Social Justice Capstone Paper
In the spring of 2018, I spent my semester (my second semester sophomore year) living in Glasgow, Scotland working with a local church plant. As a Christian Studies major, this was right up my alley. I had studied different strategies and methods of church planting, evangelism, and other ministry-related topics at Ouachita; here I got to experience them and live them out under the supervision of long-term missionaries. While many of these things I tried to live out no matter what country I was in, it was a very formative time in my understanding of ministry and missions. While I was there, I had the opportunity to work with refugees, primarily from Syria and Iraq. I had some experience working with refugees prior to my time in Glasgow, but this time I had several months to devote to them, not just a week. My main task was teaching English to them, which I got to do at my church once a week. One of the families in my class asked my ministry partner and I to go to their home twice a week to do one-on-one English lessons, primarily with the wife who did not speak hardly an English. During the many days we spent over at their flat, I not only got to help teach them English, but I also got to help them with different legal paperwork regarding their immigration status and benefits (and also eat really good Syrian food). Because I was not informed of the U.K.’s immigration laws, I could only help to a certain extent. This got me thinking- how cool would it be to get to represent refugees legally? Or at least have enough knowledge of the process and program that I could help them in this tangible way? I began to look at ways at Ouachita I could study to do this, whether that meant more in the social work side or legal representation side. Either way, I wanted to be able to learn more about the government and immigration policies.
Nelson, Elise, "Social Justice Capstone Paper" (2020). Social Justice Class Papers. 31.