special agent

Lawyers are special agents of justice.  Our very title – “esquire” – means “shield bearer” – one who is called to protect the vulnerable.  From the time of Magna Charta to our present rules of professional responsibility, we are agents of justice standing in the gap on behalf of the poor.

What an opportunity!

You were created to be a defender of the weak.  While there is nothing wrong with making money your ultimate happiness will not come from your position, title, or bank account.  Your ultimate happiness is rooted in the God who made you and His command to love your neighbor and have a lasting impact through service to the least of these.

But let’s be honest.  We often live on a six minute clock and time races past us.  We don’t feel qualified to help outside our narrow area of expertise.  In quieter moments we feel a longing to be a part of something bigger, but we face enormous pressures.  Can I really make a difference?

Absolutely!

The God who made you and gifted you has provided all that is needed for life-changing impact.  He will make that clear to you, if you pray and seek Him.

Seeking Justice through the Power of Prayer

I want you to meet three people who were seeking justice through prayer.  Two aren’t lawyers – a powerful reminder that lawyers do not do justice alone!

Chris Chancey

legal ministry

Chris Chancy is a social entrepreneur.  A young business man with a passion for seeing refugees flourish, he established a job placement agency in Clarkston where 70% of the town is comprised of refugees.  Chris opened his business last year.  One of his first customers was a man we will call Achmar.

Achmar is an Arab refugee from Afghanistan.  Achmar risked his life serving our troops as a guide and translator.  The Taliban came after Achmar and his wife in the middle of the night and he fled amidst a hail of bullets.  He spent two years in a refugee camp and underwent extensive vetting before coming to the United States.  Fortunately he arrived before last week’s ban which would have prevented this war hero from entering the country.   Few Americans understand who refugees are, what they’ve endured, and how they come to America.  If we did we would be more welcoming like Chris.

Chris found Achmar a job.  Achmar is a hard worker and deeply committed to doing everything right.  But shortly after beginning his job, Achmar purchased a car so he could get to work.  However, he received no title.  The seller refused to give the title and Achmar became anxious.  He did not want to drive the car, but then he would lose his job.  Losing his job would mean jeopardizing his status.  Returning to Afghanistan would be a death sentence.  All because of an unscrupulous car salesman.

Chris knew the seller was wrong but googling an answer returned so much information, he didn’t know what to do.  After extensive involvement the matter was resolved, but Chris realized he needed legal help.  A lawyer could have easily resolved with a phone call.  As terrified as Achmar was of a salesman, a salesman would be of a lawyer.  Chris began to pray.

legal aid ministryMarshall Gibson

Marshall Gibson is an ordinary guy trying to make a living.  When the trades dried up in the recession, he began doing some work for a friend who was coaching young business owners.  His job was to look for leads.  He found Chris over social media.

When Marshall heard Chris’s heart to help refugees being taken advantage of because of their vulnerability and he heard Chris’s prayer for a lawyer, he thought of me.  Marshall had just returned from a men’s retreat where I was speaking.  He called and connected me with Chris, not knowing what God might do.  Small introductions are often significant answers to prayer.

I began a series of discussions with Chris and a friend of mine in Atlanta.  That friend, Kristina Robb-Dover, agreed to open her home for a gathering of attorneys.  She and I prayed that God would raise up attorneys willing to explore how they might use their gifts to forever change someone’s story.

And God answered.

Reagan is a genius.  No kidding.  A PhD in some unpronounceable physics who does patent law.  She has young children, a busy career, and no special expertise in poverty law, yet she immediately called her husband to enlist him to watch the kids so she could volunteer.  She is excited to be a special agent of justice for vulnerable neighbors.

Danny is an impressive trial lawyer.  She works for a big firm with lots of lawyers doing major litigation.  Danny is a courageous fighter who believes in standing against injustice.  Her paralegal knit her a wonderful stocking cap for the women’s march in Atlanta. She was going to stand alongside others to demand equal treatment of all people.  For Danny that is rooted in her faith and the belief in the inherent dignity of all people created in the image of God.  She excitedly raised her hand to help.

There were others answering the call – including Killa (pictured at beginning).

God directed me to Killa over Linked In.  I invited her to attend our event.  Killa had been praying for God to reveal to her how she could use her degree to make a difference.

Killa became a lawyer so she could serve vulnerable people.  She understood vulnerability.  Killa grew up in Honduras.  Her mother was an advocate for women and children victims of violence.  Killa knew risk.  She saw the challenges children fleeing for their lives faced when they finally reached the U.S. only to be treated as sub-human.  She decided to become an immigration lawyer.

But school is expensive and paying work is necessary.  Ministry seemed like a far off dream.  But a Linked In message from a stranger sparked some hope.  Following the message Killa called her brother in Minnesota.  She knew he had volunteered for a legal ministry a couple of years ago and wanted to learn more.  She learned he volunteered for Administer Justice, the organization I started years ago.  As hope began to grow, Killa had another God conversation with a friend in Kentucky who had just finished reading the book Gospel Justice.  When she heard Killa speak she told her she had to read the book.  Killa agreed.  She couldn’t believe the author was me.

By the time Killa arrived at Kristina’s home she was in tears of joy for the opportunity to use her skills as a lawyer with special knowledge of refugees and immigration to serve in a ministry very near where she lives.

God is an amazing God!

legal ministry

Chris prayed for lawyers.  He found a friend who connected him with one lawyer and a new friend in Atlanta.  Now four were praying and God brought together many more lawyers and other Christian justice lovers gladly willing to give of their time to free people from legal burdens so they can flourish.

Join us in praying for this new team of people as they work to open their doors in the next couple of months.  Pray for Clarkston.  The mayor and church leaders are growing in their excitement.  Above all pray for refugees.  As they come to have legal needs met, pray for the opportunity to share the hope of the gospel.  Some refugees are Muslim, some Buddhist, some Hindu, and a variety of other faiths or no faith.

May they identify with a man who was a refugee fleeing the murder of children in Bethlehem.  That man lived in another country before it was safe to return to his own.  That man reminded his Jewish friends that they were all refugees.  He reminded them that He was above all an alien, an immigrant, who left his home in heaven to love neighbors and die for them.  Jesus explained heaven’s immigration policy – every tribe, language and nation is welcome.  Jesus stamped their visa with his blood.  They simply need to accept His gift of grace through faith.

Pray more lawyers will see themselves as special agents of justice.  Pray for more people to join them in loving neighbors.  And pray for God to reveal divine opportunities to be part of God’s amazing work in this world.

Maybe you can give to help launch this new ministry in Clarkston.  Or maybe you are the connector to a new ministry.  Pray and be part of God’s next story of gospel justice somewhere else in the country.  Contact us.

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