Have you watched how a car makes a pit stop in races? Whether for fuel or fixes, pit stops are necessary, especially in long races. The timing of those stops is part of the overall strategy for winning. Otherwise, the driver may lose momentum, get sidetracked or derailed, and forfeit the race.
This also applies to tentmaking journeys. People do not always prepare many years to go to China and then simply live and serve happily ever after. Today many young college grads are exploring China for a couple of years first as language students or English teachers. Then, they return home for further studies and training after they become more informed and experienced.
Getting equipped through business school, teaching credentials or other advanced degrees is crucial in remaining competitive in the job market. Besides developing their career, tentmakers may also need to get further training for ministry as well.
The appropriate timing to take such a break is as varied as there are journeys and tentmakers. Some get an advanced degree before heading to China. Others less certain about their path may not get to that point until a few years down the road in their careers. Still others discover their passion and calling while working and recognize the need to stop for further training.