Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mailing Out Bibles

Thursday's we typically work first on finishing the labeling of the Bibles and load them into the car or van before starting the studies. Eva Jean was the first to arrive and jumped right in putting on the postage label.
 Edie was in charge of putting the prisoner name and address label on the Bible. 
 Anna was helping with the return address label. 
As we were busy working, Wayne walked in to make sure everything is working well. Wayne is the owner of the Berean office and we are so very grateful to have the use of this perfect little building. 
  It has everything we need to get the studies and Bibles out plus a few luxuries like a big table, a small kitchenette, a bathroom, a second room that holds the computers and working tables,  lots of electrical outlets in both of the rooms, and most important plenty of parking for the many volunteers.
Roma had walked into the second room to start working on opening the studies. 
 Chuck arrived with a box. Every couple weeks he brings in a box to stuff studies into and then mails them out for grading to his sister and Brother-in-law Mim and Lynn from South Carolina and also to his daughter Judy in Indiana. 
 Below is the typical mess we make labeling and boxing up Bibles for prisoners. These were stuffed and wrapped yesterday so today we had an easy day just labeling, boxing and hauling them out to the car. 
We had a light mail day today. Chuck read the few letters that came, Roma and Eva Jean labeled the studies as soon as I had them entered and printed out, Edie organized, Anna stamped, then we all stuffed. We were able to finish around 11:00 am then went to Bob Evans for a late breakfast. Another good day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Engagement Story

David and Cindy arrived at the Berean office ready to work but before they started entering the Bible labels we asked David to tell his story.  The story of how he ended up engaged to Lanae. 
He and Lanae were announced on Sunday at the Peoria and Rockville, CT churches as David's family is from Rockville. His parents came to Peoria Sunday for the announcement and to meet Lanae and her family, and the picture below:
It was hard to keep working while listening to how God led them together. If you want to hear the story you will need to ask them, it was refreshing to see God working in their lives.  Even with that distraction they were able to enter all 123 requests from this week while Carol worked on lessons.
I was in the other room wrapping the Bibles which will be sent out tomorrow. The last label was entered around 11:00 am. Once those were printed we were ready to quit for the day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fun Times

Even though we are all busy working at the Berean office, the laughter that bursts out at any given time is infectious. It seems when one of us starts laughing the rest of the volunteers are quick to join in. One of the helpers that seem to keep us in chuckles is Marvin L. He is a riddle asker and when we give up on the answer sometimes just have to groan at his response. We also learned he really likes potato chips and brings them into the second room to snack on while opening mail. He says this is the only time he gets these unhealthy full of salt but flavorful snack as his wife Jane won't buy any. Shirley, pictured with him just had to laugh when he carried the chips in and set them down on HIS table.
Chuck is another volunteer that keeps us in stitches. Today the coffee was just a little too strong but Chuck told us it was great as he was twitching from all the caffeine. Below he is standing tall now that his hip has been replaced. It wasn't that long ago he was rolling around on the chair to do his job.
I arrived a few minutes late today, really not more than 2 minutes but the room was already full of volunteers that had already started working. Marvin is in charge of making sure the computers and monitors are all up and running. Sometimes these pieces of equipment keep him running...running for help. 
 Below Marie showed up early to enter some studies that were left from another day. Marie also keeps the copier running almost the entire time we are in the office working. We hear the constant thump thump of that machine as it spits out 130 copies a minute.
 Mom provided the lunch today. As a reward for that she was given letters to read, lots of letters. Actually those are kind of hard to read, the hand writing can be atrocious. 
 One letter came in today that was written very neatly. It was signed Dr. T-----N and this doctor was in prison asking for a Bible. Marvin said this man couldn't possibly be a doctor the hand writing was way to legible. Jeanette usually comes in a little late (she needs to get the mail opened first at her business) picks up work to do and goes into the other room to do it. Jeanette only stays for lunch if we are serving chocolate and not just any chocolate, she loves chocolate candy.
 Leila, Marvin and Kathy were the other readers today. We are very thankful for Kathy and her smart phone. So many times she needs to look up addresses or zip codes for the people entering the studies. We do not have internet here. 
 Everyone is hard at work in the picture below. Doesn't it look like this room would be quiet as everyone concentrates. Today the room was so full of chatter that I truly wished I could have had a recording.
 Marvin and Chuck are busy below applying labels to envelopes and then the envelopes to the correct studies. 
 We took our lunch break at noon. Marie and I had not finished entering so were busy working until the rest sat down then came in to join them.
 The soup today was delicious. Mom made plenty and some of us went back for seconds. This was served with crackers and cheese, grapes, strawberries, chips, pumpkin loaf, brownies and cinnamon rolls. Today we feasted!
 After lunch came the stuffing and sealing of envelopes. 
We finished up around 2:00 pm, loaded the car up with 2 mail boxes full of studies to be mailed out and 1 box of studies to be taken to church for grading. Another amazing fun day at the Berean office today. A big big thank you for the wonderful fellowship along with the amazing amount of work finished in a few hours. I thank you and the prisoners thank you even more. They look so forward to this mail, love the comments left by the graders and absolutely love getting good grades. We had one prisoner write that this was the first thing in his entire life that he had ever finished. He was so thankful for the certificate and had to tape it up on his cell wall so he could look at it each day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Loving Likker

I was right about the mail today, the Thursday group got slammed but it just didn't matter, there were enough willing workers that we were able to finish not only the studies but the Bibles were also finished, loaded and mailed. Below are a few pictures of our productive morning.
 Above is the car stuffed with Bibles all ready to mail and below is Chuck getting ready to leave. He had an appointment to get that new hip of his checked out. We were thankful for the hours he gave today. 
 After the Bibles were all loaded the ladies went into the other room to work on processing the studies. Glenna and Roma worked at the back table while Anna, Edie and Eva Jean worked at the second table.
 All the studies were stuffed around the table then came the sealing of envelopes. Below everyone is showing their likker.

We just love our likker at this office. It sure beats using a tongue when sealing hundreds of envelopes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Light Mail Day

We had an unusually light mail day today which gave us plenty of time to not only get today's work done but tomorrow's work too.  Below Eva Jean and Vonnie are hard at work opening the mail.
 Below Kathy is heading over to help Shirley while Marie reads letters and Marvin works on the computer.
Joyce arrived and just check out that smile when she was told we would be done by noon. 
 Today was Jan's birthday, she sure doesn't look 95 years old. That's probably because she isn't 95. 
 Shirley and Joyce were working on the studies in the other room.
 Below are the 4 readers of the day. Kathy, David, Marie and Marvin. They finished the letters by 11:00 am then went into the other room to separate and stuff studies. 

 Marie helped me enter the Bible labels while the others finished the studies. 
 We took a nice long lunch break then cleaned up the rooms and all headed home. 
It was nice to have an easy day but this probably means the Thursday group is going to get slammed with lots of mail. We will not be working at the Berean office Tomorrow (Wednesday) but if anyone would like to come help the Thursday group we would love to have you. We start work at 9:00 am. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Productive Thursday

We had the fabulous five work today a the Berean office. There were Bible labels to enter, print and apply and a few studies to process. Below Edie and Anna are trying to decipher some very hard to read hand writing.
 That seems to be the hardest part of this job most days. Trying to figure out what the name of the prisoner is or where he is located. Roma was busy in the other room working on filling the intermediate studies.
 As soon as I had the Bible labels printed Chuck, Anna and Edie quickly applied them to the Bibles.
 When we finished Edie and Roma took some time to clean up the room. Marie had cleaned it on Tuesday but when the Bibles are prepared for mailing we always make a mess.
We survived another week!

Wednsday Workers

We had a big surprise when walking into the Berean office on Wednesday. The table was covered with boxes of envelopes that had already had the return address stamped on. The Peoria Bible class picked up 10,000 envelopes on Sunday along with the new return stamps we had just purchased and took them to Peoria's Midwest Food bank and finished them! That is one job I really don't like to do and yet it must be done. The other surprise was the many boxes of wrapped Bibles. Princeville had Harvest Call on Friday, Martha Kay and Dana picked up Bibles and the supplies for stuffing and wrapping and wrapped hundreds of Bibles then brought them all back. Our Thursday group tomorrow is going to be thrilled.
As no work was done on Tuesday at the Berean office we weren't sure how much mail would come in and how many of our usual Tuesday workers would be able to come on Wednesday. Well all of us that did arrive were pleasantly surprised at how well Wednesday worked. Eva Jean got tired of opening the mail and started doing one of her favorite jobs, applying labels.
Joyce and Jan were put right to work opening mail while Marie entered.
 Marvin was our only reader. Chuck was put to work applying labels.
 Shirley and Glenna spent most of the morning opening mail. 
We broke for lunch then went right back to work finishing up the labels then stuffing envelopes. None of the Bible requests were entered but we were able to finish the studies. We have a full box of studies to be graded and this entire box is going to the Roanoke church. Rebekah told us that church is out of studies and hungry for more. We are so very thankful for the many willing graders. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016


We didn't have much mail thankfully since we had all those Bibles to stuff, wrap and label for mailing. Notice the stuffed full car behind Eva Jean and all those boxes up against the wall. Jacob delivered a pallet of Bibles and 10,000 envelopes this morning during the rainstorm. We all got quite wet unloading.
Eva Jean, Roma, Edie, Anna and Chuck were all kept busy. Once the Bibles were loaded into the car we all migrated to the other room to work on the studies and letters that came in today.
 Below is Anna grinning now that her work was done but the rest of ours was not. That may not be true. More than likely she was laughing at something one of the other workers said. We really do have a lot of laughs at this office.
 Chuck was our only reader today. He was able to get the letters read quickly then was put to work stuffing studies. 
 Below Edie and Roma are busy separating the studies for us to stuff. 
We survived another week. As Monday is a holiday, we will not be working on Tuesday October 11th, at the Berean office. Please if you read this spread the word to anyone you know that was planning on coming. Ellen is not able to pick up the mail until late morning Tuesday. We will plan on working on Wednesday instead.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Volunteer

A new volunteer showed up today at the Berean office. MaryJane came to help Mary G with stuffing and sealing envelopes.
These two ladies got all the stuffing and sealing done today. While Dave and I entered the Bible labels. We worked so efficiently that we were done with everything before noon.
Tomorrow we will be wrapping, labeling, and loading the Bibles for mailing.