Founded in 1996 by brothers Ed and Paul Meister. The ministry serves in prisons and jails all over the United States, Romania and Russia. Almost all money donated to this program goes toward Bibles, postage, envelopes, Post office charges, paper, and supplies for prisoners.
We had a pretty amazing day at the Berean office. It started with Marvin opening the mail and finding this:
In case you can't read the letter it says: Thank You so much for sending a large print Bible when I was in prison. I still have the Bible but in all the movements I lost a lot of pages. The Shepherd's Psalm 23 is my favorite.
ps I serve the Lord because He first loved me!
Not too much later Marvin opened another letter with a $3.00 check from a prisoner from Taylorville, IL. He wanted to pay his tithe to Berean.
These two letters weren't the only amazing things happening. We also got a letter from a prisoner who stated he was going to commit suicide after he was put in prison but instead he found the Lord. BUT..that too isn't the other amazing thing that happened. For the last amazing part of the day you will need to read to the end of this post. We had a good group come today. Our readers were Dave and Marvin. Our newly weds Shirley and Ray almost always show up AND sit together but that doesn't keep them from working. Vonnie and Glenna both know exactly what to do and go right to work as soon as they arrive.
Bill is our servant director. He will take the time to make coffee and serve it to the other volunteers as he is receiving and making calls to prisons. Bill is always finding cheaper and better ways to get the Bibles to the prisoners and saves Berean thousands of dollars of postage.
Marvin and Jeanette are siblings. Jeanette has a heart of gold and Marvin thinks she may be just a little too gullible. We wouldn't have her any other way. She loves grading lesson's 17-20 and today she took all of those home after we finished our work today.
See all of those boxes on the table in the picture below? Robin brought those back from her house today. She spent hours of her time at home this week folding all of those lessons and putting a self addressed stamped envelope with each group of 4 lessons so they would be ready to send to the prisoners this week.
Mom was able to come help today and because of her help we got lunch on time. Mom is so good at making sure the lunch is ready to be served as we finish up. Below she was applying labels to envelopes while Shirley works on the intermediate studies.
Now for the most amazing thing that happened today. Last week Robin opened our last package of the sleeves we place the Bibles in for mailing. Diane was sent a text that we would need more mailing sleeves. The sleeves came in yesterday but the post office told Diane they were too heavy to deliver and they would need to be picked up. The post office doesn't open until 9:00 am here in Hanna City and I needed to be at the Berean office by 9:00 am as the volunteers arrive then. I was hoping we had enough sleeves to finish today's mailing but had no idea how many sleeves were left nor how many Bible requests would come in today. Robin counted the sleeves and announced we only had 67 sleeves for today's requests. By the time we finished entering the requests and printed the labels out there were exactly 67! Everyone that requested a Bible this week was sent a Bible today. Now THAT is AMAZING!
Today at the Berean office we actually had more request letters than Bible studies come in.
Kathy and Marvin were trying to get the letters all read by lunch time but were falling behind until Jeanette came in to help.
Ray, Vonnie, Joyce and Janet had to get the studies processed and did that job without any other help.
Below is just some of the mail.
Robin worked in the other room getting the Bibles ready for mailing. She had every Bible in the place wrapped and ready for labels but was short exactly a case. We had 140 request come in and only 120 Bibles. Bill is going to grab more cases so these last can get out quickly.
We broke for lunch then finished the Bible request after lunch while Marvin and Bill were working on the certificates and a few other problems. We had a couple interesting letters come on, one from a Muslim man that thought we should all convert to 'his religion, as Islam is the religion of peace", basically he wrote that this country is terrible. What is kind of ironic about that letter is he was writing it from prison. Such a shame to be so deceived. Jesus said LOVE your enemies, not cut off their heads or blow up the innocent. He didn't ask for a Bible but we probably should have sent him one any way.
We had a full tub of mail today to process and thankfully had a big group of volunteers come in to help process it. Robin and Bill went right to work making copies which were very needed. The computer below is used to send the correct study to the printer and almost as if by magic the copies start printing.
Shirley and Vonnie were kept busy opening the plethora of mail.
Joyce and Jan also helped open the mail.
Marvin and Chuck were put to work applying labels to envelopes as soon as the labels were printed.
The new studies were stuffed for mailing in the other room.
Kathy is reading letters, Jeanette is applying labels. Not pictured was Bruce who was working on the back table with the postage machine. The USPS raised the price on first class mail making a lot of extra work for Bruce who runs the machine on Tuesdays.
Leila was the other reader today. Between Leila and Kathy they had all the letters read by noon.
Kathy worked through lunch as there were so many letters to answer. I had 90 Bible labels printed but then ran out of time and had to leave around 1:00 pm. I know Robin stayed late to keep printing labels and also offered to get the Bibles stuffed, wrapped, stamped, labeled and ready for mailing. I'm not sure how long she stayed but thankful that job got done.