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Summer of Impact 2022: Zeke, Marketing and Communications Intern

By Malise Terrell
Africa, Global, Eswatini, South Africa, Marketing, S&E Africa
10 July 2022

From the heartland of Indiana to the financial capital of South Africa, summer intern Zeke Hansen relishes a unique opportunity to serve him this summer.  

Q: How did you hear about TWR? 

Back at school, I was involved in CRU, which is a campus ministry directed toward college students. Every Thursday, Ball State CRU had their “All-CRU Gatherings” where the entirety of Ball State CRU would meet for a night of worship and fellowship. Last October, I was attending one of these events when The Travelling Team was visiting. They spoke a great deal about missions. Afterward, I went to a post-meeting discussion they were holding to learn more.
Honestly, I stayed for that because someone asked me to, not because I felt especially passionate about what they were discussing. The post-meeting discussion went fine, but I wound up talking to one of the members as we were standing around. He suggested we set up a phone call the next week, and it was during that call when I told him I needed to have an internship (in order) to graduate. That’s when he got me in contact with TWR. 

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

Even though I needed an internship to graduate, that didn’t necessarily mean I would go with TWR. I’m sure I could be back in the U.S. doing a more conventional internship with a more conventional journalism-related business. The reason I was excited by the internship with TWR was because it felt like an opportunity to do work that was fulfilling. This was work that I could be proud of not only for the quality but also for the impact. 

Q: Have you always been interested in missions?  

No, mainly because I don’t feel like 10-year-old me had the same interest that I currently do, but at some point, I did gain an interest in missions. Most likely, I gained an interest slowly and naturally as I grew closer to God, and as I’ve been put in places to embark on missions, that subconscious interest has started to become realized. 

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

I do not know what my calling is, but I guess the way this summer fits into that is I might be able to leave with a better idea as to what my calling is. So far, I’m learning that I enjoy hearing others’ stories and being able to share those stories with readers. That might be a part of my calling, or it might not, but I’m eager to learn more about how God wants to use me. 

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

The main project is related to TWR Africa’s 50th anniversary, which is coming up in 2024. The Marcom [Marketing and Communications] team will be putting together a commemorative book for that occasion. So far, I’ve been responsible for gathering information. I’ve been interviewing many people that have been working for TWR Africa for a while: Steve Stavropoulos, James and Lyn Burnett, Gottfried Schiele, among others.
Besides that, I’ll have other smaller assignments. I’ve written a story on Voice of the Church (TWR’s partner in Eswatini), and I’ve written another one on James and Lyn Burnett’s 40th anniversary working with TWR. 

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

My biggest passion is writing, especially writing about more than just information, but writing about emotions, getting to know the characters and their motivations. That’s where I’ve found my internship aligning with my passion. I now have the opportunity to do sit-down interviews with these people who have amazing stories to share, and I have the opportunity to share these stories with a bigger audience. 

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

Simply navigating the territory, in that I’ve been given a lot of leeway toward the projects I’m working on, and I’ve had little information to work from. I’ve had to go to work on research, asking around and using the resources available to me. Perhaps that, more than anything, has made me feel like an actual journalist. 

Q: What were you most looking forward to during your internship? 

Meeting new people and being able to learn from their perspectives, especially with those who have been working in missions or with TWR for a long time. Back at school, I don’t really get to talk to older people about their experiences and their walk with Christ. I (now) have the opportunity to do that, and so far, I’ve learned a lot. 

Q: What was your biggest goal for this summer? 

My biggest goal for the summer was to develop more confidence, both in myself but also in God’s plan for me. You could make the argument that they’re one and the same, and I think you’d be right. It’s tricky to list “developing more confidence” as a goal because it isn’t something you can entirely force upon yourself. It’s going happen naturally if it does indeed happen.  

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

To know you are where God wants you to be is a great thing. I’ve learned this both from my experience so far, but also from talking to missionaries. There’s a certain peace provided by knowing that you’re in the right place, and you’re walking the right path. It doesn’t mean that anything is going to be easy, but what it means is that nothing is going to be impossible.  

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

My favorite thing about Eswatini had to be the scenery. It’s an incredibly beautiful place. My favorite thing about South Africa, or Johannesburg at the very least, is probably the architecture. It’s cool to see how they build their houses and buildings. 

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

Lately, it’s been chili, and I’ve been trying to recreate the chili my parents and I make at home here in South Africa, but they just don’t have the same stuff. Back home, we’d simply just use chili beans, tomato sauce, meat, and diced tomatoes, and that worked really well.  

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

I can take my right shoulder out of socket (posteriorly) without pain. I don’t know why or how, and it is just my right shoulder. 

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