"I have discovered that the Converge Course is not just a preparation for internships or outreaches, it gave me a new way of thinking. I have experience with campus ministry in Colombia, so I was familiar with some of the concepts. However, several of the topics have opened my eyes and changed my perspective."
"I have learned that PASSION is being joyful through suffering, that JUSTICE is giving God His place, that PRAYER is the first step to action, that POVERTY is a lack of identity and purpose, and that CALLING is an adventure with Jesus."
"Those were ideas and topics that simply changed the way that I approached the people in the community here in Albania. This new understanding has changed the way I relate with people. When I arrived in Albania, I began another phase of the Converge Course, Enculturation. I began taking time for interviews with the people. This helped me to get a better understanding of the community, to see the system of beliefs behind the culture practices. This Converge experience has helped me to appreciate the community where I served, which gave me the chance to be part of their story. My unique final project is attached."
“We must be at the forefront of environmental stewardship…having a solid Christian environmental ethic…coming alongside those already working in environmental disciplines in the field.” - Mark
Xianyi Wu, a student from Singapore, returned from his water resource engineering internship in East Timor with a sense of God’s calling to make a difference for the world’s poor. He had witnessed how an accidental kerosene lantern fire had severely burned a child’s face. He and a few other students at Stanford University started a company, dlightdesign.com, manufacturing and distributing solar lanterns. To date, over 17 million lives have been empowered and millions of families in over 40 countries now have safer, cleaner, less expensive light.
Here is Xian’s video testimony.
“It was a life-changing experience! I gained a lot of knowledge and experience … about infectious disease, tropical illnesses and even more about HIV/AIDS plaguing the population. The thing I remember most is what God did in my heart. I saw God’s heart for justice, for reformation, for restoration and God’s calling on my own life. I knew God had called me to bring healing to others through systemic changes in healthcare. I have been a nurse for the past 10 years and recently got my Masters in Public Health, much because of what God had stirred in my heart.” - Amy
“The internship taught me what it meant to have a calling, both a vocational and spiritual calling. It allowed me to use my skills and talents to minster and reach out to the people of Kenya. More importantly, the outreach to university students in Kenya provided an environment linked to my field of study and provided opportunity to reflect and open my eyes to what God’s calling is for me.” – Julian
“During our time in Mongolia doing medical care, we were able to share the gospel with the street children. Today, my husband Lance, son Gideon, and I live in South Sudan and run an orphanage, school, and church for the Mundari people.” - Kim
“[It] was a meaningful introduction to cross-cultural ministry. [The leaders'] warmth and dedication created instant community. Years later I can see that the seeds sown then -- the teaching and relationships across race and borders -- have grown to have a strong influence on the way I live out Christ's love in the world. I am now the mother of two children from China, and I strive to practice the principles of inclusivity and connection that I saw in 1996.” - Alison
“I made a series of AIDS education pamphlets, but instead of textual information, I incorporated visual information since many Kenyans are illiterate.” - Nicole
The second team of five students was led by Brenda “Gillie” Gilfillen, an American nurse who served full time at YWAM LaBrea. The team joined a Brazilian doctor’s mobile clinic training Brazilian Health Care workers after flying on a Wycliffe Bible Translator’s plane from Port Velho to LaBrea and then journeying up 18 hours on a river boat.
“...in terms of exposure to clinical medicine, I observed various surgeries and the delivery of twins and I administered penicillin & PPD (tuberculosis) shots. The life and death aspects of medicine became very real to me. At times I was overwhelmed by what I saw, such as the variety of tropical diseases, the underlying poverty of the villagers, and the stark beauty of the Amazon. My primary goal of the summer was to experience what it is like to be a medical missionary, a goal which was definitely fulfilled.” Sung Chong, U. of Pennsylvania ￼
“We went with the clinic staff to villages where they gave immunizations and we offered primary wound care and education. After the clinic staff left, we had revival meetings.” “There were people coming to us with the expectation of being healed (but we didn’t have the training or skills) ...through this circumstance God showed me that we can’t rely on our knowledge or skills. He stripped us of all knowledge and skill and took us to the point of despair to show us that it is not by human power but through the Name of Jesus. We need to have faith in God and not ourselves....a set of four month old twins who had sores and rashes all over them. This condition was due mostly to the lack of vitamins, especially vitamin B. The mother told us that the father ran away and she had no money for food. I wanted to blame someone for the culture and how this kind of thing could happen but God taught me to be patient.” Jeannie, U Penn
Three students worked with YWAM, Pogradec nurse and occupational therapist staff assessing the needs of 100 handicapped children under the age of 15 in the mountainous villages along the Macedonian Border. Steve, a Columbia University student on the Albania team said: “It was good to know that we were pioneering a new area of ministry and that through what we started a whole project to help the handicapped children in the Pogradec area was beginning.” Their health & education report was presented to hospital and government officials in Albania.
"It has encouraged me to keep going in the field of medical missions. It all taught me to depend on God (on things unseen) and also to interact with other students and teammates in a way that will encourage them. I learned to look for the gifts that people give to a group..." - Tory Gregg, Wake Forest
"This was the best learning experience of my life. I also feel determined to lead a simpler life-style after realizing that I have too many 'things'." Zaneta Chung, Yale University
'... an unconventional internship that fosters a global perspective on life, and there is no class in any university that could teach this or even prepare you for it. This internship was timed perfectly before I make major life decisions. Prior to this trip, my focus was on me: my success, my happiness, my comfort. Stress, anxiety and worry were part of my daily life. The Lord, took my eyes off of myself and focused them on Him. To sum it all up, the Lord broke me and then filled me with a zeal for Him and a desire for others to experience the Joy and Peace He has to offer.' - Lena Hillenberg, Dartmouth College
"It wasn't (just) an academic endeavor. This was a character building-leadership learning event. God used it in my life. The vision makes sense. Amen!" Jan Mayer - Team Leader
"...this internship [is] wonderful experience for the...type of work I am planning to do...problem solving in an underdeveloped economy, while integrating mission work." M. Francine Thacker
“We heard the students say they were really being challenged and had to really examine their motivation for pursuing a medical careers. I was so glad to be able to be a part of this outreach and see this kind of transformation for these young students. Many of them had not had a chance to touch anyone with medical help so they gained invaluable experience touching the poor and the least reached in Juarez those living at the garbage dump.” - Doug
"(our team). was able to work in areas that you could never experience in the states." A. Wells
"I was a translator for the Russian delegation at the Lausanne II Congress in Manila with 192 nations represented. The Church is much bigger than I thought." - Johann
"I am so glad YWAM provided this chance of a lifetime!" R. Replogle
After her internship to China, Paula attended a Discipleship Training School, then used the medium of her art to teach the refugees from Cambodia in Hong Kong high rise slums. Today Paula is teaching the U of N Fine Art course in S. Africa. Her art and the art of her students are being used to express the glory and the greatness and the kindness of the Lord in Africa.
"I am now very interested in missions and what my direct involvement can be...we can minister to people by nearly any means." C. Moss
"I grew spiritually and learned I was able to take what I learned in Chinese painting to apply it to watercolor." L. Eberwein
"It provided me a structure for studying education in Fiji and better enabled me to understand how to set up an early childhood school in another culture." D. Ninemire
"This internship strongly confirmed my calling to medical missions and provided badly needed impetus to a lengthy academic career." M. Miller