Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rainy Day

We had a very rainy start to the day and when we finished our work at the Berean office the rain was coming down hard and only 46 degrees outside. Thankfully the inside was warm and cheerful. We had lots of smiles and laughter from the start to the end of the work. Thankful to all who showed up and all who are willing to work.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

After Easter

We didn’t have a lot of mail today and more than likely that was because of the Easter Holiday.  We had plenty of volunteers so got not just the mail processed and the Bible requests filled, we got some other work done too.

I missed getting pictures of some of the volunteers but everyone that came really helped and had a good time doing the work. I’m very thankful for those who give of their time to come help keep this office running.  After lunch we were discussing how amazing it is to be able to do this work with the help of all of these wonderful volunteers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Happy Volunteers

We had a very good morning at the Berean office. Plenty of volunteers to get the work done by noon.
Mark came again and went right to work on the computer.
The readers today were Leila, Marvin, Dave and Kathy
 Kathy and Dave brought the lunch today and got all the letters read before needing to get lunch set up.
 The two Shirley’s, Glenna, Jan, Bruce and Chuck opened the mail.
When they finished with processing the studies they went to work on stuffing envelopes and mailing Bibles in the other room.
The picture below was taken just as the last Bible was packaged up. Happy smiles to be finished for the day.
Thankful to work for such wonderful HAPPY volunteers.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

They Are BACK

We had some of our long lost volunteers come back today and we were thrilled. We had a big batch of mail and needed each and every person who came. We really enjoy each other’s company as we labor together.  The office was filled with happy voices.

We were able to process 68 Bible requests and over 200 studies this week. It is nice to see the program growing again.

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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Asking For Prayer

The letter below was mailed to us at Berean Prison Ministry and I would like to share it here.  This is a letter asking for prayer but also thanks those helping with this ministry.
Dear B.P.M,
I wanted to write a personal letter to you to share my life.  On the17th of this month, this year I tried to commit suicide here in prison.  I struggle with myself about my past and often at times wonder who I am.  (No I’m not crazy)  I just feel lost.  I claim to be a believer but yet I do the type of things I don’t understand.  I’m hungry for God, for His Word but its as if I ‘m holding on to something.  I argue with this voice in my head that tries to steer me away from God, it often wins out and I don’t know what to do.  I was placed on suicide observation being that I attempted to do so all my property was taken from me.  I just now got the privilege of mail and pen and paper back.  Yours was the first piece I received.  I eagerly done the courses.  They help me realize that someone does care.  I don’t have my Bible, but there was a piece of an Gideon one in my cell. I think it’s NKS, not sure but I”m doing the best I can.  God knows I need help, I want help and I’m confused about me.  I need you all to pray for me.  I’m going to ask for prayers.  I know the Word tells us that Prayer makes thinks happen, esp. when there of the righteous.  I want you to know I do appreciate all that you do for people like me.  God will reward you!
Pray for him, his signature isn’t legible so I don’t know his name but God DOES! God knows exactly who he is and what he needs.
We had a good amount of mail and plenty of helpers to get that mail processed. Below are a few pictures from today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

96 Requests

We had quite a bit of mail today with over a 100 letters and 96 of those were requesting Bibles. Some of the letters were touching some were sad and some were pretty amazing.  One man had been put in solitary and was determined to commit suicide. When his mail was delivered, his lessons had arrived. He didn’t have his Bible with him but found some sections of a Bible from the Gideon’s in the cell and he credits those Bible sections with saving his life. We had a good group of volunteers today and were able to get everything done including the mailing of those 96 Bibles. Mom, Marvin, Kathy and Jan were our readers today. Kathy came in early as she had to leave early so when Jan arrived she was put right to work in Kathy’s chair.
Chuck was put to work with the labels.
 Shirley is always in charge of the intermediate studies and there were lots of those today.
 Below Marvin and Jeanette are working on some of the problem studies.  We had one study come in today with no return name or address on the envelope and only a last name on the 4 pages of his study.  It took some time to figure out where to send the graded one and his next 4 lessons but we did figure it out.
 Robin kept everyone busy in the other room with filling the studies.
We were able to finish before noon and enjoyed a leisurely lunch before heading home.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Light Mail Day

We had a very light mail day today but still found plenty to do at the Berean office. Kathy and Marvin were the 2 readers. Glenna and Ray opened the mail. Chuck and Jeanette applied labels. Then once that was all done Robin put Chuck and Ray to work on wrapping Bibles.

We easily got done by 11:00 am and had a leisurely lunch. It was actually nice not to be in a hurry. Thankful for an easy day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Amazing Day

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.
Thanks again,
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!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Another Big Mail Day

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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Visitor From Mexico

We had a smaller group again today at the Berean office as we are still missing some snowbirds. We can’t blame those snowbirds for flying away from our awful weather right now. Today we had freezing rain which was falling on top of a foot of frozen snow and making the roads a nightmare by afternoon. We were glad for each person that did make it. Chuck and Bruce were the only study openers but these two knew exactly what to do and got the job done.
 Bill walked in with a visitor all the way from Mexico. Denver happens to be married to Bill’s daughter Katy and they are up here for a wedding.
 Denver was put right to work with Marvin.
 When Marvin needed to work on certificates Leila was willing to show Denver the job of figuring out where the returned Bibles came from and why they were returned. These need to be entered back into the computer as returned.
 Below Robin is using the computer to tell the printer to print out the next set of lessons. She kept the new printer working the entire time and made hundreds of copies today. As the copies were being printed she also organized the stuffing, wrapping and labeling Bibles along with filling the next set of lessons for each prisoner.

We were able to break around 11:30 for lunch.  We had another good productive day and I am thankful to all who came to spend it here volunteering their time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Flew the Coop

The snow birds flew south and we were short handed today but we sure can’t blame them. Bill Schick sent a text out to all the volunteers that the roads were salted but please be careful of the icy sidewalks. A text came back from one of our usual volunteers that there was NO ice in Florida.  We have another storm predicted this weekend with extreme cold of below zero temperatures will be here for at least the next two weeks so we really can’t blame those going south. Perhaps we should ALL move south. We have over a foot of snow on the ground that is not going to melt any time soon. We still were able to get everything done today but that was because of the good help we had come and the fact that it was a light mail day. The camera wasn’t taken out until we finally broke for lunch. Kathy, Chuck, Marvin, Robin, Rhoda (my mom) Bill and me were glad for the chance to sit, visit and enjoy a meal together.
 The box on the left is the box of studies going to church after all the special groups got theirs and the boxes on the right is going to the post office. Those two bigger boxes are filled with Bible requests and the envelope boxes are filled with studies to be mailed.

Bill and Robin were also able to get hundreds of studies printed off with our new printer today. Keeping enough studies on hand for what we need to send out and what the jails and prisons need is an almost never ending job and we are thankful for a working printer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Back To Work BIG TIME

We were swamped today after taking the last 2 Tuesday off as Christmas landed on a Tuesday and so did Jan 1st.  We were only able to get the Bible studies processed today even though we worked way past lunch time.
 Around 2:00 pm Dave looked out the window and realized something pretty bad must have happened as the authorities had shut down Randnor road. Vonnie decided as long as she was stuck there she may as well keep working.
We found out later that a lady was on the interstate talking on her phone, crossed the median, her car jumped Radnor road and she ended up on the other side alive but injured.  We finished the studies and got the requests all entered into the computer but will need to come back on Thursday to get the Bibles stuffed, wrapped, labeled and mailed. If anyone is interested in helping out with that I will be there around 9:00 am and hope to be done by 10:00 am. We have 140 Bibles to process.  A big thankyou to the crew today that had to work overtime.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Our LAST Work Day for 2018

With Christmas and Jan 1 both landing on a Tuesday today was our last day of work at the Berean office until 2019.  We had a busy day for our last day of work filling around 83 Bible requests and processing almost 200 studies. We had a good group come for our last work day of the year.  Below are the volunteers who labored together today.

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch before closing up the office. We are very thankful for everyone that volunteers with this program. There are so many that labor without any of us knowing how much they do from the graders to the ones that visit the jails and prisons, each volunteer is needed and so appreciated! THANK YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us working at this office to all of you who volunteer in other areas of this ministry!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Problem Copier

Our Tuesday mornings are usually pretty much the same, the same work and a lot of the same volunteers and what is amazing is that there is enough work to keep everyone busy.  We had almost 170 studies come in today and 62 Bible requests. What was unusual today was where those requests came from. We had a request from a few different prisons and jails we have never sent Bibles to before and request for a Bible from a prisoner in a jail in Alaska. For some reason one doesn’t think there is much crime in Alaska.  We were pretty thrilled today that Ray came back this week. He went right to work this week knowing exactly what to do.
 Bruce and Chuck also got right to work opening the studies.
 Leila and Kathy were readers today.
Dave was also a reader but when Lance showed up to work on the copy machine, he and Bill went out to talk to Lance.
We got some bad news on the copy machine that was donated from an Alzheimer unit.  Dave was telling us that was why the machine forgot how to run.  Lance told Bill and Dave it is completely worn out and not worth spending the money to fix it. That puts us right back where we were a month or so ago really needing a working copy machine. We are not inclined to take in any more donated machines. This one weighs over 400 pounds and was really hard for Bill to get it here. His son even smashed one of his fingers while trying to help move it.  Lance is recommending we switch to a laser printer. He feels they are fast and cheap. The only problem with that is the cost of the ink. We always say, “This is God’s ministry, if He wants it to continue we will find a way.”
If we were to vote on which volunteer is the must enthusiastic, pretty much everyone would vote for Jeanette. She is always thrilled to be helping.
 Robin keeps everything organized in the other room.
 Below she has everyone stuffing studies of the next set of 4 for each prisoner that returned a study.
 Once the stuffing was done the group below is stamping envelopes while waiting for me to finish printing out the Bible request for the week.

Once the requests are all filled and the studies all stuffed complete with the next 4 lessons, Bill loads everything in his car to take down to the post office. At that point we can clean off the table and serve lunch. We had a special lunch today. Robin brought in all kinds of Christmas goodies which we put on the table to pass around after eating but Dave took one look at all those delicious looking desserts and exclaimed, “what a good lunch!” We all had to laugh.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Another Productive Day

We had such a good crew come in today at the Berean office. We had a brand new volunteer come. Shirley brought her new husband Ray.
 He was put right to work opening the studies with Shirley showing him the ropes.
Jan and Joyce also came in today but they were working when I was working so no pictures of them.  Benj and Karl were also back for their volunteer day and we were thrilled to have them. Marvin put Benj to work on the computer to see if we could get that working any faster.
 As soon as the studies were done we went to work wrapping Bibles in both rooms. The program is growing again with more Bible requests coming in each week.
 We were glad for our lunch break today. Bill’s wife Joan made her special potato soup and everyone enjoyed that treat.

When I left Marvin and Benj had gone back to work on the computers. I’m not sure how long they worked but it is wonderful having them take care of the little problems that show up each week. Today was a very productive day and a special thank you to all who came to help and a special thank you to Joan for lunch.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Small Irritations

We had a funny morning at the Berean office today. It started with the door. The key would not go into the keyhole.  Water had gotten into the lock from the storm and froze. The door knob needed to be heated up by hands and breath until the ice melted. Then the computer program we used would not open. The program was rebooted up twice and then the computer itself shut down and restarted and still it would not work. Marvin was able to use the back up from last week to get it started.  Robin arrived to make copies except the copy machine was out of ink.  Bruce was in charge of the postage machine and that too kept declaring it was out of ink. At least that worked. We had one of the studies come in with no name, no number, no address on any of the 4 studies and the envelope was accidentally thrown away. Shirley and Vonnie went through each envelope until they found 3 possibles. Of those 3 only 1 was on that study so we sent it to that prisoner although we have no idea if it really was this person’s study.  All of this took extra time.  I grabbed my camera to take a few pictures, was snapping away at them, looked down and saw the notice that there was no card in the camera.  The phone was used for the 3 pictures below.
We had almost 100 Bible request this week and over 200 studies so there was a lot to get done. We didn’t finish until just after noon. Went to dish out the soup and the crock pot had been accidentally turned off. The soup was just warm not hot. At that point just about everyone in the office burst out laughing. That last little irritation brought out the humor of the entire morning.  I’m thankful we can laugh at small irritations and very thankful for each and every volunteer that came in this cold snowy day. It really means a lot that each and every prisoner who requested a Bible this week will get a Bible and each prisoner that returned a study will have that study graded, sent back and sent the next 4 lessons thanks to these amazing volunteers.  Bill stayed until the last person left as the parking lot was snow covered with ice underneath. He wanted to make sure everyone one safe as they left the office.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Two New Volunteers

We had a larger amount of mail than we have been getting today and I thought we were going to be short handed but instead we were pleasantly surprised to find 2 new volunteers today. Karl and Benj arrived. They both work at Caterpillar and Caterpillar gives their employees a morning off to do charity work. Karl was put right to work opening the mail. Notice he is moving 3 of the piles over to Shirley. He wasn’t giving Shirley more work he was just making room to open the pile he had.
 This is actually Benj’s second time here so today we had him read letters.
 Chuck and Marvin were put to work at the back table applying labels to envelopes while mom, Shirley, Karl, Joyce, Vonnie and Glenna opened the studies.
 As soon as all the studies were opened the group went into the other room where Vonnie lined everyone out stuffing the next study into an envelope.
 Mom and Shirley were left in the computer room as they were processing the  intermediate studies and we don’t allow those to leave the room. We don’t want them mixed up with the basic studies. Shirley knows how to process them correctly and mom was helping her.
 The next job was to wrap Bibles and today we had 60 Bible requests.

One funny request happened. On a lot of the request letters the hand writing is hard to read. I was struggling with one of them trying to figure out the last name. The first name was obviously John but it looked like John’s last name was Jones but I just wasn’t sure. I opened the letter and saw John May. He had no number and I gave that one to Marvin telling him. I can’t send this man a Bible, his last name doesn’t match what is on the envelope.  Marvin looked at the letter and started laughing. The May was him asking if he may have a Bible. We were done by noon and enjoyed lunch while visiting with each other. We kept Karl and Benj so busy they both agreed to come back at least 1 more time this year.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Two Tuesdays

I never got the blog posted from last Tuesday and that must be included here as we had a special treat. Kathy and Dave provided the lunch. Kathy made all kinds of goodies to go with the fresh baked hot pizza.  Everyone that stayed for lunch raved over her peach blueberry dessert.
 We had a decent mail day and ended up sending out quite a few Bibles. Below Kathy, Dave and Marvin are working on the request letters.
Below Chuck is working on labeling the Bibles going out while Shirley (behind Chuck is working on stuffing the intermediate studies and Vonnie and Glenna are stuffing and sealing the basic studies.
 Robin kept everyone busy.

The next few pictures were taken today Nov 13th. We had a small mail day as yesterday the post office was closed for the Veterans Day holiday. We only had 31 Bible requests. Marvin and Chuck are labeling the Bibles going out today while Glenna, Vonnie and Shirley work on stuffing and sealing studies.

 Kathy finished her work in the other room writing letters,  and came in to help with the Bibles.

We were done well before noon today and had plenty of time to visit with each other while eating lunch. This work is well worth doing and actually doesn’t seem like work at all when it can be done with so many willing wonderful volunteers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New Copy Machine

Bill Schick got the new (to us) copy machine to the Berean office and got it up and running.  He actually FIXED it himself and it RUNS. The other part of this story is that first he called a ‘real’ repair man and that man told him it couldn’t be repaired. Well Bill is from Mexico where of course things can be repaired. He found the problem and fixed it.

Robin kept that machine running all morning trying to catch up from the last 2 weeks. We had another light mail day but that gave us time to get other important things done this week. Below the mail is getting opened.
 We were missing some of our usual readers so Joyce and Jan were asked to fill in that spot. Below Shirley and Mom are explaining to Joyce that this job not that hard and she will be fine.
 Jan is reading a letter to Kathy.
Bill arrived with some supplies. We found out we were completely out of sleeves, the sleeves that we put the Bibles in.  Diane was called and more are now ordered.
 Below are the 4 readers of the day. Leila, Joyce, Jan and Kathy.
 Below the ladies are stamping envelopes. There always seems to be plenty to keep everyone busy at this office and we are thrilled with how many volunteers show up to help.
Lots to be thankful for today but the BIG thing to be thankful for was a working copier.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Light Mail

We had a light mail day today. Believe it or not it is because of Columbus Day holiday. When we have a holiday that falls on a Monday, it doesn’t hit 6 days later, it hits the next week.  Even though it was a light day we had plenty to do.

We ran out of Bibles but Bill told us where to find them, Chuck drove to Hoerr’s met Johnny Hoerr, got Bibles and brought them back to the Berean office for wrapping.

By the time everything was done it was almost noon. We enjoyed a nice meal and plenty of fellowship together.  Bill was heading down to Springfield, IL with a group of Romanians who were here to learn about the prison ministry.  He called to report that he was able to get a copy machine donated  to Berean. It wasn’t working but he was able to get it up and working. It is a big heavy machine and he still needs to get transport for it but hopefully it will be here next Tuesday. That is another answered prayer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Prayer Requests

A few weeks ago at this office we were struggling with the postage machine and Robin asked if I would tell the Roanoke church that we needed stamps. My response was, “no we should just pray for stamps.” This morning on the walk Ruth came with a bag full of stamps, over 3000 of them.  When I walked in the Berean office Robin was already hard at work. When I showed her the stamps she could hardly believe her eyes.
What a blessing, not just for the stamps but such a dramatic answer to prayer.  A BIG BIG thank you to who ever donated stamps for this program. We hate to make a prisoner wait for his study or graders wait to grade because of not having the postage. We also ran out of Bibles last week, Bill walked in with the report the Bibles we use went on sale AGAIN and he ordered 5000 of them.  Another answer to prayer. It is hard not to smile when working here. We have another prayer request, our copier, the one that shoots out 130 copies a minute, the one that works like a mimeograph machine has officially died.  It has served us well for many many years and spit out millions (literately) of copies.  This is a very needed piece of equipment. It has been the cheapest way to make copies but also by far the fastest way. We must have something fast because of the thousands of copies that need to be made each week. We ask for prayers that the right machine could be found and that we can afford it. We had a good group of volunteers today helping. Everyone willingly went right to work at what ever needed doing.
I’m always amazed at how much work gets done at this office and gets done joyfully.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Another Fun Filled Work Day

We had a really good day at the Berean office. We were so glad to welcome back David from his long hospital stay.
Vonnie brought a guest today. Her grand daughter came in to say hello to all of us old folks. Bill brought the mail today. He stayed to work on the copy machine which is not working.
We had a lot of mail but also a lot of visiting to do while the mail was opened.
 It was such a joy to be working with these amazing volunteers.
 Below Robin had everyone busy stuffing envelopes.
 It was a lot of work but many hands made it seem light and the time just flew by.
 The Bible requests were entered and we were able to get them all out today. Mark brought in a laptop so he and Marvin worked on getting that to work with our other two. Sure am thankful for these to men who keep the computers running properly.
Please pray that we can either get our copy machine fixed or replaced. We will run out of studies soon. That machine puts out over 100 copies a minute and we go through hundreds of copies each day. Today we mailed out over 400 envelopes stuffed with 4 studies and a postage paid envelope. That was over 1600 sheets of paper and each and every piece of paper had a study printed on BOTH sides. We will be taking OVER 400 studies to church for grading tomorrow evening so if anyone WANTS to grade there is now an abundance needing to be graded.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Lunch Date

We had a special day at the Berean office but best of all was Kathy and Marvin were both back. We did not expect Kathy back as we knew David was still in the hospital and were all shocked when she walked in the door.  She told us David is getting out of the hospital this afternoon so she grabbed these few hours and came to help us out. Marvin got back from his 2 week vacation in Gulf Shores.

When Marvin goes on vacation he doesn’t really just lay around, he spent time removing the glass shower doors from the tubs in the condo he was staying  replacing those with shower curtains. The owner asked him to do it and he did it.
We had 88 requests for Bibles today and around 250 studies. Below the owner of the building, Wayne came in to check on things.

 Mark also came so we were very efficient on entering the studies and Bible requests
Marie came today bringing gifts.
 A huge container of tomatoes. Robin took most of them to can for the winter.
 Robin kept everyone busy stuffing studies while the Bible requests were entered.
 We had a special surprise today. Stephanie, Israel and Elisabet brought lunch for everyone.
 After lunch Israel helped sweep up the floor.
 He was fascinated with the little carpet sweeper.
 Elisabet helped pull out the replacement garbage bags.
 She was happy to help.

It is always a special day when the grand children come to help out at this office. A big thank you to Stephanie and all the other wonderful volunteers that helped out today.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Speaker AT the Banquet

The Berean Banquet was held tonight and what a night it was. Rhonda sent a few pictures. Below is a picture of the table before it got all messed up with food. I think Pam and Myrna did all the center pieces.
The band playing while we ate was really good called Rivers of Life Band which was made up of all pastors of the Methodists church.

Ken Helmuth gave an update on Berean activities around the world. One man was honored for volunteering 40 years at the Peoria County Jail. After that came the testimony of Jon Watts who was only 17 years old when he was placed in the Tazewell county jail for possessing drugs, domestic abuse and assaulting an officer. He was placed in lockdown and someone gave him a Bible. Today he is a youth pastor and loves the Lord.

Sparky introduced Dr. Lew Sterrett, the main speaker and when Dr. Lew spoke we all listened.

He told about a horse he trained that slammed against the fence time after time. Only later did he find out that this horse had never been able to be contained in a fence. Dr. Lew spoke a lot of fences and how they are there actually for our freedom. I sure hope someone recorded his talk, it is really worth listening to again.

It was an amazing evening and one I’m very glad not to have missed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Banquet

The Berean banquet is THIS Thursday and it starts at 6:00 pm at 5 Points Washington. We are very pleased that the horse trainer/ minister Dr Lew Sterrett will be speaking.
We didn’t even think to discuss the banquet this morning. We were short handed with Marvin on vacation and Dave still in the hospital and Kathy staying with him. Thankful Mark made it back from his many mission trips to help out on the computer.
We had some problems with the postage machine today which also set us back as we had a lot of mail to process and stamp. Bill arrived and was able to get it going.
 Chuck, Vonnie, Shirley, Joyce and Glenna went right to work opening the studies while mom and Leila read letters.
 Marvin came in with a big box full of greeting cards Jan donated for the jail. Mark goes to the jail every Sunday and offered to take them.
 When Jeanette arrived she was put to work helping Robin wrap Bibles.
 Wayne, the owner of the building came in today to make sure all was well. We are always glad to see him.
I wasn’t sure what to do about lunch as yesterday I was too busy to go shopping or prepare anything. I planned on stopping at Sam’s club to buy us all something for lunch but last night Robin sent a text that Sam’s club had a fire and the store would be closed for maybe a month.  Mom offered to drive to Walmart and pick up rotisserie chicken, salad, fruit, rolls and a caramel apple pie for dessert.  We took a break and all really enjoyed that. Everything was so delicious, OR we were so hungry from working overtime. After lunch the Bibles were labeled and loaded into Bill’s car. We had 124 Bible request this week and almost 300 studies come in. Peoria church has too many studies to grade so when Roanoke called to ask for some we were glad to send them all the studies this week.  Every time we have a need we are blessed with someone stepping up to fill that need even without us asking. THANK YOU!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Tuesday’s Volunteers

Well 3 days late isn’t too terrible. I had fallen behind with work so the Berean blog wasn’t updated on Tuesday so even though today is Friday this is Tuesday’s news.  We had a large amount of mail again. It really is nice to see the program growing. Many many letters come in thanking the Berean Prison Ministry for the Bibles and studies.  It takes many volunteers to get the letters read, the studies processed, the Bibles here, wrapped and mailed out and most of all the hundreds of people that give their time to grade the studies. Prisoners LOVE getting mail and look so forward to seeing how they do on their lesson. We had a one letter come back with a study that had been graded and NOTHING was written on it, not a well done, not a single mark.  This was so disappointing to the prisoner that he wrote about it AND sent his lesson back to show us. Please please people if you are grading the lessons the prisoner would really appreciate remarks on how they are doing. Some of these prisoners are lifers and don’t have much to look forward to except their mail and some prisoners tell us this is the ONLY mail they receive.  Tuesday we had a very good group of volunteers. Marvin started out reading letters but when the others started arriving he was put to work on the computer.
The other Marvin was put to work opening the studies. We so much enjoy Marvin’s smile. He also asks us riddles as we are working.
 Below mom and Chuck are opening the studies and putting them in order.
  Kathy and David are our main readers. David went into the hospital on Wednesday and they put him in intensive care. We ask for prayers for him. He is such a big part of this ministry. He not only reads for us but he is on the Berean board.
 Jeanette enjoys grading and loves to read the comments from the prisoner. If we were to vote she would be voted ‘most enthusiastic!’
 Once the letters were read and all the studies processed they all moved into the other room to start stuffing and wrapping the Bibles that were to be mailed out on Tuesday. We were running a little low on Bibles so were pleased that by the time we were finished entering all the names of the prisoner wanting a Bible we had enough for all that had requested this week plus just THREE extra. That was cutting it a little close. Hopefully we can get a skid load here by next Tuesday.
 Bill Schick arrived to help today. Bill is the director of Berean and we are thankful when he comes to help. He comes each week to collect all the lessons and Bibles to be mailed out then takes them to the post office but sometimes he arrives after we have left the office.
 Below mom is preparing the lunch. She is always willing to do what ever is needed and of course lunch is ALWAYS needed.
We had a good day and I am thankful for all the help.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Come ONE Come ALL

We have Pastor Zsolt in America right now. Pastor Zsolt opened a church for the Gypsy people in Romania and the Gypsies embraced the gospel with their entire tribe.  Pastor Zsolt will be speaking at the Peoria AC Fellowship Hall THIS Friday August 24th, 2018 at 6:00 pm.  ALL are invited. If you have ever wondered why Berean sends people over to Romania, Pastor Zsolt will explain the saving of souls and the amazing transformation the Gypsies have made since they have been exposed to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We would love to have you, please come!

6:00pm Friday Aug 24th, 2018
Peoria AC Fellowship Hall
7405 W. Route 150
Edwards, IL 61528

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Late Mail

Our mail was late today and everyone got to take advantage of empty tables and no work.

Well that isn’t quite true, Marvin and I worked on the certificates from last week and we had a whole crew in the other room working on folding studies and stamping envelopes. Ellen is out of town for a wedding and when Bill went down to the post office, they said he wasn’t approved to pick up the Berean mail. He showed them his card, told them he was the director and is there every week dropping off Bibles and studies AND he had the box key.  Bureaucracy! When he walked into the office we all erupted into cheers.

Then went right to work to process it all. We had some computer problems and some mail problems which were time consuming.  Today we were not able to finish until around 2:00 pm. We had 120 Bible requests and over 200 studies to mail out. We took a lunch break then went right back to work. Sure was thankful for the good help today and thrilled we were able to get it all done even starting late.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Another Good Day

As I wasn’t here last week it could have been a very hard day but the volunteers came anyway last week and worked until close to 4:00 pm getting everything done. A special thanks to Marvin and Robin. Marvin worked on the computer until late afternoon on Tuesday then Robin came in again on Wednesday and got the Bibles all ready to be mailed by herself.  All of that work meant this week instead of doing 2 weeks worth of mail we ONLY had to do this week. We had a really good group of volunteers today and everyone just went right to work.
Mom made the lunch today and it was really delicious.
We were finished with everything except the certificates. Hopefully those can be done next week. Marvin is gone this week and I’m not sure I can remember how to do them. It was another good day.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Growing Again

Berean is growing again. We got back a LOT of the first set of studies which means that pretty much everyone asking for a Bible is also doing the Bible study. We needed another pallet of Bibles and Jacob brought them first thing. Below David and Jake have just finished unloading the pallet and were talking about the warehouse issues.
 We had a lot of studies come in, below Jan and Chuck are working on one table while Shirley and mom work on the other opening the studies.
 Robin was in the other room stuffing and wrapping the Bibles.
 Jeanette and David were our only readers today, although Shirley also reads when a letter comes with a study.
 Mom is more than willing to help out where ever she is needed. Below she is working on opening the studies. She also corrects problems which is what she is doing with the pen. Her big issue is when the prisoner folds each study individually. She wants them all folded together. It makes it much easier and saves a lot of time for the opener. Now just so the prisoner knows she isn’t mad, she always includes a happy face.
Marie came in with a lot of fresh produce from her garden. Marie also helps out where ever and when ever she is needed.
 Marie usually brings help with her. Timothy, her youngest came this day to help out. He will be getting his cast off soon.
 Below Robin is showing Jan how to run postage, always an important job. Bruce usually does this job but wasn’t here Tuesday.
 Once the Bible labels were printed the volunteers formed a chain with someone adding the return address label, someone else adding the Prisoner’s name and address and another person adding the postage stamp then Robin packing them back in the boxes for Bill to take down to the post office.

We had a good day Tuesday with everyone working hard were able to finish right around noon. I’m very thankful for the help and the prisoner anxiously waiting for his Bible should be thankful too when it arrives quickly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Birthday Wishes for Chuck

Not a lot of studies today, less than a hundred but we had 77 Bible requests. That was up from 65 requests last week. Today is Chuck’s birthday. He kept getting interrupted by phone calls all morning long from friends and family all wishing him a blessed birthday. Thankfully Jeanette, Bruce, Shirley and Vonnie got the studies processed.
 Leila, Marvin and Kathy were the readers of letters today and had a lot of letters to read.
 Ruth came to help today and prepared our lunch.
We had a good morning and were finished with everything before noon. Thankful for the willing volunteers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Joyfully Done

We had a good amount of mail today, over 200 studies and about a hundred letters. Thankfully we had the volunteers to process everything. We were all pleased when Shirley arrived. She got announced on Sunday and we wanted to hear all about it. Amazing how we could rejoice with her and keep working as she told her story.  The best news is that her fiancé will be moving to Peoria so we won’t have to lose her help.
 Marvin and Kathy were the readers today, we had 65 Bible requests, quite a few study requests and then some really nice thank you letters.
 Jeanette helped Robin with stuffing and wrapping the Bibles.

We finished by noon and were out of there by 12:30 pm. Each week I am amazed at how the work gets joyfully done.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Tooting Our Horn

We had a busy day today with lots of volunteers and all went well except I forgot the camera. The phone was used for a few pictures.

This office just processes the studies and the Bible requests. There are many other parts to this prison ministry of which sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Even so it is amazing at how many people are touched by Berean Prison ministries from the local jails and prisons all over the United States, Russia and Romania. If I would start to list them or IF I even knew it would be like tooting our own horn.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mail Call

We had a good amount of studies come in today. Lots of the first set of 4 which is wonderful. That means the prisoner that received his or her Bible also took the time to do the study and send it back.  We were thrilled this week to welcome back some of our volunteers that had been missing awhile.
Mark was able to come back after his unexpected surgery in Arizona. We put him right to work on the computer.
Robin was hard at work getting the studies all folded and ready to be mailed out.
 Glenna (the volunteer in red) was welcomed back with open arms. We were thrilled to see her, especially today when there was plenty to do. Chuck and Glenna went right to work opening the mail.
 Shirley (volunteer in yellow) was back after missing first for her total knee operation and then last week the unexpected triple bypass surgery her son had.
Vonnie arrived to help with the mail while Robin checked out what we were doing in this room.
 Marvin came in to help Chuck with the labels.
 Megan was big help today.

We know she won’t be here long as she will be heading to Mexico soon but we were thrilled she stopped in today. She was put to work organizing the letters and studies keeping everything flowing smooth. Mom was back from her trip to China. Below she is sealing envelopes.

 Jeanette is always so willing to do what ever is needed. Below she is sweeping up the computer room.
As soon as the mail was all opened and labeled, Robin put them to work stuffing envelopes.
 Leila, Glenna and mom had a lot of catching up to do once all the work was done.

We had a very productive day and thank everyone for generously giving their time to process the studies, letters and mail out the Bible requests. The prisoners anxiously wait for mail call and for some of them this is the only mail they receive.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Another Good Morning

We had another good morning at the Berean office today.  We were able to get pretty much everything done.  Below are a few pictures of the volunteers today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Chair

We had a fun group of volunteers today and the office was filled with laughter as we worked on the Bible studies. It was really Jeanette’s fault. She came in and promptly sat in Chuck’s chair to apply labels.
It wasn’t really her fault, Chuck came in early and sat at the other table to help get the studies opened leaving his chair at the back table.
Marvin was given an almost impossible job of finding an address. We got a Bible request from a man that only had his name and number on the request. The envelope was blank. Marvin got on-line and found the man’s address.
Marvin and Kathy were the only readers for a while.
When Joyce and Jan arrived Jan was put to work reading letters to help them out while Joyce worked on the studies.
As soon as the studies were finished the volunteers went into the other room to wrap Bibles. We sent out  179 Bibles today.
Not pictured was Vonnie who worked on stuffing boxes.  We finished with everything by noon and had a nice meal together.  It really was a good morning’s work. Thanks everyone for making this office a cheerful place of work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

90 Requests

We had 90 Bible request today. Robin, Chuck and David came in early and got those Bibles stuffed and wrapped which made it easy to finis the weeks work all today. Once the Bibles were wrapped Marvin and David came in the other room to read letters. Kathy came in and joined them. She not only reads letters but also writes the letters we need to send out.
 Marvin and Vonnie were kept busy opening the studies that came in today.
 Chuck and mom were also kept busy not just opening the mail but applying labels.
 Stephanie brought the lunch today which meant we also got to see Israel and Elisabet.
They got to eat lunch with us.
 We enjoyed the food but the fellowship at lunch is almost as good as Stephanie’s meal.

After lunch the rest of the Bible requests were finished so the rest of the Bibles could be labeled and ready for mailing. We had a great day!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Another Productive Day

The volunteers for Berean Prison Ministry are all top notch. It is a JOY to show up at that office each Tuesday to spend time working along side each and everyone. Today was no exception. We got everything done, the studies processed the letters read and the requests filled.
 Above Vonnie is opening and sorting the studies and below Jan is applying postage to the envelopes using our postage machine.
 Above mom, Vonnie and Joyce are working on the studies and below Jeanette is applying the address labels to the envelopes then the envelopes to the studies while Dave and Kathy read the letters. Marvin is working on the computer printing out certificates for those that have finished all 50 lessons.
 Above Chuck has just grabbed a cup of coffee before sitting back down to work on labels. Below the volunteers are wrapping and addressing the Bibles that went out today.
 Above Bill is printing out the Bible postage and Below Kathy is smiling as she reads.
 Above they are just finishing up the Bibles and Below Robin is finishing the studies. Robin keeps this room organized and gives everyone a job keeping them all busy doing the work correctly. She is a big reason why we have been able to get two days work done in just 1 morning. We are very thankful for Robin!
 It is amazing the work that gets done when everyone is working together.

The saying “many hands make light work” is SO true. A big thank you to all who came today.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Postage Ink

We had a very good day at the Berean office. The Bibles were delivered WHEN we had muscle power. Mark, Marvin and Robin helped Eldon unload a pallet and a half of them stacking them against the wall.
 We had really good help opening the mail and applying labels. Chuck, Marvin L, Joyce and Vonnie went right to work opening the mail while Bill, mom and Marvin read letters.

Robin worked on wrapping some of the Bibles, enough for today’s mailing but the postage machine ran out of ink so we couldn’t print off the stamps to mail them out. Bill ordered new ink and it should be here soon.  All of today and tomorrow’s work got done today. I was thankful for the help

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Another Big Mail Day

Marvin bought and installed a new cabinet for the Berean office today. We needed more table space and this new cabinet will really help out by giving us room to put a lot of the supplies. Thanks Marvin!
 We had another big mail day today. Below Gertrude and Vonnie are hard at work opening the mail.
 They were soon joined by Shirley, Chuck, and not pictured, mom, all opening the studies.
 Joyce was put to work stamping envelopes.
 Jeanette came in just a bit later and was bothering one of our readers (Marvin her brother) which caused Leila to laugh. Kathy (also not pictured) was our other reader today.
 Jeanette took a couple stacks of studies out to the other room to work where Robin was busy wrapping Bibles. Bill had just arrived, he brought our printer ink.
 We had a good crew working and got all of today’s work done AND all of tomorrow’s too. Below Marvin and Bill are working on the certificates.

Thankful for another good day with great volunteers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Big Mail Day

We had a FULL tub of mail today. It is nice to see the Bible program growing but more mail means more work. Thankfully we had a good group of volunteers come today.
Mackenson and Berlica came to help us today. Above Mackenson is opening envelopes while below Berlica is helping Robin with the Bibles.
 We were really busy today, getting the studies processed and the letters read but were not able to get the Bible requests entered. That will need to wait until tomorrow. Below Gertrude our oldest volunteer is telling our two youngest volunteers Bible stories while they work on stamping envelopes.
 Jeanette, Marvin, Dave and Kathy are hard at work in the picture below. Mark is busy at the computer entering the studies.
 Chuck, Jan, Vonnie and Shirley (not pictured) were busy with opening and processing the studies.

We had a good day getting all of the studies done by noon. We broke for lunch, then Bill, Marvin and Mark stayed to work on extra things while the rest of us left for the day. A big thank you to all who showed up to help today.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

More Requests

This blog post is a little late, this is actually Tuesday April 10th’s news. Just got a little too busy to sit down at the computer. We had another wonderful day at the Berean office. Lots of volunteers and even some visitors. We were able to get all the studies processed, the Bible requests entered, and both mailed out. So thankful for Bill Schick, the director of Berean Prison Ministry. He has taken over keeping the postage machine filled, dealing with the post office on changes, hauling all the mail to the post office and ALSO makes the coffee each morning he comes in. Below are a few pictures from Tuesday.
 Jeanette brought in our visitors of the day, her grand daughter and daughter.

We processed and mailed out over 80 Bibles this week. Thankful for the willingness of the volunteers to come help with this program.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Another GREAT Day

Knowing TAG was today Robin and I thought we may have a light amount of volunteers and we had a pretty good pile of mail to process. Each time the door opened to the Berean office we were thrilled  and soon the office was filled with the sound of happy volunteers joyfully serving. Below are a few pictures of our morning. The 3 readers today were Dave, Marvin and Bill.
Bill and Mark are in a discussion while below Marvin is showing Shirley an address to put on one of the studies. At the back table Chuck is applying labels while Bruce is opening the mail. Mom is reading letters.
 Above Jeanette is getting ready to apply labels to the studies she is holding while asking Dave a question. Below Marvin, Mark and Dave are discussing one of the problems with computer program we are using.
Above Jeanette and Rhoda are filling studies while Robin organizes them. Below Marvin is working on certificates of those that finished all 50 lessons.

We stopped for lunch but after lunch went right back to work on getting the Bible requests ready for mailing. We had 82 Bibles go out in today’s mail. Thankful for each and everyone that came today. What a wonderful group of volunteers all willing to serve where ever it is needed.