In 1980, an early morning men’s prayer group at a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma was planning a mission outreach to Guatemala. A member of that group, Harold Harder, a PhD pharmacologist and medical school professor, sensed a deep desire to help minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the Mayan Indians. Harold joined the team as its acting pharmacist. His role was to solicit donated medicines. In partnership with his wife, Linda, the Harders spent much time in prayer and praise in preparation for this trip. At the time, Guatemala was in the midst of civil war. Despite the apparent danger, the Harders sensed a genuine calling and knew that they had to be obedient to God.
After returning from the trip to Guatemala, the Harders prayed about how they might help other teams going on similar short-term medical mission trips. As they prayed, a number of medical mission teams asked for help to obtain pharmaceuticals. The Harders were able to successfully obtain donated pharmaceuticals to help these teams.
In June 1981, Blessings International was incorporated as a non-profit and opened its doors to a world in need of its service.
Not originally intended to be a full-time effort, Blessings International grew slowly in its early years. As more and more ministries heard about Blessings International, the ministry started growing rapidly. In the summer of 1985, a career-changing decision led Harold to leave his faculty position in order to pursue the efforts of Blessings International full-time. According to Harold, “This was not an easily made decision, but the Lord made His guidance and will for my life absolutely clear to me. The first full year in our new walk required a lot of faith. Within a year, the Lord demonstrated that He would not allow our young ministry to flounder and sink.”
Blessings International has grown and continues to expand. The ministry was originally created to serve as a source for donated and low-cost pharmaceuticals to mission trips. Today, Blessings International provides pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to clinics and hospitals in developing countries, and to some in the United States. Blessings International has expanded its territory to work with churches, non-governmental organizations, universities and medical institutions.
Today, Blessings International maintains a staff of 19 full-time employees and operates a 14,000 square foot warehouse and repackaging facility, all for the sake of providing medicines and medical supplies to teams, clinics and hospitals which are healing the hurting, building healthy communities and transforming lives with the love of Christ.