Missions trip defectors stun churches

This article should be renamed “Trouble in Evangelical Paradise” This article demonstrates that the so called best and the brightest in Evangelical circles that have been placed in missions teems are not the dedicated spiritual believers that they have been made out to be but rather these are a bunch of Christian good times rock and rollers.  Who when afforded the opportunity want nothing more than to party hardy with the lost.

The church itself, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, and Charismatics are one of the largest mission fields in the world today as the greatest majority of their preachers and teachers know not the Lord and as a result the pews are filled with tares that know only the self-seeking  materialistic broad way to destruction.


WICHITA — Wayne Bardwell took his first trip outside Kansas with Grace Chapel's short-term missions’ team to Mexico, to build a Christian school.

But Bardwell never came back.

"Viva la raza, good buddy!" the former church elder says when reached on his new satellite phone. "No sir, I am here for good. I have found my place in the world."

In a quiet trend, dozens of churches have lost members to sudden defections during missions trips. The lure of carefree living, dirt-cheap costs and an exotic locale prove seductive even for stable church-goers.

Open Bible Church in Grand Island, Neb., recently shut its doors when three-quarters of its missions team remained in Puerto Rico to party with locals.


And a women's group from a church in Seattle disappeared in Brazil and are rumored to be enjoying Sao Paulo's nightlife without the bother of husbands and kids.

"We have suspended our short-term missions program" until the wave of defections dies down, says one Midwestern pastor.

Many defectors do as Bardwell did: tap their home equity lines and retirement accounts.

"I could live here forever on my 401K interest alone," Bardwell says.

With satellite phones and the Internet, the separation isn't too bad, he says. He talks daily with his family by Internet video-conference, and hopes his wife and kids will join him.

"He gives us tours of his cabana by video-phone," says his son, 16. "He usually sits in the hammock, with the computer on his stomach."

The people of Grace Chapel pray for Bardwell's return. The church designated Bardwell their "missionary contact in Mexico," to put a positive spin on the snafu.

"Is that what they call me?" Bardwell says with a laugh.

His wife reminds him every day that there's a cheeseburger casserole waiting for him in the oven. "If that doesn't work, nothing will," she says. •