September 4, 2016

Los Altos Ministry News

Rev. Paul Jeffrey Missionary and Photo Journalist

LAUMC, through the Missions Commission, has maintained a support relationship with Rev. Jeffrey for several years. He has spoken at LAUMC several times in the past to very enthusiastic audiences. Much of the following is both an introduction and reminder about the person we are supporting.

From the General Board of Global Ministries:

The Rev. Paul Jeffrey is a missionary documenting the work of the church around the world as senior correspondent for “Response”, the magazine of United Methodist Women, and as a media specialist for Action by Churches Together (the ACT Alliance), a Geneva-based global alliance of churches and church agencies responding to emergencies. He has filed stories from more than 70 countries around the world, writing about everything from hurricanes to healthcare, massacres to indigenous rights, refugees to ecumenism in the course of his work.

A condensed version of an April 2016 letter to Paul’s support churches recounts some of his missions. His articles are supported with outstanding photography:

Every morning, as her son prepares to leave for preschool, the mother of 4-year old Luis Firas takes a stick of oil and makes the sign of the cross on his forehead. Blessing is important for this Christian family, which fled from Mosul during the 2014 takeover of the area by ISIS, and today–like tens of thousands of other displaced–lives in a small modular temporary shelter in Erbil, a town in northern Iraq controlled by Kurds. As I photographed their morning ritual three weeks ago, Luis grabbed the stick and marked a cross on his mother's forehead, also blessing her. He then turned to me, the stranger with a camera, and motioned to my forehead. I bent forward and he marked me with the sign of the cross. Besides the trip to Irag, in recent months I have gone to Nepal to document the work of the church there, including the process of reconstruction after the massive earthquake a year ago, and I spent some time in Bolivia and Argentina documenting issues around climate change and how Latin Americans are wrestling with their political memory. I also spent several days in Texas documenting the work that churches are doing to provide a welcome to women and children who’ve been released from detention after seeking political asylum in the United States.

Rev. Jeffrey will visit LAUMC on Monday, October 10. There will be a dinner with Paul followed by a presentation. His comments and supporting photography are always outstanding.