Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Anyone Want To GRADE?

We had 2 tubs of mail today for Berean and most of them were lessons. We have 6 FULL tubs of lessons at the Peoria church all needing grading and by the end of today 2 more tubs of lessons to be take somewhere for grading. The grading isn't hard, we have answer keys, most people that start grading end up enjoying this job and we really really need help. The prisoners are now writing letters asking for their graded lessons to be returned. Some of them have been waiting over a month. PLEASE consider helping. If you are from one of the other AC churches and know of someone coming to visit here or someone from here going to visit there we would be thrilled to send a box of studies to be graded. We can email the answer keys. We know Roanoke is out and will be sending a box to them on Thursday. Princeville will probably get a new box either Tuesday or Thursday but there is more than enough lessons to spread around 10 churches. Below are a few pictures of the volunteers that came in to help today.
 Above Chuck, Marvin and Bruce are opening studies at the first table while Glenna, Vonnie and mom are working on the second table. Below Marie's father-in-law (Brian's dad) and her nephew have come all the way from Forrest, IL to help with this program. 
 The readers today were Marvin, David, and Kathy. Ruth was put to work entering on the computer. 
  In the other room Sarah, Marie and Megan were hard at work separating the studies and by the time we finished entering the last of the study labels they had almost finished them all and stuffed most of the envelopes. Justin and Timothy were keeping the copy machine running non-stop. We needed to order another 10 boxes of paper. This office churns out the studies so fast we are going through reams and reams of paper. That copy machine really gets a workout. 
 We broke for lunch just a few minutes after noon. Mom was good enough to prepare the lunch AND clean it all up after we finished eating so the rest of us could go back to work. 

We were pretty much all done by 1:00 pm except for entering the Bible requests. There were around 200 hundred of those. Thinking it would be a breeze for Diane and I to enter those on Thursday, Cindy was sent a text that maybe we could take work off tomorrow UNTIL I talked to Diane and she reminded me that I would probably not be there on Thursday. Marika and her colt may be able to come home that day and I would need to travel to the University of IL to pick them up. She went in at 4:15 am Saturday morning for an emergency C section. IF you would like to read about that awful trip in the middle of the night click HERE.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


We had very little mail today so Diane and I used the morning to clean up all the little things that had been left from Tuesday, organizing the office. Scott was here fine tuning our program, we are so going to miss him when he travels back to Brazil. Below Edie, Diane and Roma are going through things while Eva Jean and Anna open the mail that came today.

 We decided as long as we have volunteers we would wrap Bibles for another week and by the time we finished we had just about all of the Bibles wrapped. 
 Below Jessica, Chuck and Eva Jean are finishing up stuffing and wrapping Bibles. 
We really really need to thank the Wednesday crew, our job today was so easy because of that group of people. We were done with everything by 11:00 and all sat down to enjoy a slice of pie. There is just something so right about ruining one's appetite for lunch. As Spark always says, "live is short, eat dessert first."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Free Time

I stopped at Sam's club before going to the Berean office today to pick up a 5 foot table for the computer and still made it there before 9:00 am. It didn't take long for the other volunteers to arrive. Cindy was put right to work entering Bible requests.
 Carol sat right down and started filling and sealing envelopes. 
 Dave and Joyce started wrapping and labeling Bibles. 

Mom called about 9:40 and asked if I could leave these fine workers and come help her. After asking them they all felt mom should come first so with their blessing I left them. They all worked until 12:30 pm getting everything done that was lined out to do. Tomorrow should be an easy day thanks to these wonderful volunteers.  Beth had invited Skylines out to Norris lake for lunch and fishing. If you would like to see how I spent the afternoon click HERE.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fellowship of the Saints

We have an amazing fellowship and today was just a tiny part of the bonding of brothers and sisters in the Lord. These volunteers are happy to come donate their time and labor for over 62,000 prisoners. That number grows each week.
Check out the happy faces all waving to YOU in hopes YOU too will come join in and help. Consider this an invitation, if you have a few hours to donate, we could use the help. We can no longer finish the amount of work that comes, in just one day, so are now working on Wednesdays and Thursdays too.
 OK the picture above and below just may have been posed, notice how quickly some of them went right back to work in the picture below.
We really did get a lot accomplished today. There were two tubs of mail, mostly studies to be processed. Scott came in again today to work on the computer program. He is getting that program fine tuned and we can't believe how fast the computers are now working. Marvin feels we still need a new monitor which I'll have Philip order.
 It is amazing how each person enters the office, finds a chair, sits down and starts working. Below Marvin H is reading letters, Chuck and Marvin L are applying labels to envelopes, mom, Vonnie and not pictured are Glenna and Eva Jean all busy opening the studies. Marie, Justin and Timothy were all busy in the other room making thousands of copies, applying the stamps and separating the studies.
 David came today and worked on the second computer while Kathy and David read letters. 
 Megan came to help with the studies and stamps. We are always glad when we have young help. 

The morning just flew by and we were all glad when mom got the meal prepared. Our noon meal is more than just food for the body the break from work is much appreciated. The fellowship we enjoy is truly wonderful. 
Not only did mom prepare the meal she went right to work after we ate and cleaned the entire area up, while the rest of us went back to work on the studies.  This ministry has a double blessing, the prisoners are blessed by these volunteers labor and the volunteers are blessed by being able to help.

After our meal we worked for another couple hours but left plenty for the Wednesday group. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Amazing Volunteers.

We had a very good day at the Berean office today. We were able to catch up on everything outstanding and survived another week. We had some wonderful helpers. When Anni, Jessica and Luke arrived they were put straight to work labeling the Bibles and stacking them in Diane's car. 
 It isn't easy catching Luke smiling but today he was generous with his big bright smile. 
 Roma jumped right in to help. 
 In the other room Edie, Anna, Eva Jean, Chuck, Diane R, Diane H and Marvin were hard at work opening today's mail, sealing yesterdays envelopes, entering the weeks Bibles and printing out certificates for those prisoners that finished all 50 lessons. 

Roma and Marvin take the 40-50s lessons home to be graded then mail them back with the certificate. Below Roma is taking home a few to grade then mail back. Funny how important those certificates are to the prisoners. 
 The Bibles arrived shortly before 10:00 am, Jessica, Luke and Anni unloaded the entire pallet while we were busy in the other room. 

  Once our work was finished we joined in on the Bible wrapping. David would haul them out to Diane's van as soon as they got each box full. 
 We finished with everything before noon and enjoyed our lunch knowing once we finished eating and cleaning up the food we could head for home. 

I am very thankful to all of these amazing volunteers. They could be out there laying on a beach reading a book and instead work hard to supply prisoners with Bibles and studies. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED THIS WEEK!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cream of the Crop

This post is a combination of Tuesday and Wednesday's workers. We had a smaller group than usual on Tuesday and weren't able to finish by the time the last of the workers needed to leave for the day. That left a lot of work for the Wednesday ladies but that was no problem at all. Below are a few pictures of our work.
Above everyone is hard at work with Marie entering, Kathy asking her to look up a prisoner, David and mom reading letters, Jeanette applying labels, Glenna was opening the mail but had just turned to answer a question Marvin L asked, Eva Jean and Vonnie opening and processing studies. Below Chuck and Marvin stopped work just for a second to smile for the camera. We always tell people, "smile like you are having fun or others won't want to volunteer here."
 The picture below was snapped when everyone was hard at work. Speaking of the volunteers, these really are the cream of the crop. I marvel at their willingness to help those in society that are sometimes considered the worse of the worst. Not only do these people show up to help with the physical part of opening and processing mail, they pray for the prisoners, they sympathize with them,  they care for them, rejoice with them when they are released, give positive feedback on the lessons they grade, and these volunteers really are showing them how much each and every person, prisoner or not is loved by God. I'm thankful they are being used as the human hands of Jesus.
 Timothy has been making the thousands of copies needed each week. 
 Our lunch break is a welcome time to hash over the problems, the good (or bad) letters and the praises of the morning. 
  The Tuesday group was able to get all the labels on the envelopes then ran out of time. The Wednesday crew came in, separated the studies, stuffed all the studies, entered all the Bible requests and printed out the Bible labels for the Thursday group. 
 Above Carol needed to fold a few more to stuff as we ran out of a set. Below Cindy has finished entering the Bible labels at the computer then sat down and started stuffing. By the time we finished today we had 2 full tubs that still need to be sealed for mailing. Guess what Thursday group, you get to hold a sealing party once the Bibles are finished! We were missing Mary on Wednesday or I bet we would have finished. This is a special invitation to anyone who would like to join in on that sealing party,  you won't even have to use your tongue, we will give you your own likker.
A pallet of Bibles will be delivered tomorrow morning around 9:00 am and we would love some strong muscles to help unload. The pay is out of this world.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Another Productive Morning

The morning was most productive with Diane R reading letters, Edie, Roma and Eva Jean working on studies,  and Diane H and I on the computers entering. We finished opening and processing the mail by 10:00 am. 

Marie arrived with Justin and Megan and with their help plus Roma and Eva Jean we had those Bibles labeled and loaded by 10:30 am. Edie and Diane separated and filled the studies while the Bibles were finished up. Amazing how quickly work goes with many willing hands.

No one wanted to stick around for lunch so that was loaded back up and taken home. Looks like Mark will be eating a LOT of chicken Alfredo.