“I first became aware of Tony Campolo when I was in middle school in the 80’s. Our youth pastor would gather us around to listen to VHS tapes of Tony’s talks. His remarkable influence wasn’t due merely to the resounding message he shared about helping the most vulnerable – it was in the call to action. Tony presented an active faith. This resonated with me. Looking back, I can see clearly how his message would impact the rest of my life story.
From an early age I was determined not to spend my life passively. I wanted to serve with all my time, all my skills, and all my life. I felt called to science and wanted to see my work truly help patients. Since the late 1990s, my wife Jackie and I have dedicated our lives to working in the biotech sector. For many years our focus was on developing cancer drugs using nanotechnology.
After 25 years working in this field, we made the decision to delve deeper into the concept of life as mission. Helping cancer patients remains extremely rewarding, but it’s a group for which there is a great deal of support in the wealthy countries of Europe and North America. Yet, there are entire populations of people in developing countries who don’t have the same access to drug development and the latest advances in science. We decided to shift our focus to developing drugs for neglected diseases, which affect the world’s poorest people, trapping “the least of these” in a cycle of poverty and disease. So, we built a new company focusing on tuberculosis and other neglected infectious diseases in the Global South. The aim is ensuring accessibility to medications that are usually available only to those in the wealthier areas of our world.
It tends to be later in life that we begin to reflect on those that have helped shape who we have become today. One of my heroes is William Wilberforce. His story is one of persistence and creativity in battling the slave trade. Tony, too, has been a contrarian – passionately cutting across the grain and taking on the establishment. His story telling and passion for the less fortunate helped shape our vision of what Christianity should be about. I appreciate that tenacity and strive to make this quality to permeate every part of my life.
Tony is now in his golden years, but remains dedicated to help rising leaders live passionate lives for Christ and justice. As time goes by, I realize more than ever the need to invest in the development of such action-oriented leaders. The Campolo Scholars are the future of the Church and the Campolo Center works hard to equip them to respond to God’s call.
Tony always had a very clear call to action. And his actions spoke even louder than his words! This is the heart of Tony’s message –life as mission is not just a Sunday morning activity. What are we going to do with that understanding? For one thing, you could now respond with a prayer and a gift to support these incredible future leaders for God’s church and His Kingdom! Thanks and God bless you!”
Scholarship funds remain our biggest strategic need. That’s why we’re grateful to announce a matching gift opportunity exclusively for the Campolo Scholarship Endowment!
Daryl and his family will match every gift given for Campolo Scholars up to $20,000. May the Drummond’s story and generosity inspire you to support gifted future leaders of the church!