Missions is one of the few career endeavors in which the people you’re seeking to serve don’t yet want your services, much less want to pay for them! Mission agencies merely facilitate the sending of missionaries; they have no funds with which to pay missionaries. Ultimately missionaries raise support because the local church is the origin and authority for sending missionaries, and few can fund whole salaries for missionaries. Paul did receive financial support from churches and individuals at times, and justifies this practice for Christian workers by citing Old Testament law that “the laborer deserves his wages.” (I Tim. 5.18)
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