Paul Verryn: A Key South African Human Rights Leader

24 Aug

After speaking with our dear friend Anthea Hide in Port Elizabeth, South Africa last night, I was immediately taken back to my 2008 trip to SA & the day I had the honor of meeting Bishop Paul Verryn at the Hide’s Fifth Avenue Inn.

Here are the thoughts I had upon my return:

I have now been home from South Africa for a few days and think the extraordinary events of my time there are finally sinking in.  I am still in awe that my newest hero Bishop Paul Verryn invited me to visit him at the downtown Johannesburg Central Methodist Mission which is considered “home” to over 1,600 Zimbabwean refugees.  Bishop Verryn  has tirelessly given his love and compassion to find justice for the over 4,000 who have found refugee at one point or another at his Church.  Presently over 3 million Zimbabweans have come to South Africa to seek political asylum.  Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, former United States president Jimmy Carter, and Graca Machel, an advocate for the rights of women & children, and also wife of Nelson Mandela spent over an hour and a half with some of the Zimbabwean refugees & Bishop Paul.  I had the great honor of being present during their visit. 

To learn more about Bishop Verryn & his work please visit: http://www.methodist.org.za/ 

Bishop Paul Verryn & Zimbabwean refugees with former South Africa First Lady Graca Machel, President Jimmy Carter & former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

 

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