by: Dr. Steve Heidenreich
In the past few months, I have had the opportunity to help other people help missionaries in times of great need. Thank God for many missionaries who have responded to the call of God to take the precious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the regions beyond. My family and I lived on the mission for over 15 years. I have traveled for 13 years and have worked with many missionaries from multiple countries. I have seen many difficult times of need missionaries have gone through. These years were a great teaching time for me to learn how to respond to those dear people when in great need.
Let me share a few things that I believe will help those of us who love missionaries and want to be a help in their times of need.
First, let’s remember that they are God’s missionaries. I heard someone say, “We don’t support them, they’re not one of our missionaries. Should we be doing anything for them?” In the time of great need, we shouldn’t worry about whose missionaries they are, but respond as God would lead us. Remember they are God’s missionaries reaching the people for whom His Son died.
Second, I believe that the greatest weapon we have at our disposal is prayer. We should go to God on their behalf. We have a son and his family on the mission field in the Philippines. My wife and I know too well what it feels like when they go through critical times. We feel so helpless, and yes, we hurt and weep for them. So, we go to our knees and ask God to do what we want to do and can’t. We have to ask our Father to put them in His arms and comfort, protect and guide them through His will at that specific time. Would you be the person who would hold them up in prayer?
Third, be understanding during their time of difficultly. Remember many of us have great resources around us to help in the time of need. Many missionaries have to make decisions with what little resources they have available, and you and I may wonder why they do some things the way that they do. Don’t you think they want what is best for all involved for them and their family. There are times when they don’t have any choice but to have to go with what’s happening at the time. They would gladly do what some of you would do if they had the opportunity. So, please try to understand them when they need you the most.
Fourth, when you have the opportunity to do so, help them financially. I like the story of the good Samaritan. He said, “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” I believe with all my heart that God will bless churches more than ever when they help missionaries who are in great need.
I am writing this article as I am flying to the Philippines to encourage my 11 year-old granddaughter who has been fighting a serious bout of Dengue Fever. Many thousands of people have prayed and encouraged them in so many ways. I am so glad when God intervenes and uses His people to help when there seems that there is no way through. So many of God’s people love missionaries and make it possible for them to make it through times of great need.
I believe that God receives so much glory when His people respond together to take care of His missionaries when they don’t have the needed resources, and when they go through times of great need.
Dr. Steve Heidenreich