Forty years ago, Dr. Harold Harder, a professor at Oral Roberts University’s medical school, went on a mission trip that would change not only his life and career, but affect the lives of millions around the world.
In 1980, Dr. Harder volunteered for his church’s mission trip to Guatemala. He was the team’s appointed member to gather pharmaceuticals for the medical clinics they would host on their ten-day outreach.
Those ten days and the lead-up to them would herald a significant shift in Dr. Harder’s life and calling.
“My heart was greatly moved,” he said, “first, by a deep compassion for the great health needs of these people and second, by the difficulties medical missionaries face in securing adequate supplies of essential drugs on a minimal budget.”
The struggle Dr. Harder faced in supplying his team’s clinics opened his eyes to a vast need in the medical mission world. “The time required for me to solicit and obtain the drugs was six to seven times more than the hours spent during the clinic itself,” he reflected.
Simultaneously, Dr. Harder realized the scope of the need for medical aid in undeveloped nations. “During the trip, I saw with my own eyes just how greatly needed these medicines were and how the people responded to our care with much appreciation.
“As I returned to Tulsa [from Guatemala], I prayed that God would open doors with pharmaceutical companies so that I could help supply medicines to medical mission teams who were traveling abroad to developing nations.