Jenn Stewart

October 9, 2012

When I met Justin, I was currently interning for Chick-fil-A, Inc. and had my mind pretty set on pursuing that immediate career path. We were on a business trip that I never would’ve imagined would change what I had envisioned as the next year of my life. As I heard Justin talk about CARE for AIDS over the course of that trip, I grew more and more intrigued in the organization and the work they were doing in Kenya.

You see HIV/AIDS is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. A little over 20 years ago my aunt wasdiagnosed as HIV positive. While I was too young to remember her announcement to our family, I do know that it is something that has changed and shaped my family forever. I remember learning about the disease in health classes as a young kid and feeling anxiety and hurt build up inside as peers made harsh and immature comments. I just wanted to shout out, “You don’t know the full story!” I learned early on not to judge someone unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

Finishing up my last two classes at Georgia State University this semester, the last year has been spent trying to figure out how to best leverage the talents God has given me. Majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Hospitality, I have spent my time throughout college interning in various sectors of the event planning industry. With each internship I gained great experience, but was always left asking the question “How do I mix this with ministry?”

So as Justin continued to reveal more about CARE for AIDS and the many ways in which they invest in clients in Kenya, I knew I had to get involved. Before I had the chance to ask how, Justin mentioned that they were looking for someone to lead their college fundraising initiative. The more I learned, the more assured I was that this was where and how God would begin to mix my experiences with ministry.

While I only have a month under my belt, it feels like CARE for AIDS has been a part of my life for years. The things God is doing through the team in Kenya, and even in the US, are amazing and I am so grateful that I get to be a part of that. I’m quickly realizing that God never ceases to amaze us, especially in the moments when we least expect it. I am currently getting to work closely with three amazing young ladies from Furman, Vanderbilt, and Truman State, and cannot wait to see how CARE for AIDS spreads throughout their campuses over the next year!