If you're working overseas on your own, who's there to help you when things go belly-up? Who pays your bail or gets you out of prison? Who arranges emergency medical treatment when you're in a coma? Who helps you resolve visa problems?
Good question Tim,
Independent missionaries are daring enough to follow their convictions but need a lot of wisdom along the way. My view is that being an independent missionary does not necessarily mean that you work alone. You are careful to set up your basic support systems during the pre-field preparation stage and keep refining them as you go along. However, you also endevour to build vision for your work in other people's hearts because when people subscribe to your vision, they will be more willing to help you navigate the perils of the mission field than if you only maintain aquaintances.
I like you saying that you are careful to set up....! Sadly a lot of people don't do this, not because they're not careful, but simply because they do not know what the challenges are before they hit them on the field. What measures can you take to make sure that when the wheel hits the pothole those who you've been building links with will be there for you, say in a hostage situation or unlawful imprisonment. I can imagine people, churches or agencies being sympathetic but effectively saying 'He's not really one of our people, so we are not responsible for him'!