Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Snow Day

We awoke to 4-5 inches of snow, on the trees, on the ground and most of all on the roads. The thermometer had risen from -2 to 2 above zero so Bill Schick sent a group text to let the volunteers know that we didn’t have a lot of mail today so if they wanted to they could stay home but the office would be open today. Below are a few pictures taken this morning.

The snow was very beautiful glistening like millions of diamonds in the sunshine frosting every strand of grass, limb, and tree. Pictures just couldn’t do the true beauty justice. Especially pictures taken with a phone.

The entire drive was spent thanking the Creator who created such beauty. I was not expecting a lot of help and was pleasantly surprised when the two Bill’s came along with Kathy, Shirley, Vonnie, Chuck and Robin. We easily were able to finish the studies and even got the Bibles entered and ready to be mailed out all before lunch today.
Thankful for their willingness to drive out on a frigid snowy winter day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Last Tuesday in January

We were a little shocked this morning. Bill picked up the mail on Monday and left it at the Berean office for the volunteers that arrived early Tuesday morning. We had tub after tub of mail. By the time we had finished we counted over 600 envelopes that all had to be opened and processed. Thankfully we had a wonderful group of volunteers that not only came in for the morning they were needed to help after lunch in order to finish. When I walked in a few minutes before 9:00 am Bill and Eva Jean were already getting ready to start opening the envelopes.
 Ron is always willing to do what ever is needed and today we really needed him.
 Vonnie does so many different jobs but today she was desperately needed to read letters. Behind her is Mark on the computer. We had 3 computers going today and were able to keep up only because of Mark on that 3rd computer.
 Our oldest volunteer here at this office is Gertrude. She drives here. She told me of course she drives she would never make it if she had to walk. She also takes home all of the silver series and grades them. Gertrude has always been such an amazing servant for our Lord. She was a missionary in one of the countries in Africa, living in the mud huts and teaching the natives about Jesus. We are thrilled she helps us now.
 Below Chuck is already at work applying labels. Mark and Bill had the first set printed by the time I arrived and when Chuck arrived he was put right to work.
 In the other room Robin, Joyce and Rhoda were also applying labels.
 Jan was put to work stamping envelopes with our meter. That saves us time and 2 cents each.
 When the studies were all opened, Eva Jean, Gertrude and Ron joined Joyce and Robin in the other room for stuffing and sealing envelopes.
 Below are Bill and Mark who are busy entering data on the computers. Each study that is returned must be checked that the prisoner has not been moved and if they have been moved the address changed. They also record what study the prisoner has returned and print off 2 labels for each study. One goes with the study to be graded and the other label is put on an envelope and the next 4 studies sent back to the prisoner.  This sure generates a lot of mail that must be processed.
 Rhoda was needed to help Kathy and Vonnie with reading the letters. We got over 160 letters today with 157 of them asking for Bibles.

Kathy brought the lunch today serving us piping hot pizza from Sam’s club, an amazing crunchy salad, cuties, and a delicious peach and blueberry dessert. After lunch everyone went right back to work. Below Joyce, Chuck and Vonnie are filling and sealing envelopes.

We got a visitor today, Darlene came today, she needed graduation certificates, Bibles and studies. Darlene and her sister Judy volunteer at the Sheridan Correctional center.
Most of us left around 1:30 but Robin kept working until almost 3:00 pm stuffing and wrapping the Bibles that will be going out in the mail tomorrow.  Cindy, Robin and I will be back tomorrow to enter each of the Bible request on the computer and print out address labels for all the Bibles Robin got stuffed and wrapped. She certianly saved us a LOT of time tomorrow.  THANKS ROBIN!

And a BIG BIG thank you to everyone that came to help today. It really does take many hands to make this work load lighter.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tuesday Morning in January

Finally got some extra time this evening to work on the Berean Blog. We had a really wonderful year in 2017 and 2018 is starting out just as wonderful. Our Bible requests are up, more and more studies are coming back and the Bible program is growing. We are thankful that the volunteers are in place and ready to work. Tuesday Jan 9th was pretty typical. We had 75 Bible requests, and well over 200 studies to process.

We are thankful for each person that helps with this part of the ministry. Many hands really do make light work.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Working In the COLD

2018 started out with -16 degrees on the first and wouldn’t you know the first day back at work our thermometer was reading -17. That didn’t stop the amazing Berean volunteers from coming in to help. Below are a few pictures of our morning working together at Wayne Unsicker’s farm where the Berean office is located.
 Below Robin is opening the mail. We had a big batch today, almost a full tub.
 The volunteers today were Gertrude, Eva Jean, Vonnie, Ron, Bill C, Bill S,  Mark, Kathy and Robin.
 As soon as the last envelope was opened, Eva Jean went into the next room to work on labels.
 Vonnie started reading letters to help Kathy while Mark and Bill entered the studies. Today we had 3 computers going at the same time.
 Below Robin is coming in to discuss the studies with Chuck while Bill reads letters, and Ron and Vonnie are busy opening the studies.
 Mark opened up a request letter that was very long and written very tiny.
 Kathy was glad she didn’t get ‘that’ letter.
 Bill had to laugh at that.
 Below Robin has Gertrude, Eva Jean and Ron busy with stuffing envelopes.
 Bill brought in a couple of boys today to help carry the studies going out to be mailed. We had a lot of them.

Even though it was below zero outside we were warm and had willing workers inside. Thankful to Wayne for providing such a comfortable place to work/

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Done For the Year

Today was the last day of work for the rest of this year. Next week the Berean office will be closed. We will not be working again until January 2nd, 2018.  We had so many wonderful volunteers today we were able to finish all of this weeks work today.  Below Gertrude, Vonnie, Eva Jean and Ron are busy opening the mail.
 Mom and Chuck were put right to work on applying the labels.
 Below Bill is answering questions from Marvin.
 Jan is getting the stamps from the cupboard.
 Leila, Ron and Marvin were soon moved to the other room to work on stuffing envelopes. Robin was busy keeping everything running smoothly in this room.
 Below Bill and Marvin are visiting with Kathy about some of the letters.
 We had a visitor today, Marie brought her daughter Laura. Laura lives and works in Mexico and has come home for Christmas.
 Above and below they are just finishing up with the stuffing and sealing of envelopes.
 We took a break for lunch after finishing the studies and request letters.
After lunch we were able to get the Bibles out for the week. We had a very good day for our last day of work of 2017. Thankful for all the help today and all of 2017. What a GREAT year this has been.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Good Gifts

The program is growing again. We had more mail than usual and more Bible requests than last week. That is always a good sign that we are doing something right with this program. We had a brand new volunteer today, at least brand new in our office, Gertrude has been grading the intermediate studies for a few years but today she showed up at the Berean office to work.

We won’t say how old Gertrude is but she was the oldest working with us today, hint…she is in her 90s. We were thankful she came as we were a little light on volunteers today. We were thrilled when Joyce and Jan came. Below Joyce is working on labels.

 Bill is hard at work on the computer while Kathy is reading letters.
 Bruce and Chuck were kept busy with the mail and letters. At the other table Gertrude and Eva Jean were kept busy opening the mail.
 Below are our 4 readers of the day, Leila, Jan, Marvin and Kathy. We had many request letters today and these 4 were kept busy.
 As soon as the mail was all opened and read, Chuck, Bruce, Eva Jean, Joyce and Marvin went to work on stuffing the studies.
 Robin was in charge of keeping everyone busy and did a great job. We were able to get them all stuffed by lunch time.
 After lunch everyone left except Robin and I. Robin got the Bibles wrapped and stamped while I worked on entering the Bible requests and printing out the address labels. By the time she had to leave I was working on the last sheet of labels.

We were able to have all the mail plus all the Bibles that were going out today ready for when Bill Schick, the Berean director was due to arrive. He had a funeral this morning but promised to come this afternoon to mail out everything we had ready. We wanted to get these Bibles out today as just maybe they will arrive on or near Christmas for the prisoners requesting them. What a good gift that would be, the best GIFT of ALL! We will not be working on Wednesday as for the second time in 2 weeks we were able to get both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s work finished in one day. What a gift for us, a free day.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Another Good Day

We had another great day at the Berean office. So many willing workers that not only did we get today’s work done but tomorrow’s work too. It helped that there only about half the mail we usually get.

Above Bill is trying to look up an address on his phone from a prisoner that sent in a study with only his name, number, city and state. No street address, or prison name.  Thankfully google knows. Below Vonnie is opening the mail.

 Above Marvin is getting ready to open the letters and below Bruce is opening studies.
We had a new volunteer today, Benj works at Cat and Cat gives their workers a day off to volunteer somewhere. Last week Benj volunteered at the South Side Academy but they ran out of ceiling tiles so today he came here and was put to work by his dad, Marvin.
 Marvin and Benj were a couple of our readers today.
 When Bill arrived we asked him if he would mind making the coffee as David, who usually makes it, was not able to come today.

David had a meeting while his wife Kathy went to TAG along with a lot of our other volunteers. We NEVER complain about TAG, that’s where most of this wonderful help actually came from. One TAG meeting they asked Diane and I to give a talk about Berean, we did, showing the entire group what we were doing. We asked for help and help came in abundance.  In the picture below you will see lots of laughter. Poor Bruce got caught sitting in Chuck’s chair. In his defense someone took the name off of the back of the chair.

 Speaking of chairs, below Jeanette is sitting in MY chair. When I asked if she would like to just stay there she quickly got up. We had a laugh at that too.
 Below Jan, Benj and Marvin are busy at work reading request letters.
 Bruce and Chuck are still chuckling over Bruce getting caught in the wrong chair as they are working on the labels.
 Joyce was given the job separating the studies. That is Robin in the background. Robin is the organizer of that room, along with making all the copies, she keeps everyone stuffing the correct studies.
 In the picture below these volunteers are actually doing tomorrow’s work. They are stuffing, wrapping and labeling Bibles that will be mailed out today instead of tomorrow.
Robin kept Chuck, Vonnie, Jeanette, Benj, Bill and Bruce working in an assembly line to get everything done by lunch time. We really do have a wonderful time processing the studies and filling the Bible request. Thankful to be working with so many amazing volunteers.