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Speaker marks start of AIDS awareness week

Nov. 17, 1998

BY ERIC GUEL

Reporter

Eric_Guel@baylor.edu

The mood in Chapel-Forum Monday was solemn as Jonathan Hunter explained living with AIDS since 1981.

'I know the miraculous power of God, I know it in my life as someone who has the AIDS virus in him,' Hunter said. 'I've had it since 1981, I've carried the virus with me for all that time.'

Hunter is the founder of Embracing Life (formerly AIDS Resource Ministry) and his speech marked the beginning of AIDS Awareness Week at Baylor.

Hunter said he formerly lived a very dangerous lifestyle and that God was the only one who was able to save him.

'I've sinned so much; heterosexual and homosexual sin. I've taken all sorts of drugs, prior to receiving Jesus Christ,' he said. 'I did anything to numb the pain of my life. I spent most of my life trying to get my needs met through the world. Those are spiritual ding-dongs compared to what I have in Christ.'

He also explained to students that God could save them too.

'I want to talk to you today about the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives,' he said. 'I'm not talking about just getting you through Baylor, I'm talking about getting your life out of the gutter.'

David Christiansen, a Fort Worth junior, said he thinks Hunter has a powerful message to which students can relate.

'I think that students can really understand where he's coming from,' Christiansen said. 'A lot of people at Baylor are probably struggling with the same things that he did: drugs, sexual abuse and needing to be loved. It's good to hear how God has made him a happy man.'

Hunter also explained how he believes God wants to use the students at Baylor to accomplish his will and how students need to let him work through them.

'God is not interested in blessing your little world, he is interested in transforming it,' Hunter said. 'If you want to make a difference in the world, you need to make it with God. Knowledge will only get you so far.'

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