During the past 5 years sending out the Above Rubies magazine has become a highlight in our family's lives and we developed a production line to make it happen smooth and effective. Since it is our family ministry, everyone who can read, that is from Danika and older is part of the operation!
On Friday night we started packing Above Rubies #79 into envelopes. Currently we send out about 4,000 magazines to 600 subscribers in South Africa and neighbouring countries.
The operation starts days before the packing, when I clean up the address list (new subscriptions and address chances) and print the labels. Danika and Josua puts the labels on the envelopes, while Christo, CJ and Heidi-Mari put the magazines into the envelopes. We use pre-paid envelopes, which saves money, we get 5% discount on buying 500 envelopes and saves LOTS of time, no need to put stamps on the envelopes.
As a rule we send out at least 2 magazines to every subscriber. You never know when the Lord may lay it on your heart to give a specific issue to a friend or family member or even a stranger in the supermarket and we don’t want you to give away your one and only, precious copy. Back issues of Above Rubies are seldom available and it has happened before that not one copy was left, even before a next issue was printed. We therefore encourage our subscribers to take more than two copies - to hand out or to keep. I currently keep 10 copies of each issue, for my children and can’t wait to hand them a treasure of wisdom on being a Godly wife and mother, the day they get married.
On each address label, the amount of issues required by the subscriber, is printed and Christo, CJ and Heidi-Mari put that amount of magazines into each envelope. When Josua and Danika are finished putting address labels on envelopes, they too will put magazines in envelopes.
As soon as the magazines are in the envelopes, I update each subscriber’s address card on my computer. This way I make sure an Above Rubies subscriber’s magazine doesn’t get lost somewhere in the process of label printing and posting and I double check the amount of magazines to each subscriber. When we packed the previous issue, #78, I couldn’t update the address cards, due to a lot that happened in our family during that time. Unfortunately some Above Rubies subscriber’s didn’t receive their Above Rubies.
If you are a regular subscriber, please check if you have received Above Rubies #78, if not, please contact me and I’ll send it out immediately.
After I’ve checked a subscribers’ amount of magazines in the envelope and added the new information to her address card, the envelopes are sealed and a returned address is stamped on the back of the envelope. Josua and who ever are finished putting magazines in envelopes will seal the envelopes and Danika is in charge of the return address.
Then we still have to do the neighbouring countries, who have different envelopes. The most economical way to send these magazines are for the envelopes to not exceed 300g. That means 5 magazines per envelope. Ten magazines in two envelopes cost less than ten magazines in one envelope!
CJ is responsible for bulk orders. I give him the bulk order address labels and he prepare the boxes. We use the boxes in which we received the magazines from America for our bulk orders, but these boxes carry 350 magazines and our bulk orders most of the time are between 50 and 100 magazines. Thus CJ has to cut and change the box to the right size - no easy job, taken in account we had 11 bulk orders this time!
The post office also requires an extra label for bulk orders and I try to fill them out as soon as I finish the address cards on my computer.
The last stretch, is taking the envelopes and boxes with bulk orders to the post office. That is Christo’s job and again no easy one. He will get a grocery trolley at the shopping mall and load all the local envelopes in the trolley to hand over to the post office personal. The neighbouring country’s envelopes and bulk orders are a little more time consuming - it also requires a second trolley. Every envelope and package has to be weighed at the counter, the amount of stamps calculated and needs to be stuck to the package (at the counter....)
Finally I put the bulk order tracking numbers in the computer as reference. Only now I can say another Above Rubies magazine has successfully been posted!
And this is what kept us busy this weekend. Hard work - Yes! Satisfying job - Yes, Yes, Yes!
It is such a privilege to send out this encouraging magazine to families in South Africa and to know God is touching lives through this ministry!
To all our South African and neighbouring country’s Subscribers, may this Above Rubies bless you and encourage you in your high and noble calling as wife and mother!