When Jonathan Chua (’10) transferred to Biola to receive a degree in intercultural studies, his desire was to bring the gospel to people who had little access or exposure to it. Today he is doing just that. As manager of international outreach at Joni and Friends, Chua is helping churches and parachurch organizations around the world better minister to people with disabilities, a group Christians often overlook.
“The church will never be complete until people with disabilities are fully included in the body of Christ,” said Chua, who finds that the mission of Joni and Friends — to minister to and advocate for people affected by disability — aligns perfectly with the training he received at Biola to reach “the least, lost and last.”
Chua is passionate about helping pastors and congregations better integrate the weakest members of the body into the life of the church.
“Could we have someone in a wheelchair come up and do Scripture reading, or do announcements, or sing on the worship team or maybe even preach to the congregation?” he asked.
Many churches aren’t thinking about these questions and are missing out on an opportunity to demonstrate how “God uses the weak to confound the wisdom of the world,” he said.
Chua’s current position finds him educating, advocating and building relationships both domestically and throughout the 27 countries where Joni and Friends has partnerships. It’s dynamic and rewarding work that Biola’s intercultural studies and mission training was instrumental in preparing him to do, said Chua.
“I see my work with Joni and Friends as a work of expanding the kingdom of God,” he said, “making sure the gospel does reach the least and the lost.”