Inbox: Empty

It’s been over two years since we last ‘caught up’ with international mail, and it’s a strange feeling. As of Friday, July 2nd, 2021, we finally caught up with international mail. To state the history of the mailroom briefly, in December 2015, I took over the mailroom from Christian Horst, who had worked for several months following Mark Atkinson’s retirement. Mark had run the mailroom for 35+ years. Now I am on my sixth year with Heralds of Hope, working in the mailroom.

My first year was spent learning everything ‘as it was.’ Throughout year two, I was able to revise and refine my workflow. Just as I was feeling confident, year three hit. In 2018, USPS decided to join the digital age and required customs forms to be filled out online; it was a very rocky start. In year four, 2019, my job expanded significantly. In addition to fulfilling the international requests given to me, I was now responsible to process many of the requests we receive. With help from Bob Kauffman, our CFO at the time, I was eventually able to figure it out. But we were getting behind. Luronda Hege helped pack a lot of Library Boxes at one point.

Then 2020 hit, which was a mixed bag. On the front end, with PR needing to go digital, I had very little time for international mail. Through the summer, international mail was almost completely shut down by the postal service. During this time, Tony High came on, and some changes were made. Three things really helped turn international mail around. First, we consolidated three separate systems into one—so much better. Second, Tony, and Janette Martin, took over processing international requests, bless them. Third, we had a few major packing dates where several other employees helped in the mailroom, and we sent out hundreds of packages. On July 1st, Arlin Horst and I packed and processed the last 18 packages.

Lessons learned? Crazy stuff happens. God strengthens. More crazy stuff happens. God sends help. The work is never done. But He gives more grace. Tomorrow, I may have another invoice to fulfill, or 20, but that’s a good thing!

Inbox zero is a respite, but it is not the end. In this life, we may hit inbox zero. It may seem like “we have finally arrived.” But we cannot quit. We cannot quit when things are hard. Why should we quit when they are easy? Keep on fighting the good fight of faith. Enjoy respite in its appointed time. Then rise up and march on. There is a Gospel to proclaim.

-Eric Druist

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