It’s been a year and a half since Daniel and I have updated Life With a Mission. Where have we been? Are we still pursuing Digital Tentmaking? Here is the latest on our current situation and why we haven’t continued writing on this platform.
What have we been doing?
In 2014 we traveled through four of the largest cities on the planet – London, Berlin, Paris, and New York City. We fell in love with urban city life. We also talked with a few missionaries and tested our digital tentmaking strategy.
While traveling we learned how difficult it is for Daniel to balance client work (his main business) in different time zones, spend time with family, and explore a new city. The nature of Daniel’s business made it very difficult to run smoothly from the road.
In 2015 we stayed home in San Antonio, Texas to build a business of selling online products instead of project work with clients. Selling products reduces the amount of time Daniel needs to spend online. This new business model allows Daniel to work at any time of the day without needing to sync time zones with clients in the USA.
In the last year and half Daniel has launched Shop Plugins, a WooCommerce training course with WP 101, and e-commerce Support Plans with Grow Development. All of these products can be maintained while traveling. However, launching them from a remote Airbnb would have been impossible.
Client work still makes up the majority of our income. Products don’t make enough yet to cover the budget of a family of five, but we’re getting close!
Slowly building an online business isn’t thrilling or astonishing, so we haven’t written much about that process. We are far from experts at starting and growing a business and that’s not the content we want to create.
So what have we been doing? We’ve been changing the type of work Daniel does so we can travel more in the future.
Are we still pursuing Digital Tentmaking?
The short answer is “no”. The longer answer is “not like we first envisioned it”.
We can’t do digital tentmaking without God working the details. If we try to make something happen out of our own strength we will fail.
We’re still not sure what it looks like to serve missionaries while traveling/living in another city. Two missions organizations welcomed my family to serve with them, but how we would serve was vague and we didn’t feel a connection with these two ministries.
Maybe we won’t serve a ministry in a formal agreement while we travel. We feel like we need to be okay with “digital tentmaking” not happening. At the same time we’re open to God calling us to do something, but we have no idea what that would look like.
In the book Experiencing God, Claude V. King writes,
I found that I could not plan or even dream how God might want to do His work… When He was ready to use me, He would let me know. Then I would make the necessary adjustments and obey Him. Until then, I would watch and pray. His timing and His ways always would be best and right.
This is exactly where we are. We want to be invited. We want it to be clear God is calling us somewhere.
We are still doing everything we wrote about on this blog. We still work online. We are not in any personal debt. We are renters so we have the freedom to move at anytime. We still homeschool for the freedom of travel.
We’re available, but God hasn’t called us anywhere yet. When He does I know He can provide everything we need. We are waiting patiently.
Life With a Mission began with an attitude of “Hey! If we can do it, so can you!” Now we know making a living online isn’t easy. Traveling with a family and working may not work for everyone. Finding a ministry you feel passionate about and making time to serve in another city while running a thriving business is not straightforward. We don’t feel the need to teach everything we are learning on our journey.
We are simply following our goals and designing our lives the best way we know how. Hopefully our journey will take us back to an urban city. In the meantime we are still working on saving money, building a sustainable online business, and learning to trust God.