By Rich Carmicheal
One of the main lessons that I am learning in my work with Herald of His Coming is how much this ministry is dependent upon the interaction we have with readers like you. As I have stated in previous months, your prayers, letters and financial gifts make it possible for this ministry to continue printing and distributing the Lord’s message throughout the world. We treasure your partnership.
In light of this partnership, I thought that you might appreciate an update on this ministry. I hope that the Lord uses this information to create even stronger bonds between us as we all endeavor to prepare ourselves and others for His return.
As many of you know, we moved the Herald office this past June from Kansas to Indiana. The move took place in connection with Elmer Klassen’s retirement as publisher of Herald of His Coming and president of Gospel Revivals Inc., the corporation under which Herald of His Coming operates. In preparation for his retirement, the staff began to seek the Lord for new leadership for the ministry. This period of seeking led them to contact Dave Butts, the co-founder and director of Harvest Prayer Ministries. Harvest Prayer Ministries, located near Brazil, Indiana, is a non-denominational ministry "dedicated to mobilizing the Church in the ministry of prayer." The Lord blessed this initial contact which eventually resulted in Dave Butts becoming the new president of Gospel Revivals Inc.
This also led to the decision to move the Herald of His Coming office to Brazil, Indiana. Originally, the intent was to build a new office building on Harvest Prayer Ministries’ property that would be shared by the two ministries. However, that plan is on hold indefinitely, and we are currently leasing a building in Brazil, Indiana. If the Lord provides, we are interested in purchasing a building in Brazil that is more suitable for the ministry’s needs. We especially need more storage space and better loading/unloading facilities.
A Tour Through the Office
No matter what building we may be in, there are several key items/areas in our office that are vital to the ministry. I would like to take you on a brief "tour" of the office and share some of these key areas with you.
The Yellow Table
One of the main pieces of furniture in our office is a long yellow table. The table has been a fixture in this ministry for many years. The table was originally used by the staff in California as a place to gather for meals. While the ministry was in Kansas during the last ten years, the table served as a packing table and as the place to gather for morning devotions. We continue to utilize the table, using it as a packing table, a lunch table and as the gathering spot for our morning devotions. At 8:00 a.m. each day, we meet around the yellow table in order to sing together, share devotional thoughts with one another, and to spend time in prayer. We focus these morning prayers in two areas. We begin by praying for the various Herald International ministries. We then spend time praying over the prayer requests that we have received from the Herald readers. We consider this time an essential part of the ministry as we renew our commitment to the Lord and this work, and as we lift up the readers and foreign co-workers unto the Lord.
Another essential aspect of the office is the library of materials that Lois draws upon for the monthly issues of Herald of His Coming. The library includes four large bookcases of older, spiritually-rich books that have been donated to the ministry over the years. We also have several smaller bookcases filled with newer books that are rich in spiritual content. In addition, we receive various magazines and newsletters that help keep us abreast of current situations around the world.
Lois seeks the Lord’s heart for each issue of the Herald of His Coming and then draws upon this library of materials. Her desire is to follow the Lord’s leading and to glean the very best material possible for each new issue of the Herald of His Coming. As a result, the papers are consistently filled with messages that are biblically-based, faith-challenging, soul-stirring and spiritually-enriching.
The Mail Room
Since this ministry centers around printing and distributing Christian literature, the mailing department is a vital part of the office. I use the term "department" rather loosely, as the mailing area is confined to a rather small section. Here we process the requests for Herald materials and prepare the materials for mailing. The main features of this area include two long tables, our mailing and meter machine, scales, packing supplies, and sTimes New Romanes containing the various printed materials. We consider it a tremendous privilege to be able to send out materials from the mailing department to Christians throughout the world.
Of course, this privilege requires a great amount of money for postage. Altogether, we spend about $25,000 each month for postage. The main reason for this large expense is the great number of people to whom we are able to mail Heralds (and other materials). Each month the print shop that prints the Herald of His Coming sends single copies of the English Herald to about 60,000 different addresses in about 150 different countries. The print shop also mails Spanish Heralds monthly to about 4,500 different addresses in about 50 different countries. In addition to these mailings, we mail each month from our office about 1,500 packets of Heralds (ranging from 2 to 800 copies) as well as hundreds of other packets of materials.
Another lesson that I am learning is how quickly we go through the supply of materials. In addition to the monthly printing of about 100,000 Heralds, we regularly need to reprint copies of the Classic Books for Today (in magazine format) as well as the various newletters and salvation papers. We also need to regularly restock the supply of envelopes and other packing materials. We rejoice that we receive so many requests for materials that the inventory needs continual replenishing! Even now we are in the process of reprinting two of the classics (Helps To Holiness and The Holy Spirit: Who He Is and What He Does). We also have ideas for additional classics that we would like to make available for you.
Although we strive to do everything as economically as possible, it still requires a great deal of money to print and distribute the high volume of Herald of His Coming materials. Therefore, the checkbook is a vital item in our office. Since Herald materials are sent out free-of-charge, we depend upon your financial gifts. As I shared in a recent letter to contributors, we view your gifts as a sacred trust from your hand to our hand for the Lord’s work. Your gifts are the precious resources that the Lord provides in order to enable this ministry to continue to produce Herald materials and distribute them freely to Christians throughout the world.
The Incoming Mail
Although the office is located in Brazil, Indiana, we decided not to use a Brazil mailing address in order to avoid any confusion with Brazil, South America. Instead, we use a Seelyville, Indiana mailing address. Although this means that we must drive about ten miles to pick up the mail, we do so with much joy because of how much we appreciate the mail that you send. We are always greatly encouraged by your expressions of appreciation, your reminders that you are praying for us, your requests for prayer, as well as your financial contributions. Your mail is a vital link to all that is going on in this ministry.
Our staff includes four full-time employees (Christine, Lois, Suanne and me) and two part-time employees (Gayla and Sara). Christine, who has been working with this ministry for almost twenty-eight years, uses the office area in the front portion of the building. Her main responsibilities include reading and processing our foreign mail as well as answering the telephone. Lois, who has served this ministry for almost forty years, uses the office area in the back portion of the building for her work. This location provides her with a quiet place to do the editorial work that I described earlier.
The rest of us have our work stations grouped together in one section of the large room in the center of our building (this room also contains the mail room, the yellow table, the large bookcases, and several shelves of printed materials). Suanne edits the Spanish Herald and handles the correspondence with the Spanish readers; Gayla helps with bookkeeping and domestic correspondence; and Sara helps us keep the mailing list up-to-date. Much of the work in the mail room is currently being done by our two main volunteers--Gail and Jon.
Working Together in the Lord
In 1941 the Lord raised up Herald of His Coming to help prepare the Church worldwide for the return of Christ. We rejoice that He continues to use this ministry to encourage, strengthen, challenge and inspire thousands and thousands of Christians all around the world. We also rejoice that you are one of the readers of the Herald of His Coming. We hope that your partnership with this ministry continues to deepen. We seek your prayer support as well as any financial support you can give to this ministry. May the Lord continue to place His mighty hand upon all of us as we send forth His message in these last days!