This month, we have the privilege of catching up with Cassius Smith, TWR’s “youngest” member. He was in Singapore recently to help TWR-Asia install the new VOIP phone system. This being his first trip to Singapore, we take a break from force-feeding him with “exotic” Asian food, and grill him on his journey with TWR, and experiences in Singapore.

How did you first come to hear of TWR? How did you come to join TWR, and why?

My wife Valerie and I learned originally of TWR by hosting a TWR missionary in our home in 1985. We got reconnected recently with TWR as volunteers through an agency which helps people find opportunities to serve with missions organizations, whether in the US or overseas. Shortly after we completed our profiles on that website, TWR contacted us. Steve Shantz (Chief Information Officer) and I arranged for a three-week volunteer project at TWR’s office in Cary, North Carolina. After that, we applied and were accepted by TWR as missionaries in June 2010.

We wanted to find a ministry that could use the breadth of our skills and experience that we had accumulated over the years. Also, we were looking for an organization that would let us be “out of the box” thinkers. We felt God leading us to TWR during the volunteer project in January 2010.

What do you do with TWR? How has the journey been so far?

I help out with Project Management and with the VOIP systems. I started out not knowing ANYTHING about VOIP systems and Asterisk (VOIP software). It has been a technical challenge for me to learn the technology. I took some classes, and got certified as a Certified Asterisk Professional. Valerie is involved with Project Hannah in several areas of responsibility. For Valerie, it was a matter of finding her niche at TWR.

The journey so far has been TERRIFIC. People tell me “You have the best job in the world!” And it’s true! We do! God’s hand has been evident throughout.

Are there any precious lessons you gained during your time with TWR?

Many, many lessons! We have really enjoyed the times we have had at all the various offices and establishing relationships with the staff all over the world. TWR has many dedicated and hard-working staff members! It has been a privilege and a blessing to get to know them and many others we’ve come into contact with during our time with TWR so far.

This being your first trip to Singapore, what was your first impression?

My very first impression was “Wow! What a clean city!”

The variety of Asian food available is overwhelming. The various languages and cultures in Singapore are also impressive. What I like best about Singapore is its people, and I will most definitely remember the graciousness and hospitality of the people we have met here!

What would you tell someone who is preparing to come to Asia/Singapore for the first time?

Be prepared for a HUGE variety of food choices! Also, be prepared to be surprised by people’s graciousness. I am just amazed by Asian hospitality…and one last thing, adjust your hearing – English sounds different here!