Interview with Tiffany EspensenJordan Mabe | March 21, 2019
So far at the UN, I have had the privilege of meeting several important people. And one of these people was Tiffany Espensen. Tiffany is a humanitarian activist and actress who has been in several productions, including Netflix shows and Disney and Marvel films. Tiffany was kind enough to sit down with me for a few questions.
I: Do you want to state your name and the kind of work you do?
T: My name’s Tiffany Espensen, I am the Communications and Outreach director for Well Versed. It is a non-profit organization that is focused on meeting humanitarian needs differently. And what makes it different is that we apply transcendent, timeless Biblical truth to government. So the social issues that we’re seeing today on marriage, abortion, immigration and any legislation that deal with humans, which is every law out there pretty much, can be applied and solved through looking at our Bible, looking at our foundation, and seeing how we can best accomplish good for God and for humanity.
I: On more of a specific level, what are some of the things that Well Versed does on a day-to-day basis?
T: We establish key principles and meetings with people here at the United Nations. Let me start with fellowships since that’s where we are. With our fellowship, we do weekly gathering of UN employees and we say “okay, this is the legislation coming up, these are the laws that are being enacted, how can we best do that?” Every Tuesday we have fellowship here. We have something called the Jefferson Gathering in Washington D.C. where we bring together Congressmen and Congresswomen and have a Bible study. We have a study of the Tanakh in Jerusalem at Israeli parliament. That’s called the Schindler’s Society.
So here at the UN and in D.C., one of our stories that we like to base everything off of is in the book of Esther. It talks about the king making a decree to kill all the Jewish people and that was by one advisor giving him that information. And that ruins the lives of people. Then you have Queen Esther come in and say “I’m a Jew, you’re going to have to kill me”. So we meet strategically with Ambassadors and anyone who is a permanent representative here at the UN who is in charge of making the world’s laws and say “this is how you can do it in its best form”, and we meet people in Congress and not only help them with their policies but do the weekly gatherings as well. We want to see good laws passed, and see people in positions of power not to vote in a shocking and atrocious manner.
I: So you mentioned that Well Versed does a lot of work in Israel and Jerusalem specifically. There’s a lot of tension going on between Israel and Palestine and everything going on at the UN with that. Does that make your job harder at all or how does that factor in?
T: Well we stand with Israel. God says that if we bless Israel, He will bless us. Not that that’s why we’re doing it (laughs), we genuinely care about Israel. God cares so much and if God cares we should care as well. What is interesting about the dynamic of specifically working in the UN is that we want to start something called the Wallenburg Society. We’ve talked with the Israeli mission a few times about teaching on anti-Semitism and just making people more aware of what’s going on. The UN is the center of really harsh anti-Semitism against Israel, as we can see in their voting. A lot of it is just the social aspect of trying to communicate why we should care about Israel. That scares people because there’s this whole message that they’re evil and they’ve taken away land. And that’s not at all the case. The problem is that they have such a closed mindset to Israel already that they’re not really open to what we’re trying to communicate to them.
I: If you could pick a single issue that you think people need to be more aware of or know more about, what would it be?
T: Goodness (laughs). I know it’s a big topic of conversation right now and I know a lot of people are talking about it but it’s definitely the prolife movement. For me that is my heart. My major is in political science and I do not like political science so that’s how I know it’s God (laughs). I’m not saying, “I want to be in government and feel spiritual depression every day”, but If I had to do something, it would be to fight for life. My story is that I was abandoned on the hospital steps in China in the Guangdong province. The Guangdong province in China is the worst area for forced abortion. So for me it’s about making sure the dignity of life is being upheld. And now with the whole feminist movement, we’re empowering women by saying “if you have a child, you’re done for. That’s all you’re good for”. I don’t think that’s at all the case.
Murdered children shouldn’t empower you. That’s not what we should be doing. And it’s really confusing and scary. Once the government starts deciding what’s a life and what’s not, that is the extreme. In America, we’re a light for democracy for others. We’re questioning if we should even save a baby that is out of the womb. Now we’re saying that’s not a life. Who determines that? God does. It’s not our position to say, “this is life, this is not”. Life is life no matter what and we need to be paying attention to the policies that are happening.
I: Last question, what would the ideal future look like for you and Well Versed?
T: Our goal is to make disciples of all nations. I think what we’re doing is all God. It’s a slow progress of meeting people and hoping to eventually have the word of God so deeply in them that we can send them off and have them multiply. We want to see God in laws and in people. Not just us being able to feed people but teaching them to fish. So even if that’s one person down the road that got taught by Well Versed to think differently and challenge the status quo, so that they can go out and vote truth, that’s our goal.
Knowing that there are people like Tiffany who are using their influence to promote life is encouraging to me. Our duty is to speak truth in love to everyone we meet and advocate for those who don’t have a voice.
I want to thank Tiffany for taking the time to speak with me.