Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Harder and Harder

 We had another good morning at Berean. We all stop work each Tuesday at 9:30 am to pray for the prisoners asking for Bibles, doing the studies and for the volunteers here. After the prayer we usually listen to each other and share concerns or problems. Today Marvin shared a story about a dog rescue and then we talked about the building of the temple. 

Below are a few pictures of our morning. Kathy is hard at work answering the letters, Skip was busy entering the Bible studies but turned around to answer a question.
Vonnie, Shirley, Sharon and Shirl moved to the other room to fold studies and fill envelopes and boxes. 
Marvin looks at the returned mail to see if it was returned because of our mistake or another reason.
Once piece was really discouraging. A couple weeks ago he called someone from Texas to ask how we are going to be able to get the studies to the prisoners with the new mail policy coming out. The person from Texas told us, just put Media Mail on it and it will go through so that is exactly what we did. This week it came back with the same sticker: Return to sender refer to TDCJ's Mail Policy
Unfortunately the other returned mail came back with that same sticker.  Below Marvin was trying to find a place to post this new regulation.
It is getting harder and harder to follow the many new rules and regulations.  Wayne stopped in after he finished mowing. 
We are always glad to see and talk to Wayne. If it wasn't for him we wouldn't be working here.  
Aunt Jinnie shared the video of Spark and Mike when they were visiting the Woodcliff Lake Church in New Jersey.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Abundance of Mail

 We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Berean office to see an abundance of mail.  As we arrived just after 9:00 am there were already a lot of volunteers hard at work. At 9:30 am after the prayer Marvin gave us an update on his trip to Michigan. 

Skip left for Sam's club to pick up 4 boxes of envelopes and another box of paper as we were short of both of those. Last week he sent 240 Bibles out to chaplains and this week he put Sharon to work getting 10 sets of each of the basic and 5 sets of each of the intermediate studies for the Tazewell county jail. A bit later Jerry showed up to pick up more studies. It turned out he was picking up for the men in that jail while Sharon was getting the studies for the women in that jail.  We really need a stronger rack that can hold 300-500 of each of the 50 studies. We can only put in a hundred as the rack can't hold the weight of more. Jerry made a rack for Tazewell for 100 studies. IF Skip can't find a strong one for sale I'm pretty sure Jerry would be willing to make one for this office. Once the studies were finished most of us migrated out to the front office to work on wrapping Bibles. 
We were kept busy today. Below is a video of our morning.
We had a couple Bibles returned this week with the note this prison does not accept leather bound books. Our Bibles are not leather. Marvin wrote a letter to appeal their decision. Hopefully we will hear back and these prisoners can have their Bible. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Great Help

 Ruth and I brought mom and Aunt Jinnie to the Berean office and arrive at 8:50 am only to find everyone else was already there and working. Skip, Vonnie and Bruce were already working on getting the first set of Bible studies ready for Skip to send with the 120 Bibles he was sending to some chaplains. Ruth and mom joined them and went right to work.

Leila was the only reader until Aunt Jinnie went in to help her with the many letters today.
Below Chuck is working on getting the labels on the studies that came in for grading.
Skip was getting the address labels on the Bibles going out today.
Below is a short video of some of our work.
Marvin was in Michigan with Spark and Rhonda and Skip was working on the Bibles for the chaplains while I was the only one on the computer so not many pictures were taken.  Mom remembered at 9:30 am to announce it was time for our prayer. The alarm on Marvin's phone goes off at 9:30 am but he wasn't here so we were glad that mom was clock watching. When Aunt Jinnie finished reading the letters she went to work helping Chuck with the studies. By 11:00 am we were done and enjoying our coffee with a pumpkin/pecan dessert. Skip took the Bibles and studies down to the post office. It was a productive good morning with great helpers.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Harder and Harder

 To send Bibles and Bible studies to prisoners are getting harder and more complicated as prisons and jails  make new rules to try to stop drugs from coming into them. We had 2 Bibles come back today with the notice No Leather Bibles allowed. We do not give out leather Bibles, the covering is a fake leather and very obviously fake. One only needs to look at it to see it isn't leather and yet ours were rejected. Then we got a notice from the prison in Beeville Texas that we can no longer send Bible studies, all mail must now go to a processing place to be digitalized then it will be placed on a tablet and given to the prisoner. Well how in the world will a prisoner be able to fill out the study and mail it back if it is only on a tablet. Marvin was finally able to talk to a 'real' person about this problem. We are going to try to send the studies out stamped media mail. We shall see. With the Bibles that came back today we were able to send them paper back Bibles. 

Skip wasn't here today so I was busy on the computer to take very many pictures.  Below Marvin is trying to find a phone number to call about the new Texas policy.
Below Bruce and Aunt Jinnie are getting the Bibles ready to be mailed out from the request today while the rest work on folding studies for stuffing.
We didn't have a lot of mail and were able to finish before 11:00 am giving us plenty of time for a treat. Below Sharon is holding the delicious pecan rolls.
As Skip is gone Aunt Jinnie and I took the Bibles and studies to the Hanna City post office for mailing on our way home. Hopefully we can figure out how to get around the new regulations and be able to get prisoners Bibles and studies.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Enjoying the Work

 We were a loud bunch of volunteers today but really got a lot done. Check out the video below: 

We were able to get Bibles wrapped and mailed out today. Below Bruce is labeling the Bibles to go out while Shirley, Vonnie and Sharon are folding studies. We go through a lot of the first packet of studies as each Bible we send out has that inside.

Marvin was given some real stumpers today. When we cannot figure out who or where a prisoner is we hand the study to Marvin who will do an internet search. There are a few times we have to give up but most of the time Marvin can find their correct spelling and or their correct number and address. Leila just didn't know what to do with one of them, handed it to Marvin and we were really pleased when he gave her the correct address.
Skip has been doing the director job since Bill died trying keep up with sending chaplain's Bibles and lessons. It is amazing how he has been able to keep this office running. Diane and mom worked on envelopes and folding studies today while Bruce ran the postage machine for all of us.
Below Sharon, Shirley and Vonnie are hard at work wrapping Bibles while the other Shirley processes all of the intermediate studies.
We ended our work with sitting around the table visiting with each other while enjoying a treat of cheese cake and fresh blueberries. Paula joined us today and told us about when she became a Christian as a sophomore in highschool. We enjoyed hearing her story and shared some of ours. We sure enjoy volunteering together at this office and appreciate so much the willingness of those that come to work.