In 1987 Steve was appointed to serve with Missions Door, working with college students at Arizona State University. Just three weeks after getting married, however, Patty’s mother was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. This unexpected occurrence changed their direction and they began to look at a completely different kind of ministry.
During her illness the Robenalts responded to opportunities to meet others living with HIV and discovered many people who were searching for love and hope.
Shortly before her mother’s death, Patty had the privilege of leading her to faith in Christ. It was at that time they believed God was calling them away from campus ministry to begin a new ministry, which would extend the love, hope, and strength of Christ to people touched by HIV. They called this ministry Compassion in Action.
“Our mission is to help people touched by HIV to live a fuller life through Christ and overcome the fears and obstacles that a life-threatening illness has put in their way.”
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).”
“Our driving passion is to lead people to taste this life – Jesus himself.”
Through the ministry of Compassion in Action the Robenalts and their volunteers share the person and love of Jesus with food boxes, a monthly community dinner and meeting, practical and emotional support, discipleship opportunities and networking with other AIDS organizations.
Steve responded to the Gospel as a young boy in his family’s church, and later, while in a Campus Ambassadors ministry at Arizona State University, rededicated his life to following Christ.
Patty responded to the Gospel through a campus ministry during high school.
Steve and Patty met during college and were married in May of 1988. They have two children: Carah and Brent.