Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Thankful for Heat

 When we arrived at the Berean office it was really cold inside. Not quite as bad as outside as that was 19 degrees. Skip called Meisters. Caleb was on a call in Dunlap but we were assured he would be there by 10:00 am. We worked with coats on.  Below Kathy read a couple letters from inmates.

We were almost finished when Caleb arrived but he wasn't able to get the furnace going. He told us we were out of propane. Marvin went out to check the tanks and they were empty. Gary drove down to where Chip was to let him know and Chip left right away to come open a valve to fill the tank. I'm not sure if Marvin or Skip stayed around to turn the furnace back on but thankfully nothing froze up during this cold spell. It just made us that much more thankful that next week we will have heat.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Getting Discouraged

 Mom and I arrived at the Berean office about 8:50 am and by the time we walked in the other volunteers had finished opening all of the mail. There was so little mail that we really are getting discouraged. So many of the studies we sent to Texas are returned. Wisconsin is now going to the same procedure of all mail going to a processing facility then loaded unto a tablet. The prisoners cannot get the studies and if they do end up getting the studies via the tablet there is no way to send them back for grading. If we don't get the study to grade we cannot send them the next set of studies. We are resorting to prayer and hopefully something or someone can arrive to solve this problem. Below are a few pictures of our work today. 

Above Skip has asked Siri to find a zip code while below Vonnie is giving Kathy another letter to read. Kathy was busy, she had many letters to read and answer. She was missing our other reader Leila who is gone for a few weeks. 
Above mom is stamping our return address on each envelop while Marvin checks out the power supply for a lap top. 
Above Vonnie and Skip are preparing the Bibles going out today while Below Skip is ready to take them out to the car.  Shirley who brought in home made caramels which we really enjoyed, was  stuffing envelopes and then folding studies. She took a break and had a gingerbread cookie specially baked by Melanie.
Those cookies were delicious! I asked Skip if he had one and was shocked when he replied, "no" and then came the "I had 2!"
I think he is asking Pat to get the recipe from Melanie.  A BIG thank you to Melanie G.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Berean Today

 Mom and I left early for the Berean office but went the wrong way. We got stuck in construction on Cameron lane and had to wait quite a while. The problem was 116 was down to one lane while they took up the black top with that big yellow machine.

By the time we arrived at 8:50 am almost everyone was already there hard at work.

As we didn't have a lot of mail the ladies decided to do a deep clean and did they ever work. All the unused boxes were flattened then Ray took them out to his car to dump in the recycle bin. 
They worked until the other office was about done then had some coffee and pumpkin roll cake filled with creamy cheese cake in the middle. Below is the video of our morning.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Youngest Volunteer

 We had real treat at the Berean office this morning. Benj and Kristen came and brought their youngest Kesli to help out. 

We loved having her and maybe she will come back again. We also loved having Benj and Kristen. We were very short of readers as both Leila and Kathy weren't feeling well. Benj is great on the computer so he took my place and I worked on other jobs. There wasn't a lot of mail so Vonnie and Shirley wrapped Bibles.
Benj and Skip entered the studies and the Bible requests. Mom and Kesli stampped envelopes. Marvin and Kristen worked on letters and Bruce ran the postage machine and refilled the ink on our stamps.

Kesli got her treat before the rest of us as she had to go to school.
We enjoyed today but would sure like to figure out how to get Bibles to prisoners in Texas. We are also not getting a lot of studies back from the state of Texas. Below is a video of some of our day.
If you want to help we could really use prayers. There must be a way to get prisoners Bibles we just need to find that way.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Good Amount

 We were very pleasantly surprised by how much mail we had this morning. Enough to keep everyone busy opening. 

The other wonderful surprise was someone...Lukey maybe.. left us delicious home made decorated cookies. They were exceptional, I had TWO. A big thank you to whoever left them.  Before we ate our cookies though we had to finish the work. Below some of the group is working on Bibles, Marvin is printing out Bible studies.  Some were stuffing envelopes and mom was sealing the envelopes.

Jerry stopped in to pick up studies for Tazwell county jail.
Below is a video of some of the activities.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023


 We had a disappointing morning. Every Bible we sent anywhere in the state of Texas was returned even though we sent it to the address they gave us. We really do not know how to get Bibles to prisoners in that state at this time. Skip is trying to call each chaplain but there are so many jails and prisons we have been sending them to it is a huge job. Kathy and Leila had to spend quite a lot of time writing each prisoner of a returned Bible why we cannot supply the Bible. I was busy on the computer and only took two pictures today. 

The video below was taken at a few different times. The end of the video is Marvin telling us about his trip to Israel and a more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Glad to Be There

 Mom, Aunt Jinnie and I arrived at the Berean office before 9:00 am to find a good group of volunteers already hard at work. We joined right in. 

After our 9:30 am prayer Marvin told us a little about his amazing trip to Israel. That is included in the video below:
We are now holding all Bible requests for anywhere in the state of Texas. We had 10 Bibles come back this week. Skip has been calling those jails and prisons to see if he can ask if we can send the Bibles directly to the Chaplain and have the Chaplain deliver the Bibles.  Each week Joan stops in to pick up studies to be graded by her and others. She actually prays over each study before she delivers it to the grader. 
Vonnie had a lot of work today getting packets ready to mail out for Skip. Sharon and Aunt Jinnie were helping her.
Kathy made the decorated brownies for our treat today.
They were really delicious.  We had a good morning and were thrilled to be there. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Desperate For the Good News

When mom and I pulled in at 8:50 am there were already volunteers there working. Mom went right to work stamping our return address on 500 envelopes. Most of the mail had already been opened but the Bible studies needed to be interfered on the computer. 

It is amazing how everyone that comes knows what to do and is happy to do it.

Kathy is always the last to finish as she has to read and answer some very hard letters. Today she and Skip were arguing which one needed to take the 12 page letter home to read. It was all in fun and Kathy answered that one by writing to him that we are sending him and Bible and a study.
I am so grateful for these wonderful volunteers that so willingly give of their time to help with this program. So many prisoners are desperate for the good news of Jesus and we are very glad to share this good news with them. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Another good day.

 Mom and I were stuck in a construction zone again. We had a long wait as it was a 3 way. It WAS a typical government crew. They had 3 people holding the stop signs, 7 people standing watching the hold get dug and 1 person using the excavator.  No wonder our taxes in Illinois are so high.

By the time we arrived the other volunteers had all the mail opened and were already moving to the other room.  Mom was working on stamping the reply address on each envelop while Sharon worked on the labels.
Shirley was using the postage machine, Vonnie and Shirley were refilling studies and folding more then started on Bibles.
Skip finished the studies, finished the Bible requests then went out to help with the Bibles.
Leila was here and  reading letters but had to leave before we arrived. Kathy was busy answering letters.  
It was a good morning even though we had some problems with the Texas studies and Bible requests.
Aunt Jinnie called just as we were finishing up and visited a little bit. We were all glad to hear from her.  Joan came in to get some studies to grade just as Kathy was asking if I knew where this pamphlet came from.  It came from Joan so in the video below she and Joan are discussing the pamphlet. 
Today was another good day at the Berean office.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Just Really Thankful

 We were very busy at the Berean office this morning. There was a lot of studies that needed to be processed along with the letters. One of the letters that came in today was 5 pages long with small hand writing.  Mom and I arrived a few minutes late and everyone was already hard at work.

Skip was hard at work entering the studies and printing labels.
Kathy and Leila were the readers. Marvin was looking up addresses for us along with answering letters. Shirley ran the postage machine after the studies were opened. Chuck was busy applying the labels on the envelopes.
Mom was stamping the return address on each envelope in the picture below while Skip is getting the Bibles ready to mail out. Vonnie and Sharon are folding studies for the boxes.
Shirley is separating the studies then stuffing the next four lessons in the second envelop.
Below is just a short video of some of our morning.
Joan arrived and had a gift for me. A highchair for the new barn.
When we were getting ready to leave we had to admire the flowers and pumpkins Lukie arranged.

We were really thankful for everything that got done today.


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

We Could Use Prayers

 We had some very nice letters come today at the Berean office. Sharon read one to us and Leila the second. 

That was a bright spot on a hard morning. The state of Texas is going to a new mailing system, all Bibles and studies have to be sent to a 3rd party where they put it on a tablet then give the tablet to the prisoner. Well this just won't work for our program as the studies need to be filled out and mailed back to us for grading. Marvin called the Texas prison system to ask how to handle the studies and after a lot of discussion they told us to send the studies out marked media mail. We did that and those studies were returned. The mail rooms of the prisons are not allowing them to go through. We took all the studies that came back, gave them each the new address we were given. Marvin made 2 sets of labels to go on each envelope. One for the grader since the address on the study will not match the address on the envelope then another for the prison mail rooms explaining per their order we are sending them and they cannot be downloaded onto a tablet. I don't remember the exact wording but hopefully this will work. Below Marvin is working on writing the labels while Leila reads the letters.
Things were a little chaotic for a bit but we got it all done.

We are praying these studies AND the Bibles mailed out today will reach the prisoner.  The prisoners themselves do not realize that we now have to send the study and the requested Bible to a 3rd party and hopefully the 3rd party based in Dallas, Texas will not hold for weeks or months before passing them along.  These studies and Bibles are going to many different jails and prisons in Texas at many different cities. We sure could use prayers for this program.