The Book That Makes Overseas Work & Mission Possible

  • See how your job leads to Christian witness
  • Learn the proven "tentmaking" strategy
  • Gain a vision for an overseas workplace
  • Get answers to 12 common questions

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"God created us to do good work and called us to make disciples. Too often we see those two things competing for our loyalty unnecessarily. Glenn invites us to see the ways vocation and mission meet authentically and beautifully."

- RUTH HUBBARD | Vice President, Urbana, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

What is Tentmaking?

The term "tentmaking" is based on the Apostle Paul's example of frequently covering his own ministry and living expenses through his learned trade—making tents from goat skins.

Rather than diverting his time and energy away from ministry, tentmaking enabled him to identify closely with the people he aimed to reach.

From Paul's day until now, ordinary believers have used tentmaking as a sustainable way to cross geographical barriers and share the gospel while meeting their financial needs.

Make your Tentmaking Ministry a Reality!

Discover answers to these 12 common issues faced by anyone embarking on a tentmaking ministry:

Finding Employment Abroad

Obtaining Prayer Support

Securing Visas and Permits

Settling on Housing and Schooling

Discovering Fellowship in the Host Country

Seeing Opportunities for Outreach

Confronting Issues in Language Learning

Relating to Existing Ministries

Benefiting from Local Employment

Identifying Provision for Medical Care

Having Income on Extended Home Stays

Facing Unpredictable Material Crises and Retirement

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About the Book

Working Abroad with Purpose covers twelve practical steps for a tentmaker including finding employment abroad, discovering opportunities for Christian witness, and preparing for retirement. Author Glenn Deckert illustrates the steps from his personal experience in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Far East.

Having employment not only preempts unhelpful suspicion but embeds one in the society for deeper cultural understanding. Contracted employment, whether in a country easily accessed or one called limited-access, facilitates essential permits and entry. The handling of disruptions foreigners sometimes face in faraway places due to political developments, the need for further study, or family needs is illustrated.

Some of the steps overlap with those of a traditional missionary such as securing prayer support, settling on appropriate housing, and tackling a new language. By contrast, the tentmaker’s approach largely bypasses fund raising and avoids the awkwardness of long-term residence in the host country without any apparent source of income.

Glenn has written a number of articles which go further in-depth on many of these subjects.

Glenn Deckert

About Glenn

For sixteen years Glenn and wife Ann, with children, were tentmakers teaching in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong. He has also served in Qatar, Moldova, and Azerbaijan in state department programs, plus numerous other countries as a volunteer. 

Glenn has master's degrees from Wheaton College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a master's degree and a PhD in education from the University of Illinois. He retired from Eastern Michigan University's Department of Foreign Languages as an associate professor.

Glenn lives in West Chicago, IL, with his wife, Ann, where he enjoys running on nearby trails, befriending people of other backgrounds, and keeping up with his use of the Persian language.

Connect with Glenn

Glenn is happy to talk with you regarding tentmaking-as-vocation or other related topics.

Contact Glenn

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