I’ve talked to a number of mission committee members about the missionaries their church supports financially. Many committees are not happy. Why? Reason #5, Too distracted by personal issues.
Life happens. Children get chronically sick, parents get incapacitated, wives get depressed, and adult children go wayward. There are times when managing these problems becomes a full time job, prohibiting a missionary from doing his ministry assignment on the field. Supporters from back home feel their pain and don’t want to cut them off at a great time of need. Leaving the field often feels like failure.
What sometimes happens is that the goal of the missionary becomes survival rather than his ministry assignment.
What should we do?
Someone needs to gently, but firmly help the missionaries to return home and focus on the problem until it no longer is a distraction. Be generous in helping them get set-up in place to stay and finding employment that allows them to focus on the problem. In time, if all goes well, they can return to the field once the personal issues is resolved.
Stewarding the financial resources is an important role in your church; avoid the error of funding missionaries who are too distracted by personal issues.
See summary article here.