We need to see people as humans, not projects. Jesus did not come to this earth to convert people and move on, He came into the world to give people life, and life abundant. Life doesn’t happen by someone showing up, giving you a track and trying to get you to say a prayer, life happens when people show up and truly love you.
So much of my career in missions was this, showing up for two hours, talking about Jesus and then retreating back home, to be fed and discipled. I am not saying that this is wrong, I am just saying that it is not the way that Jesus lived, and its not living abundantly. Jesus emptied himself, walked among the people, and only retreated, according to the word, before the sun was up, early in the morning, or when He needed to. He spend His life for others, and retreated to be with the father and those He was discipling, His closest friends.
For some, our YWAM bases have become just that, bases. Military bases are there to train its members up in the way they should go, and any “non members” are not allowed access. Then, after training is complete, they go out into the world to live out what they have been trained to do, sometimes for up to nine months. They don’t stay at the base permanently, they just go back when necessary.
I think sometimes we only go out when necessary, and then retreat and stay at the base as much as we can. The base is comfortable, it is safe, it is home. People at the base look like us, in that we all share the same Christian culture, even though they may have a different skin color and speak a different language. People at the base get us. At the base we can hide out in our rooms and we can control how life will play out.
Not many people got involved in the mission to stay at the base, people got involved to serve and love people, people who do not know the freedom that is there for them. We need to reevaluate why we got into missions, was it to habitually be trained, so that incase we are needed to go out we are ready, or was it to get trained, go out, love others, and come back, for a short time, for encouragement, prayer, worship and rest? I believe it was, for most of us, we got involved to love others, not stay in comfort and safety.