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Paul Jeffrey

The Rev. Paul Jeffrey was a pastor in rural western Washington until 1984, when he and his wife, the Rev. Lyda Pierce, left for Central America as missionaries for the United Methodist Church. "We went for a short time and stayed for 20 years," he says. "I mostly worked as a journalist, looking at how churches interface with social change." After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Jeffrey became a "disaster junkie," reporting from areas hit by sudden or chronic disasters. "Disasters combine threat and human vulnerability," he observes. "Good organizations mitigate disasters by decreasing vulnerability." Since 2004, when he and Pierce moved to Eugene, Jeffrey has traveled the world for Action by Churches Together, an alliance of disaster agencies. He spent June of '05 in Darfur, taking photographs of camps for displaced persons. "It's a totally preventable disaster, genocide pure and simple," he reports. "I've invested a lot of time in talking about it afterwards." Jeffrey's Darfur photos can be seen July 1-31 at the Eugene Public Library, in an exhibit sponsored by the Lane County Darfur Coalition.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 29 June 2006

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