Thursday, April 28, 2016

561 Bibles Mailed

We had such a busy day today at the Berean office. Papers, wrappers, and boxes were just flying around off the table and sometimes on the floor. We mailed out 561 Bibles today and each Bible had to be stuffed, wrapped and labeled but the stuffing stuff wasn't prepared. We stuff 1-4 lessons in each Bible along with an outline PLUS a letter explaining the program PLUS a postage paid return envelope PLUS an explanation statement on why we are now sending the paper back Bibles. This is a LOT of work.  That wasn't the only work going on though in this office, Below Roma, Edie and Anna are busy working on the studies while Chuck and Diane R read letters.

 Rebekah arrived with our favorite worker Jordan to work on Bibles. 
 Rachel, Rebekah and Eva Jean were the only Bible workers for an hour and believe me they were discouraged. The list of labels seemed to be overwhelming. 
 Although you wouldn't be able to tell by the smile below.
 Those three were so grateful when more help arrived. When Chuck and Diane R were finished reading letters they came out to help with the Bible wrapping. 
 Below Diane H is busy printing out the labels from the request that came in today. 
 We worked from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm getting these Bibles ready for mailing then loaded into Diane's van.  Check out the video below, we were all getting slap happy which was better than being grumpy with all this work.

 When the last label had been applied we all cheered. It didn't take long to clear off the table for lunch. By this time we were 'starving'. It was great to sit down, eat and rejoice over finishing another week. That is all of us but Diane H. She still needed to take her van to the post office and unload these 561 Bibles. We haven't heard yet if anyone came out to help her but sure hope so. We are thankful to have survived another week and thankful for everyone that showed up this week to help. Without volunteers we would never get out of this office!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Not Quite

Carol, Cindy and I worked today until 1:00 pm but didn't finish. We had to make the decision to stop and just walk away hoping the Thursday group can finish up. We had over 500 names to enter all wanting Bibles.
 Carol labeled and stuffed the studies that hadn't been finished on Tuesday then worked on filling some of the boxes.
Does it seem to be a pattern of not getting done? Well this will probably change pretty quickly, the first batch of new Bibles will be going out tomorrow and if the reaction is anything like the phone call I took today the recipients are not going to be happy. A chaplain from Texas called to ask for a case of Bibles. When he was told we no longer have the giant print study Bibles but can send these new paper back ones, he was quick to tell me, "never mind." they really want the other ones, they can read them in their cells and the enjoy the study questions and maps. Pray for this program!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Great Group

We were more than blessed today with a great group of CHEERFUL volunteers. The office was filled with the sound of happy voices as we all worked together to get the mail processed.
 Above Mary, Glenna and Leona jumped right in to start opening the studies. Below they were joined by Shirley, Eva Jean and Vonnie. On the other table were the readers Kathy, David, Marvin and mom. Chuck and Marvin L were working on the third table. 

And just in case you think there is no room for YOU, check out the picture below: Poor Jeanette was all alone working in the other room at the big table.
We broke for lunch at noon
but went right back to work and were able to finish up the studies by 2:00 pm. We had a LOT of mail but everything worked and work went smooth as silk. What an amazing day with a great group of people. They ALL deserve a HUGE thank you. They not only do the work they make this work fun. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Wonderful Gift

We had a busy day at the Berean office. The last of the big black beautiful Bibles were mailed out today. We are not sure of the count but probably around 400 of them. Over a 1000 of the new smaller paper back Bibles were delivered today for next week. Below Timmy and Justin have just finished helping stack them in the office.
In the other room Anna and Eva Jean were sealing envelopes while Roma worked on removing labels from the Bibles that have been returned.
 We need to remove the post office labels that are placed on top of the prisoner label so we can record that the Bible has been returned. This happens when the prisoner is transferred before the Bible reaches him or her. We try to send Bibles out the week we get the request but sometimes the prisoner will write for a Bible then get transferred that week. That is not good, they don't get their Bible and we have to pay postage both ways if we want the Bible back.
 Deb, Rachel, Diane, Rebekah, Justin and Marie were working on stuffing, wrapping and labeling the Bibles in the main room.
 We completely ran out of stamped envelopes so Timothy was put to work stamping enough that we could get the mailing out today.
 We recieved a very nice gift today from Single Focus Weekend. They collected 2400 stamps and donated these to our program. That is a value of $1056.00! What a wonderful gift and one that was really appreciated. We go through stamps so quickly it is hard to keep enough in the office to get the mailing out each week. A BIG Thankyou to all who came to the Single Focus Weekend and brought stamps.

 Diane is opening the gift in the picture below.
 Jordan was watching the work going on just a bit bored. 
 He finally just decided to start 'helping' his mom get the Bibles stuffed. 
Below Chuck and Diane are reading the letters that came in today. 
 We had a very productive morning and were finished in time to enjoy a nice lunch before noon. Thanks everyone we survived another week. As the big Bibles are now all gone we need to come up with some kind of an explanation letter to send next week when we send the small paper back Bibles out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday Workers

Since we just couldn't get done yesterday with the tremendous amount of mail today was catch up day. Thankfully Carol and Cindy came to help. Carol had to fold studies in order to fill the studies as the boxes were empty. Below she is working on the 9-12. We needed a couple hundred of those.
 Cindy is hard at work entering the Bible request letters in the picture below.
 Around 1:00 pm we needed to quit for the day. Carol is holding the box she filled with studies to be mailed out but all of these still need to be sealed. What a good job for the Thursday workers. 
 We have 2 other boxes full and ready to be mailed that are already sealed. Below Cindy is sitting in front of FOUR empty letter holders, ALL of them were full when we started this morning.
We were thrilled when the last letter was entered. Tomorrow will be the last day we send out the big Bibles. We have a pallet load of the smaller Bibles scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Any one feel like working out at 9:00 am? It is a good physical work out and we don't charge a thing! Like Marvin says, "working here is like working out at Gold's Gym without the L.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Abundance of Mail

Our cup runneth over, well maybe not the cup but the mail sure was today. We had another record and this time didn't even try to finish. Thankfully we have a few willing volunteers coming in tomorrow to help finish. Check out those busy workers in the pictures below

 Stephanie and Israel brought in our lunch today. Her sister Kristin helped provide the meal. This was such a welcome break today and we were thankful for such a good noon day meal.

I am sorry to report that this will be the last week of providing the large print big black beautiful KJV Bibles. Once these are gone we are not going to be ordering more. Instead the Berean board found a smaller Bible with a paper back cover. The cost is much less per Bible and we just cannot afford to buy or mail the thousands of large print Bibles requested each month.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

650 Bibles Mailed

The number 650 doesn't seem huge until one takes into the account of exactly how much work it IS to stuff, wrap, label, stamp and load that many Bibles. First we needed to get the Bibles delivered and into the office. We had a great chain gang line going.
We didn't have enough of the 1-4 lessons folded for stuffing so Eva Jean and Chuck are frantically folding them for stuffing in the video above and in the pictures below.

 Edie and Marie are preparing another set of 4 for stuffing. 
 After the Bibles were all unloaded came the real work. Tiffany, Chuck, Diane, Rebekah and Vonnie were hard at work stuffing, wrapping and labeling while David Jacob and Rachel loaded them into the vans. Today we needed two vans for hauling, it was just too many Bibles for one van to hold.
 Roma was busy in the other room working on the studies that came in today's mail. 
 While Diane R was reading the letters. She was the only reader today but kept up just fine. 
 By the time we finished each van held 325 Bibles. We know this because we only had 650 Bible stamps and actually had 655 request this week so 5 of these prisoners will have to wait until next week before their Bible gets sent out. 
 In the picture below Eva Jean, Roma and Edie are busy working on the studies.
 Today was my birthday so the boss made me go through the lunch line first. It was a great birthday, so very productive and all these wonderful volunteers came to my party!
We had a big celebration when we finished. We not just survived the week we finished it out with a bang!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Another Record

Today's mail was another record for Berean. It was so much mail, even with all of the volunteers we didn't finish opening it until after lunch.
 Everyone sat right down and jumped right into opening and processing this huge amount of mail. One of the prisoners today sent along 2 pages of hand written religious jokes. That is exactly how he worded the letter.  We gave that letter to David. We only took the time to listen to one of the jokes and it wasn't religious or funny but had us laughing hysterically listening to the incredulous sound of David's voice as he tried to read it. 
 There were so many letters,  besides our usual readers, Marvin, David and Kathy, Jan also helped with reading. We were missing mom, that's probably why we didn't get done before lunch. Mom is visiting Washington DC with Carolee and mom's sister Aunt Jinnie.
 Joyce and Jan brought the lunch today, wow it tasted even better than it looked. Check out those colors! A big thank you to both of those ladies.

 After lunch it was right back to work. We weren't able to finish today but Kathy and David took home a big box full of studies that needed to be sealed then mailed. They offered to work on those tonight.
With the thousands of requests coming in, the Berean board felt they could no longer supply prisoners with the expensive big Bibles. They found a cheaper Bible that can be mailed out for 50 cents LESS than the big ones, plus the cost of these Bibles are LESS than half of the cost of the big ones. Unfortunately they are paper back and the font size is not as large. We are disappointed and are pretty sure the prisoners will be too but with the amount of Bibles we are sending out the board felt we must find a way to cut cost. Diane is trying to find sleeves that will fit them, we will start mailing them out as soon as the sleeves come in, probably around 2 weeks. I've asked Marvin to come up with an explanation letter to send with the Bibles so the prisoner that receives it will understand we did not make a mistake and sent the wrong Bible, this is the best we can do.