Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Lenroy Stewart is all about service

Published:Saturday | September 3, 2016 | 9:00 AM
STEWART

Very soon Lenroy Stewart will be graduating from the Norman Manley Law School with a Legal Education Certificate where he has one dream and that is to be an advocate. His time at law school and internships solidified that view for him and now his hope is to have a litigation practice.

The 23-year-old Seventh-day Adventist calls his five-year journey to earn his credentials nothing short of a miracle.

In an interview with Family and Religion, he shared that God showed up big time for him.

"As a Christian, Christ has been real to me in small ways and in big ways. I believe that God is interested in all the affairs of our lives," he said.

Stewart said one of his biggest challenges was finding his university tuition while pursuing his Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Although his parents had saved and prepared as best as they could, it was a far cry from what was needed.

"They could not afford the quantum leap in tuition that materialised when I got accepted to UWI. During my second year at university, I did not have financial clearance and I was given a deadline of April 12 to pay fees for that semester or face deregistration and God came through for me. Two days before the deadline, the funds were provided," he said.

Five years and more than $4.5 million in tuition alone, Stewart is thanking God for His help.

A member of the Regent Street Seventh-day Adventist Church in Denham Town, Kingston, Stewart is an ardent youth leader with his focus set on ministering to the youth in the church, as well as reaching out to those in the community.

"Doing both in-reach and outreach involve strategic planning and implementation, and without the help of the executive body and the support of the church board, this job would be much harder," he said.

Working as a leader doesn't come without its challenges and hardships, but he was prepared for it because of the words of wisdom his father imparted long ago.

"My father once defined leadership as hardship, and after working with young people, I have come to realise what he means, but when one has the chance to positively impact the life of a young person, then you realise that the hardships are really worth it," he shared.

 

EARLY BAPTISM

 

Although in his early 20s, Stewart has been serving Christ for a long time as he embraced Jesus as his personal Saviour at six years old and got baptised at that early age. Seventeen years later and he has no regrets, noting that his parents taught him the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ.

"I can't say that it has been smooth sailing since, but God has been with me. There have been a raft of challenges on the Christian walk - peer pressure, and other diverse temptations, but I have learnt that one must keep their eyes on Jesus and keep getting up whenever one gets knocked down, as the Bible says, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' (Philippians 4:13)," said Stewart.

One hurdle he had to overcome early in life came while preparing for the Grade Six Achievement test (GSAT).

"A couple of months before GSAT was looming, I remember my teacher telling my father that if I did not take Saturday classes, I wasn't going to pass maths in GSAT. As Seventh-day Adventists who observe the biblical Sabbath, my parents decided to forgo the Saturday classes and obey the commandments of God. Needless to say, I was very successful in GSAT.

Looking ahead, Stewart said acting on his belief that Jesus is coming soon, it is his duty as a Christian to tell this Good News to others.

"Christians are admonished by Christ to 'occupy till I come' (Luke 19:13) that occupying often includes engaging in professions that can benefit mankind and support the Gospel ministry. Paul was a full-time minister who did some tent-making to support himself and the furtherance of the Gospel. In a similar vein, I want to be a full-time Christian who is a trained lawyer who can support myself and my family and help in the furtherance the Gospel," he said.

Born and raised in the New Haven community, Stewart is a past student of Jamaica College, where he represented the school in the Schools' Challenge Quiz competition, and yes, his main area of focus on the team was Bible knowledge.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com