Safer Than A Roller Coaster!

God takes care of those who "risk" obeying Him

I hate roller coasters. I can’t handle the feeling of losing control of where I am going.  It is difficult to rush forward without knowing what’s going to happen next.  However, they say that roller coasters are actually safer than children’s wagons or even folding lawn chairs. And I must admit: on the few times my girls ever talked me into riding a roller coaster with them, there came a point before the ride was over that I actually relaxed and gave up worrying about what was coming next.

Last month, because the brakes of my 1998 Toyota Corolla were squeaking, I left it at Quality Tire in Brewer, Maine to get them fixed.  Around noon, they called me back.  “Your car needs new struts and brakes, and it’s going to cost you $1,600.”

Inwardly, I gulped.  “That’s a lot!,” I thought.  Then I asked my mechanic it would be okay to think it over.  I thought about it, then called Sharon.  We both agreed that we needed to get a new vehicle so that I could preach in the churches each month.  But on our missionary salary, what could we get?

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

How an election is run in other countries

Another reason to be proud to be an American

As I write this, it’s election season in the United States.  Hillary Clinton is the Democrat’s nominee, while Donald Trump won the Republican nomination.  Because it’s voting season, I want share with you how elections run in other countries.

romney-kenya

The Romney Campaign is alive and well in Africa

The campaigning season can be as exciting there as it is here.  The candidates will travel from town to town to make speeches and encourage the people to come out and vote for them.  They will often give out hats and T-Shirts to their supporters with their picture on them.  Usually, the incumbent president or party will outspend the opposition candidates in gifts, parties and appearances.

On election day, voting takes place, mostly at the schools.  The electoral commission in the capital city prints out voter lists, and sends their delegates out to the villages, towns and cities with official ballots and a big, wooden box with a straight, long hole on top.  The boxes open on top, but remain locked up and sealed by the electoral commission in the head office.  Each electoral commission official is responsible to make sure that the election runs smoothly in his area of responsibility.

Continue Reading »

This is Sarah

For those of you who read the Faris newsletter, this is Sarah. For those who have just learned about DSM, this is the oldest daughter of the founder of the aforesaid ministry.

Why am I writing the posts now? The short answer: I work here. The long answer: I graduated from high school, and, once I discovered that I needed to wait about going to college, the DSM board of directors hired me to take on some of my father’s work, to give him more time to do language work.

Facts about Sarah

little SarahNow don’t get me wrong; I love writing and look forward to creating these posts for you. Because I took two English courses during my senior year of high school, I gained a college credit for Language and Composition. I also enjoy reading books and composing essays in my spare time.

Over a span of thirteen years, I have intermittently lived overseas. Thus, I have acquired a plethora of idiosyncrasies, such as extreme verbosity, or using a lot of words. However, I will do my best to keep things interesting and  somewhat logical.

As a fourth or fifth generation Christian, I have practically heard the Word of God since birth. Also, you could say that my parents raised me in church. Some people might think that such a situation is enough to make them a Christian; however, that notion is incorrect. You can’t get to heaven by hitching a ride with your parents: you have to accept Jesus for yourself, like I have.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »