Spotlights, Fanfare, and Missions

by John O’Malley

When you were on deputation, there may have been churches which heralded you. Perhaps they gave you gifts, served you, or made you feel like you were the best thing since crunchy peanut butter.

Then, one day, deputation ended, and you got to the field.

The people on your field of service do not know you. They know nothing of your effort to get there. They know even less of the church members sacrificing every day at jobs they may not prefer. They know nothing of the people working to earn enough money to make ends meet and give in the promised offering at their church for you to be in your place of service.

When a missionary feels they deserve spotlights and fanfare, they have lost sight of servanthood.

If a church treats you well, it is grace. If a church treats you poorly, it is a grace as well. Remember, none of us deserve anything.

I am troubled when I see a missionary go to a church meeting and expect spotlights and fanfare. World Wide New Testament Baptist Missions missionaries are expected to be servants everywhere we go.

Remember, when we are visiting a church, we are not spectators; we are servants! We serve our Lord, we serve the pastor and his wife, and we serve the membership. When you go to a church, offer to help; do not seek to be helped. Offer to serve; do not look to be served. Try to be a blessing; do not wait, yearn, or expect the spotlights and fanfare.

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)

Let us look like Christ wherever we are ministering. We are here to minister and give our lives for the Gospel’s sake and the sake of our Lord.

Yours for the harvest,
John O’Malley

If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know.

From the Memo Board: June 2021

Dates to Know

June 1 – April Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

June 1 – May Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

July 1 – May Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

July 1 – June Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

July 5 – The Office will be closed in celebration of Independence Day.

August 1 – June Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

August 1 – July Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

New Baby

Joy Rose Town was born May 7. She weighed 9 pounds 11 ounces and was 22 inches long. Joy is the daughter of Josh and Joanna Town. She joins older siblings Juliana (9), Jayla (7), Jennifer (5), Joshua (3), and Jeremiah (1). The Towns minister to the Arabic-speaking people in Philadelphia.

Piano Music

We realize that smaller ministries may not always have access to a pianist. Click here to download some simple piano accompaniment for several hymns, available in mp3 and mp4 files.

Missionary Resources

WWNTBM hosts a website at Missions.Today to provide a place for missionaries to exchange resources, tips about life on the field, and on deputation. We encourage you to make use of this site, submit suggestions, and make this resource available to other missionaries with whom you come in contact. You may submit suggestions by simply clicking here. You may also comment on individual posts, or share them on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Uplift Podcast

The following recordings were recently published on uplift.wwntbm.com. You may access the site by entering the username: wwntbm and the password: gospel. We hope they will encourage your heart.

Our Glory and Our Joy by Pastor David Landers

WWNTBM History from the conversation between Bro. Whetstone and Bro. Wingard

Confidence in God’s Presence by John O’Malley

Examining Your Heart by Pastor Gene Krachenfels

What Did You Preach Last Sunday? group podcast

I Serve Others – Seeing: May 2021

by John O’Malley

The phrase, I Serve Others, captures all we want to do for the Lord at WWNTBM. Over the next few months, I will write on the values we hold dear in the phrase, I Serve Others. We have already looked at the words inspire, open, tender, helper, edify, and reliable.

The phrase I Serve Others, the subject of my writing over the past year, shares the core values of being part of World Wide New Testament Baptist Missions. The last word in our acrostic phrase is Seeing.

When Hagar sat waiting at the intersection of despair and hopelessness, she learned a valuable trait of God. She learned God saw her and her son.

Hagar, though in a complicated situation and a misunderstood context, found God saw her. God could see through the cultural complications. God could see her amid her moral conflicts. God could see the fruit of her womb and Abraham’s seed, though she felt alone and outcast.

God sees. In every way, the all-seeing-God saw us in Eden, Bethlehem, Calvary, and is everywhere present with us. Yes, God sees us!

God sees you in your place of service when you feel alone. God sees you when you have made a mess of life and ministry. God sees you when you are afraid. God sees you when you wonder how you are going to make it. God sees.

In your place of ministry, you recognize people long for recognition. They need to believe they matter to someone. Your ministry helps the lost know they are found. You take the hurting to where they find healing. You teach the hopeless where to find hope. You comfort those who believe they are unseen and tell them they are seen.

Ministry is helping people know God sees them. Just as God sees, God wants us to see others. God expects us to take the love He’s displayed and act on His love. (1 John 3:18)

I want your interactions with staff and leadership to let you know we see you. We see you when you are hurting. We see you when you are in conflict. We see you when you are alone. Our staff focuses on your communication. We want every response and reply to let you know: we see you and will assist.

Today, look around your life and ministry. Who around you seems to feel unseen? What can you do to speak into their life words of comfort and consolation to let them know God sees them? What can you do to assure them you are there for them and you see them?

Yours for the harvest,
John O’Malley

P.S.: Please remember to submit your tribute to Pastor Wingard here.
P.S.S.: Please make sure you are listening to the Uplift Podcast.

If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know.

From the Memo Board: May 2021

Dates to Know

May 1 – March Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries.

May 1 – April Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries.

May 31 – The Office will be closed in celebration of Memorial Day.

June 1 – April Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

June 1 – May Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

July 1 – May Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

July 1 – June Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries. This includes FNPO Reports for those with Foreign Non-Profit Organizations.

Online Calendar

WWNTBM has a new online calendar available for our missionaries. This includes the important dates that are listed in Headquarter Happenings each month, such as due dates for all reports and paperwork. Click here to subscribe to this calendar.

Online Giving

WWNTBM is happy to provide online giving options to make it easier for donors to support your ministry. You can direct donors to our website at wwntbm.com/give for details on all the ways they can participate. Please note that the company that processes credit cards does take a small percentage out of each donation to cover costs. Donors have the option to cover those fees if they choose. However, you may see a slightly smaller amount on your support list as a result of this.

See the Harvest

WWNTBM has partnered with Ambassador Baptist College to lead a missions trip to Boston, Massachusetts this summer for young people ages 15-30. We will be assisting the ministry of WW Missionaries Nick and Lindsey Stelzig. We realize that many small churches do not have the resources to provide opportunities for their youth to see missions firsthand. If you know of someone who would benefit from this trip, please direct them to our website at seetheharvest.com.

Our Current Missions Family

Click this link to download a PDF of the current list of World Wide missionaries.

Note: You will need to login to SecureCloud in order to view this document. Once you have logged in, click on the Headquarter Happenings folder, then “Missionary List May 2021.” This step protects people with WWNTBM in restricted access fields.

REAL ID Update

The Department of Homeland Security has again changed the deadline for the REAL ID. The new deadline is May 3, 2023. The REAL ID Act was passed in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state identification cards such as driver’s licenses. We will continue to inform you as we learn of changes or updates to this information.

Uplift Podcast

The following recordings were recently published on uplift.wwntbm.com. You may access the site by entering the username: wwntbm and the password: gospel. We hope they will encourage your heart.

More of Christ

The Word of God

Count it all Joy

Reasons to Trust

How Will You Remember Pastor Bill Wingard?

By John O’Malley

Thirty years ago, my father passed away. A few months after his death, our son John, then three, said, “Dad, tell me stories about Grandpa; I think I am forgetting him.”

John’s words touched my heart. His words reminded me of Solomon, another son who wrote under inspiration. When Solomon wrote of memories, he said, “The memory of the just is blessed: But the name of the wicked shall rot.” (Proverbs 10:7)

Memories. They are precious. Memories are the thoughts we play in the theatre of our minds. Memories help us see yesterday, help us get through today, and keep our eyes fixed on tomorrow.

When we replay memories, our memories keep our dear ones near to our hearts after they’ve left us.

Rehearsing memories helps us process our grief. When we recall such memories, we remind ourselves of our goodly heritage.

The death of Pastor Wingard on March 12, 2021, brings this thought to the forefront: I do not want a generation of missionaries ever to forget the Founder of our missions agency.

At Pastor Wingard’s funeral, I shared my tribute. I will share it below.

I want to hear your tribute. I want to read your tribute. I want our tributes shared, so people will know our heritage, understand our history, and serve their generation by the will of God. (Acts 13:36)

On our website, you can post your tribute and your pictures. We want Pastor Wingard’s family to read and see your tributes. The missions office will publish these tributes in a book for Mrs. Wingard and give one to each of their children to have for their families.

Please click this link and share your testimony of memorable moments you had with Pastor Wingard. Please share any photos you have. We want these books to be special. Your tribute and photo will ensure the stories which made World Wide will not be lost because we did not tell them.

If you have any complications posting your tribute, you may email your tribute to Rebekah Tolley, and she will get it posted for you.

MY TRIBUTE:

I feel pity for a world where people will live and die without Pastor Bill Wingard’s inspiration and influence in their generation.

Today I share my memories with you. They are memories which remind me of his character, his attributes, and his noblest intentions to be like Christ.

For many of us here, we know he would blush at this attention paid him. Yet, we are here today with hearts full of memories.

My Memories:
I have four thoughts which summarize my 28-year relationship with this dear man of God. I saw him and learned:

  1. He Loved — flawlessly
  2. He Taught — biblically
  3. He Prayed — sincerely
  4. He Led — graciously.

1. He Loved — Flawlessly
We met for the first time in June of 1993. In Pastor Wingard, I met a gentle soul and a Christian gentleman. He spoke words of encouragement in my hour of need. He took our family in and loved us.

Pastor Wingard made room for us and gave us a place to belong.

My son said, “Dad, Pastor Wingard always treated me like one of his grandkids; he fully accepted me into the family.” As John’s dad, I cannot tell you how many times over these nearly three decades Pastor asked me, “How’s my little buddy,” and after John married, “and how is his wife?” Most recently, he asked’ “How is little John?”

Many times, Pastor would say to me, “Here’s some money. Take your family to get some ice cream. Take time to rest.”

He loved God’s servants.

He loved the discouraged preachers, displaced preachers, and preachers hurt by the ministry.

If you were a preacher’s kid, you knew He loved preacher’s kids.

In any given service at Calvary, you will see many reclaimed men, women, and children. Why? Because Dr. Wingard stopped like the Good Samaritan to love the broken, to lift the beaten, and to look for the bruised so he could help them.

He loved those who served him in restaurants. He would leave handwritten notes on the back of the receipt. He was careful to love the lost and leave tracts with them.

He just loved. I never saw him as perfect. I just knew I wanted to love others like him.

2. He Taught — Biblically
He taught everywhere. If you only knew the man in the pulpit, you missed his greatest teaching and preaching. He taught intentionally and unintentionally wherever he went.

Years ago, Dr. Wingard and I rode together to Virginia Beach. We were going to see a missionary who faced brain surgery. In the car, he taught me about the seasons of the ministry. I sat mesmerized as I heard a gentle teacher speak from his heart what he learned. He did not come across as bold; he was rather meek. He spoke as a fellow-student sharing what he learned.

He taught each year in our annual Family Fellowship Week. He taught with conviction. He spoke with compassion. His obvious devotion to the Lord made me say, “I want to be a better Christian.”

He taught more than his outline.

He showed more than he intended.

He committed himself to faithful men who would be able to teach others also.

He preached with fervor. I remember a Family Fellowship Week in Shelby at Faith Baptist Church, my home church, a few years ago. Dr. Wingard was fixated on Christ; he titled the message, Our Wonderful Savior. Click here to listen to the message.

He spoke of focusing on the Whom of our lives, not the what of our lives. He spoke with such compassion and conviction. We learned from him, and we loved him for it.

He taught me for 28 years as I worked with him. He advised me on how to lead in difficulty.

He listened before he spoke. He listened with empathy and compassion. He would think of all sides of a matter and speak with clarity as he gave the directive, decision, or leadership I needed.

He taught:

  • In matters of moral failures, show grace.
  • In matters of someone’s doctrinal compromise, show conviction. He would say of the person who changed positions, “Brother John, we settled this a long time ago; this is not who we are as a mission.”
  • In matters of preference, show compassion.
  • In matters of an opponent’s obstinance, show mercy and gave them a wide berth.
  • In matters of battle, know which hills are worth dying on and let God fight your battles.

When I saw something and formed a definite opinion, he urged me, “Brother John, always give to another man the same liberty you reserve for yourself.”

He taught us to love God, love people, and smile. I will miss his smile.
As Kipling said, “He could talk with crowds and never lose his virtue. He could walk with kings and never lost the common touch.”

He taught everyone is worth reaching and reclaiming. He taught Bible-preaching is paramount.

He just taught. I never saw him as perfect. I just knew I wanted to teach others like him.

3. He prayed — Sincerely
I cannot tell you the number of times I watched him pray. The location did not matter. He prayed on sidewalks, elevators, on the phone, in the car, in a parking lot, in hospital rooms, his office, and the aisles of a church.

You know, if you ever mentioned a prayer request, he prayed. Right then. Right there. When he dropped to one knee or put his hand on your shoulder, you knew he had a direct connection to God. When his head bowed, he opened a portal to God, and you knew his prayer was not hindered.

He never prayed to appear pious. He was quite the opposite. He was sincere and only wanted to tell God what was on your heart.

I listened to him pray many times. I loved the simplicity and sincerity of his prayers.

He just prayed. I never saw him as perfect. I just knew I wanted to pray for others like him.

4. He led — Graciously

He led World Wide New Testament Baptist Missions. He wanted to assist churches in getting their missionaries to the field.

He led as a shepherd with oversight and love.

He led as a husband with gentleness. I preached on a Wednesday night in January 2021 and walked into church to his office with him and Mrs. Arlie. Pastor noticed Mrs. Arlie’s hair needed a little teasing out. He stopped right there and teased out her hair. I was so moved by his graciousness and love.

He led as a father and grandfather: his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are a tribute to this patriarch.

Watching his leadership for almost three decades, I learned:

He led with love, grace, and mercy.
He led by exhortation and scriptural example.
He led by conviction and a godly character.
He led by principle and with purity.

He just led. I never saw him as perfect. I just knew I wanted to lead like him.

He loved, taught, prayed, and led. 

In preparing this tribute, I recalled a line from Pastor Phineas Gurley’s sermon at President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral.

“He is dead; but the God in whom he trusted lives, and He can guide and strengthen his successor as He guided and strengthened him. 

He is dead; but the memory of his virtues, of his wise and patriotic counsels and labors, of his calm and steady faith in God lives; these are precious, and will be a power for good.”

–Dr. Phineas Gurley of Abraham Lincoln at Lincoln’s funeral

My last time with Pastor Wingard was in February 2021. It was just his son, Billy, Brother Whetstone, Pastor Wingard, and me. Seated in his reclining chair, he asked us to wait a moment. He wanted to stand and hug us both goodbye. He spent great energy and withstood sharp pain, but he stood.

I felt in my heart, “This is as a king bowing to his subjects.” He hugged Brother Whetstone. He hugged me. He did not just hug my body, he hugged my heart.

My mother said at my father’s funeral as she walked past his casket and patted it, “I will meet you in the morning.”

Pastor Wingard, I will meet you in the morning.

From the Memo Board: April 2021

Dates to Know

April 1 – February Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries.

April 1 – March Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries.

April 2 – The Office will be closed in celebration of the Resurrection.

May 1 – March Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries.

May 1 – April Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries.

May 1 – Reports for Foreign Non-Profit Organizations will be due.

June 1 – April Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries.

June 1 – May Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries.

Doctrinal Agreement

If you have submitted your doctrinal agreement statement, your new card for 2021-2022 is now available for you to download and print from your SecureCloud folder. If you have not yet submitted your annual agreement, please click here, or email us as soon as possible, indicating that you have read and are still in agreement with our Articles of Faith. If you have questions or concerns, please contact John O’Malley.

Financial Status Report

We have uploaded a Financial Status Report to your SecureCloud account, showing figures for the first quarter of 2021. This is meant to show you the financial details that we have on file, such as your support estimate and the average amount of support you received this past quarter. This is information we provide to pastors who may call about your ministry. We ask that all missionaries update their support estimate once every four years, or as their lives and ministries change. Please review this information and contact us if you have any questions.

Tax Filing Information

Extended Deadlines: The US Government has extended tax filing deadlines for all individuals until May 17, 2021. Please click here to read information from the IRS. We recommend that you still speak with your tax preparer about the ability to file as soon as possible if you expect to receive a refund.

Stimulus Payments: Many individuals received stimulus payments in 2020 and also 2021. The first round of checks started in mid-2020. The second round was begun in December 2020. A third round began in March 2021. While these funds will not be taxable income to you, they do need to be reported on your tax forms. Be sure to provide your tax preparer with the amount(s) and approximate date(s) of any stimulus payments you received.

Uplift Podcast

The following recordings were recently published on uplift.wwntbm.com. You may access the site by entering the username: wwntbm and the password: gospel. We hope they will encourage your heart.

The Love of Christ Constraineth Us

The Women Who Helped

Our Daily Walk

Books We Enjoy

The Homegoing of Pastor Bill Wingard

Billy Ray Wingard
March 27, 1934-March 12, 2021

Billy Ray Wingard was born to John Earl and Sallie Wingard in Langley, SC, on March 27, 1934. He was one of four children. He was saved at the age of 21 while serving as a Navy Corpsman attached to the 1st Marine Division in Norfolk, VA. He married Arlie Cartwright on September 16, 1955. Together they raised four children: Billy, Jan, Pam, and Patti.

Bro. Wingard attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree. He later received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Bob Jones University and a Doctorate of Divinity from Heritage College of Orlando, FL.

He became pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New Bern, NC in 1962, and later began the Calvary Baptist Church School in 1969. Under his leadership, the church has assisted in several church plants and is also home to MissionAero, which serves missionaries through aviation. In addition, he founded “The Calvary Hour,” which is a daily radio broadcast.

In February of 1964, while sitting in a barbershop, the LORD used a Saturday Evening Post article to burden his heart for the Micronesian Islands. He began to pray and research ways to get the Gospel to the people of these forgotten islands. He surrendered to go to Micronesia as a missionary, but the LORD did not give him peace. He continued to pray for Micronesia for seven years and enlisted other preachers to do the same.

In February 1971, the LORD opened the door for Dr. Wingard to found the World Wide New Testament Baptist Missions Agency along with Russell Bell, Clyde Eborn, and Robert Winstead. He served as the Chairman of the Board for fifty years, during which time WWNTBM has assisted 300 missionaries in more than 65 countries. What began as a desire to reach a few small islands in the Pacific Ocean has grown to spread the Gospel literally around the world.

Throughout his ministry, Dr. Wingard had the privilege to preach in the Caribbean, the Philippines, and the islands of the western Pacific, including Majuro, Pohnpei, and Guam. He also had the honor of visiting Christians and preaching in Romania, India, Canada, and throughout the United States. He had a passion for reaching the lost and for encouraging others in their service.

Preacher Bill was known as a humble servant of his LORD. His life principle was to “serve faithfully in his present season of life.” He exemplified this principle in his care for his family, Calvary Baptist Church, and the ministry of WWNTBM. His life was an example of Christian piety, gentlemanliness, compassion, charity, counsel, and kindness. He had a quiet strength and discernment and the ability to make others feel at ease even in times of great distress. He was a prayer warrior who would often pause to pray about a need mentioned in the conversation.

On March 12, 2021, following a brief battle with cancer, “Preacher Bill” entered into the joy of his LORD. In one of his last messages to Calvary Baptist Church, he mentioned meditating on Psalm 91. The psalmist closed with a promise that was fulfilled in Dr. Wingard’s life. “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

He is survived by his wife, Arlie Wingard; his children, Billy (Grace) Wingard, Jan (Anthony) Raynor, Pam Albert, and Patti (Jim) Spencer; his brother, Stanley (Carol) Wingard; as well as 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents John Earl and Sallie Wingard; his brother Doug (Bea) Wingard; and his sister Mildred (Billy) Twilley.

Please click below to share your memories of Dr. Wingard. Condolences may also be sent the family at Calvary Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1089, New Bern, NC 28563.

I Serve Others – Reliable: March 2021

by John O’Malley

The phrase, I Serve Others, captures all we want to do for the Lord at WWNTBM. Over the next few months, I will write on the values we hold dear in the phrase, I Serve Others. We have already looked at the words inspire, open, tender, helper, and edify.

This month, I am continuing our core values phrase “I Serve Others” series. The second R in I Serve Others stands for Reliable.

The sense of the word reliable is to be consistently good in quality or performance. Someone who is able to be trusted is counted as reliable. The Bible word for reliable is faithful.

1 Samuel 2, while Eli was High Priest and his two sons polluted their office in the temple, God told Eli what would happen to his sons. God also said He would raise up someone who was faithful. The sense of the word faithful in this text is someone who is reliable.

In 1 Samuel 2:35, God explained what He wanted in His servants. He said He wanted reliable people to serve. He wanted people who would know His mind and heart. The servant He chose would do what was in the heart and mind of God. God promised He too would be faithful or reliable to the servant He would raise up.

I want to consider two things this month about the core value of being reliable. First, consider with me God’s reliability to us. Then I want you to evaluate your reliability in your service to Him.

Consider God’s faithfulness or reliability:

  • God Himself is faithful — he does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
  • God’s Word is faithful — He’s given a more sure word of prophecy.
  • God’s presence is reliable — He’s promised never to leave us nor forsake us
  • God’s power is reliable — He shows Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him.
  • God’s justice is reliable — He is the Judge of the whole earth Who will do right.

Consider our faithfulness or reliability:

  • Do the people to whom I bring the Gospel find me reliable in my witness?
  • Does my family find me reliable in my promises and availability?
  • Do my supporting churches find me reliable in communication and connecting with them?
  • Does my spouse see me as reliable in my biblical mandate for my responsibility in our marriage?
  • Does everyone with whom I interact see my word as reliable?

We are at our best when we are faithful or reliable to our Master, in our ministries, and in our marriages.

At the missions office, we desire to be reliable to you. We want to honor your requests. We want to be reliable to pray for you when you share with us your heart’s burden. We want to be reliable to be considerate and compassionate when you face challenges.

I believe in the work you are doing for Christ. I want to see you accomplish God’s goals for you and the people to whom He called you.

Let us be reliable.

Yours for the harvest,
John O’Malley

If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know.

From the Memo Board: March 2021

Dates to Know

April 1 – February Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries.

April 1 – March Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries.

April 2 – The Office will be closed in celebration of the Resurrection.

April 15 – Tax Filing Deadline for both US Missionaries and Non-Resident Missionaries who were in the US in 2020.

May 1 – March Financial Reports will be due for US Missionaries.

May 1 – April Financial Reports will be due for Non-Resident Missionaries.

Stimulus Checks and Your Taxes

In 2020, the US Government issued two rounds of stimulus checks to US Citizens. The funds are not taxable income. However, for accounting purposes, the IRS is requiring US individuals who received the funds to record the amount(s) on their 2020 Tax Returns. When filing your taxes, you will need to provide this information to your tax preparer, along with your other tax-related information. For a list of items to consider, click here to view the Items to Provide to Your Tax Preparer article from last month’s Headquarter Happenings.

REAL ID Update

The REAL ID Act was passed in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state identification cards such as driver’s licenses. Although the compliance deadline has been extended several times, the current deadline is October 1, 2021. Starting October 1, state driver’s licenses presented at U.S. airports for ID purposes must be a “REAL ID” version. Otherwise, an alternative form of ID, such as a passport, will be required. If you are a US Citizen who is currently in the US, or if you plan to be this year, we recommend that you make arrangements to update your driver’s license to the REAL ID. This process may require advance appointments depending on your state.

Click here for information from Homeland Security.
Click here for information from the Transportation Security Administration.

Traveling in a COVID World

The past year has brought with it many adjustments because of COVID. One area that continues to see many changes is air travel, specifically international air travel. Several of our missionaries have dealt with significant challenges related to the timing of COVID testing and their flights. Things to keep in mind if you are traveling internationally:

  • Most international flights now require you to show proof of a negative COVID test within a certain timeframe of boarding your flight.
  • Tests must typically be of the PCR variety. Rapid test results are often not accepted.
  • Some countries require the test to be within a certain number of hours from boarding the first flight. However, some countries require the test to be within a certain number of hours from arriving in-country. This may require a layover mid-way in your itinerary with enough time to get a second test taken and receive results prior to your boarding your last flight. (We know of one situation where an individual was denied boarding because they were fewer than 10 minutes outside of the timeframe.)
  • Many regulations are set by the country to which you are going. The airlines are charged with enforcement based on when they allow passengers to board. Because the airlines wish to continue business internationally, they will tend to be very specific on the enforcement of the policies.
  • Many countries have mandatory quarantines upon arrival in the country.
  • In addition to guidelines set by countries, most airlines have their own regulations about wearing masks on flights. In many cases, even children age 2 and above are required to wear a mask for the entire flight.
  • Meal and beverage services provided by the airlines may be limited or non-existent.

What can you do?

  • Be prepared! Research information with the Embassy of each country you will visit on your trip. These change frequently! It may be a good idea to check this every few days to be sure you have the most up-to-date information. Research testing sites near the airports you will use.
  • Be proactive! You may wish to get tested every day for several days leading up to your scheduled trip. In the event results from the first test don’t come in time for your booked flight you will already be prepared for a possible flight the following day, instead of rebooking another week out. This could also cover you in the event of a flight delay.
  • Be pliable! Plan extra days on both ends of your travel to allow for testing, delays, or quarantine necessities.
  • Be protected! Be ready financially for unexpected expenses such as additional hotel costs or rebooking fees. Look into travel insurance that will cover delays or cancellations related to COVID.
  • Be patient! Testing sites are busy around the clock. Labs are working overtime. Airline employees are trying to keep up with ever-changing regulations and pacify frustrated travelers.
  • Be proclaiming! People are frustrated. People are afraid. People are seeking answers. Christ the Great Physician has the ultimate cure and comfort.

Microsoft Excel

We request that all users complete their financial report template using Microsoft Excel rather than Apple’s Numbers or other programs. Although Apple’s spreadsheet application does export to Excel, doing so removes many key features that our staff relies on to review the reports. Similarly, Google Docs is not structured to handle many of the formulas in the template and often creates problems with the figures. If you need to purchase a copy of Microsoft Excel for Windows or for Mac, we can obtain these for you at a discounted rate. If switching to Excel creates a hardship for you, please contact us. If you have questions, please let us know. We appreciate your assistance in this area!

Changes in Ministry and your Financial Reports

Changes in ministry can affect the typical expenses you list on your reports from month to month. For instance, someone on deputation will primarily have travel expenses, while someone on the field may have more costs related to renting a building or purchasing nursery snacks and Sunday School supplies. Someone coming home on furlough will be dealing with meal allowances and lodging costs they don’t usually see when on the field, and may be using a borrowed vehicle, which must be recorded differently from a vehicle they own. We suggest that you click here to review our checklist of commonly overlooked expenses, to be sure you are claiming all allowable deductions. If you have questions about your financial reports, please contact Naomi.

Birth Announcements

Congratulations to Colton and Melodie Lee on the birth of their first son, Douglas Micaiah. He was born on February 14. He weighed 7 pounds 3.4 ounces and was 19 inches long. Please pray for the Lees as they minister in international evangelism.


Congratulations to Michael and Nora Deatrick on the birth of Michelle “Ellie” Hope, who was born on February 24. She weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. Ellie joins her brother Corban (4) and sister Kezia (2). Please pray for the Deatrick’s and their ministry in the Solomon Islands.

Uplift Podcast

The following recordings were recently published on uplift.wwntbm.com. You may access the site by entering the username: wwntbm and the password: gospel. We hope they will encourage your heart.

Weary in Well Doing

Remember the Helpers

Psalm 3, Part One

Unto the Furtherance of the Gospel

Tax Time Reminders 2021

Tax season is once again upon us! Here are several reminders concerning tax issues that you may face. We trust that this information will be useful to you, both in giving you a better understanding of your reports and helping you to be aware of items that may affect your personal taxes.

Please Note: WWNTBM Staff members seek to assist in any way possible with questions concerning the IRS, taxes, and retirement. However, we are not certified tax professionals. Any information provided should not be construed as legal counsel. Therefore, we encourage all of our missionaries to procure the services of a certified tax preparer.

Tax Paperwork for 2020 for US Missionaries

Tax-related paperwork generated by WWNTBM is in your SecureCloud folder. This includes your applicable 1099 form, MFR Summary Report, and Tax Receipts (if you gave through WW this year.) Please be sure to look at the 2nd page of the MFR Summary, to see if there are any specific notes for you and your tax preparer. In prior years you may have also received an Estimated Tax letter and/or a Tax Details Letter. Please note information previously reported in those letters has been included on the MFR Summary this year, to reduce paperwork. If you received a Housing Allowance, it is vital that your tax preparer note the 1099 Calculations section on page 2 of your 2020 MFR Summary, to ensure your Housing Allowance is properly accounted for on your taxes. If you requested that we submit your tax information directly to your tax preparer, please note that those documents will be sent in mid-February. This is to ensure that there is time for us to include any forms that may arrive in our office from other sources. If you have any questions, please contact Naomi.

1099 Forms from Other Sources

If churches issued funds payable to you in excess of $600 during the year 2020, they may issue you a 1099 form. If those funds were either mailed to the office or included on Line 2 of your MFR as extra income, they are already included in the total of your 1099 from World Wide. Our office can assist you in verifying whether the funds were included on your 1099. Your tax preparer can assist you on your return in recording this so that you are not taxed twice on the same income. We recommend that you request churches to make checks payable to WWNTBM to avoid this issue in the future.

Foreign Tax Exclusion

In order to claim the foreign tax exclusion, you must be out of the US for 330 days over a 12 month period of time; however, these days do not have to be in the same calendar year. In order to gain the full benefit of the foreign tax exclusion, your tax preparer may be able to revise your returns based on the actual time you have spent overseas. Because of this, it is vital to provide your tax preparer with all of your travel dates to and from the US. You may also wish to discuss with your tax preparer what dates would be the best travel dates when planning to leave for the field or return on furlough, as this could affect how much you are allowed to claim under the foreign tax exclusion.

It is our understanding that, while the Foreign Tax Exclusion does benefit many of our missionaries, it may not always be the best solution, as there are other situations which may give a greater benefit. Some of those options may affect taxes not only for this year but for future years as well. This is another reason we recommend consulting a tax professional who can advise you in relation to your unique circumstance.

Healthcare and Your Taxes

Our financial report gives a location for you to track ‘health insurance costs.’ However, each individual situation is different. Some use this area to record traditional health insurance, some use it to record expenses through the MarketPlace, and others use it to record details for a health care sharing ministry such as Samaritan Ministries. While all of these are health-related costs, each of the examples affects your taxes in a different way. Please be sure that your tax preparer is aware of the details of your health coverage, as it may affect how they complete your tax return.

Estimated Tax Payments

Missionaries are considered to be self-employed and are therefore subject to self-employment taxes. Submitting quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year will help to prevent having a large tax payment due each April. Estimated tax payments can be submitted on your own, or, if you are interested, you may contact Kim O’Malley for information on how we can submit them for you.

Tax Paperwork for Those with Foreign Bank Accounts

US Treasury Dept. regulations require that if you have any foreign bank accounts, and if the sum total of all of your foreign accounts has ever been $10,000 at any given time during the past year, you must complete the IRS Foreign Bank and Financial Account Form (FBAR) and give it to your tax preparer. This includes all foreign accounts on which you are a signatory, such as a ministry account. This form, and further information about it, is available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. Please refer to the IRS website and your tax preparer if you have any questions.

Utilizing a Tax Professional

Studies have shown that the average person who uses a tax professional, instead of filing their own taxes, receives a much greater tax return. The savings far exceed the amount spent to hire a professional. Many have also found that using tax software does not always compare to the benefits of using a professional, either. In many instances, it is not that the software or the self-filer is wrong, but that other choices may be better. (Information is taken from daveramsey.com.)

It is also good to note that not all professionals are familiar with tax situations that might affect you. We encourage all missionaries to use a certified tax preparer who is familiar with special tax situations that affect missionaries and those living overseas. A listing of tax preparers used by other missionaries is available on SecureCloud, under the Forms and Manuals section.

Items to Provide to Your Tax Preparer

In addition to your 1099 Form(s), MFR Summary, and Tax Receipts from World Wide, you may wish to provide the following to your tax preparer as it will assist them in filing your taxes.

  • List of dates you were in the US vs. out of the country during the year.
  • Details of all housing-related expenses, to be used in addition to the amount of your Approved Housing Allowance, for use in completing Worksheet 1 of IRS Publication 517.
  • Information on any retirement plans you have contributed to during the year, or that you have received distribution from during the year.
  • Names and Social Security Numbers for all family members.
  • Names and dates of any family births or deaths (children or spouse), as well as whether you were married during the year.
  • Information on any stimulus check(s) you received during the year.

You may need to submit taxes in your foreign country, as well as in the US. Consult with a local tax preparer about this possibility. This may be especially true if you receive funds from that country.