I'm an amateur game designer. I've built a story-driven game prototype. I've been struggling with freelance programmers for several months in my attempt to finish a demo to show potential crowdfunders - in order to finance real programmers to finish the game. I just need a few scripts written and a bit of advice along the way. Why is that virtually impossible?
It's tough working with freelancers, but as you mentioned, it's sometimes necessary at early stages due to a lack of funds. You can either
1) Learn to code yourself
2) Find a software engineer co-founder
3) Learn a better system for working with freelancers
So I'd recommend the 3rd option, and you can always work on the other two in parallel. There are certainly specialized techniques that will let you work more effectively with freelancers (either foreign or local). A good, concise summary of these techniques can be found in a free e-book by Amol Sarva (http://knote.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Ship-While-You-Sleep-Final.pdf). Skip to chapter 2 (page 18) if you want to jump into the meat of it. I co-founded two companies with Amol using the methods discussed there.
If you have any further questions about anything you read there feel free to give me a call,
all the best,