Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Miracle

Mom and I were the first 2 to arrive at the Berean office. Within a few minutes the helpers started pouring in and by 10:40 am we were finishing up for the day! Marie and her family helped get the hundreds of Bibles stuffed, stamped, labeled and loaded. She had company from Tremont come to help and everyone worked hard. 

Below Justin is taking a quick water break before going back to the back breaking job of carrying the 32 pound boxes out to the van.

In our other office Chuck was hard at work on study labels while mom read letters and our visitor all the way from Mexico was put to work entering Bible labels from today.
This visitor looks almost exactly like Megan, turns out Laura and Megan are sisters and both of these girls are Marie's daughters. Both are hard workers and we are thankful to have their help. Below Edie is separating the studies while mom reads and Laura enters.
We couldn't believe it when by 10:40 am all the studies were finished, and the Bibles loaded into the van. This had to be some kind of Christmas miracle!  Mom and I drove the van to the post office and unloaded almost 400 Bibles. The post office lady came out and I had to ask..."these will for sure arrive by Christmas right?"

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

More Matching!

Diane showed up to run the office today. They had a good crew and were able to get all the studies processed.Mom brought a ham in for the lunch. I heard it was really good.  Marie took the studies to the post office. Spark called to report the person offering a matching donation for Berean had upped the amount to $30,000.00 AND would extend it to December 31st. That means each and every donation that comes in between now and then will be matched up to $30,000.00 WOW what a gift. If you planned on giving (for tax purposes) this would be a great time to do so.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Matching Gift

We had another great day! When I arrived Bruce and Lila were already hard at work labeling Bibles. They used up all the Bibles we had but were way short. Spark was due a bit later with another load.
 Edie, Roma, Janelle and Eva Jean were busy in one room working on the studies while waiting for Spark to show up.
When the Bibles arrived we formed a chain to unload. Check out these workers in the video below, we seem to always be in a hurry to get all the work done. These Bibles were flying out of the van. 

A wonderful email came in and Spark shared it with all of us once the Bibles were all unloaded. Someone (an anonymous wonderful person) is willing to match donations that will come in up to $25,000.00! This is a wonderful way to make your gift to Berean double. Every $5.00, $10.00, $25.00, $50.00, $100.00, $500.00 or $1000.00 that comes in will be matched all the way up to $25,000.  This plea is for anyone that would like to or was going to give by the end of the year for tax purposes, consider giving to Berean.  An easy way is to visit the Berean website by clicking HERE there is a donate button on the upper right hand corner. 
I and the Berean board thank you in advance! You don't know how thankful we are to be able to mail out the thousands of studies and the thousands of Bible each month.

Chuck arrived as the last was unloaded. Just in time to help stuff them all.
Below Rachel, Tiffany, Janelle, Chuck, Lila and Bruce were working on stuffing.

The two Dianes were busy in the other room, one reading all the letters while the other worked entering the studies on the computer.
We were able to finish before noon. It's always nice to have the lunch break knowing we were finished for the day. That is all of us were finished except Diane, she still had to unload all those Bibles at the Bartonville post office and today no one showed up to help her.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Job Well Done

What a great group of people showed up today to volunteer to open mail process studies, stuff Bibles and load them into the van. Check out the piles of mail to open in the picture below.
 What this doesn't show is the piles of mail in front of Joyce and Eva Jean and the letters piled up on the other table for the readers. Below Kathy and Emily were discussing one of the letters and below that Marvin, David and Kathy are hard at work reading the hundreds of letters that came in today.

 Above Marvin is moving a chair out of the way so he can get to work opening and below Marie and Justin are stuffing Bibles. Timothy was helping also, he just wasn't in this picture. Jeanette is busy applying the labels.

 Above Jan, Joyce, Janelle, Shirley, Glenna and Eva Jean are working on one table while Chuck and Marvin L are working on another table and mom, Marvin H, David and Kathy are working on the third table.  When Sarah arrived we put her to work in the other room helping stuff Bibles.
 They had a good crew working. Mitchell arrived in time to help Marie, Justin, Timothy and Sarah.
 We ate lunch today in shifts, there was just so much to do that as each person finished a job they would go grab a piece of pizza then go right back to work.

We really have a good time working together, laughing, stealing each other's chairs, visiting and every once in a while listening to a song that burst forth from some of the younger voices. Today we mailed out over 360 Bibles and processed two full mailboxes of studies.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Short Day

The Bibles were suppose to be delivered today but didn't make it until after we left the Berean office. This made our work day much easier than the normal Thursday. We were blessed today by a gift from Marie H. She gave Eva Jean 5000 jumbo paper clips. Marie H is a grader and really doesn't like dealing with the small paper clips. Last week we ran out of the big ones. Marie made SURE we weren't going to run out any time soon.
 Edie, Janelle, Ann and Chuck went right to work opening the mail.
 Tiffany came to help stuff Bibles and ended up reading letters, then folding studies for Tuesday.
 Below Chuck is working on one table while Ann, Logan, Rachel, Edie and Eva Jean are opening the mail on the other table. 
 Below are 3 of the readers today. Tiffany, Diane H and Diane R.
 Of course we put Janelle on the computer as soon as we have computer work. Today she also made the certificates and sent them out. 
 Below Kathy, Logan and Tiffany are folding studies for next week. It is so important to keep those boxes full if we want to get the next set of lessons out to each prisoner. 
 Vonnie arrived with 2 full boxes of the lessons that get stuffed in the Bibles. 
Tim Martin called and offered to bring 45 boxes of Bibles over this afternoon. He said he would be able to unload them as we finished up and were out of there by 11:30 am. Today was an easy day since we were not able to get the Bibles in time for stuffing and mailing. Makes me kind of dread Tuesday. Consider this a plea, if any young brother wants to help stuff and pack Bibles on Tuesday we could sure use the muscle power.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Romanian Shepherd Stew

We had another busy day at the Berean office. Thankfully everyone that comes knows exactly what to do and they all start right in slitting open the hundreds of envelopes. 
 Above are the study processors and below are the letter readers minus one. Mom was another reader but had to leave early for her sewing club Christmas party.
Janelle was put to work on the computer. We are not sure how we can survive without her next semester. We should probably find out what days she is free then plan on working those days since she won't be able to come on Tuesdays or Thursdays next semester. 
 We were a little short on people getting the labels on the envelopes so Justin graduated from stamping envelopes to labeling envelopes. Anyone that can read can do this job and Justin did great.
 Marie kept everything running smoothly while Janelle and I entered. Below Justin and Timmy are bringing all the studies into the kitchen area, after lunch they were separated on the big table.
We were not able to finish before lunch. Today for lunch we had one of Fede's famous recipes. Romanian Shepherd Stew. Fede brought this recipe home from Romania, it take just 3 ingredients plus water, salt and pepper. The shepherds would cook this over a camp fire while watching the sheep. When it was announced that we were going to be eating this groans were heard throughout the office. They were sure it was going to be something pretty gross like road kill, lard on an onion or horse meat but after hearing it only held onions, potatoes and beef most were willing to taste it. Once it was tasted it got the seal of approval and was enjoyed.
After lunch Marie got everyone separating, stuffing and sealing envelopes while I entered the letters. Everything but the letters was finished by 1:30 pm. Marie stayed and helped finish entering the request letters. On Thursday we will have close to 400 Bibles to stuff, label and mail out.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Supply Chain

We had another wonderful group of volunteers. We are surely blessed by workers willing to work! Rachel, Tiffany, Janelle, and Diane got right to work wrapping, labeling and loading Bibles.

While Chuck, Roma, Edie and Eva Jean worked on Studies and Diane R read letters. 

Tim Martin showed up with Jim a visitor from Detroit, MI
Jim had been giving Bibles and studies out to a jail in Michigan, needed more Bibles and called Tim who just happened to be bringing a load of supplies to the Berean office. Tim offered to bring him along to see what happens here. He was pleased to find out we were getting studies back from jails and prisons in Michigan and I was thrilled to find out how these prisoners were getting the studies and that they had also been given a Bible. We had enough volunteers to form a chain to unload the supplies Tim brought into the scale room of the office. Hmm does this qualify as a chain gang? When a prisoner is transferred from jail to prison it is called "caught chain" we were pretty much all transferred from the room we were working in to the scale office to unload so this chain gang all caught chain. Jim was shown a few of the letters that came in today. One was pretty touching. The gist of the letter was thanking us for the Bible and this program which was helping him to find a way back to a relationship with God much like the prodigal son. At the end of the letter he asked for prayer that he will be able to turn all of his life over to God and sustain peace and hunger for His word and His way. So tonight when you say your prayers please pray for Jermiah. 
We were more than ready for lunch about the time the last box of Bibles were loaded into Diane's van.
Diane brought our lunch today and went all out supplying us with all kinds of goodies including shrimp, cocktail sauce, loaded submarine sandwiches with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, chips, peeled ready to eat cuties, honey roasted peanuts and warmed up brownies for dessert.
 We survived another week with mailing out over 750 Bibles and sending by UPS another 84 to waiting chaplains in Galveston and Sherman Texas. What a good day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


With Thanksgiving holiday last Thursday we were not able to get any Bibles out last week. Yesterday the letters were entered and the Bibles labels were printed then today when Marie and her boys showed up they went right to work stuffing, labeling and packing the 356 Bibles into my little Toyota car.

The rest of the volunteers were very busy opening the hundreds of studies and letters that came today. Bruce started us out today with a prayer. The printer which gave us fits last Tuesday worked perfect today, not jamming at all today. Prayer works..Below in the next two pictures everyone in this room is hard at work.

We all work well together and after each Tuesday or Thursday I'm just amazed at what gets accomplished in this office. Today we had 2 very full mailboxes of mail and every request, letter, study was opened and processed. Well almost every letter or study. There are always a few that come in with a name only, sometimes only a first name, no number, no address and no way for us to reply. Those studies or letters just have to be thrown away. Then we get some letters that say this is the 3rd time they have requested a Bible or study but we have no record of them ever requesting...hmmm maybe there just might be a correlation. David opened a pretty amazing letter today. The prisoner said he had written and requested to start his studies back up as he had not heard anything from us for about 2 months, but no response. Then another prisoner who he had never met before came up to him and said, "God said you were suppose to give me your Bible." He said at first he was not going to but then he listened to his testimony and realized the man was heading to prison so he gave it to him. and then he got another Bible from us which he had not requested. He writes, "not sure how I got signed up to receive the new one today but its very much a blessing to have the exact same one I just gave back again. The Lord does move in mysterious ways & all things together for good" Now that is weird, we don't send out Bibles if they are not requested so exactly how did that happen?  God truly does works in mysterious ways.  
He concludes his letter in this touching way, "Your ministry and your families are a daily fixture in my prayers and will continue to be going forward.  Its such an important work you do for God and the great many lives that are touched by your ministry.  My God bless you Always!
Lukie and Wayne provided our lunch today. 

 We had special order pizza from Monicals, salad, fruit, vegetables and for dessert Lukie's home baked angel food cake made with 11 egg whites and all kinds of delicious ingredients then topped with vanilla bean ice cream and peaches.  That set the taste buds dancing in delight!
The line was pretty long for this delicious lunch so Jeanette decided to get some work done while waiting her turn. We all decided the meal was great. Thanks Lukie and Wayne!
 Just as lunch was finishing up a man came to the office door carrying a beautiful flower arrangement for Lukie and Wayne. They will be celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary and one of their daughters sent the flowers.
We were finished by 1:30 with everything except loading the studies into the car. This should be an easy job. We had 1 full box to go to church, 3 mailboxes full to go to the post office. The back of the car was opened and then we stood their shocked. The car was stuffed to the top with Bibles ready to be mailed.  I made the remark I still had to fit mom in too. Mom quick jumped in the front seat before we started filling that spot. I should have borrowed Mark's van today. We were able to get everything in and even got the doors all shut but once on the road could not see out of any of the side or back windows. Glad we arrived safe at the post office.