by: Dr. Steve Heidenreich
Psalms 16:5, “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.”
God has blessed my wife and I these many years as missionaries. In the thirty-eight years as missionaries, we have had to learn to depend on God for many of our provisions.
At my ordination service in 1982, Dr. Jack Hyles gave us the verse, Psalm 16:5 for our missionary service. Little did I know that verse would be our anchor for our lives.
As missionaries we learned that everyone couldn’t go with us to the field. People who have guided us and invested their lives will not be as available. There were times when technology and places of resources were not within reach of our place of service.
Some missionaries are blessed to have their parents strongly behind them. I praise the Lord for this because it is a great encouragement to the missionary. For a missionary to know that they have parents back in the states praying for them daily is a tremendous blessing. To have parents who are on 24-hour call to help meet a need when difficult circumstances arise is an added blessing. As parents of missionaries ourselves, we know what it is like to have children and grandchildren on the mission field. There are many times we would like to be used to help them, but we are not always able to meet the need when called upon. Thank God that He is able to be the portion that is needed for our children and grandchildren.
Other missionaries are blessed to have a church behind them as they serve on the mission field. Again, this can be a tremendous blessing to a missionary on the field. I thank God for every church that is behind their missionaries and doing all they can to encourage them. I wish we had thousands more of these churches to reach the great demand of getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.
When my wife and I first started out over 25 years ago, we did not have the access to all those who were mentioned above. We went to the Philippines and started a church way back in the mountains. At that time there was no access to electricity, and that made everything limited in communicating back home.
This is where Psalm 16:5 became a part of our lives. Let me share with you some of the areas where the Lord is our portion.
First, He was our portion in protection. At that time, the communist’s rebels were very active and very dangerous. The Lord led us to an area that was one of the top five hot spots. I knew that God wanted my family and I to start a church in this area. I was told by many that it would be a very difficult thing to do. I was very leery of taking my family back into the mountains to start the church. One night while praying in the back of my jeepney, at 3 am God showed me that He was my portion. When all others are unavailable, He would always be available to take care of us.
Secondly, He was our portion in times of financial need. I learned a long time ago that God has all the resources to supply our needs. If we’re not careful we will act like an unsaved world in trying to get resources. I am very grateful for all the churches and people who have invested in our lives and ministry. As missionaries we learned that God is our portion when all others are not available and do not have the resources we need. When I was in the Philippines many years ago, the Pepsi Company of the Philippines had a promotion of giving away 1 million pesos underneath one of their Pepsi caps on their bottles. Like everyone else, along with our church members, we dreamed of getting that bottle. At that time I was drinking more than enough Pepsi to have an opportunity to get that bottle, and we had a real need in trying to build a church. All of our church members were hoping that we would have the winning cap. But I was trying to teach our people to live by faith and let God build our church building. After a long period of time, would you know we got a cap with the 1 million pesos on the inside. After praying to know what to do with it God told me not to cash in the cap. God wanted people to know that He could provide the resources to build our church building. When I told our people that I wasn’t going to cash in the cap they thought I was crazy. I told them that I wasn’t going to let the Pepsi Company be known as the one that financed the church building. We didn’t cash in the cap for 1 million pesos. When we left the Philippines, God not only showed us that He was our portion, but he did more than what we could ever imagine as the property and buildings were worth over a few million pesos.
Thirdly, He was our portion during difficult times of life. God allowed us to go through some difficult times while living on the mission field. We must understand that living for Him is not always an easy task, but He always promises never to leave us or forsake us. Our first five years on the mission field would be what some people called very difficult. I think the Devil threw everything at us but the kitchen sink, and that probably went by and we didn’t see it. We entered the country when it was going through a difficult time of reelecting a president. Then we went through a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Within the next few years our family had several surgeries. While teaching at our Bible college, my son came to the compound to let me know that the Red Cross had been trying to reach me. They were to notify me that my dad had passed away nearly 2 weeks ago. Then within a few months my wife became very sick with typhoid fever and nearly died. Through all of this, the Lord reassured us that He was our portion. There will be times when you feel like you’re all alone and no one really knows where you are and they really don’t know what you’re going through, but He is always there because He is our portion.
These are just a few areas we learned as missionaries to trust God and thank Him for being our portion. As Christians, we need thank God for everyone whom He has placed in our life to help us, but we also must remember that He is our portion. I’m so thankful that no matter where I go and whatever I do for the Lord I can always count on Him as being my portion. Today, so many Christians are worried about the economy of the world. I have learned that, as a servant of the Lord, I don’t live off the economy of this world. I live off Heaven’s resources and I have a God who is my portion.
Dr. Steve Heidenreich