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Summer of Impact 2022: Jacob, Africa Technical Services Engineering Intern

By TWR Staff
Africa, Global, Engineering, Eswatini, South Africa, Internship (2-3 mo.), S&E Africa

Jacob is spending his summer in South Africa serving as an engineering intern.
Jacob is dedicating his summer to the Lord, using his skillsets in engineering to assist our team in South Africa.

From Independence, Kentucky, Jacob is studying computer science and electronics and computer engineering at Morehead State University in Kentucky. His honors program included a travel abroad requirement, and the Travel Team pointed him in the direction of TWR when they visited Morehead State. Jacob will be implementing an engineering knowledge hub while developing project management skills, broadcast and audio technology chains and management of engineering information assets. He enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, going to the lake and reading.

Q: What caused you to get involved in the internship program with TWR?

I thought it was the perfect opportunity to travel, gain work experience and give my summer up to God.

Q: Have you always been interested in missions? 

I was convicted about missions after reading a college ministry book titled The Fuel and the Flame by Steve Shadrach. It changes the perspective of a calling to missions into a command. God’s Word commands us to make disciples of all nations, so you don’t necessarily need a calling to become a missionary. (It’s great if you have one, though!) It’s simply an act of obedience in the same way that sexual purity or honorable speech are acts of obedience. Furthermore, one of the quotes from the book regarding missions bluntly states, “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” I did feel like that was speaking directly to me.

Q: What do you feel your calling is, and how does this summer fit into that?

Right now, I do not have any desire to go into the secular workforce. I am fairly confident that is God’s leading and not my own spiritual pride. Especially after observing the lives of all these missionaries with whom I work, God has shown me how fruitful and joyful it is to dedicate your life to him in this way.

Q: What projects are you going to be involved in?

I am involved with developing strategies for the management of TWR’s critical equipment and technology, like transmitters and remote monitoring devices. I am also involved with creating a “Knowledge Hub” to better store and organize TWR’s engineering related documents.

Q: How does your internship align with your passions and calling?

This internship focuses heavily on problem solving and analysis that leads to proper management of TWR’s engineering assets. It doesn’t necessarily deal directly with my computer programming or electronics work that I’ve been studying in university, but that is perfectly fine. In my role, I am able to see the bigger picture of how all kinds of technology and systems work together. Getting this higher-level view of management rather than technical details has really broadened my perspective of what engineering can look like.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far in your internship, and how have you overcome it?

I have summer running to prepare for the upcoming cross-country season. It was difficult to find time to run between initial traveling and a schedule that doesn’t leave much time for sunlight since it is the winter over here. I had an uncharacteristic lapse in discipline stretching and recovering after my runs, which facilitated an injury in my shin. I had to take some time off from my training, but it has still been a struggle for me to keep disciplined about my injury prevention. I think it has something to do with the combination of a full-time job (which I've never had before) and the unfamiliar environment and routine. I have to rely heavily on prayer to go to God with my worries about my training. I have to be reminded of his purpose for placing me on my team. Just because I have important responsibilities over here doesn’t mean I can forget about my responsibility to my teammates and coaches. I only have a few more years to be able to minister to my teammates.

Q: What is one thing you have learned this summer?

I learned how to drive on the left side of the road. I am still quite nervous about learning how to drive manual, though, especially in a busy city like Johannesburg.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being here so far?

I loved seeing animals while driving to the transmitter site in Eswatini, especially the giraffes. Then, at the game parks we saw hippos, rhinos, and elephants.

I also loved the hospitality: I have gotten so many free meals! 

Q: What are your post-college plans?

 Use my computer skills and engineering skills for the glory of God.

Q: Fun fact: What’s your favorite food? 

 Almost all types of fruit, especially watermelon.

Q: Tell us a little-known or fun fact about yourself!

I have memorized the books of James and Galatians!

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