Celebrating 35 Years: Demystifying the World of Computers

The Mustard Seed is celebrating 35 years of ministry this year. Every month we will post a story from our archives to highlight the amazing journey that has shaped our organization.

Excerpt from The Mustard Seed newsletter dated Summer 2007:

Dave has been volunteering at The SEED for just over a year and a half. He started out volunteering in The SEED’s computer lab. He helped guests put together their resumes and answered general computer questions.

After a while, though, Dave says, “I began to see a need for people to be more familiar with computers, and less afraid. I wanted to show that these things aren’t as scary as you think they are.”

Dave is a web designer and developer who has been working in the computer industry for 25 years. He designed an introductory computer course for Mustard Seed guests and says, “The focus is for people who have never touched a computer before and are afraid or intimidated.” The objective is to “demystify computers.”

Dave says it is exciting to see his students go from being afraid to touch a computer to realizing the potential computers have. “Guests tell me, ‘I never knew a computer could do all this.’ It’s opening a whole new world for these guys, even moving them forward into better employment opportunities.”

Dave also finds it rewarding to see so many of the guests, who cannot afford to stay in touch with their family members, reconnect through email.

“I think it’s an exciting and empowering thing for the guests. Sometimes guests will tell me they can’t afford to make long-distance phone calls but with email, they can get in touch with family members again,” Dave explains.

One guest was thrilled when Dave showed her how to Google her last name and get in contact with relatives she had lost touch with years ago.

Dave says it is very moving to see guests who are often isolated by poverty and circumstances beyond their control start to "connect and move into the world.”