Wherever God Wills

Computers for Students Year 2014 Activity Report

Note: The past year has been very busy and complicated again for our family. This past year Bill has spent a lot of time supporting his mother (age 92) and after a very difficult time in a nursing home her spirit left her very deteriorated body. We have continued to spend a lot of time several times each week with the Eastown Ministries youth programs in our neighborhood.

Computers for Low-Income students and their families: The market for computers has continues to decline, not only by there being many low cost computers available but also by the hand held I-pads and cell phones that nearly everyone seems to have that do nearly every electronic task wanted. During 2014 we have continued to provide computers to low income students (both teenagers and some unemployed adults) and their families who cannot afford to buy a computer or the popular hand held devices. However, we have stopped accepting large numbers of computers from businesses and educational institutions who upgrade their computers.

We continue to rebuild and give Pentium 4 1.7Ghz and better computers. We continue to install Windows 7 and Windows Office (Home and business) 2010 since we continue to be able to purchase this software from Microsoft through the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher (MRR) program. We continue to install Open Office, a free version of Office made by Apache Software an Open Source operating system. We continue to install Mozella FireFox as an Internet browser along with Internet Explorer, and Thunderbird as an e-mail program.

The Public Schools, GR Community College, Davenport College, Michigan Works, United Way, churches and neighborhood associations continue to assist students to fill out the applications and find volunteer opportunities in the community. They also refer businesses who want to donate computer equipment to us. We continue to have the Kent Intermediate School District office for home schooling (serving students expelled from school) refer parents to our program when they do not have a computer in their home. The United Way refers anyone in crisis that needs a computer to our ministry.

With all these organizations referring computer applicants, we give only three or four computers each month. We have cleared out our accumulated stock of older computers, printers, and computer parts and accessories by taking it to a scrap yard for recycling.

Although few people are seeking our computers we expect to continue to offer them to those students who come to us until we run out of computers, or demand ends.

Bus Activity Report

Summer Season 2014

The bus was busy again this summer, it ran well and was used for about a dozen trips. For the month of July we worked again with the award-winning Summer Learning Program serving neighborhood students from Eastown Ministries and Grand Rapids Public Schools. The program begins at Calvin Christian Reformed Church then continues at various off-site places. Focusing on math, the program also includes classwork and homework. It provides opportunities for teens to volunteer, and for parents to participate. The sites in 2014 were a Horse and Veterinary farm, the Kroc Center, Camp Roger,

a Dairy farm, a ‘Leg-o brick-building’ program, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, a bowling event, and a visit to the Lowell County Fair. The children were very enthusiastic at each of these sites, and the pictures that were taken each day were the only ones used by the Summer Learning Program Administration. This program was also written and published by the Grand Rapids Times in a full-page story with 5 pictures.

Bill installed all the computers used in the program and this computer learning is also a part that the children enjoy.

We prepare and serve meals three times each day serving breakfast, dinner, and snack.

We used the bus and trailer to take the youth group and gear from First Christian Reformed Church to Chicago to catch the train to Rehoboth, New Mexico Navaho Indian Reservation. We picked them up in Chicago and returned to Grand Rapids when they finished their mission trip teaching Vacation Bible School.

We made several trips to the farm for our family, neighbors, and friends.

At the end of the season, Valley Truck Company completely checked every part over and changed all fluids and filters, greased and checked all systems of the bus. It will be taken out of storage in May 2015 to be readied for the summer season.