Barry Marshall: larger than life

It was exactly a year ago that my good friend Barry Marshall died in a tragic paddle-skiing incident in Port Elizabeth.

I remember the day vividly. 2nd September 2009. Sam and I had just received a mail from Elaine, Barry’s wife, sending us a belated congratulations on our new pregnancy. Elaine didn’t know it then, but Barry had already been lost out at sea for many hours. The next morning I received a call from Mike. Mike tends to phone me when massive stuff is happening, like when he called in 2001, telling me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Centre in New York. Mike’s call went like this on the 3rd September 2009, “Aids, I’ve heard a rumour that Barry Marshall is missing. Do you know anything about it?” What followed was an intense 4 hour period as we received updates from the NSRI as they searched for Barry out at sea. At about lunch time we got the news that the search was over. They had found Barry’s body. He did not survive the night out at sea.

I cannot describe the shock that I was in. Barry was a larger than life character – it was inconceivable that he was dead. So, on the anniversary of his death, here’s an ode to a larger than life character …
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Pre-eminent theologians

This last week I had the awesome privilege of spending time with some of South Africans pre-eminent theologians, pastors and philosophers. We were attending a Dallas Willard conference at Northfield. It is amazing how Dallas, as one of Christianity’s foremost theologian-philosophers, is a magnet for people such as Delme Linscott, Gareth Killen, Tom Smit, Paul Oosthuizen, Andrew Barret and Andrew Evans. I’m reminded of how Barry’s death last year plucked a potentially significant force from the Methodist Church of SA. I profile these guys in an effort to raise the awareness of their contribution both now and in the future for the Gospel.

Here’s a little bit about the amazing work they’re doing …

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