Having been in Singapore most of our lives, we sometimes lose sight of what it is really like around us. That came to an abrupt halt when we spoke to Marietheres Preissler, a young, bubbly German lady from the impressive Ore Mountains of Germany. Making her way from Europe to Asia for a two month internship with TWR must have been a big adventure for her. Let’s hear what she has to say.

Tell us about yourself, and your overall experience at TWR Asia.

Far away from Singapore, God put in me the desire to serve him with my skills. Although I have several job experiences in the secular world, I realized deep down that it was not what I really wanted to do.

One day I found myself typing www.jesus.de on my internet browser and that is where the journey began. On this website, I saw TWR offering internships to serve in the media ministry. It jumped out and spoke directly to me. Without hesitation, I applied for an internship with the Marketing and Communications Department in TWR Asia (in Singapore), to work in the area of Social Media Marketing. It took a while to go through all the formalities but then in March 2013, I got a YES from TWR and was so happy that the Lord gave me this opportunity to enhance my skills and get to know a new country and their culture.

It was amazing how I saw God’s hand in the arrangements. Firstly I was able to take a short break from the university I was studying at. Secondly, I was holding a part time job and my boss agreed to a two month break from that as well so I did not have to give it up. Thank God for his provision!

Applying for the internship was an easy experience. After writing in to apply for the internship, TWR took care of the rest of the process. I always felt that I was in good hands, and felt taken care of right from the start.

It also felt like home from my very first day in Singapore. It is really funny that I lived close to Marymount MRT station when I was in Singapore, because and that’s exactly who I am, and where I am from – I am Mary from the mountains…the Ore Mountains. I had a warm welcome at the office and had tons of fun during my time there. We had morning devotions where the Word of God was shared and the TWR staff would pray together. It was such a blessed environment.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience where I found God’s family in a country far away. I enjoyed every minute of my time there with the friends I made and was always looking forward to another day at work where my creativity gets ignited.

What was your main role? What were some things you learned during your time here in Singapore with TWR Asia?

I was attached to the Marketing and Communications Department. Besides coming up with a social media marketing plan for TWR, I was also involved in the social media activities of TWR Asia, especially on Facebook and Twitter. I did a series of encouraging bible verses combined with pictures on Facebook, as well as a series of encouraging Bible verses on Twitter. In addition I also contributed by sharing new and creative ideas for publicity materials.

I definitely learned more about social media activities and platforms while working with TWR. It has been especially meaningful to me to experience serving in a Christian organisation.

This being your first time in Singapore, what are some first impressions from the places you went to, or people you met?

I did not know what to expect when I left Germany for Singapore as I had never been to Asia. My first impression of Singapore was that Singaporeans are very calm people. And all I heard about Singapore is that it is a very clean and organized place. Strangely, there was also much talk about the ban of chewing gum in the country. Indeed I couldn’t buy gum here!

Another thing that stood out to me was the amount of Western influence in Singapore compared to other countries in South East Asia. Singapore had its own spirit which to me cannot rival any other place I’ve been. Singapore is truly unique.

What will you remember most about your time in Singapore?

I must say I found my love in Singapore – kaya (local coconut jam) and lime juice! All joking aside, I will always remember the love of the staff for taking so much care of me and making my stay a very special one. I will never forget me sneezing and hearing a voice behind me saying, “Gesundheit“. That was one of the Marcom team members trying to make me feel at home. I have also found a new language which is Singlish! Singaporeans have such a special way of adding their local flavour to the English language and making it their very own. I had an enjoyable time learning words such as “no lah” and “ok lor”.

I also appreciate the fact that amidst the concrete jungle of such an urban civilization, one is only a step away from a relaxing time at Sentosa beach.

Last but not least, I want to thank God and TWR for allowing me to visit TWR Philippines for a mission trip. I had the chance to spend my last few days in South East Asia on one of Philippines beautiful beaches with some friends, and then going to serve with the TWR staff in the mountains of Baguio! It was indeed wonderful.

It was a very special and precious time for me. I am thankful for the memories I have and for every single person God sent my way.

Thank you, TWR Asia. Be blessed and stay in the Lord.

All photos courtesy of Marietheres Preissler.