Saturday, April 1, 2017

Problem Pastoral Visitation

The high security in South Africa poses a problem for pastoral visitation, in various ways. This wasn’t a problem in my earlier ministry. Here’s an example. I went to see a woman who had just lost her partner. She lives behind these bars. I was stopped by two security officers, before the bars. They would not let me through, they said, until I gave them a number. I didn’t have the number. Call her, they said, and get the number. But she was distracted and distressed, and making arrangements on the death of a loved one – and was uncontactable. I had come a long way, I said. It took half an hour before they decided to make an exception, and accompanied me to her door.

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