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.
Learn more about where this ministry happens
In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast
Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.
The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.
The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.
Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.
Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.
Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.
Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.
In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.
Population: 320 million
Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other
Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others
Ministry service area:
Arizona, United States