Center for Global Justice Internship Update from Moriah Schmidt in Hawaii

I just finished up six weeks in Hawaii with the University of the Nations Kona’s General Counsel’s Office. I worked on a variety of issues from drafting contracts to researching and writing memos on different topics that affected the organization. The University of the Nations Kona (UNK) has not had on-staff attorneys for very long, though they are a well-established, large non-profit institution with many volunteers and students. I really felt that I was making a difference during my internship, since there were some projects that I got to see basically from the ground up. Until now, I have not had experience working with a non-profit organization, though non-profit law has been a passion of mine since starting law school. I learned so much about what it takes to run a non-profit organization. Here are a few things that I came away with:

  1. Good legal work does not always mean that you see the end of the project, only that you have made a step in the right direction;
  2. When you seek God first for every decision, asking him what source to use for research, what wording to use in a contract, what decision he wants you to reach, not only does productivity increase, but you are engaging in the practice of law as a ministry to God;
  3. God cares about everything, from the biggest project to the smallest detail. He is not bound by space, time, or your lack of knowledge. He can use anyone, anywhere, as long as you are willing. 

It has been a great blessing to work under the leadership of Julie and Allen Anjo, who gave up everything to come serve as full-time volunteer missionaries for UNK (everyone who works for UNK works as a volunteer). I’ve also heard and seen so many testimonies of God providing healing, finances, wisdom, and direction, since that is the way YWAM-ers work (YWAM is over the University of the Nations). Every job can be as fulfilling as this internship was, if God is just put first and all things fall after. I will definitely treasure this internship as a key time of growth spiritually and legally. UNK enables thousands of men and women to encounter God in a real way like never before, going out to the world and making disciples nations. My last Thursday night, at the weekly service called “Ohana Night” (Family Night) we heard from YWAM-ers who would be pioneering bases in unreached parts of the world. It was awesome to see what God is doing in the nations, knowing whatever help I could give this summer assisted these and others in expanding the mission of YWAM “to know God and make Him known.” Please join me in continuing prayer for the Anjo’s and the work that they do at the University of the Nations.

This post was written by Center for Global Justice student intern Moriah Schmidt.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice. 


Update from CGJ Intern Jordan Caldwell

Originally, when I felt called to Uganda I was terrified. I kept asking God if Africa was really where he wanted me to go. After all, I am a woman who had never left her country before, going to a place where no one looks or sounds like me. Now that my time here is coming to a close I see His plan was for my good the entire time. I was the only intern from Regent going to Uganda and on the plane ride over I remember thinking, “wow I’m going to be alone”. However, God knew that I didn’t need anyone to come with me because he would bring the right people to me. I met amazing students from Pepperdine University and had incredible hosts at the DPP.

Throughout my time working with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions Uganda, I was able to work in many different departments including Anti-Corruption, International Crimes Division, and the Gender Based Crimes Division. I worked with remarkable lawyers on some unbelievable cases. I enjoyed being able to touch on different kinds of cases because it gave me a wide range of experience this summer.

During my time at anti-corruption, I worked on a case of embezzling government funds. It was a heartbreaking case involving a man around my own age named Samwell (name changed to preserve anonymity). Samwell stole millions of Ugandan shillings (approx. 30,000 USD) from the government in order to pay for members of his family to go to school. I have wanted to be a prosecutor my entire life; however, I was torn in this case because of the mitigating factors. This man was no Charles Ponzi; he was a desperate man wanting to help his family. Because of this, I spoke to the prosecutors on the case. Plea bargaining is relatively new here in Uganda due to the amazing efforts of Jim Gash and Pepperdine University, so I recommended giving Samwell a chance to work off the money he had stolen. The head of Anti-Corruption, Jane, asked me to present my proposal. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous in my life! After the proposal Jane said they would keep it in mind when prosecuting Samwell; he would still serve time but it would be less than what was originally sought. It may seem like a small feat to some, but I felt ecstatic about shaving even a few years off of Samwell’s sentence. Those are years he will be with his family, those are years he will get to be a father not a prisoner.

In the Gender Based Crimes Division I worked with cases including human trafficking and rape. I originally applied for this internship because I wanted to help fight against human trafficking, so I prepared myself for the tough cases involving children being killed for either sacrificial ceremonies or organ harvesting. However, the case I was least prepared for, the case that hit me the hardest during my time in this division, was one dealing with the rape of a young woman. Hope (name changed to preserve anonymity) was home alone on a Friday night as her roommates all went out to a party. She awoke around midnight to the sounds of intruders stealing her things. She tried to stop them but the men threatened to rape her and eventually did, even though she complied with their demands. Once the men were caught, they tried to bribe her into not testifying against them. During her initial statement, she was so broken and weak I was worried she would take the bribe. However, Hope was very brave and told them they had done her a great injustice and there would be no price that would fix it. I was proud of Hope, to see her fight against her attackers and stand up against corruption and injustice.

Because the cases in the International Crimes Division are of a more classified nature, I cannot speak much about the case I worked on there. However, I can say that the team at the DPP working to fight against terrorism is amazing. The case I worked on was high profile and it felt as though the entire country showed up to help fight against these attackers. We had three binders full of witness statements, investigative measures, and donated evidence. One thing was certain in my mind: the people have a zero tolerance for those wishing to attack Uganda.

On the whole, throughout my time here in Uganda I have learned and experienced so much. I have made lifelong memories in breathtaking places with great people. My host, Director Mike Chibita, is one of the most honorable men I have ever met in my life. He is truly a man after God’s own heart. I enjoyed immersing myself in the Ugandan culture and meeting all of the friendly and interesting people in the country. My first time in a new country was definitely a success and I cannot wait to visit again in the near future!

This post was written by Center for Global Justice student intern Jordan Caldwell.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice. 


Update from CGJ Summer Intern Anna Colby

It’s been about three and a half weeks since I’ve been in Korea, and time is passing so quickly!
One thing that is very clear to me in being here is the faithfulness of God: faithfulness in His provision to get me here, faithfulness in the work that I’ve been able to do here, and faithfulness in the friendships I have made in this season. Shortly before I came to Korea- when all the organizational details had been worked out and I had time to think about what everyday life would look like- I asked God to provide me with some good friends in Korea. I am so thankful that He answered my prayer, because I’ve quickly made phenomenal friendships here.

I am currently in the city of Pohang. Koreans call it a rural area, which is a little comical to me because it is a city of 500,000 (much bigger than my little town of 50,000 back home)! I think the description comes from the fact that there are rice patty fields in and around town, and because the city has only become more modernized in the last fifteen years. Pohang is a coastal city surrounded by mountains, is home to the country’s biggest steel industry, has many military bases (American and Korean) close by, and has at least three universities operating in it.
I am staying at one of the universities, a Christian university called Handong International. The law school at Handong is a sister school to Regent, and it has hosted and facilitated my internship. There is no shortage of legal work here, and my time is spread between many projects. There are two organizations that I am working for, as well as some legal work for professors who do NGO work on the side. I am very interested in North Korea and refugees, and I have had the privilege here of working with multiple projects to provide legal aid and understanding for North Korean refugees. I have loved listening to Koreans here discuss their perspectives on North Korea, possible reunification, and how politics come into play. In the U.S. we hear so much about North Korea from the political side, but it is really helpful to hear about it from a personal side, from people who understand it from their familial involvement and from their history. It is hard to go into detail on this work because it is such a sensitive topic, but I have learnt so much about the breadth of people’s dedication to improve the lives of those in North Korea.

An unexpected area I have found myself working in here is for the Women’s Hope Center. Although I am pro-life, I have never really learned in detail about abortion. The Women’s Hope Center here, which provides counseling and housing to pregnant women (clients) in crisis, asked me to do research on abortion restriction legislation and what that could mean for Korea. Abortion is technically illegal in Korea, yet the nation has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. The Women’s Hope Center is preparing for the possibility of abortion becoming legal, and wants to know what part it can take in restricting the abhorrent practice should it become law.
Researching for this topic has caused me to learn a lot, to think through a lot, but most importantly, to pray a lot. During my time with this Center, one of the clients we’ve been working with had a baby! I’ve gotten to befriend the client, and it’s been a delight to spend time with the new baby as well.
As I write this, I am shocked that my internship in Korea is two-thirds complete! It has been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences, and I am praying that the next couple weeks will be all that God intends for them. Thank you for praying and partnering with the Center for Global Justice so that experiences like this can happen!

Chug-bog-hamni-dah (God bless you in Korean)


Mongolia Study Abroad Program

Ernie Walton, Regent Law professor and Academic & Administrative Director of the Center for Global Justice, along with three Regent Law students, participated in a week-long study abroad program in Mongolia. The program was done in partnership with Handong International Law School in Korea and two Mongolian law schools, the National University and Shihihitug University.

Professor Ernie Walton and Regent Law Students Reagan Hinton, Anna Colby, and Brandan Goodwin

The program focused on the rule of law and business development in Mongolia. Class was taught every morning from 9-12.  Subjects taught included Anti-trust law, International Commercial Arbitration, Mongolian Constitutional law, and Mongolian Business law. Professor Walton taught a class on International Trade Law.

In addition to class, students had the privilege of meeting with a Mongolian Parliamentary member and Jack Weatherford, New York Times best-selling author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. We also attended a cultural show, visited a history museum, and spent an entire day in the Mongolian countryside visiting the national monument of Genghis Khan, riding horses and camels, eating traditional food, lounging by the river, and holding eagles!

The program was amazing. Students from all over the world participated in class together based on the common language of the law. We had students from Mongolia, the US, Korea, and Uzbekistan in the same room learning the same material.


Justice in Forgiveness

Justice in forgiveness? 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” As I was on my way to South Africa, I thought about what I was about to do. I was about to help a great organization fight for Justice. When I think of Justice I usually think of punishment or just deserts. For some reason, this scripture does not talk about justice in that way. I do not think that it was an accident that I saw this as I was on the way to fight injustice. I certainly have a heart for justice, but this scripture is convicting because it challenges me to bring forgiveness in the pursuit of Justice. When we think of justice as a society, we do not tend to link justice with forgiveness. But God is the One who does justice perfectly. If God does justice the right way, wouldn’t it be in our best interest to follow him? God forgives those who confess their sins. This obviously is a condition in justice and forgiveness. I just wonder what something like this would look like in our society. What would it look like in our individual hearts as we pursue justice around the world? I do not claim to have the answers, but this is certainly food for thought.

This post was written by Center for Global Justice student intern Gloria Dandridge.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice. 


Update from CGJ Intern Gloria Dandrige in South Africa

The case that I am working on with at my internship has made national news in South Africa. It is about the dignity of the unborn child and a mother’s choice to exercise a right to bury her child. When women in South Africa have a miscarriage or their baby is stillborn before reaching 26 weeks, they are not allowed to bury their child if they so choose. Under the law, the child is considered medical waste, regardless of how close to 26 they are developed. The mother is simply left with devastation and no way to get closure.

Understanding that everyone grieves differently, some mothers may want the option to bury their child with dignity. I work with an organization that seeks to give mothers that option, even if the mother loses the child before 26 weeks. I believe that this is a solution that both pro-life and pro-choice supporters can endorse. It is about both the mother’s right to choose and the life of the unborn child. I hope that these women would be afforded the opportunity to tell the medical community that her child’s remains are not medical waste. It is only right. For more details on this issue, see this news article: http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/74c8be004077635e87f1bf3dc627042a/Efforts-being-made-to-amend-law-regarding-stillborn,-miscarried-babies.

This post was written by Center for Global Justice student intern Gloria Dandridge.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice. 


CGJ Intern Update: Desinee Easley

Huánuco is surrounded by mountains, as far as the eye can see. In fact, all of Peru is one seemingly endless expanse of mountains. No matter how high you go, it seems there is always another mountain that stretches up higher still just ahead of you. But the weirdest thing is that often you can’t even see that tallest mountain until you’ve climbed another mountain first; each mountain obscures the view of the others.

Wow, the parallels of this landscape with my own life are just as endless as those Andean ranges. My life these last few weeks in Huánuco, Peru has been nothing short of sweet and abounding in opportunities to learn. However, it hasn’t always been the kind of learning I expected to have.

I’m working in the office of Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope), a nonprofit that operates in cities throughout Peru. The Huánuco office focuses on fighting Child and Teen Sex Trafficking, and, man, is Huánuco a hub for such activity. Disguised behind a quaint, river-side city with one of the best climates in all of Peru hides an ugly secret. Huánuco is known as the primary point of kidnapping and distributing victims, mostly young girls, for sex trafficking in Peru.

Here, kidnapping usually occurs through false advertisements of job opportunities/interviews. Preying on the poverty and desperation of families in the community, jobs are offered in other cities or in “restaurants” and young girls apply to help. Captivity can also occur in a less subtle way, by drivers of motos, the primary form of transportation in the town. These men lock young girls inside their taxi, sometimes sedating them, and take them as prisoners. Young girls here can’t even rest secure that a trip to the store or to school won’t end in tragedy for them. Even I upon first arriving was instructed on how to kick out the door of a moto if necessary.

Not yet being a lawyer, and, frankly, not yet being fluent in Spanish has somewhat limited my capacity to be helpful here in the ways I wish to be. However, my hosts have been gracious in including me in as much as possible. As a part of my work with Paz y Esperanza I’m helping them prepare for a two-day event to be held at the end of June. The event is called a “Diplomada”, which is the equivalent of a certification course for local professionals, including attorneys, and government authorities. This course will train and teach on the issues of human sex trafficking and ways to detect and prevent it in within the scope of each profession. Each event is a day-long class, one day to be held here in Huánuco, and the other day to be held in a neighboring town, Tingo Maria. (Tingo Maria is the last stop on the trafficking route before girls from other, more isolated regions of the Amazonian areas, are brought to Huánuco to be sold.)

In my spare-time in the office I’ve been reading through the case files of clients just to hear their stories and to understand how the legal process works here and what it is doing for these victims. Honestly, what I’ve found is heart-breaking and discouraging to say the least. Most cases at Paz y Esperanza involve girls age seven to fourteen-years-old and have been pending for upwards of six years, but that is because resources for these victims are only just now being created, created by people like those in the office I work for. In Huánuco, awareness is everything and, though the process of transformation is painfully slow, there is hope and there is progress.

As I walk toward the end of this part of my summer, I realize that I’m only just finishing my first mountain. Now, suddenly, I can see all the mountains towering around me, and I know just how hard this career journey will be, fighting for the oppressed and forgotten. So many “too lates” or “problems I can’t fix” sit on my path, and I have to wrestle with that, but I trust that the God who has delegated to me such a tough path will also delegate to me the strength and grace sufficient for it.

Because the greatest thing about mountains are the views that come when you reach the peak. Regardless of how high you are, and how high you have left to climb, stopping to see the success behind you is exhilarating and it matters. The successes matter. They matter to God and they matter to the one who was helped. Thank God that people all over the world are willing to climb mountains every day for people they don’t know and have yet to meet. Peru may have some of the tallest mountains I’ve ever seen, but at the top of even the tallest mountains I can see the lights of a few scattered homes, a beacon of peace and hope, a sign of people who are willing to live where it’s hard.

This post was written by Center for Global Justice student intern Desinee Easley.  The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.