Our History

Formed as a non-profit organization in August 2001, Blessman International, Inc. (BMI) 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 from Limpopo, South Africa.

While serving in South Africa, Jim and Beth began working with Jacques van Bommel, the founder and director of Reaching a Generation (RaG). This partnership has evolved to encompass optical outreaches, feeding programs, teacher training, job creation, and a safari game farm. The purpose of the safari game farm is to provide a source of income for the ministry outreach and also serves as the South Africa headquarters for Blessman International (BMI). While the game farm is owned by RaG, BMI helped raise funds for it and owns the lots of land that our ministry buildings occupy.

We also offer short term mission trips to volunteers from all over the United States. The use of short term teams help us effectively minister to those in need.

Sustainability is something the Blessmans strive for when looking at a new program. Two key components in all programs are first, evangelism, and then, discipleship. Their philosophy, as well as Jacques, is to give the poor a “hand up,” not a “hand out,” to avoid creating dependency.

Blessman International Inc. (BMI) is a non-profit corporation established as a charitable organization under the I.R.C. Section 501(c)(3). By establishing BMI 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.