We have helped hundreds of tentmakers get ready, equipped, and launched to go to unreached and often unsafe countries. As we track with them, we have come to realize where tentmakers are in the most danger, but you would be surprised to learn that it is not out there among unstable nations and hostile people. I’ve been doing this ministry full-time since 1998, and since then four tentmakers have died in car accidents upon returning to their home countries.
Why do you think this is? We don’t know, but one reason could be simply that they are used to vastly different road rules, or no rules at all and have mastered driving in those conditions. However, upon coming home there are strict rules – like red lights, which actually do not mean “slow down and look”, but that you must come to a full stop. Driving on the left side of the road for a few years and then coming home to drive on the right side and hitting another car head-on was one of the accidents that claimed a tentmaker’s life only a few days after returning home. He was on his way to his church to share his story.
Yes, there have been deaths while serving out there. Local terrorists have targeted and killed tentmakers while going about their daily lives in Mauritania, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. We are not sure if it was for political reasons or being martyred for their faith. We do know they were indeed targeted.
At our intensive 4.5 day tentmaking courses, we spend time learning about working in sensitive areas. By the grace of God, no one who has taken our course has died out in the field as a martyr, although some have come very close. It is our focus to train people to be safe and to make disciples, not to become martyrs themselves or to have their disciples die as martyrs. It is hard to grow a church if people exceed known security and safety parameters and then die in the process.
Jesus did not promise us safety but he did promise us eternity in His presence. Let us delay our departure from this earth as much as it is humanly possible.