Provision International

Used Shoes, Expired Vitamins, Powered Milk Called Treasures (+podcast)

Sunday, December 02, 2018

(Air1 Closer Look – Dan Beck/Marya Morgan) -- Several years ago, a Montana-state building inspector was on vacation, on a short term-missions trip in Eastern Europe, when a woman collapsed with an asthma attack. The only equipment at the foreign hospital was a coat rack and a wheelchair.  That sad condition spurred the man to use his professional connections back home to collect used medical equipment and ship it to hospitals overseas. From that effort, Provision International was born, which now collects thousands of unwanted or unused items, from blankets to furniture to surplus farm crops, filling bellies and warehouses overseas.

“If we can put it in a container, we ship it,” says Lance Lanning, president of Provision International. “We’ve shipped bobcats, tractors, vans,” and unlike many other ministries, they also agreed to collect and ship used shoes through their Share-A-Pair program. Expired vitamins and powdered milk are also premium items in third-world nations. “If you ever come across a container of powdered milk,” Lanning promises,” I’ll have semi there the next day to pick it up.”

Provision International chooses the destinations for containers after careful vetting of how the items will be used when they arrive. “People always ask, how do you decide to stay in El Salvador or Uganda or Tanzania or Slovakia? It’s because people on the ground, we’re connected to.” Lanning explains, “more stuff doesn’t help people experience God, so it’s gotta be someone (local) that understands how to utilize God’s resources to minister to people to share His resources and His love with them.”

Lanning encourages each of us to think about what we have in our closets, garages, sheds or barns. “The worst part is when you see people throw stuff away that could be utilized to help someone. It doesn’t have to be overseas -- it could be in your backyard.”

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