Fun memories to treasure

amas cessna

My time in Moundou is a blur of sickness, including tummy problems I’d rather not explain to you in detail. It is so humid there! We found a cooler and some ice, so we could keep the dairy products, sodas and water cool. Because the station did not have consistent electricity, this was a welcome blessing.

It rained a bit over at the Bible school, which hopefully means that rainy season will soon cool things down. That day, we visited the Bible school students, the staff and their families. They loved picking themselves out on the picture that Randy took of them, and would gather around his camera to find out where they were standing.

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Seven Steps You Must Take BEFORE You Get An EIN For Your 501(c)(3)

theglobeandmail.com ein

Are you planning on starting your own Nonprofit in 2017?  If so, don’t apply for an EIN number first, like I did.

We received an early Christmas present from the IRS this year.  They sent us our letter certifying our ministry’s tax-exempt status!  I felt so excited and nervous that I had my wife open it and read it aloud to me.

Along the way, I did a few things right.  I also made a LOT of mistakes along the way. Yet somehow, we made it through.

learnersdictionary.com relievedOne of the biggest mistakes I made in setting up our non-profit was to start the process by applying for an Employee Identification Number (or EIN).  It was so easy!  It left me feeling the excitement that the dream of having our own mission agency was truly coming to pass!

However, a year later, I found out from our tax advisor that applying for an EIN number starts the countdown toward the month when you are required submit your 1023 Form to the IRS.  Also, from the day you obtain your EIN number, you are expected to submit forms 941 quarterly and 990 annually.  If you don’t know how to fill these out, or even that you must do so, there will be penalties to pay.

When I applied for an EIN number too early, I put in a lot of long hours in order to meet the deadline.

To cover myself, I must warn you that I am not a lawyer.  You should always consult a legal professional before taking a step as serious as establishing your own Nonprofit.

Despite the risk, I feel a sense of obligation to “give back” as others generously gave to me.  We started this Nonprofit on a shoestring budget.  I know what it’s like when finances are tight at the start, and how precious good advice can be.

To help you avoid some of the trouble and anxiety I endured along the way, here is a list of seven steps you should take before you apply for your EIN number.

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Happy New Year from Senegal!

new years with our feet wet

This post was written while were in Chad.

With all the craziness of coming to Senegal, we didn’t keep track of how close we were to 2011. It has been a year full of trouble for us and many others: those in Haiti, Ivory Coast, Pakistan, the US, Europe. But it has also been a time of exciting opportunities to serve and bless others. And now we stand at the very start of a New Year.

The internet here at the hotel is fast, but doesn’t work at night. Since Senegal is along the coast, they have been able to connect to the internet cable in the ocean. This means we have been able to do some things online that we couldn’t do otherwise; for instance, updating our AVG antivirus, and downloading the Windows updates.

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Meeting Santa – in the Sahara Desert

skytop.com Santa Claus

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Ever since I returned from Moundou, I have been quite busy! First of all, I learned that “Twila”, our Speed The Light vehicle, had sustained some major damage to the axle. I suppose it happened several months ago when we drove back from Guéréda to Iriba. Without warning, we drove toward a three-foot deep ditch at 30 mi/moibbk.com twilahr, and hit it very hard. As a result of much bumping around, we discovered that we had gained a flat tire; fortunately, though, the only one who got damaged is Twila.

I had asked a close friend to set up an appointment for Twila to get a long overdue oil change. I had not met him yet, but when I did, it was my old friend Khamis! The last vehicle we owned in Chad caused so much trouble that it gave me three years of sermon material this past furlough! But Khamis was the mechanic behind the miracle of that vehicle running until furlough came.

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Christmas with the girls, and a false start

Christmas-travels2 with the girls

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Our Christmas this year was simple, but very nice. We opened our stockings after breakfast, consisting of the cereals sent by Glad Tidings Church. Then we read from Luke and Matthew about the birth of Christ, interspersed with hymns that Sharon had downloaded. Then we opened the presents around the tree; this year’s big gift to the girls was an mp3 player, and speakers. Deborah even got one, in the form of a GREEN apple (green is her favorite color). The girls also got matching dresses, and typical Sudanese jewelry or headbands.

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