Thursday, December 22, 2016

3 Days Before Christmas

I was thrilled when Roma and Edie showed up today at the Berean office. Volunteering just 3 days before Christmas is a true sacrifice. Amazing to me is how cheerful they are to volunteer. These two ladies helped stuff, wrap and label Bibles for prisoners desperately waiting for them. Some of the letters that come in asking for a Bible are heart breaking and this precious gift of a Bible may be the only gift they receive this Christmas at the prisons and jails here in the United States. As soon as the Bibles were loaded into the car I left to head to the post office to deliver them while Edie and Roma went into the other room to work on opening today's mail and stamping envelopes.
Here at Berean we are so very thankful for willing volunteers. Without the hundreds of hours donated by hundreds of these amazing volunteers this program would struggle. 
There will be NO WORK at the Berean office for the week between Christmas and New Years. Our next day of work will be next YEAR!
Well actually just 12 days away, Jan 3rd, 2017. Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus, and a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


David B couldn't make it today, he had an accident last night and totaled his car. Thankfully he is fine. With David busy trying to get a replacement car and Cindy gone that left just me to enter the Bible requests. Thankfully Carol came to volunteer and worked on studies and envelopes keeping me company. The 2 of us got everything done that needed to be done for tomorrow's workers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sparkling Diamonds

The roads were good driving to Berean but the ice was still thick on the parking lot. Everyone working had to be careful getting from the car to the office. The view from the door looking out over the sparkling fields and diamond covered trees was amazing. This ice covering everything is just beautiful reminding us of  fairyland crystal palaces.  We reached 32 degrees today with sunshine which helped with the melting. By the time we finished up the ice was softer and not nearly as slippery but also not near as beautiful.  We had a smaller than usual group come volunteer today but that didn't stop us from getting the work done. Thankfully everyone here just knows what to do and does it. The first workers to arrive were Glenna, Eva Jean, Vonnie, Marvin and David. They went right to work opening today's mail.
 As Marie couldn't come today Marvin was put to work on the computer entering lessons. 
 Kathy and David were the main readers today. 
 Chuck and Marvin L were put to work labeling the studies while the ladies below opened the mail. 
 We had most of the work finished by noon and enjoyed lunch together. After lunch Marvin worked on certificates for those prisoners that finished all 50 lessons.
Marvin is the only person that takes home work on Tuesday. He grades all the 49 & 50's that come in and then sends them the certificate back with the graded lessons.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Flying Fingers

We only had 5 of us working today but the fingers were flying as the Bibles were stuffed wrapped labeled and loaded.
 We started at 9:00 am and by 11:00 all work had been finished for the week. 
I truly am thankful we have people that want to help and are willing to come out on a frozen 6 degree morning. The anticipation of hearing the response of each prisoner as he or she open their package fills our hearts with so much warmth we hardly notice the shock of cold air each time the door is open to load another box into the car for mailing. 
Berean Prison Ministry is SO very thankful to all who donate their time and money to this program. THANK YOU for remembering those locked up, THANK YOU for this precious gift of life, the LIVING WORD.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Smiles All Around

The Tuesday group of volunteers got to see the new Bible we are now giving out, some for the first time. The first bunch of Bibles were mailed Thursday. Everyone was impressed and so very pleased. Today our office was filled with happy voices and lots of smiles. Amazing how knowing we are giving out a really nice Bible makes everyone here joyful. We had quite a lot of mail but so many willing volunteers the mail was opened before noon. The office was serious in the beginning as everyone sat down and started working.
 Above Shirley, Glenna, Eva Jean and Vonnie are busy opening the studies. Below Marvin H is helping mom with a problem letter just as Marvin L walked in. 
 Marvin was shown the new Bible and was impressed as he compared the one we had been sending out with this far better new Bible.
Kathy and David went right to work reading letters.
 Joyce and Jan took a bunch of mail into the other room to open. 
 Marie was put to work entering on the computer. 
Some of the letters that came today were confusing. Marvin and mom were trying to figure out the best way to handle some of the requests. 
We were such a happy bunch today. Check out the smiles in the next few pictures. 

Everywhere I looked there were smiles but I was smiling the most today. Just watching all these wonderful people that come to help with this program warms my heart. It is a JOY to be here working. Although can one actually call it work when we get to spend fellowship time with a great bunch of people all enjoying each others company?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mailing the NEW Bibles

A special thanks to John Hoerr for driving out to the Berean office just to help unload a skid of Bibles. We oldies so very much appreciate young men with muscles.
Today Anna, Edie, Roma and Chuck came to stuff, wrap, label and load Bibles. What would we do without willing workers? Thank you THANK YOU for all who helped this week. We really couldn't get the mail processed and the Bibles mailed without all your help.
It was SO satisfying to have the first batch of the new Bibles on their way to prisons all over North America. What an amazing Christmas Gift this is, the Book of LIFE, the one with ALL the answers. This Bible is KJV giant print with color maps and words of Jesus in red. We at the Berean office can anticipate a huge response of many more requests once these are delivered. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Plea for HELP

Today we worked on filling boxes of studies to be stuffed. Each set of studies now have at least one box ready for Tuesday's work. A special thanks to Cindy, Carol, Dave and Mary.
The plea for help is really for tomorrow, THURSDAY Dec 8th. We have a 4 ft high pallet of BIBLES that will be delivered at 9:00 am at the Berean office and need volunteers to help unload, stack, stuff and wrap them. There are 250 prisoners waiting for their gift of the WORD which would be a perfect Christmas gift for these men and women locked up. PLEASE will you consider coming and giving a few hours of your precious time to help us. We really do need help.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Another Good Day

We had another wonderful day at the Berean office. This doesn't feel like work, we all have such a good time together.
Above Marie is multitasking entering studies and talking on the phone and below Jan and Joyce are hard at work in the other room opening mail. 
 They were joined by Jeanette who also went right to work. 
 Kathy and Marvin were the only readers today but not a lot of letters came in and they were easily able to finish by noon. 
 Above Marvin is sharing a touching letter with Kathy and just check out her reaction to this thank you note. A BIG smile. 
 Emily arrived to take her mom's place at the computer so Marie went to work organizing the studies while Marvin, Chuck, Glenna and Eva Jean opened and applied labels. Emily watched what was happening at this office and remarked, "you really have good people working here." "They all know what to do and just do it. " You see Emily use to volunteer at Berean's way back before she was in the RN program at ICC and was so impressed with how many people are willing to come work. 
All the mail was opened by 11:00 am, so they went into the other room to separate and stuff studies until lunch time. 
 Emily and I worked after lunch finishing around 1:00 pm with entering all the Bible labels. We have 238 to mail out on Thursday. Now we are just praying the new Bibles make it by that time.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Faithful Few

Roma and Edie came today to help clean up what the Tuesday group could not get done. These two ladies are sisters and even more unusual they are twins but not to each other. Roma's twin sister is Rhoda.
 While Edie's twin sister is Ethel. 
They are part of our Faithful Few that come on Thursdays to help with the Berean work. Usually we are wrapping, labeling and mailing out Bibles on Thursday but today we worked on the plethora of envelopes that still needed stuffing and sealing. Tuesday's mail was a big one. The other reason we did not work on Bibles is that the new Bibles are ON THE WAY! They should be here by next week so next Thursday will be a big day as far as wrapping Bibles. We welcome anyone that has time to spare this busy Christmas season. We would love to be able to get as many Bibles as possible to the prisoners that are requesting them before Christmas. What a gift that would be!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10,000 Bibles Ordered

The news actually came yesterday. Berean was able to buy the better Bible, the black leather like giant print study Bible with colored maps and a concordance. This was the Bible 3 different people picked out without talking to anyone else but they were just too expensive. Then for some reason this was the Bible picked to go on sale and are only $1.00 more than the paper back we have been sending out. Think God wants the prisoners to have this Bible? These Bibles will be delivered the end of this week and we will start sending them out next week, just in time for Christmas.
Our office was buzzing with the sound of happy voices today when the news was told.
 We had a lot of mail but thankfully had the helpers here to process the mail.
 Megan was able to come help on the computer today. She is fast and accurate and we were double blessed because today is her birthday. She could have stayed home to celebrate but instead came to help us. Below Marie is sorting the mail while Glenna and Eva Jean work on opening the mail.
 I would say Kathy is checking out a letter but that would actually be wrong. Marvin brought in Christmas cards for us with some pictures of his family and grand children.
 We had Kathy, David, Marvin and Leila were the readers today. Chuck and Marvin worked on labels and stamps, mom, Joyce, Jan, Glenna, Vonnie and Eva Jean opened mail. Marie sorted and kept the copy machine running, Megan and I were on the computer and Jeanette worked on labels.

 We had too much mail to be done by noon but took a break for soup and pie at noon then went right back to work.
We finally quit working at 2:00 pm leaving a lot of work for the Thursday group. If anyone has a few extra hours on Thursday morning we would love to have you. We won't be mailing out Bibles Thursday but will be finishing separating and stuffing studies.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


We had a good productive day at the Berean office. The first job was to wrap and label Bibles. Roma, Edie, Eva Jean and Chuck started on that as soon as they arrived and these 4 were working machines. They had an assembly line going and filled boxes of Bibles quickly. 
 Marvin came today to work on the new printer and helped me enter all the Bible requests for this week. We were pretty thrilled with how well the printer worked.
By the time we finished today we had 224 Bibles loaded in the car for mailing. This was actually 2 weeks worth as we didn't work last Thursday because of the funeral.  Chuck needed to stop at church to pick up a bunch of studies to mail out for grading as we only had a few here. We finished today at 11:00 am.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day


This was the most disappointing election day in my history and probably most of the Christians in America feel the same way. Yes I voted but after walking out of the booth there was no joy, no hopeful anticipation on electing a new president. The choices were either bad or awful. Mark and I left just after 6:00 am to drive to the polling place and when we arrived about 6:10 am there was a line of people waiting. It took about an hour to get our votes cast and get back home.
At least today was Berean day. That office is pretty much always filled with Christians joyfully working and visiting together. today was no exception. We had a great group come today to open and process the mail. David is on the board and brought us the good news that the new Bibles should be here soon. He, Kathy, mom, Marvin and Leila were the readers today. Bruce, Chuck and Marvin L worked on the back table. We were thrilled to have Bruce back. Today was raining so he took a break from farming to come help us.
 The picture below was taken before Marvin L, mom, Jan, Joyce and Kathy arrived. Glenna, Shirley, Eva Jean and Vonnie were put to work at the middle table. Marie worked on the second computer. 
 Mom arrived and was put right to work reading letters.
 Joyce and Jan took mail into the other room to open. 
 The clock on the wall read 10:30 am when Kathy arrived and we all teased her about being really late until someone remarked that the clock hadn't been changed from this weekend's time change.
 We worked until after noon then finally stopped to refuel our bodies. 
We had a lot of mail today and went right back to work after lunch. The printer is just about out of ink but Diane is pretty sure we have more at the office. I'll check tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow David B is going to be there and will start work before I can get there. I'm taking my truck in to East Peoria to get new tires put on before heading to Berean. 

NOTE: NO WORK AT THE BEREAN OFFICE ON WEDNESDAY NOV 9TH.  The computer is getting worked on.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Classing UP the Joint

David walked in the Berean office all gussied up and told us, "I'm trying to class up this place."
you can see Marvin's reaction by that statement in the picture below. That may be an incredulous look but also he may just be laughing out loud. David and Kathy could only work until 10:00 am then had to head to a funeral where David was asked to officiate. 
 Everyone else was laughing at that even though there were piles of mail on the table ready to be opened. Marie was busy fixing problems from last week while Glenna, Eva Jean, Vonnie and Shirley opened the mail. 
 Marvin, Leila, David and Kathy were the readers today.
 Wayne came in and in the picture below looks like he may be scolding us for the loud laughter coming out of the office but in reality he was telling me that the water heater was fixed. Wayne keeps everything running smooth here. 
 Jeanette came in a little late and Marvin was quick to practically beg her to take some of the 49 and 50s home to grade. I think he had to grade 90 of them last week. 
 Chuck walked in right after Jeanette and was put right to work applying labels. 
 Jan was busy at the same table as Chuck opening mail. We had a good amount today.
 While Marie and I were entering the last of the studies the rest of the group were in the other room stuffing the next sets to go out. 
 Marie joined them as the last of the intermediate labels were being printed. She also kept the copier running today filling slots. 
We had so much help today that even though we had a decent amount of mail we were able to finish by noon and enjoy a nice leisurely lunch. Another thank you is in order for these top notch classy volunteers.
NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO WORKING ON THURSDAY AT THIS OFFICE. THE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED Thursday so the volunteers can go to John Honegger's funeral.