OUR HISTORY

Formed as a non-profit organization in August 2001, Blessman International, Inc. was founded by Dr. Jim and Beth Blessman. Jim, a board certified family physician and pain specialist, and his wife Beth continue to lead our ministry. Operations are located in Urbandale, IA and outreach is based in Limpopo, South Africa.

After visiting over 70 countries on short-term missions trips, Jim and Beth began working with Jacques van Bommel, the founder and director of Reaching a Generation (RaG). Eventually the ministry grew and developed into its own entity to accomplish its mission of offering South African children and young adults God’s love and eternal hope through faith formation and programs to feed hungry children, foster food secure communities and offer dignity through basic water and sanitation.

Today, Blessman International has three campuses in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The Thompson Campus is where our offices and sewing center are located, as well as the Leroy Blessman Lodge of Dreams that houses guests and service teams. The Del Cramer Campus is where the Del Cramer Child Development Center operates, which includes an after school program for impoverished children, a bakery, and a small farming coop.  The Mountain View Farm campus is where Blessman International has a larger farming operation that supplements the feeding centers, and additional staff housing and the Ridgway Youth Hostel.

In addition, Blessman international has planted two churches and ministers to over 4,000 students per week in school assemblies. Blessman International operates feeding centers that feed 7,500 children weekly with the support of Meals from the Heartland and Convoy of Hope. With support from Hy-Vee and local Rotary groups, the ministry is digging water wells to provide a safe source of water for schools and communities. The ministry is also building environmentally friendly and safe toilets called Enviro loos. Blessman International hosts eleven service teams each year that distribute reading glasses, shoes, and reusable feminine hygiene kits provided by Days for Girls as well assisting with farming and building projects.

Blessman International Inc. is a non-profit corporation established as a charitable organization under the I.R.C. Section 501(c)(3). By establishing Blessman International this way, all tax-deductible gifts are used to purchase ministry supplies and to pay for direct expenses of the ministry. The ministry employs U.S. office staff to handle the day to day administrative responsibilities; however, neither Jim nor Beth Blessman take a salary from the ministry.