When Do Our Feet Become Beautiful?

by John O’Malley

Dear Missions Family,

While reading a commentary on Romans, I thought to share this account from Donald Grey Barnhouse, onetime pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He was told a story by a missionary in western Africa. The account illustrates the heart of one gripped by a passion for spreading the gospel.

“It seems that an African man who had become a radiant Christian believer was also afflicted by the dreaded elephantiasis disease. This loathsome condition hardens and enlarges the flesh of the lower legs and feet so that they often appear as solid columns of flesh from the knees down, sometimes twelve to fifteen inches in diameter. It is a painful and restrictive condition, making simple walking a laborious challenge. But the man was so appreciative of the grace of God that had come into his life that he thought nothing of the pain of his condition. He went from hut to hut in his west African village, sharing the good news of the gospel, knowing that none could believe unless they heard the gospel. He shuffled and hobbled on his afflicted limbs day after day until all had heard the good news.

Once he had evangelized his entire village, he began a painful, daily trek to a village two miles distant, not being able to bear the thought that some were there who had not heard the gospel of the grace of God. He would start early in the morning and walk to the nearby village, go from hut to hut, then walk home. This process he repeated until every hut in that village had received the good news of the gospel.

With no one else to tell about Christ, he asked his pastor and the missionary about going to the next closest village, a larger village located ten miles from his own. They both discouraged him from considering the journey, given his condition. But one day, his relatives awoke to find him gone. It was not until later that the full story came out, related by the inhabitants of the distant village.

It took him until noon to traverse the ten-mile distance to the village, and when he arrived, his leathery stumps were bloody and swollen. Not wasting time even to eat, he spent the rest of the day in the village going from hut to hut telling people about the grace of God. The sun was setting when he set out for his own village. Somehow he made it through the pitch-black jungle, falling upon the missionary’s porch at midnight. The missionary, who was also a doctor, summoned help and they lifted the poor, semi-conscious man into the dispensary. The doctor related later how his own tears mingled with the salve with which he bathed the beautiful feet of this wounded gospel messenger. Without counting the cost to himself, this man lived out the word of the apostle Paul in Romans 10:14-16. Feet that in the eyes of the world could best be described as horrific had become the beautiful feet of one who brings the good news.”

When I read this account, I thought of you and your work in the gospel.

Thank you for going to the next village. Thank you for going the extra mile for the sake of the Gospel and His name’s sake. Thank you for bringing the gospel to where Christ is not named.

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: August 2021

Dates to Know

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.

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

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

September 6 – The Office will be closed in celebration of Labor Day.

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

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

Staff Update

As many of you are aware, Mrs. Laura Cmaylo is expecting a baby within the next few weeks! If all goes as planned, she will be on maternity leave beginning August 4 through the end of September or early October. We are all excitedly anticipating the arrival of Baby Cmaylo!

Please click here to view a video regarding her maternity leave and how you should communicate with the office during her absence.

Child Tax Credit Details

Last month we shared an article that our CPA wrote concerting the Child Tax Credit Automatic payments. Mrs. Dorothy Joyner, who is the tax preparer for several of our missionaries, has provided the following additional information about these payments. We encourage all of our US missionaries with children at home to carefully review this and contact your tax preparer as soon as possible to assist you with tax planning related to these payments.

Congress has passed changes to the Child Tax Credit regulations for 2021. Taxpayers with eligible children are receiving monthly advances of their 2021 Child Tax Credit. The amount has been increased from $2,000 to $3,000 (for children ages 6-17) and $3,600 (for children 5 and under). This is for 2021 only. The payments are for the months of July through December and are half of what the IRS believes the taxpayer will be eligible for when they file their tax return.

To qualify to receive these advance payments, the taxpayer and their dependents must be living in the United States for at least half of the calendar year. These funds are being sent to taxpayers the IRS believes qualify based on their claiming dependents on their 2020 (or 2019) tax return. Some of our missionaries have begun receiving these payments. If you are receiving these payments and are living on a field outside of the United States for more than six months, you are not qualified to receive them. When you file your tax return, you will be required to repay these funds.

According to my research, I believe you would still qualify for the $2,000 Child Tax Credit that has been available for several years. The IRS website lists the qualification for this lower Child Tax Credit which requires that the children live with you but it does not specify in the United States.

Since 2015, those of you serving in foreign countries have been allowed to choose the Child Tax Credit or to exclude your income from income tax on Form 2555, but not both. For many of you, it has been to your advantage to use the Child Tax Credit. As your children age out of the credit, you can choose the tax exclusion after you have used the credit option for at least five years.

Recommended actions for those who will not be present in the US for six full months this year:

1. You may click here to opt out of these payments on a monthly basis. This allows you to login into the IRS program ID.me. If you have not previously created an account with ID.me, you will need your photo ID and a US-based cell phone number to create the account. (Note that each spouse must individually verify his or her identity and opt out.) Note: Others have found the process of creating an account to be somewhat difficult and time-consuming, so please be sure you have some time to devote to this process before you begin.

2. We recommend you return the funds you may have already received to the IRS with your quarterly estimated payments. If the Office assists with sending in your estimated taxes, you will need to contact Mrs. Kim and ask her to increase your estimated payments by the amount of the Advance Child Tax Credit you have received. If you do not follow this recommendation, you will most likely face a penalty on your tax return because your balance due would then exceed $1,000.

The IRS website describes situations in which this repayment can be forgiven. This forgiveness is based on income being below a limit; however, they clearly state that not being a resident of the country for over half the year disqualifies the taxpayer from their forgiveness program.

We feel it is very important that you are made aware of this situation to avoid surprises as to the amount you owe at tax time and to allow you to avoid penalties.

Please be aware this research is based on Frequently Asked Questions on the IRS website. Due to the volume of calls, they would not take my call when I tried to confirm with an IRS agent.

New Baby

Ezra Paul Prater was born July 24. He weighed 6 pounds. Ezra is the son of Ethan and Brittany Prater. He joins older siblings Enoch (9), Silas (6), Jude (5), and John (2). The Praters minister in the Dominican Republic.

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 Pathfinder of the Seas by Pastor David Landers

Truly God is Good by John O’Malley

Characteristics of a Citizen of Zion by John O’Malley

Trusting God by Pastor Gene Krachenfels