USA (MNN) — Like a runner getting his burst of strength in a second wind, International Aid has come back from six months of struggle and hardship. They were down to 14 employees, or the "remnant" as they affectionately called themselves. Funding was low, and many wondered how they would pull through.
Brian Anderson, CEO and President of International Aid, says, "It really did force us to rely upon God. It was His provision during those six months and His hand at work. Ultimately in early 2010, we came out of that [struggle], reorganized, and boy, it's just been a fun ride since then!"
Despite organizational and economic difficulties, International Aid is now getting back to their roots in this new reboot. When they were founded in 1980, they focused on providing health products and medical supplies to those in need. Gradually, they added other things such as a missionary store, training, and in-country programs.
Now, however, they are returning to a focus on medical equipment and shipping health products. They also reminded others proudly that the name of Jesus Christ was to be "raised at the top of the flagpole." This bold statement resulted in some wrestling with a few donors who were more interested in the simple goal of humanitarian aid but not so much the Christian message behind it. Now, with this refreshed focus, Anderson says it is their "best year yet."
"This past year, International Aid shipped in excess of $116 million worth of product and equipment to over 68 countries, working through more than 300 partners," states Anderson. "From that standpoint, when I say ‘best year ever,' it's in the context of what we've been able to ship around the world."
International Aid was especially grateful to be able to send aid after three recent natural disasters. They ministered to people who were affected by the earthquake in Japan, the tornados in southern Mississippi and Alabama, and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri.
In these disasters, International Aid partnered with local relief organizations and churches to send hygiene products, blankets, flashlights and medical supplies. In Japan, they were even able to purchase two used vans for transporting people and supplies.
What makes International Aid different from other humanitarian aid organizations is the way the true compassion of Christ comes out. Whereas other organizations send supplies and equipment to an area they think could use it and then move on to the next field of focus, International Aid is much more intentional.
The equipment they send must meet two criteria: it must be appropriate for the people and society in that region for meeting their needs effectively, and it must be sustainable. International Aid works with the equipment they send, making sure it is kept up for a minimum of at least three years in order to benefit the people.
Through it all, International Aid has maintained their mindset of having Christ at the top of their "flagpole." They do not hide the fact that they are Christian, and humanitarian aid like this often has people wondering why they do what they do. Sending aid is a wonderful evangelistic opportunity as they are the hands of feet of Christ.
International Aid can still use any donations as they are a company with a strong cause and potential for growth. Please pray that their funding would increase so that they may increase their relief efforts. If you are interested in contributing financially to this organization, click here.