Guest Speakers Connect Faith and Justice


In recognition of Justice Week, the university community will hear from chapel guests with a focus on God’s heart for justice.

Gregg DetwilerGregg Detwiler, director of intercultural ministries at Emmanuel Gospel Center in Boston, spoke Monday in the DeSantis Family Chapel and will speak again Tuesday. Detwiler offers research, training, consulting, networking and collaborative outreach to leaders from various cultures.

Then, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, there will be a film screening of “Four Families in Mafraq.” The documentary highlights the stories of four Syrian refugee families living in Mafraq, Jordan. Dr. J. Israel Balderas, assistant professor of convergence journalism, and student directors Tim DeMoss ’20 and Sarah Roulette ’20 produced the documentary.

Joash Thomas, regional mobilization manager for International Justice Mission, will speak to classes and in chapel 11 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. IJM is the largest anti-slavery organization in the world. Thomas worked for IJM as a student leader at Georgia State University, an intern in Delhi and a volunteer in Atlanta before he joined the staff.

The cause is personal for him. He grew up in Mumbai, and his uncle leads offices in India focused on ending bonded labor, the most prevalent form of slavery there, he said.

Joash ThomasHe is impressed that students devote a week every year to advocate for justice. Many of his colleagues also began their careers with IJM as college students, he said.

“It’s really inspiring for me, because I got my start as a college student,” Thomas said. “I’m sure the Lord is calling some students at Palm Beach Atlantic to this fight against slavery and issues of injustice around the world.”

Thomas trains teams to mobilize their cities to pray, give and advocate for the end of slavery. He will have an informal meet-and-greet every day after chapel to talk with students about how they can get involved. He’s looking for students who are passionate about the issue and passionate about their faith “to the point where their faith compels them to take action.”

“These college students aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow,” Thomas said. “They are our leaders of today.”

Top photo: Gregg Detwiler, 2019

Bottom photo: Joash Thomas, 2019