Blogs

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Given a Chance

The Berean Banquet was a success. The speakers were amazing and the testimonies wonderful. Joan Schick organized and helped cook the meal and we all enjoyed it. The food was delicious. If you would like to see pictures of the banquet click HERE.
Today we didn’t have a lot of time to talk about it until we broke for lunch. Below are a few pictures of our morning.




We are thankful for each person that came to the banquet to help support this ministry. So many people believe these prisoners are getting what they deserve BUT…don’t they too deserve to know they CAN be forgiven from their sins? Don’t they deserve to know Jesus died for them too and that HE loved them AS THEY ARE enough to shed His precious sinless blood for each and every person. If they are not told how will they know?  Each prisoner that asks for a Bible should be given a chance to read that Bible and this ministry is trying to give each that asks this special gift.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Gearing UP For the Banquet

We had a very busy day at the Berean office processing around 130 Bibles and over 200 studies.  Thankfully we had a good group of volunteers to help with all of the mail.








The Berean Banquet is THURSDAY, just 2 days away and there is STILL room. Please contact Bill Schick if interested in coming. 520 395-6000, if interested at all in prison ministry you really won’t want to miss this banquet. The Berean Banquet starts at 6:00 pm. This will be held at Five Points Washington in Washington IL.  The featured speaker this year is Gracia Burnham.  For 17 years, Gracia and her husband Martin served with the New Tribes Mission in the Philippines where Martin was a jungle pilot delivering mail, supplies and encouragement to other missionaries, and transporting sick and injured patients to medical facilities.  Gracia served in various roles supporting the aviation program and also home-schooling their 3 children Jeff, Mindy and Zach- all of whom were born in the Philippines.  
On May 27th, 2001, while celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, The Burnhams were taken captive by a militant group of Muslims called the AbuSayyaf Group.  In addition to the Burnhams, the group seized several more guests and took them to Basilan Island, an ASG stronghold.  In the ensuing months, some of the hostages were killed but most were set free.  From November 2001, only the Burnhams and one other hostage remained in captivity. For more than a year, and under the total control of their captors, they
were constantly on the move living in primitive conditions in the jumgle, evading capture from the Philippine military, enduring gun battles, and witnessing unspeakable atrocities committed by the men of Abu Sayyaf Group.  Soon after the events of Sept 11th, the news media took a greater interest in Gracia and Martin’s plight and kept their story in the national headlines. On the afternoon of June 7th, 2002, over a year since their abduction, the Philippine military attempted another rescue. Tragically, Martin was killed during the gunfight. Wounded but alive Gracia was rescued and returned home under a national spotlight.  Gracia talks about the spiritual lessons she learned during her captivity and how God has blessed her and her family since Martin’s death.
 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

We were very efficient today at the Berean office. There were plenty of volunteers and everyone went right to work as they arrived.
 We were able to process the studies finishing before 10:30 am.
 Above Jeanette is reading letters and below Bruce is taking a break from running the postage machine. 
 As soon as the studies were finished a good group went into the other room to get the Bibles ready for mailing. We just had 57 request this week for a Bible but everyone that requested was sent one.
 Kathy and Dave provided the lunch today. Kathy called Sam’s Club and ordered 2 pizzas to be picked up in 15 minutes. When she arrived she found out the lady that took her order forgot to communicate with the person making the pizzas and the pizza not only wasn’t done it wasn’t even started.  Kathy sent a text asking everyone to please WAIT for her to get back. As a joke we all sat around the table, grabbed a fork, snapped a picture and sent a text that we were ALL waiting for her.
 She got a good round of applause and lots of laughs when she arrived with the pizza.
Lunch was delicious. Kathy also served her special salad with vine ripened tomatoes and other toppings, grapes and for dessert brownies topped with salted caramel ice cream!  We all enjoyed the fruits of her efforts. A special thank you to Kathy and Dave for providing a meal for the Tuesday Berean volunteers and thank you to everyone who came to volunteer. We sure have a good time serving others.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Working Side By Side

Most of us arrived before the storm hit this morning and we were all safe inside working hard when the lightning, thunder and rain started.  Inside was bright and cheerful as we worked side by side processing studies and filling Bible requests. 
 
Mark helped on the computer until the studies were processed then helped Marvin and Leila with reading the letters.  Joyce, Vonnie and Ray were working hard in the other room stuffing and wrapping Bibles.
Bruce, Shirley and Shirley worked on the studies until Bruce was needed to run the postage machine.
Chuck had been helping with the studies but as soon as they were finished he joined the others wrapping Bibles.
The group below had an assembly line going to get the Bibles stuffed, wrapped, labeled and stamped.
Everyone here works well together side by side. 
Don’t forget to call or send in your reservation for the Berean Banquet which is coming up Thursday night Sept 12th, at 6:00 pm. This will be held at Five Points Washington in Washington IL.  The featured speaker this year is Gracia Burnham.  For 17 years, Gracia and her husband Martin served with the New Tribes Mission in the Philippines where Martin was a jungle pilot delivering mail, supplies and encouragement to other missionaries, and transporting sick and injured patients to medical facilities.  Gracia served in various roles supporting the aviation program and also home-schooling their 3 children Jeff, Mindy and Zach- all of whom were born in the Philippines.  
On May 27th, 2001, while celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary at Dos Palmas Resort off Palawan Island, The Burnhams were taken captive by a militant group of Muslims called the AbuSayyaf Group.  In addition to the Burnhams, the group seized several more guests and took them to Basilan Island, an ASG stronghold.  In the ensuing months, some of the hostages were killed but most were set free.  From November 2001, only the Burnhams and one other hostage remained in captivity. For more than a year, and under the total control of their captors, they
were constantly on the move living in primitive conditions in the jungle, evading capture from the Philippine military, enduring gun battles, and witnessing unspeakable atrocities committed by the men of Abu Sayyaf Group.  Soon after the events of Sept 11th, the news media took a greater interest in Gracia and Martin’s plight and kept their story in the national headlines. On the afternoon of June 7th, 2002, over a year since their abduction, the Philippine military attempted another rescue. Tragically, Martin was killed during the gunfight. Wounded but alive Gracia was rescued and returned home under a national spotlight.  Gracia talks about the spiritual lessons she learned during her captivity and how God has blessed her and her family since Martin’s death.  

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Banquet Invitation

The Berean Banquet will be held Sept 12th, 2019 6:00 pm at Five Points Washington in Washington, IL.  Our speaker will be Gracia Burnham  Please click on this link to learn more about Gracia. 

A steak dinner is being served, $30.00 per person or $240.00 for a table.  You can make your reservations by calling (309) 672-0991.  We look forward to seeing you.

Please click below to view the invitation

 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Almost 100

We had a lot of mail to process today at the Berean office and thankfully we had a lot of volunteers to help with that big job.
We had a good system to stuff the studies and fill the Bible requests.
 We were able to finish by noon just in time for a nice lunch.
Cathie, Mark’s wife made a special peach dessert for the volunteers today and that was amazing. We didn’t leave much for Mark to take back home. A big thanks to all who came to help today. We were able to fill almost a 100 Bible requests.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Almost 80

We had another good day at the Berean office. We had a lot of request letters and by the time the readers had finished there were almost 80 new request that were filled. We also had over 100 studies come in.
 Above and below everyone is working on the studies.
Each Tuesday at 9:30 Marvin set his phone alarm to go off and we have a prayer but Marvin was gone today. Unbelievably this week someone’s phone went off right at that time and we thought it was the alarm so of course we had the prayer.
 Below the volunteers are stuffing the new studies for each prisoner.
 As soon as the studies finished we started working on stuffing and wrapping Bibles to fill the 79 requests that came in today.
 

We were able to finish by lunch and all of us enjoyed our lunch break after getting everything done

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Send the Answers

We had a good morning at the Berean office today. One of the letters though was pretty funny. We actually burst out laughing when Marvin was reading it to us. The prisoner was doing the studies and sent a message that he had enough money to do the studies but wanted us to send him the answers. Just for the record, we don’t charge anything for this study and always send a self addressed stamped envelope for the prisoner. Below are a few pictures of our morning.
Bill is holding up a very large snake skin. This wasn’t found at the Berean office.
I actually brought it in to play a prank on Robin but she didn’t come in today. I had it coiled up on her copy machine.  Bill went right to work on the computer.
We had plenty of help and were able to get everything accomplished before noon.
We took extra long at lunch going over some ideas for the Berean Banquet that will be held in September.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Leaving Early

I had to leave early from the Berean office so really pushed it to get all the computer work done. Thankfully Mark K came in to help with that part. We had plenty of great volunteers and I was able to get home by 11:30 am. The other workers all stayed to finish up.

I’m very thankful for everyone that comes to help.  We got a lot done before 11:00 am.

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Silent Alarm

We had a wonderful group of volunteers today and got everything done before noon. This gave us a chance to have a nice visit over lunch. I’m sure thankful for everything that happens in this place.  Marvin has an alarm set on his phone that goes off every Tuesday morning at 9:30 so we remember to pray only today that didn’t happen but mom’s phone went off right at 9:30, Robin came in for the prayer and the rest of us were mystified why she was in this room. She told us, “I heard the alarm and none of you others paid any attention to it.” Only then did we realize it was 9:30 and Marvin’s alarm did not go off.  Each Tuesday we pray not just for the program but every prisoner this reaches and the volunteers that make it happen. I’m so glad mom’s phone went off at just the right time.  Below are a few pictures of the morning.

This office really is a blessing and not just to the prisoners that request Bibles and do the Bible studies. It is also a blessing for those of us who get the privileged of volunteering here.  If anyone is looking for a place to serve others, you may just want to join us on Tuesday morning at 9:00 am.

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Visitor and Dessert

We had another good day at the Berean office. Mark brought his grand daughter to help this morning and that wasn’t all, he also brought a yummy dessert from Cathy, his wife.  We REALLY enjoyed that.  We had plenty of helpers and enough work for all of them. Below are a few pictures of the morning.
 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Another Good Morning

We seem to have the best volunteers around. They show up all ready to work and even before the mail arrives they have found work to do while waiting. Today the mail needed to be picked up in Peoria so was a little late arriving. By the time I got it there there were 3 people all stuffing and wrapping Bibles. It didn’t take long for the rest to come and everyone started working on the mail.
 When Bill arrived, he and Marvin went over some of the problems we have been having.

One of the problems is the Bible returns. One prison in Pennsylvania is rejecting the Bibles as they put the cover isn’t soft enough. The Bibles are in a cardboard sleeve and are soft cover but the prison didn’t open them to see, they just rejected them all and we had to pay postage to get the Bible back. That means we paid around $7.00 just to mail the Bible and then get it back when it was rejected. Bill tried to call and left a message for the chaplain’s office. The second call he tried to get to the mail room to explain that the Bibles were NOT hard cover and shouldn’t be rejected but that call didn’t go through either. Hopefully we can get this resolved by sending the Bibles to the resident chaplain and having him deliver them.

 As soon as the studies are processed they are taken into the other room for stuffing.

We were able to finish everything by 11:20 this morning and enjoyed a leisurely lunch together. I’m very thankful for those who come ready and willing to serve.

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Growing Again

We had 83 Bible requests this week. The Bible program is growing again. Thankfully we had a good group of volunteers all ready to read the letters, and process the studies.

By lunch time everything was done and we were free to enjoy our lunch. Another good day at the Berean office.

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Scrumptious Dessert

Marvin brought in a special treat for the Berean volunteers today. His wife Gale made a rhubarb dessert that was absolutely scrumptious. Before we could try it out though we got the work done for the day. Marie came in today with Timothy and they brought garden lettuce from her garden to share. They went right to work putting in a few hours before needing to leave.
 Shirley and Glenna are at one table applying labels while Shirley, mom and Vonnie are opening the mail.
Bill came in to work but as one looks at the pictures below one would wonder exactly how much work was being done.
He was actually telling us about some of the successes of the program and one of the letters was kind of funny. The camera just happened to catch the moment when we were all laughing. Mark worked on the computers until the studies were all processed then joined Marvin in reading letters.  Marvin had a message to call someone. When he made the call he came in to tell us what it was all about.
This ended up being a mother of a prisoner he worked with for years. She found the phone number to Berean and asked Ellen to have Marvin call. She really appreciated how much Marvin did for her son and just wanted to thank him. When it finally came time for lunch Gail’s dessert was the centerpiece of the table. It really tasted amazing with a mix of tart and sweet. The ice cream was put on top of the rhubarb bars then the sauce was poured over the ice cream.
Thank you GAIL! We really enjoyed your creation.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Another Good Day

We wanted to start with a prayer and have in the past but usually get so busy we forget. Marvin is now setting his alarm to go off at 9:30 am for that reason.  The work just goes so much better when we ask for His blessing and His help to do HIS work.  Marvin came in early this morning to work on our computers.
We are always glad to see Bill, he is a true leader for the ministry. He makes the coffee and serves it but more than that he deals with the post office, he talks to chaplains directly about the ministry, opens doors to prisons and jails and saves thousands of dollars in postage by working with the chaplains direct. Below he is making the coffee for our lunch break. Shirley, Chuck and Jeanette are busy filling the studies.
 Vonnie organized all the studies while mom and Chuck stuffed envelopes
 This was Shirley’s second week and today she was a pro.

We had a good morning, quit for a leisurely lunch around 11:15 am. I’m thankful for all who come to volunteer at this office.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

7 Baptisms

We didn’t have a lot of mail today, but that was a good thing as we didn’t have a lot of volunteers.

We had a new volunteer come in and we were thrilled to welcome her.  Glenna and Vonnie were happy to give Shirley instructions.

We asked the other Shirley to help David read as Marvin was at the jail for the baptisms. Jeanette came in a bit later and also helped with the reading of the letters.

Today the Peoria County Jail had 7 baptisms. Bill, Spark, Skip, and Marvin were there to witness these.  Marvin arrived here just before lunch and was able to tell us all about them. What a privilege it is to be a part of this ministry and to experience just a small bit of the harvest.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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