Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hard Workers, NOT Just a Job

The walk was cancelled again with the temperature below zero. At least the wind wasn't blowing too hard. I drove in early to pick up the mail before the Berean volunteers arrived. Below Diane is opening more of the plastic sleeves we use to mail out the Bibles.
 Rachel is opening and reading letters
 Eva Jean is opening the studies
 Rhoda is also opening the studies
Below Diane R and Rachel busy reading letters.
 Below Lisa's boys are busy stamping our return address on thousands of envelopes. This is one job that we never have finished. We use close to 1000 each Tuesday and Thursday.

 We had a good crew today and were able to finish everything by 2:00 pm. Below everyone is working hard a very necessary job.

 My cousin Dave Meister III (Skip) arrived so we showed him what our volunteers were busy with today. Skip is also on the Berean board. Below the workers in the conference room were busy putting stamps on the studies. That pile of studies on the table was just 2 days of mail.

 By 2:00 pm we were all ready to quit. Mark came with me to the post office to help with the Bible boxes. This week we got out 285 Bibles from our office alone.  Peoria County Jail, Tazewell County Jail, Sheridan Correctional facility plus a bunch more jails in prisons all over the United States take these Bibles and give them to prisoners. The number going out of Berean is probably more than 2000 a month but it is hard to know the exact count.
So do we treat this as a job? We actually had a prisoner write that today, below is the note:
Would you guys read this?  
I've been with you guys in 21 lessons now and write a small letter each time.  My question is ---Why doesn't anyone ever write back?  I just get a lesson - No feedback.  Do you care about me or is it just a job?  I went to court on Feb 4 and was sentenced to 10 months probation & a faith based program. Now, will you guys pray that I make a first good Impressation, and make Friends, & Find Joy in the Lord there.  I'm a little scared and really need your prayers. PLEASE!!!
Rachel wrote a nice note back that we will pray for him and don't treat this like a job we are all volunteers. We have OVER 34,000 prisoners taking this study and will try to encourage our graders to remember to write notes on the studies.
The next letter was very neatly printed and easy to read but kind of sad. This prisoner writes:
First off I would like to say, I am a new Christian and sometimes find it extremely hard to stay on the straight and narrow.  I serverly fall victim to temptation.  And to respond to the question marked wrong, I put "No" to following the saying of Jesus is, because I am not fully a Christian, and I fall prey to temptation like gossip, lust for women, etc. because the Devil knows my weaknesses; which is why I am trying to grow spiritually so I only answered the question with sincere honesty.  And no I did not misread the question by any means, So I guess that leaves I'm not yet Born Again if that means I'm spiritually weak...
And I am in Prison, because I made payroll checks on sucessful corporations like wal-mart, Dillards etc. And I myself cashed one.  So there is no room left for imagenation, because now you know.  And I would like to thank you for helping me in strengthing my spiritual weakness. God Bless You 
PS Your not kind of offended me. 
The letter below asked for color, the Bible we send out has color maps in the back so one of our volunteers wrote on his study to look at the back of his Bible.
I would like to thank you very much for my nice New Bible.  Also this is my first ever Bible study. So far I enjoy looking up all the versus. When you mail back my next studies can you all so mail me in color some pictures of all the countries around the world. All of the oceans and Islands included. It helps to know where other place are on a map. Maybe some pics off the internet of maps around the world. Thank you very much God Bless.
Diane R was sufficiently chastised by the letter below, hey we were just glad SHE opened it and not us:
 I am very disturbed by the peoples actions that you work for do you people work for god.  I asked that my wife to be, might recieve a bible from you people, she has lost a lot of faith behind your not sending her a Bible that I promised she would get about two weeks ago. I kept it a secret until then. I guess I made a mistake thinking that you and god would make her day with one of your beautiful Bibles like you sent to me. 
Every time we get a request like that we write on their study that EACH MUST REQUEST OWN BIBLE and we wrote it AGAIN on his study. We don't have many rules but the number one rule in this ministry is that EACH MUST REQUEST OWN BIBLE. Of course the next letter Diane R opened was a nice thank you. The next letter Diane R opened though was a very nice thank you note mentioning how amazing our program is.   He wrote to request a Bible and 2 weeks later had a brand new Bible. The next letter was just a nice short thank you note:
Thank you for helping me with my walk with the Lord.  It is really helping me out with things that I would never be able to overlook in my life.  I just thought I would tell you that the Bible study's that you all are sending really does help me out.  I hope that it helps other people just as much as it helps me out. Thank you very much for your time that you are giving to everyone.

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