International Aid History

Founded in 1980, International Aid glorifies Christ by providing medical and health resources to global partners serving people in need. International Aid is a Christian relief ministry that seeks to tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering.

Since its inception in 1980, International Aid has provided medical and health resources to global partners serving people in need to bring healing and restoration. Through International Aid’s consolidation with CURE International, this effort continues by providing medical equipment and supplies to CURE’s network of children’s hospitals around the world.

Near the end of the 1970s, World Vision began to phase out its procurement program located in its midwest office in Spring Lake, Michigan. World Vision’s West Michigan staff, headed by James E. Franks Sr. and a local committee chaired by Charles Rycenga, felt led to continue this ministry and International Aid, Inc. was established in 1980.

James E. Franks Sr.

Charles Rycenga

Our founders envisioned a commitment to relief and development work both domestically and internationally, providing goods and services to vulnerable people.

International Aid started with a 17,000 square foot warehouse collecting 10 tons of blankets, medicine, and other relief supplies, which were immediately sent to refugee families in war-torn Southern Lebanon. The next several years brought growth in volunteer participation, relief shipments, warehouse space, and additional programs.

International Aid expands programs to include Disaster Relief, reconditioned medical equipment for rural clinics and hospitals, Lab-In-A-Suitcase®, prescription medications, biomedical training, and the Hygiene Kit Initiative.

1980
Sends 20,000 lbs. of aid to families in war-torn Southern Lebanon.

1985
Partners with American farmers to send over 42,000 lbs. of grain to famine-stricken Ethiopia.

1986
Responds to natural disasters, domestically and overseas, by distributing desperately needed health products, hygiene kits, medical clinics and supplies.

1989
Responds to multiple natural disasters and ships 97 tons of grain to help feed starving communities in Africa.

An estimated 70 percent of medical equipment in developing countries doesn’t work.

Missing manuals, incompatible power connections, and needed repairs turn generous equipment donations into unusable machines. Our solution is to serve as a critical link between equipment donors and recipients to guarantee equipment donations are ready for use.

IA is one of the largest reconditioners of medical equipment in the faith-based, non-profit sector providing anything from anesthesia machines to X-ray equipment.


We help hospitals in developing nations attain self-sufficiency in equipment operations by supplying them with new and refurbished medical equipment, operation manuals, and technical support.

We also offer assessments for hospitals and medical centers preparing to expand or enhance current operations. Onsite evaluations, recommendations for next steps and a list of needed resources are all available as needed with prior agreement.


In 1992, Responding to an unmet need for quality medical equipment in developing countries, International Aid creates Medical Equipment Services. Experienced biomedical technicians procure and properly recondition previously used medical equipment for distribution to rural clinics and hospitals, assuring the equipment is appropriate, supportable, and sustainable.

1993
Nineteen shipments of medical equipment and supplies are sent to hospitals in Vietnam. Twenty-two sea containers of aid are sent to refugees in Bosnia and Croatia.

1995
International Aid’s Christian Eye Ministry treats over 42,000 patients in Ghana.

1995 – Lab-In-A-Suitcase®
Addressing the need for accurate and timely diagnostic laboratory testing in remote and underserved areas, International Aid introduces the Lab-In-A-Suitcase®, a portable laboratory. The Lab-In-A-Suitcase® has the ability to perform life-saving laboratory tests in areas without electricity and is appropriate for short-term medical missions, rural and mobile clinics, and responding to major disasters.

1998
Reaches out to 170 countries with 431 shipments valued at over
$71 million.

In 2000, recognizing the ability to maintain and repair medical devices is essential, International Aid developed a course consisting of two four-week training sessions a year over a three-year period and covering all major types of medical equipment.

2000
Courses held in Ghana, Honduras, India, Kosovo, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Working with partner organizations, International Aid additionally participates in biomedical training courses in Cambodia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. The first class from International Aid’s Medical Equipment Training program graduates in Ghana.

2001
International Aid delivers oxygen tanks, burn medications, dust masks, work boots and gloves to New York City following 9/11. They also provide trauma and grief counseling for people affected.

2002
International Aid sends five shipments of food, clothing, medicines, supplies, hygiene products and a portable medical clinic to Afghan refugees.

2005
International Aid sends 24 medical clinics to Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka following the earthquake and tsunami. They also sent aid to the United States following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In 2008, strengthening health also must include access to medicines and other health products. International Aid establishes an innovative approach to procure and deliver essential health products while minimizing warehousing. This ensures faster delivery of life-saving medicines and supplies to where needed most.

2011
International Aid achieved a new record high for relief distributed by shipping over $116 million in valuable health resources to global partners.

Good hygiene is fundamental to public health and an essential component to our field partner’s programs. The Hygiene Kit Program supports Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) standards. Started in 2014, International Aid hosts local volunteers to pack hygiene kits distributed both domestically and overseas during times of natural disaster.

2014
A total of 656 participants packing 27,585 hygiene kits distributed in 6 different countries.

Read more about International Aid’s history with CURE International