from the director

Loren John

Hello, I'm John Henry.

As the director of the Student Mobilization Centre for Youth With A Mission for nearly thirty years, I spent sleepless nights in countless airports. My family & I have survived a military highjack in Guatemala, a river flood that stranded our teams departing for Albania, Brazil, and Ghana, and doors slammed in our faces in American suburbs. We took a 53 hour train ride from Beijing to assist our occupational therapy interns at a Nanning orphanage in China. We’ve worked in war torn villages in El Salvador, outlived treacherous white knuckle bus rides to work among the Quechua people in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Rabinal Achi people in the mountains of Guatemala, and the Maasai People in the Savannas of Kenya.  

I’ve been up all night talking to people about Jesus in train stations in Vienna and with gang leaders in New York City. I’ve slept on uncounted floors and tents from flooded basements to the Mexican desert. I’ve prayed until my throat was raw in campus meetings around the world, preached until my voice was gone, and had sleepless nights talking and listening to Christian moms and dads about their kids, and with university students questioning God’s existence.

Our students have helped plant churches at seventeen thousand feet in the Andes Mountains, in the dusty barrio’s of Mexico, and the former Illyrian settlement situated on a hill above Pogradec, Albania. We’ve started businesses, established HIV/AIDS counseling clinics, installed water pumps and storage facilities, established medical clinics and pharmacies, and taught in schools in slum communities in Belize, Brazil, Philippines, Mexico, India, East Timor, Guatemala, and Kenya. We’ve equipped and deployed hundreds of students to follow God’s call.

Student Mobilization Centre Staff Team

Converge is a YWAM initiative. Converge is built and supported by Youth With A Mission missionaries. The Converge platform is a program of the Student Mobilization Centre of YWAM's University of the Nations, including the following: 

John Hwang - International Director, Student Mobilization Centre, Chile
Choongshik Lee - Korean Campus Staff - Delhi, India
Seuk Moon Lee - Korean Campus Staff - Delhi, India

Sungwon Kim - SMC Europe Resource Teacher
Mauricio Chaparro - SMC Colombia
Juan Carlos Gama - SMC Europe, Sweden

Leadership Development

Converge is a pioneer effort of YWAM Ocean City, NJ, which we began late in 2013. We have operated as the Student Mobilization Centre of the University of the Nations since 1997. To develop Converge internationally, we seek several people to join the following Task Groups to support Converge. We are committed to developing people to fulfill their calling as it relates to Christ's mission.  

Personnel Group

  • Review and advise re: qualifications of applicants
  • Determine policies and procedures for onboarding, supporting, and evaluating staff
  • Develop personnel files
  • Job descriptions
  • Brief bio for each staff member

Marketing Group


  • Leverage the YWAM Parent Brand
  • Secure endorsements from influential leaders
  • Create marketing tactics and collateral that connects with audience’s need to volunteer and fundraise(students), advise (mentors), host (project hosts), and contribute (donors).
  • Develop conference/exhibit strategy for YWAM and Student Groups.
  • Action Item for ALL: Visit YWAMCONVERGE.ORG, and click the BLOG link at the top, subscribe and share.

Group Members

 Ryan Dutra - Board Member;  Esther Koo - Advisory;  Greg Silker - Advisory;  Davi Sousa - Staff



  • Recruit bookkeeper/accountant staff/volunteer with Quickbooks skills.
  • Establish systems & prepare for Annual Audit
  • Produce Accounting Procedures Manual

Group Members

Susan Andrews - Treasurer/CPA;  Steve Wilson - Advisory;  Mary Henry - Staff Bookkeeper;  Barbara Perry - Volunteer Bank Reconciler

It Group


  • Complete MVP
  • Chart Support System & Create Support Manual
  • Train Support Staff for Adoption of Salesforce Systems
  • Track & Report Progress
  • Map Goals for next iteration
  • Move Online Course to Rails Site
  • Post Map of Available Projects on Search Page
  • Post Map of Past Projects with Reports Attached (PDFs, Videos, Photos)

Group Members

Eric Garza - Advisory;  David Moore - Advisory;  Matt Martorana - YWAM Volunteer;  Daniel Bryan - YWAM Volunteer

Education Group


  • Oversee DTS strategy & plans
  • Review, revise, and restructure entire Converge course
  • Update Syllabus and Learning Outcomes
  • Create new Intro & Outro for all videos
  • List new videos to be produced by Feb 2016.
  • Complete automated emails to Student, Host, Mentor, & References.
  • Design software and move entire course away from Blackboard Coursesites to our Rails site.

Group Members

Deonn McDowell - Board/SMC International Committee Member;  Todd Johnson - Advisory;  Jessica Kalisa - Staff;  Joanne Utt - Staff

Legal Group


  • Maintain Board of Governance policies (Conflict of Interest)
  • Maintain Records (Minutes, Bylaws, Decisions)
  • Review & make recommendations re: Insurance and Liability
  • Develop Board Training & Evaluation
  • Evaluate CEO

Group Members

Dave Stabler - Board Member;  Fred Grossenbach - Advisory

Global Parternships Group


  • Establish Converge as the go-to tool YWAM leaders use to apply for interns for their projects. 
  • Research, Invite, and Support these groups through “Create an Internship” application:  YWAM Leaders,  Missions Agency Leaders, &  Mega-Church Leaders

Group Members

Warren Keapproth - Board Member;  Greg Fritz - Advisory;  Tom Nolan - Advisory;  Amy Off - Staff;  Steve & Beth Fischer - Staff

Local Pr Group


  • Present YWAM Converge to local church groups
  • Offer local seminars 
  • Write PR notices for local papers.
  • Communicate the YWAM Brand through church engagement,  local speakers, and local service projects

Group Members

Jim Melonic - Volunteer Adele Marks - Volunteer;  Tim Truman - Volunteer