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Unmasking the Gospel in 2021: Sam, Engineering Intern

By Rosie McMahan
Americas, Bonaire, C America, Engineering
What type of internship comes to mind when you think of engineering? Missions? Sam Toenies didn’t think so either. That is until he attended a career fair and learned about TWR, which offers an internship program that could combine his engineering degree with reaching the world for Christ. This summer, Sam has joined the TWR team in Bonaire, the home of the largest AM transmitter in the Western Hemisphere. For the summer months, Sam will be devoting his time to the gospel being spread around the world, whether that be through connecting with locals or working at the transmitter site.

Sam grew up in central Minnesota in a city called Little Falls and graduated this past spring from Dordt University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is serving as an engineering intern alongside fellow intern Caleb, but interning with TWR is not the only exciting thing happening in Sam’s life in 2021 — he’s getting married in December!

Q: How did you hear about TWR?

I heard about TWR during an online career fair when I met with a recruiter, Ryan (from TWR).

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

TWR interested me because it was an opportunity to serve the Lord overseas as an engineer. I had not heard about this kind of thing before but this internship sounded like a great way to test it out. I didn’t have a preference for where I went, and they sent me to Bonaire.

Q: Have you always been interested in missions?

I have always been interested in missions, but I am not sure if God wants me to do that with an organization like TWR or in working a more conventional job closer to home.

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

We have already helped with the general upkeep of the office and transmitter site, and a big project we plan on doing is building a carport with solar panels as the roof.

Q: Are there any challenges you have or anticipate experiencing? How will you face them?

A challenge I was worried about was having adequate community with other believers, but the TWR staff down here along with some local people are God’s provision for this!

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

I am most looking forward to my entire workday clearly being work to allow the gospel to be spread.

Q: What is your biggest goal for this summer?

A goal I have this summer is to learn to speak some Papiamentu, the local language, and to get to know local people on the island.

Q: What are your post-college plans?

My plan after this internship is to find a full-time engineering job in Fargo, North Dakota, since that is where my fiancé and I will be living at least until she graduates.

Q: Fun fact — what’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is fresh sunfish from our Minnesota lakes.
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