Thursday, March 31, 2016

Many Hands Help

All the work that was left from Tuesday got done today and MORE. 552 Bibles were stuffed, wrapped, labeled and mailed out today. Thankfully we had really wonderful volunteers willing to do the hard work involved in this process. Below are a few pictures of the morning. 
 Those working on Bibles were Tiffany, Debbie, Diane R, Eva Jean, Megan and Justin.

 In the other room we had Chuck, Marie, Glenna, Anna, Edie and Roma working on studies. Check out that box in front of Glenna. We ended up with 2 of those boxes full of studies to be graded. Anna took one to the Princeville church and Diane R took the other to the Peoria church.
Chuck stopped by the Midwest Food bank on his way home to see if we could get some water for drinking. The well here is not drinkable. We are pleased and thankful to announce Midwest Food bank will be supplying us with fresh drinking water.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Just a Little Overwhelmed

The Bibles came! They were dropped off at 9:00 am at the Berean office and even better yet, we will be getting another load in a week from Thursday. Marvin was the hero today, more on that later although he showed up right before the Bibles arrived and had to help unload them. Marvin reminded us that this place today was like Gold's Gym without the L. We got a great workout and didn't have to pay a penny for the privilege. I was kind of expecting a small mail day as we had Easter on Sunday and every time we have a holiday the mail that next week is usually much smaller but check out the piles that came in today.
Ellen was out of town on Monday so couldn't get us any stamps for today. Thankfully we had the 10 rolls that were donated last week and were able to get most of the mailing out this week. We will get 16 rolls of stamps for Thursday and left a LOT of work for the Thursday group. Anyone out there like to work with stickers? We will actually need a lot of help, we have close to a thousand Bible studies all waiting for stamps so we can send them away to be graded. Truly we would be so thrilled for anyone wanting to come on Thursday starting at 9:00 am. A lot of our regular Thursday volunteers are vacationing in Gulf Shores this week. We had a new volunteer come today and put her right to work reading letters. Hopefully the overwhelming amount of mail didn't discourage her. 
 The all important copier quit working, this time we needed the expert Lance to come service it. Not sure what he did but it worked for most of the morning. We are almost out of 1-4 plus the letters and not that long ago we had 25,000 of them. That machine gets quite a work out.
 Lisa arrived with her boys and Marie came with Megan, Justin and Timothy and a lot of the Bibles got wrapped and labeled today which should make it a bit easier for our Thursday group. Lisa also got 5 boxes of Bibles out to the Galveston Jail in Texas, we had 60 prisoners request from that prison alone today. Thankfully one of the workers there, Deputy Mayes, is willing to accept the UPS boxes and hand out the Bibles. This saves a LOT of postage costs. 
 The readers today were Carol, Shirley, Marvin, David, and Kathy. The study processors were Glenna, Eva Jean, Joyce, Jan and Chuck. Marie and I worked on the computer printing labels. 
 Our lunch break today was short, there was just so much to do. 
 Shelby arrived after lunch and was put to work stamping envelopes while Megan sealed them. 
 The stuffing and sealing are the last jobs of the day and today we finished before 3:00 pm
 But..the copy machine stopped working. We asked Marvin to look at it, he saw the problem and with a little help was able to fix it. So yes, he was the hero today.

 That machine is probably the most used machine in the place. Thousands and thousands of copies are made each week. We are very thankful for Marie's family. They have taken over making all the copies which is such a time consuming job. I am also thankful to all these wonderful willing volunteers. I can't imagine trying to open and process all those letters and yet with each one working it got done! THANKS from the HEART!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saint's Generosity

On Thursday (this post is 2 days late) we were discouraged, not enough stamps to finish the studies, not enough Bibles to get the list processed. We had really good helpers help but if we are short of supplies our hands are tied.
 Edie and Roma were put in charge of the studies, Diane R and Chuck read all the letters.
Diane H worked in the other room all by herself stuffing and labeling Bibles until Eva Jean, Chuck and I joined her to help with that big job. We were loading her van with the Bibles when the wind picked up bringing buckets of rain with it, slamming into us, the van, and the office building. This building has a metal roof and the noise of the pounding rain was a roar. We finished everything we could, leaving lots of studies for Tuesday's group and lots of unfilled prisoner requests for Bibles as we ran out of so many supplies. leaving the office a bit discouraged wondering how we would be able to keep this up made for a long drive home. At least that drive was spent praying for this program.
Well yesterday someone, someone from the Peoria church, who shall not be named, dropped off 10 rolls of stamps, that's 1000 of them for the Berean Prison Ministry. SO SO thankful, we were not able to finish the studies on Thursday because of running out of stamps. How grateful we are for the generosity of HIS saints. Then Spark called to report the Berean board found a smaller large print Bible which will save hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy and save a bit more than a dollar each to mail. Spark ordered 5000 of them. That's enough to keep us going for at couple months. So in the space of 2 days I went from discouraged to amazed. All along we have said, "this is God's program, if HE wants it to continue, HE will make a way.
Humbled and Thankful!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Much More Mail

Today was the biggest mail day ever for Berean. Where is this program going and how much more will it grow? Each week we set a new record. We are now going through OVER 1600 stamps each week. We were very very happy today to see Glenna back. She was on medical leave for the last nine weeks and today decided enough was enough walked in and was put right to work opening the mail.

 Peoria was having TAG today at church so we didn't expect a big group of volunteers but were happy to greet each one as they walked in the door. Jeanette and Chuck were put to work labeling envelopes, Mom, Marvin, Kathy, Dave and Shirley were the readers, Justin, Glenna and Eva Jean were the openers while Marie and I entered on the computer.

 Kathy opened the letter below and had to read it aloud to us. Read the next to the last sentence.
We had a lot of touching letters today. When we broke for lunch we still had piles of mail to process. Jeanette worked right through lunch to try to catch up.
 The men below are separating the lessons by numbers, just one of the many steps to processing these studies so each of the prisoners doing them can get the next set of 4 quickly.
Below a very happy Kathy is almost done organizing the request letters. 
 The studies were piling up on the table ready for the next step. 
 Below we are all at work either stuffing envelopes or sealing envelopes. 
 Even though this is a lot of work it doesn't take many brains and we can visit with each other as we are working. The amount of laughter that comes out of these two rooms sometimes rocks the building. 
 Below Marvin is busy making the certificates for the prisoners that have finished all 50 lessons.
We all had to put in over-time today in order to get the studies processed. I was so very thankful for all the help today. If anyone wants to join us we still have room for helpers and there is always plenty to do. We would LOVE to have you.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Girl Power

We knew we were going to be mailing out Bibles today and were hoping for some strong men but instead got girl power. Nothing at all wrong with girl power when it is our delicate daughters. Well not actually MY daughters but mom's daughters and a few grand daughters.

Tiffany and her son also joined in the fun.
Chuck and Shelby arrived a bit later but were put to good use, Chuck reading letters and Shelby sealing.
Of course we had our usual Thursday hard working crew in the other room opening the mail.
We really cannot stress how thankful we are that so many people come to help out on Tuesday and Thursday at the Berean office. Please feel free to join us if you think you would enjoy helping. We are ALWAYS glad to see new faces and of course many hands make light work. We were pleased today to be able to finish by noon. Diane and I dropped off 360 Bibles to the post office today. Tuesday we had over 400 mailed out so this week alone was almost 800 Bibles. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Work IS Fun

We were hoping for a a big group of helpers today. For some reason we kind of knew there was going to be a lot of mail and sure enough there were two tubs full. Thankfully our snow birds are finally flying back and are ready to work. Eva Jean and Leona were busy opening the mail when the Bibles arrived.
 Marvin L arrived as the Bibles were being un-loaded and jumped right in to help. We finished bringing the entire skid into the office within 10 minutes.

 The room was full of the sound of envelopes being ripped open, chatter, and laughter, We have a lot of laughter while working together. What a great group of volunteers.
 In the other room Shelby and Justin were hard at work stuffing and wrapping the Bibles while Joyce and Jeanette worked on labeling the studies.
 Marie was working on one computer entering studies while I worked on the other. Between the 2 of us we did pretty well keeping up. David, Kathy. Marvin and Mom were on the other table reading letters. Below David and Marvin are discussing what to do with a special request.
 We took a quick lunch break at noon then went right back to work. 
 Below Kathy is stuffing new studies into a prisoner's envelope. We were able to finish stuffing the last one just after 1:00 pm and then came the sealing.
 Everyone was given a likker and put to work sealing envelopes. By the time we finished we had 2 full tubs all ready to be mailed out.
These were dropped off at the post office. The two tubs of lessons will not be taken to church. One tub will be dropped off at the Princeville church and the other will be dropped off at the Roanoke church on Thursday.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Working Harder

Well it is official the Thursday group had to work harder than the Tuesday group. Most likely because there were more helpers on Tuesday. By the time we were finished today everyone was exhausted. We didn't actually have that much mail but had all those Bibles to first unload, then unpack, then stuff, wrap, label, pack, then haul out to Diane's van. By the time we finished her van was loaded to the top and her tires almost looked flat. We probably need a bigger truck if we are going to haul that many Bibles again soon. The morning started with Eva Jean, Anna, Roma and Edie opening and sorting the mail.

 Rebekah brought our favorite helper, Jordan who is so good at entertaining the volunteers. 
 We had a couple chaplains waiting for Bibles. Below Rebekah is filling out the paper work to UPS those going directly to the chaplains. The labels next to that paper work is sent along too so the chaplain knows who in his prison is requesting a Bible from us. 
We only had 2 readers today, Chuck and Diane R. Thankful they were willing. Reading the letters is one of the harder jobs but is also very rewarding.  
 Below we are all working on stuffing, wrapping, labeling and hauling out the Bibles. We had so many to do today that we kept switching jobs around. When one person got tired of stuffing they were put on wrapping or labeling. The rotation was a good way to keep anyone from getting too tired. 
 The last Bible was stuffed into Diane's car just after noon. We were able to sit down and have a relaxing lunch. Mom made us a very sweet delicious dessert even though she was not able to be here. That meant we had to make a pot of coffee to really enjoy this tasty treat.
So so thankful we survived another week!