Getting Smarter in Overseas Missions

September 6, 2016

She wants to heal people’s bodies and souls…without unintended side effects.

Stephanie Rodriguez grew up going on overseas mission trips. As she reaches adulthood, she wants to take it to the next level.

Stephanie, was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she continues to serve in various leadership roles in the Charismatic, Evangelical Church co-pastored by her parents. Stephanie has a heart for leading and mentoring youth and is the Secretary of her denomination’s youth program – a network of 22 churches serving over 200 youth.

Stephanie serving in Boliva.

Stephanie served in Bolivia this summer with Breezes of Hope, a medical missions NGO founded by Eastern alums.

“My dream is to be a medical missionary, helping people in different countries,” she says.

She knows that doing overseas work effectively requires doing her homework—and she has been talking with Tony Campolo about it. “Tony taught me that being knowledgeable and intentional is very important. A lot of times, we can go to other countries and end up hurting people by accident. I heard a story where people brought free clothes to a poor country and accidentally put the local clothes sellers out of business. So being able to talk with Tony, and work with the program, about what doing this right can look like is huge.”

This year, as part of a new Campolo Fellows Speakers Program, the Campolo Center is bringing in Kent Annan of Haiti Partners to meet with the Scholars and share about his experience in ministry.  Moreover, in preparation of Kent’s visit, we’ll be reading, studying and discussing his latest book Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World(NOTE: If you’d like to join us for one of these book discussions or for one of our Campolo Fellows please contact me for more details at

In the meantime, the Campolo Scholars Program is also deepening Stephanie’s spiritual preparedness. “My faith has grown a lot this year, because I have been educated more about the Bible, who God really is, and our identity in Christ.”

She is excited to put this more to work as she grows, and she’s not waiting to get started. Stephanie had already served in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. This summer, she went to Bolivia and Haiti. “The Bolivia trip happened because of an Eastern University connection, and we helped in medical clinics. In Haiti, I had the opportunity to preach and ministered to children at an orphanage.”

See Also

Meet the Campolo Scholars: A Year in Review

Michelle Mile’s Story: What we need from the next generation of Christian leaders

Lenise Morales’s Story: How Music Can Reach People Who Resent Christianity

Emily Pastin’s Story: They Met Jesus Through Dance

About the Campolo Center

The American church is in decline in our post-Christian, secular society. Churches are closing, and our best and brightest are not entering ministry.

Tony Campolo has worked tirelessly in ministry for over five decades. The Campolo Center for Ministry is the next and biggest step in his vision for Christian leadership development and church renewal—a partnership with Eastern University that sets out to transform the church by identifying and preparing the next generation of church leaders.

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