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Aaliyah S. Hart

Aaliyah S. Hart

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Home Country: United States

Aaliyah Shawntelle Hart is a Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service. She is part of the 2021-2023 Global Mission Fellow cohort. 

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.


From Decatur, Georgia, Aaliyah is a member of Reckless Love Church, Avondale Estates, Georgia. She holds an associate degree in baking and pastry arts from Johnson & Wales University’s Charlotte, North Carolina, campus.  

Describing her personal spiritual growth as “an exciting journey so far,” Aaliyah is sure it will continue to be so.  


“Navigating through my adolescent years was just as tough as everyone remembers it being,” she said. “I was dealing with bullies, first crushes and hard tests.” Talking with her mom helped.  

“I learned how to pray,” Aaliyah said, “and manifest positive situations into my life. Throughout the years, I have grown from learning those skills and use them for every situation. My relationship with God has always felt strong to me because of this, and it continues to strengthen.”


As Aaliyah strives to answer life’s questions, she trusts in God. Finding her purpose in life was the toughest question. “I had no clue who I wanted to be or what I wanted to represent,” she said. “A close friend explained to me that she had looked into becoming a missionary but chose instead to go to school. She suggested that I look into what it means to do mission work because it sounded like I needed guidance. She was completely right.”


She began researching possibilities and praying. One day, a man walked up to Aaliyah in the grocery store and asked if he could tell her a story. 

“He explained how he had been incarcerated many times, due to choosing to do the wrong things in life,” Aaliyah said. The last time he was in jail, he picked up a Bible and decided to read it to pass the time. After reading, he could not stop from crying. “He understood what God has been doing for all of us, how much was sacrificed, how loving our God is, and he decided that same day to get baptized,” Aaliyah said. “As soon as he was released from incarceration, he sought out how to guide others to the path he had been shown.  


“He told me he was a missionary who had just returned from south Asia. I instantly knew that him stopping me and telling me this story was no coincidence.” The man asked if he could pray for Aaliyah. “I felt like crying right there,” she said. “I never told anyone the story of us meeting, as it felt very personal, but I know that he and I were placed in each other’s path for a reason.”  

“That same day, I saw that Global Mission Fellows was accepting applications. I was led to mission work by the signs God showed me.” 


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