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Reneé Stearns draws on her experience and passion as a Christian, attorney, and mother of five, to speak on behalf of the children and their mothers she has met in her travels to World Vision projects in many countries.
She is particularly passionate about helping women face the challenges of motherhood, whether living in the United States, or in the extreme poverty she sees in her travels around the world. Articulate and compassionate, Reneé is a speaker with a gift for teaching. She says, "My desire is to help people see the world from God's perspective, and to move them to do something about what they see."
Reneé earned her Bachelor of Arts in government at Cornell University and her law degree from Boston College. She served as a legal services attorney for the poor in the Boston area before devoting herself full-time to raising her children.
She is active in church ministries, leads neighborhood Bible studies, and is a frequent guest speaker at conferences and retreats. Her first book, a devotional entitled, He Walks Among Us, Encounters With Christ in a Broken World, co-authored with her husband Rich, will be available in October, 2013. Along with her husband, she is also the author of God's Love for You, a Bible Storybook for Children, which includes stories of many of the people she has met in her travels with World Vision. She has also contributed to the Women of Vision Heart of the Matter study series, most recently writing Touching the Lives of Women in Poverty.
Reneé has served on the boards of a variety of Christian ministries, including the human-rights focused International Justice Mission, and Women's Enterprises International, emphasizing the empowerment of impoverished women across the globe. Reneé is currently a member of the Board of International Health Services, whose mission is to equip medical professionals to share their faith in the workplace.
In addition, Reneé continues to pursue her lifelong goal of being an advocate for the poor. Her husband became president of World Vision in 1998, and from her travels to see the organization's work, she shares stories of the mothers and children she meets.
When she traveled to Niger in West Africa, children were facing starvation. "I was in a triage tent where the sickest babies were being treated," she says. "As I talked with the mothers of these children, what impressed me most was that in spite of their circumstances, these moms had dreams and expectations for their kids, who were so near death, that are not terribly dissimilar to mine.
"I'm always so inspired that in the midst of very dark circumstances these women have hope. Something about being a mother makes them optimistic about the future."
A life-long student of the Bible, Reneé enjoys "helping others to understand how God's Word speaks to us today." She inspires people to broaden their worldview to include the great needs she has seen around the globe, including the disproportionate impact on women of poverty, war, trafficking, famine, and AIDS.