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Update from CGJ Summer Intern Anna Colby

By July 23, 2017December 16th, 2019Uncategorized
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)