Phil’s Anonymous Friend

I got a 5-page update from Phil last week…about his daily work responsibilities here at HUM.

In our Learning Center he helps men earn their high school diplomas. Phil’s focus is teaching basic computer skills — now required for all Maryland High School diplomas.

Phil’s first assignment last fall was an older HUM man with no appreciation for computers. A good Alcoholics Anonymous guy, himself, Phil didn’t even tell me this man’s name. I’ll just call him Anonymous.

Anonymous, 60, was working on his high school diploma but despised computers. Phil asked A what he really wanted to do on the computer.

His response was to be able to email his sister, catch the daily Orioles sports news and read the New York Post online!

So they got started…first with keyboard basics, then the internet. By the end of their first week, A created his own email account, composed and sent messages to his teachers, and accessed his account on his own.

The next week A send his first message to his sister. She was so happy to hear from him…and they began corresponding back and forth.

Meanwhile A was now checking Orioles scores and news. He also realized he didn’t need to spend $1.50 for the NY Post because he was reading it online.

Brother and sister became pen pals as she could see the new man he was becoming — the man she always knew he could be. It was so powerful, she invited A for Thanksgiving.

A’s brother, with whom he’d hardly spoken for a decade, was also there. Sis had been telling him about the different A she had come to know.

They had a great conversation together. Bro even drove A back to HUM and asked to be included in the email stream!

Anonymous was overcome with joy…and Phil was pretty moved by it all…me, too!

Pastor Gary Byers
Deputy Director