Fun memories to treasure

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)

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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A quiet, productive day to wait

kid waitingThis post was written while we were in Chad.

I “lay low” today, recovering from the trip and the tiredness I was feeling even before I left. This provided me with a chance to put the stuff I brought with me into storage here at Bakan Assalam. So the car is empty, and we can return home when our work is done here.

It seems like the bulk of our work today is to “wait”; wait for a key to become available, wait for my friend offering his home to us to return from France and to get back to me, wait for the staff at the orphanage to return tomorrow. We are working on alternatives: I went into the house we lived in last term, took pictures, knelt and prayed.

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Harvest time in Moundou

flickr.com mangoesThis post was written while we were in Chad.

In southern Chad, it’s still harvest time. The mango trees have new leaves and are flowering (a sign that mango season is almost upon us.) A new millet variety that is very fruitful, bows in the sunset, a sign that it is ready to harvest.

In the land of the Kim people, they are starting to harvest and thresh the rice; they use the remaining straw to provide shade and to feed the animals. Unlike the north, there is plenty of grass for the animals to graze, so the Fulani have headed south early. And there are papayas and bananas in the market.

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Catching up, and transitions in our journey

Thank you for walking with me and my family as we served in Chad, Africa. You have kept up with our adventures through this, my Desert Voices blog.  Thank you for allowing me to vent my frustrations, share my joys, and dream of a better future for Africa.

The journey continues

unloading time on the journey

We are now based in Maine, but we haven’t finished the journey yet.  With permission, we travel back and forth between continents to continue to serve in the ministry of language development.

Last year around April 29th, I went back to Chad for a month and a week.  There, I got to visit the village where my camel lives, and caught up with friends.  I also became arrested; long story… but it turned out fine in the end.  Anyway, after finishing my visit out east, I returned to N’Djaména, ate Royal Chicken, and headed to Kenya for the first time.

One week later, two Boko Haram suicide bombers killed themselves at the Commissariat Central of N’Djaména. Their death was followed by other bombers, one at the Central Market, and others in a small village around Lake Chad.

Life has definitely changed in Chad, but our task, and our calling, has not.  We have a Message of Hope, and are not afraid to tell it.  More importantly, as difficult as life was for my Chadian family and friends under normal circumstances, this

terrible twist of terrorism has increased the level of anxiety and fear on the streets.  For the sake of our friends we left, please keep praying for Chad, and for the end of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

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