Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Growing Again

Joan dropped off Hannah, Faith and Mackenson to help as she, mom and Diane were going to TAG. We had a lot of mail, Mackenson came in to TEMCO with me to help carry it all.
 There was a basket for each one of Joan's kids to carry in.
 I thought it would just be me, the kids and Eva Jean today
but was pleasantly surprised when Shirley walked in then thrilled when Kathy and Dave arrived to help.

 Then Rhoda arrived about the same time Emily came in.
 After TAG was over mom, Joan and Diane came to help for a few hours. Mom went to lunch with us while Joan and Diane worked through lunch then went garage saling in Morton.
 By 2:30 pm we had finally finished processing the studies. Below Shirley is stacking the last of the stuffed envelopes in the box to go out to the mail.
 The studies below were loaded into my car to take to church on Wednesday for grading. 
 We were not able to get to the letters. Kathy and Dave got them all read and sorted, Wednesday I'll head in to the shop to get them entered and ready for our Thursday workers. Darlene arrived from Sheridan Correctional Institution to pick up Bibles and more studies for that prison just as we were leaving for the day.
This Bible program is growing quickly, we are running out of space at Meister Brothers. We have been discussing our options but didn't come up with any good solutions. Will you pray for us? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Missing Bibles

I was dreading this morning, Emily is out of town and I was going to have to tease and cover mares by myself plus Diane was not going to help down at Berean. Somehow someway things would get done. Right after the walk I started teasing mares. Oksana was brought out first, she did not show, Serenity was brought out next, she did not show. Piper was brought out and she did and was covered by Valiant. That took more time than planned so I kicked off my barn shoes scrambled into my good tennis shoes, grabbed my purse and jumped in the car only to realize the keys were not in the car. Mark drove home from church last night but has not yet learned to leave the keys in the car. I ran into the house and looked on his desk but no keys, looked on my desk but no keys, went through his Sunday suit pockets but no keys. He was called to see if he took them with him but he said, "I saw them on my desk, picked them up and think I through them onto your desk." Now when I'm looking for something chairs get tipped over and cushions thrown off couches and the place looks like we have been hit by a mob looking for drugs or something.  I called Rachel to see if she would give me a ride and just after she said yes I started praying. Right about then I remembered, I hadn't looked in my purse. Sure enough Mark had thrown them in my purse. Why didn't I think to pray earlier? By this time it was 8:50 am, twenty minutes after I should have left the house. It was real hard not to speed heading in to Peoria. I walked in the office to make my excuses when I see Diane. She must have been guilted into coming.
 We had an amazing crew but the Bibles weren't at the office. Diane called Spark to ask where they were and they got cut off, she called Jacob but the phone went straight to voicemail. Diane was sure the Bible must be here.
 While we were looking around for them the crew was stuffing envelopes and processing the studies.
 We finally got the word that the Bibles were on Jacob's big white truck. Rachel took some of the more nimble volunteers to start searching for the truck but it was no where to be found. How can we lose 600 Bibles and a big white truck? She saw Eldon and asked him if he knew where Jacob's truck was, "yes" he replied, "Jacob had to go out on a job so we had unload the Bibles into the warehouse." Rachel was afraid we were going to have to hand carry each and every one of those 32 pound boxes from the warehouse to the office building then up the stairs but Eldon had a better idea and brought them all up with a fork lift. Thank goodness!

We formed a chain to get them all unloaded. 

 We had such good workers today that we finished up before noon. Early this morning I was praying that each prisoner that needed a Bible and wrote for a Bible would be able to receive a Bible. Then when they were all missing I remembered that prayer. Diane was exactly the right person today to find them. She wouldn't let the helpers go until they were found, processed and loaded into her van.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Diane's Surprise

This was written on Tuesday April 21st, 2015, just posting a couple days late:
Diane wasn't going to come in to work today, she is a little over whelmed with her work at home and the law office after being gone for 2 weeks. We told her she really needed to come in today but could take Thursday off. The reason why will be revealed in a bit.
Emily and I were first down then. Eva Jean arrived next, walked in and stopped dead. Even though she knew about the mess it was still a shock.
 Shirley walked in next and just grinned. All of us wanted to be there before Diane arrived. You see Diane doesn't let us leave the office until it is swept up and Thursday we just walked out and drove home. well maybe we scattered a few boxes around but the rest was from getting the Bibles out.
 Diane arrived and instead of finding a new office or more space in this office she walked into the mess and retorted, "no wonder I had to come!"
 Kathy and Dave who didn't know anything about it were kind of shocked. Kathy asked, "did a raccoon get in here or something?

 They all got busy quickly on reading letters of which there were a LOT!
 While Diane and I swept up the office.
Joyce then Rhoda arrived to help today as did Joan and 4 of her kids, Hannah, Faith, Mackenson and Berlica all pitched in to help. We stopped for pizza around 12:15 pm then went right back to work. We were able to finish all the studies but ran out of Bibles again! We will have to get the rest out on Thursday. Tim Martin promised another 300 wrapped Bibles by then.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Assembly Line

We had a busy busy day at Berean. Eva Jean and I were dreading the work load knowing we were going to have Rhoda or Emily today. Rhoda had a job interview and Emily was hauling horses to and from Middle Grove. She took Anna and her colt out then brought back Soul, Serenity, Piper, Oksana, Lola, Emma and Ayanna. Emma for delivering her foal here and the rest for breeding. Thankfully other volunteers started to arrive.  Rachel first then Diane R and then Tiffany arrived with 3 of Lisa's kids and we put them right to work on the hundreds of Bibles waiting to be processed. They started picking up the labels and everyone of them were shocked at the amount.
I took a short video of them labeling the Bibles and that is posted on the Berean Facebook page. Check it out by clicking here: Berean Facebook Page 
One of the prisoners sent us 10 stamps with a nice letter and another person sent a check for $20.00 to help with postage.
The Bible workers aren't the neatest workers but they sure are fast. Eva Jean walked in and let out a screech, of course work had to stop to check out what the problem was. 
Why take the time to find and use a garbage can when we are hurrying. We had so many Bibles to get out today Mark's van was needed to haul them to the post office. The count was 573 mailed out today. That is exhausting work so we are very very thankful for strong young backs for lifting and hauling to the table then out to the van. Tiffany had to leave before the last 2 boxes were finished but wouldn't you know Beth showed up just then and helped finish them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wonderful Willing Workers

We had an amazing group of volunteers today and needed each and every one. We had 733 pieces of mail come in today. Below are a few pictures of the day.
 Above Cody is getting the stamps on the Bibles to be mailed and below are mom, Joyce, Shirley, Eva Jean opening and reading the mail while Emily enters.

 Joan brought in 4 of her kids today and we put them all to work. Below Kathy is writing to a prisoner while Joyce works on studies and Cody is stamping envelopes.
 Tara arrived with 2 of her girls and went right in to start volunteering in the conference room with Joan and her kids. Tara had just come from the midwife and we were all wondering if she felt Tara was ready to deliver this new baby. All Tara could tell us was she said, "I promise you will not be pregnant forever!"

 Above Spark is reading a letter to the workers in the conference room. The letter was pretty touching. This is what was written word for word:
Dear Berean Prison Ministry, I wanted you to know how grateful I am that you sent me my new Bible as well as this study!! Thank you!! You have no idea how perfect your timing was.  11 days ago I hung myself in my prison cell from the light.  The officers cut me down, but I had planned to do it again as soon as possible.  Then my Bible showed up and the study as well. God used these to give me a change of heart. So Thank you and God Bless.
Below Tara is applying stamps to each envelope while Joan is stuffing boxes, Faith stamping envelopes and on the other side of the table Hannah is applying labels to envelopes that go on the studies while Mackenson is stamping.
 Tim Martin and his wife showed up with around 800 Bibles. We got a chain going to unload. Spark took them off the trailer and handed them to Mark who handed the box to Tim who handed the box to Faith (Faith is 8 years old and weighs in at 43 pounds, the Bible boxes weigh 32 pounds each) who handed the box to Tim's wife who handed to me who handed to Joan who handed to Mackenson who handed to Hannah who stacked the boxes on the floor. Pretty nifty.
 Below is a short video of the line. 

The Bibles actually arrived just as Mark arrived with our lunch so the lunch sat waiting for us.
 Below we finally got a chance to sit down and eat our lunch. 
Today we worked until almost 4:00 pm and unfortunately didn't get done. There was just too much to do in too short a time. Hopefully we can finish the Tuesday work on Thursday. We have close to 400 more Bibles to mail out.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two Days Of Work

Thursday's Happenings:
We had a busy day at Meisters working for the Berean Prison Ministry. We had a new volunteer come in, Roma has offered to start helping us on Thursdays. We were so busy the camera wasn't taken out though until after Roma left for the afternoon. We were able to get all the letters and studies read and processed but not all the Bibles got mailed. The ink didn't come in for the postage machine so no stamps were available. We were able to get out 144 Bibles but have probably have more than 200 requests waiting. We also ran out of Bibles but Tim Martin has promised another load on Monday. Below are a few pictures of the morning.
 Above and below Diane R, Emily, Rachel and Jessica are preparing the Bibles that needed to be UPS'd to chaplains
 Rhoda had a short day of work at the vet clinic in Bloomington so came as soon as she could to help. We were thrilled to have her back.
And because last Tuesday was skipped check that out below
Tuesday's News:
We had a good day at Berean getting all the studies processed and the letters read but were not able to mail out any Bibles. Ellen wasn't able to get the stamps printed, she is having trouble with the meter. She is hoping to have the stamps for us by Thursday. Below are a few pictures of Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Party or Work?

Yesterday we had another big day for Berean. Mark remarked, "that didn't sound like you were working, it sounded like a party in that room." He was half right. We were having a good time but the work didn't stop.
 Above everyone is hard at work, below a check came in from Lincoln Correctional center. This is always amazing to us. This is actually a tithe check from an inmate. They get paid pennies on the dollar and instead of spending it on something at the commissary to make their life or cell a little better will send it to us.

 Above Jan is opening letters and reading them while Joyce is applying labels to studies for mailing. Below is just a nice thank you letter with a new address.

 Above we have the Bible line. David is getting the Bibles for us and putting them on the table then each lady has a job to do. Eva Jean has the return address, Kathy is applying the prisoner label, Jan is applying the postage while Joyce is stacking them back in the boxes for loading. We broke for lunch at noon. Emily picked up pizza for everyone from Casey's but also picked up a few chicken tenders to share just in case someone didn't want pizza.
 Then it was back to work on the Bible line. Check out those boxes below, David and Emily were busy hauling them into Diane's van for the trip to the post office while the ladies finished getting them processed.
We emptied about every box again and mentioned, Rachel is going to be mad Thursday when she comes in but then remembered Rachel is down in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Who is going to fill all those boxes? If anyone has a few hours to donate to Berean we could sure use help on Thursday.  The mailing isn't usually as big on Thursdays and that gives us time to prepare for the huge mail days we now seem to get each Tuesday. Please please consider coming. We meet at the Meister Companies 711 S. Kickapoo Creek Rd, Peoria, IL 61604 at 9:00 am. We would love to have YOU!