Tentmaking is a calling. It involves a whole lifestyle. It involves a long-term commitment to become a meaningful part of people's lives and to establish a point of influence within their world. In the Middle East and North Africa region that can take years of knowing people, fitting into a community and developing relationships.
The time a tentmaker invests in a foreign country depends on many factors, including the employing company's hiring policies, the local economy, and the changing needs of a corporation or institution. Many employing organizations offer two- or three-year renewable assignments to international worker.
A tentmaker who is doing business as mission (BAM) is somewhat more independent, but national economies, politics, and market needs change. In the end, the tentmaker places his or her mission completely in God's hands.
Tentmaking is a commitment to step into whatever opportunities God provides, to become part of a setting that gives optimum outreach possibilities, and to work and witness as long as He gives you a door of opportunity.