A Brief "Tour" Through The Herald Office
By Rich Carmicheal
About nine years ago the Herald ministry moved into its present location. Two times since then I have invited you to go on a "tour" with me through the building in order to share more with you about the work. A number of readers have shared how they have appreciated learning more about the building, the workers and the ministry operation, and I am blessed to offer another "tour" at this time.
One of the first things you would notice different with this tour is that the staff and volunteers are growing older. My wife Gail and I now have pictures around our desks not only of our children, but of our five-year-old granddaughter (soon to be six, she informs me) and three-year-old grandson. We also have gift calendars featuring pictures of our grandkids, and even though we do not like to see time fly by, we are glad with the beginning of each new month to turn the page and see another picture of these two gifts from heaven.
Gayla Royer now has seven such blessings, with her eighth grandchild on the way. Along with pictures of her family, you will also find around her desk pictures of the trip that she and her husband took to Greece to visit with Xenia Procopiou, the editor of the Greek Herald. Gayla herself continues to serve as the editor of the Spanish Herald, as well as the Herald bookkeeper and a member of the editorial team. She also does the layout work for Herald publications and does a significant amount of work in the mail room.
One of the reasons for her increased work in the mail room is because of another change in the Herald office. In past years we have been blessed by a number of teenagers and young adults who worked part time for us, including work in the mail room. However, as they moved on to college or other responsibilities, we decided to try to manage with just the five full-time staff (and volunteers). This saves some expense which helps in this challenging economy.
Gail also helps out more in the mail room, including running a labeling machine and a folding machine. Her main responsibilities continue to be handling the mail from U.S. readers, working through the emails we receive, and serving as a member of the editorial team.
This fall marks Christine Ludlow’s 40th year with Herald of His Coming. She moved to the U.S. from England as a young girl and remains a British citizen. Around her office you will see pictures of her family, all of whom live in Australia. She was blessed a few years ago to travel there to spend three weeks with them, and before that we were blessed in the Herald office to have her cousin and her husband visit us. They are full of the life of the Lord and are now missionaries to Thailand. Christine praises the Lord that her family knows and serves the Lord.
Christine continues to battle with cancer and has just found out that her cancer marker is once again elevated. We thank the Lord for how He has helped her in times past, and we ask that you join us in looking to Him for His help once again. Thankfully, Christine has maintained her faith and strength, and has been able to press on in her work here which includes handling mail from readers outside the U.S., working through requests submitted through the Herald website, and helping in the mailroom.
From Christine’s office step into the front foyer and then into the office of Lois Stucky, who is now in her fifty-second year with Herald of His Coming. In the late 1950’s she had been serving as a missionary to Sierra Leone and went to California intending to spend one summer working with the Herald ministry before returning to Africa. The Lord, however, had other plans for her, and had her work side by side for a number of years with W. C. Moore and Sarah Foulkes Moore, founders of this ministry, who eventually entrusted the editorship to her. Lois carried this responsibility faithfully until 2009, when we formed an editorial team to relieve some of the burden of this work. She continues to play a vital role in the editorial work and helps in a variety of other ways, including her personal correspondence with readers. We thank the Lord that she is also able to devote more time in prayer for the ministry.
Lois has had some trouble with her eyes, but the Lord has been gracious toward her, and she continues to see well. One of the Lord’s blessings to her has been the privilege to be back in her home state of Indiana since 1999 when the Herald ministry moved here. This has given Lois the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, including some precious visits with a dear sister who went to be with the Lord in August.
At the opposite end of the building, in the addition we built in 2008, are the shipping and storage area, the prayer room, and my office. This space is a great blessing for the ministry, and I am very thankful for a quiet office for my work. I ask for your prayers for the Lord’s guidance and help with my various responsibilities, as well as your prayers for Gail, Gayla, Christine and Lois. Each of us would ask you in the words of the Apostle Paul, "Strive together with me in your prayers to God for me" (Rom. 15:30).
Step outside the building and you will notice a couple of significant improvements that have occurred this year including a new roof which insurance provided because of hail damage. This is a blessing to the ministry since a major portion of the building would have required a new roof within the next few years anyway, even without the hailstorm. Notice too the repair work and new asphalt at the entrance to the Herald parking lot, and the seal-coating recently applied to the entire parking lot. We received a special gift from a church fellowship that enabled this much needed work to be done. We thank the Lord for this generous gift and for the good parking area for Herald volunteers and staff.
The building itself continues to be very economical and a great blessing for the work. If you were in the shipping area today, you would notice several skids and carts full of packages of October Heralds for readers outside the U.S. There are changes in the works regarding the postal regulations for customs, and we are awaiting word about these changes before shipping these Heralds. The new requirements have the potential to be costly and time-consuming, and we ask for your prayers that mailings can proceed in a timely fashion.
You would also notice two skids full of leftover Heralds from the past couple of years. These papers will be picked up in the near future by a ministry that gathers excess Christian literature from a number of publishers and ministries, and then sends these materials to many poor countries where they are distributed freely to people hungry for the Word of God. We praise the Lord that these leftover Heralds will be put to such good use!
If you would happen to be here on a day when the truck delivers a new issue from the print shop, you would notice that we are using a different printing company. This change has been very good for the ministry and is helping save hundreds of dollars each month.
The Heart of the Work
Although there are a good number of things that have changed over the years, we are thankful for the foundational things that have not changed. At the heart of this is the Lord’s calling upon this ministry to publish and freely distribute gospel literature focused on the themes of repentance, revival, prayer, holiness and evangelism to promote spiritual awakening and to help readers prepare for the Return of Christ. To this end, we continue to seek the Lord month after month for the "finest of wheat" to share through Herald publications, and for His anointing upon the messages to accomplish His work in the hearts of the readers.
The staff also continues to gather every morning around the table in Lois’ office to sing, read God’s Word and join together in prayer. We also continue to meet there once each month when a new issue of the Herald is completed, to thank the Lord for His provision of messages and to ask His blessing upon them. Although we give thanks for financial gifts on a regular basis, we take time as we pray over new Herald issues to offer special thanks for all of the donations the ministry has received that enable printings and free distribution.
Of course, all around the Herald office are reasons for us to offer thanksgiving to the Lord. For example, the volunteer area is a reminder of the wonderful group of brothers and sisters in Christ who donate their time to insert Heralds into thousands and thousands of envelopes each month. These volunteers not only work hard, but they offer much encouragement to the staff and some of them support the ministry financially as well. We are also thankful for the computers purchased by friends to aid the work here, the folding machines which continue to hold up month after month, the library filled with books by godly authors from the past and present, the prayer room which provides a place for us to seek the Lord on behalf of Herald readers and the needs of the ministry, and the list goes on and on.
Our Heart for You
Another thing that has not changed is our love and appreciation toward Herald readers such as you. We consider it an honor and a privilege (and a responsibility before the Lord) to share with you through the Herald ministry. Our hope and prayer is that the Lord works through this ministry to encourage, inspire, strengthen and challenge you in your walk with Him and in your service unto Him and others. We hope this issue, and every Herald issue, ministers deeply to you and impacts your life now and for all of eternity. That seems like a great expectation, but our God is a great God! To Him be all the glory!