus began to jump with joy – and 5000 people gave their lives to the Lord!

Because Angus Buchan hears and heeds the voice of God, miracles, signs, and wonders follow his ministry from the fields of the farm to the fields of the world. This man of the soil sacrifices his love of the land and daily time with his wife because he knows what God has called him to do. He has seen God’s faithfulness and says to each of us, “God is interested in your availability, not your ability.” Angus Buchan’s life exemplifies God’s desire for each of us. What step of faith is God asking of you?