The mission field is a place of tremendous opportunities for spiritual growth. We can learn depend on the Lord so much more when we have our normal comforts and culture stripped away. We can see God doing amazing things in the lives of others, even miracles, that strengthen our faith. We can see Him working in our lives to make Himself more real than ever to us.
The mission field can also be a place of tremendous spiritual challenge. Traumatic things can happen, leaving us wondering about God’s goodness and presence with us. We often see pain and suffering on a new scale that can give us doubts about God’s sovereign plan. Unusual isolation, stressors, and temptations may present themselves, and a lack of accountability can lead to moral failure. Satan desires to take advantage of our vulnerability to destroy not only our work and our families, but even our faith itself.
The spiritual highs and lows of life on the mission field can take its toll over time, eventually leading to turnover. We measured the frequency and strength of influence on the return decision for the following statements considered to be spiritual factors:
The following table summarizes the results for each question by providing: