Gaining knowledge in the technical field and living in a different country were among the experiences that Laura McCallum and Lauren Grinder were happy to take home after spending two months in South Africa (SA). Both were among the 14 interns from the United States of America (USA) who were provided an opportunity to participate in an internship programme with TWR to work according to their field of studies in various regions around the world this year.
Both Laura and Lauren served as IT interns at TWR’s office in Kempton Park, SA, giving up their summer to spend two months in the South African winter, which is luckily mild compared to the snow-filled winters they are used to! They had a few things to say about work, ministry and the wildlife adventure after seeing the so called “big five” of Africa, namely leopards, lions, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes. “The experience of the seven-hour time difference, the IT skills and learning to drive on the left side of the road were part of our daily accomplishments,” said Laura, who is an incoming junior studying computer science at the University of Michigan. Her fellow intern, Lauren is a graduate of the Montana Code School (USA). According to Lauren, some of the things they discovered about SA were the hospitable environment, seeing people pray differently, people selling goods by the roadside and the very good food taste. “We were made to feel like honoured guests everywhere we went,” she said.
The TWR Women of Hope App that they worked on with the Technical team at TWR Africa’s Technical Services department, will soon be operational. Lauren said the app will display the prayer calendar in both daily and monthly prayer requests. “It will use the location of the user to display helpful information about nearby hospitals and prayer groups,” Lauren added. Among their daily challenges, was learning programming languages and structures that were completely new to them. They also had an opportunity to travel to TWR’s transmitting tower in Eswatini.
Excited to go home and meet their families, Laura and Lauren felt that they will miss the continent of Africa. After their two months experience, they expressed mixed feelings about their future careers. Both said they would love to work for the ministry but trust on God’s guidance if they would come back to Africa. Laura will graduate in 2020 and that she is unsure what she will be doing after graduation. “I love the state of Michigan, but I am also open to living and working somewhere else” she said. Echoing the same words, Lauren said she has grown personally and spiritually and that if Africa is where God called her, she will follow that path.