With Sir Eldryd Parry and Lady Helen Parry in London

Slider Prof Parry red

To meet again after 31 years

Prof. Eldryd Parry and his wife Helen have devoted their entire lives to Africa.  They have given invaluable construction work for the health system of Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Ghana.  For these exemplary services the professor was knighted by the Queen.  When the medical students Martina and Klaus John visited Ghana in 1983, they met the missionary doctor in the town of Kumasi.  Without the encounter with the Parry couple, the Johns would probably have abandoned their dream to become mission doctors three decades ago.

Yesterday, Dr. John showed the old professor (84) and his wife the presentation on Diospi Suyana.  The couple was deeply touched when they heard what a great influence they had been to the John’s.  The German-Peruvian couldn’t resist reading a passage from the English book “I Have Seen God” out loud.

Tina in Ghana
Ghana 1983: Medical student Martina John observing the people taking the bus.

…We were wondering whether to just ditch our plans to serve as missionary doctors when things suddenly took a remarkable turn. We made the acquaintance of Professor Dr. Eldryd Parry, a gaunt, rather serious physician from Wales, who proved to be the positive influence we had hoped to encounter during our internship in Ghana. Not that he dispelled our misgivings with clever reasoning or patted us reassuringly on the shoulder: he did nothing of the sort. In fact, he said very little. Still, he was the incarnation of hope in the midst of injustice. Much to the sorrow of his family in Britain, he had left behind a promising career in order to help build up the Ghanaian healthcare system. Wherever he went, he was preceded by his noble reputation. “He even shared his last slice of bread with his gardener,” some whispered. Others murmured, “He is a good example from head to toe.”

Shortly before leaving Ghana, we spent the night at his home. As we drifted off to sleep, we heard him singing softly – not radio hits, but psalms from the Bible. The man had not allowed his unanswered questions to derail or defeat him. He drew his strength from his faith in God, a steady faith that seemed unaltered by mood swings or tumultuous circumstances. Professor Parry’s life was a clear message to us, and he became one of our most significant role models….

Update: In 1983 Prof. Parry was 53 years old, the same age as the Johns today.  Yesterday morning Dr. Martina John was able to send greetings to them by email.  Through the research of a New Zealander, the Johns were able to reconnect with the legendary physician in 2012.