Monday, December 30, 2019

Wrong Day but Great Volunteers

Our Berean day is always a Tuesday but with New Years Eve landing on a Tuesday and so many of our volunteers had plans that day we decided to meet on Monday this week.  We had 270 studies come in that needed to be processed and 71 Bible requests and with the 5 of us working we had everything done, including lunch by 1:30 pm. Glenna not only had to open the mail she also had to run the postage machine.
 Marvin got almost all of the letters read while Mark and I were processing studies. Once we finished with the studies Mark helped Marvin read letters. 
 Chuck was kept busy applying labels and we sure had a lot of those.

We were all pleased when the last envelope was sealed and the last Bible wrapped, labeled, stamped and boxed up for Bill. Bill arrived to haul everything down to the post office around 1:15 pm and caught us eating lunch.  After lunch Marvin worked on the certificates and backing up the computers.  What a good productive day!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Check Back After Christmas

We had another good day at the Berean office getting lots of mail processed and quite a few Bibles mailed out. Marvin couldn't make it today as there were baptisms at the jail. Mark also couldn't make it as he wasn't home yet from Gulf Shores. When Shirley walked in she was told that she had to be a letter reader today.  She wasn't happy but still smiled and went right to work.
 She was very pleased when Kathy showed up. The two of them got all the letters read today.
We were very glad for each person that volunteered today. 
 Vonnie, Chuck, Ray, Glenna, Shirley and Joyce were busy opening and processing the studies.
Bill was busy using the postage machine.
 As soon as the studies were ready for stuffing the group headed out where Robin had everything organized. Robin also brought in a delicious treat of home made candies. 
We had everything done by noon and enjoyed a nice lunch together before heading out.  There will be  NO WORK at the BEREAN OFFICE on DEC 24th.  We will try to fit one more volunteer day before the end of the year so check back after CHRISTMAS.  Praying everyone has a wonderful Christmas day celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Small Group Big Results

We had a smaller group of volunteers than usual but we got a lot done. Of course it helped that Robin came. Below Marvin is showing her which printer to use with that computer to print out more studies. Robin keeps our bins full and that is not a small job.
Ray, Shirley and Shirley opened and processed the study mail.
 While Marvin and Jeanette read letters. 
 Bill is always glad to see everyone helping out. He takes all the studies and Bibles to the post office for mailing.  Today he told us how he was able to save thousands of dollars. We needed to order more Bibles and he was on the phone with the publisher and got a pretty decent price for the Bibles we have been sending out but just felt that he needed to wait. Not long after he got on the website and found these same Bibles were placed on sale with a savings of $1.50 off the price of each Bible he was quoted. He ordered 7000 of them. We should have enough Bibles for a while.
As soon as all the studies were all opened and labels applied they went into the other room where Robin had everything organized for stuffing envelopes and wrapping Bibles. 

We easily got done by noon today. We were enjoying our lunch when Lukie came in with a big treat. The TAG group had ordered too much food and she was here to share it with us. We enjoyed the thumbprint cookies and special brownies. A big thank you to the TAG ladies!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Flying Fingers

We had a decent amount of mail this week which kept everyone busy all morning.  When Marvin's alarm went off we could hardly believe it was already 9:30 am and time for our prayer.  Bill happened to walk in just then so we asked him to have the morning prayer.

 Kathy had a very nice letter come in so she took the time to read it aloud to us. 
 The studies were all processed by 10:30 am so Vonnie had the group start wrapping Bibles. 
 We had 57 Bible request come in today.
Those fingers were flying on stuffing and wrapping. It was Ray's job to seal the sleeve and that is done by removing the back of the tape. His fingers were flying so fast that one of the backing went flying into his mouth.
It almost looked like someone was trying to tape his mouth shut. We all had a good laugh, not laughing AT Ray but WITH Ray. Below Marvin and Mark are working on the problem letters. 
 We had everything done by 11:00 am so had an early lunch which gave us plenty of time to visit. What a blessing this office is on Tuesday morning. We really have a lot of fun while serving at this small part of the ministry.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Many Hands

We had a very good group of volunteers this morning at the Berean office.  One of the volunteers went over and above by bringing lunch for everyone. A special thanks to Shirley for the delicious meal so lovingly prepared. Another happy surprise was the return of Robin who had been taking a break from helping us to play with her new grand daughter each week so the parents could get the crops in. When I arrived Robin was hard at work wrapping Bibles.

 The table below was busy opening the studies
 Not pictured was the table behind them. Chuck and Jan were busy applying labels.  Benji was able to come today and helped on the computer. We had almost 90 Bible requests to enter along with maybe 300 studies so I was very glad for the help. Marvin and Kathy were the readers. 
 Marvin had us listen while he read the letter below. 
 The man who was a former prisoner wrote to tell us how much he appreciated the Berean volunteers and specially Big Mike.  He is now at a half way house and a bunch of the men there would like a Bible and would like to do the study.  Not only did this prisoner turn his life around he is helping others to do the same.  Below Jeanette was handing paper work to Benj her nephew. 
 We are thrilled Ray is back. Ray takes the summers off but when the bad weather arrives he comes to help here. I think he is what they would call a bad weather worker. 
We had a very good day, a great lunch and wonderful fellowship as we all worked together. I sure enjoy Tuesdays and am very thankful for the many hands that make light work.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Best Gift

We had another really good day at the Berean office processing the mail, answering letters and sending out Bibles. We also had a good amount of GREAT volunteers here to do the work. Not all volunteers are pictured, we were short a couple of our computer men (Marvin and Mark) and I was pretty busy trying to do the computer work so that not many pictures were taken.

Bill was busy ordering another shipment of Bibles. What we have in this office now is all we have available and we sure don't want to run out.
 As soon as all the mail was opened and all the labels applied Glenna went into the other room to start stuffing the next set of studies.
Jeanette is busy with one of the many steps involved in making sure the prisoner gets the correct study sent to him out of the 50 lessons in the basic program. There are another set of 50 in the next set of lessons.
In the picture below everyone is filling envelopes. 
 Kathy, Dave and Leila were the main readers of letters, almost all the studies that come in with a letter got to Shirley. Below Kathy and Leila are discussing what to do with a problem letter.
 I didn't get any pictures of the group getting the Bibles ready for mailing as I was still working on the entering the names and addresses of all those wanting a Bible. We sent out 48 Bibles today. It is SUCH a pleasure to work with willing happy volunteers. This office rings loud with laughter and fellowship as we work together making sure a prisoner gets the best gift of all.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Lots of Mail

We had quite a few problems when we arrived at the Berean office today but that didn't stop us from getting the job done.  When we arrived the computers wouldn't turn on. That turned out to be the power strip. Marvin checked the breakers but they were all working so he just plugged the computers directly into an outlet. At 9:30 am when Marvin's alarm went off for the morning prayer we still had not printed a single label.  Once we finally got power to the computers we though we were in business until we went to print out the first envelope. The printer was not communicating with the computers.  Bill brought in the internet modem and between Marvin, Mark and Bill got the printer back online and communicating. Below they are busy getting everything working. Thankful for the willingness of these 3.
The rest of us worked on opening the studies and reading letters.

 As soon as the last study was processed Vonnie got everyone organized to start stuffing and wrapping Bibles.
 With everyone's help we mailed out over 100 Bibles today and got 3 or 4 more boxes ready for mailing next week when the requests come in. 
We enjoyed Chili for lunch but that wasn't the 'real' treat. Mark brought in an amazing dessert from his wife Cathy. That was so good some of us even had seconds. The left overs were taken to Diane's office. A special thank you to ALL who came today to help with this ministry.  The prisoners wait anxiously for their graded study to come back and without all of these amazing volunteers their wait would be much longer.  Roanoke asked for all the studies this week for grading and those were dropped off at the shop for the trip out to the Roanoke AC church.  Today was a GOOD day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Welcome Surprises

Roanoke Apostolic Christian, well random people that attend there and help grade Bible studies, gave us a very welcome surprise this morning with a big bag of stamps plus $30.00.  We all rejoice when that happens as postage is one of our biggest expenditures.
 The other welcome surprise was that box of paper clips. Karen Hoffstetter found that box at a garage sale for $1.00! What is kind of amazing is I was a little worried about having enough paper clips last time we worked. A BIG BIG thank you to all those who donated those who donated the stamps and Karen for finding those paper clips. It really is amazing how needed both were and how much they help.  Below Vonnie is getting ready to put the folded studies in the self addressed stamped envelope Berean supplies for the prisoners so they can send their studies back to be graded. 
We had a lot of mail today and were able to fill 94 Bible requests and over 250 studies. Thankfully we had plenty of volunteers to help with all of that.
 Benji works for Caterpillar and that company gives Benji a day off to volunteer. We were thrilled when he came to help us. That was another welcome surprise.  
 Mom was back from Gulf Shores and brought some of our lunch today. We were thankful for that surprise too. 

 We encourage all prisoners doing the study to put the papers in a stack then fold them in thirds so when we open it we don't have to unfold each individual paper. Mom always makes a note on the study if they come back folded individually instead of together. Shirley is holding a set of 4 studies that were folded longways then sideways and stuffed in an envelope.  We laughed when she tried to give it to mom to open. That way sure was a time waster for someone trying to open 250 pieces of mail. 
 We didn't have enough Bibles wrapped to supply all the requests that came in today so Vonnie organized an assembly line to get that job done. 
We all had to work overtime today. I didn't arrive home until 2:00 pm and when I left the Berean office Marvin was still working on the certificates. Not everyone that worked today is pictured, we had some that had to leave before the camera was taken out. This was a big day but such a good day with all of our unexpected happy surprises.