Short-term placements

Overseas volunteering opportunities for Christian professionals

How you’ll make a difference

When you volunteer overseas with BMS you can be sure that you’ll be making a meaningful contribution towards our strategic goals in that region.

That’s because we only send our volunteers into placements where they have been requested by our partners, because of the skills and experience they possess.

Getting the right fit of people to placements is at the heart of our programme. We’re committed to creating situations where our volunteers thrive and are able to give their best.

What I personally gained from the experience was far greater than I could have hoped for. My understanding of God, mission and myself grew so much!
Tim, Volunteer in Thailand

How BMS supports you

Keeping you safe: The safety of our volunteers is paramount. All our overseas placements are carefully risk assessed to ensure that you will be kept safe and well throughout your time with BMS. We also have rigorous policies, comprehensive insurance and a 24:7 emergency phone line.

Ensuring you’re prepared: We provide our volunteers with a five-day residential training programme at our training centre in Birmingham. Here, you’ll meet other BMS volunteers, gain a deeper understanding of cross-cultural mission and learn about living overseas. You’ll also get a careful orientation programme upon arrival, and people on hand to answer your questions the whole way through. These are held in January and July.

You’ll feel cared for: We draw up support agreements for all our volunteers, identifying specific needs, and putting in place careful support structures to ensure you’ll feel well cared for throughout your time.

A dedicated team: We realise that it’s a big decision to volunteer overseas for a year. You’ll have an experienced and dedicated team helping you through the journey from your first enquiry, until you’re settled back into life at home.

Logistical support: We’ll make sure the logistics of your trip don’t cause you any additional stress. We’ll organise your accommodation and airport pick-ups, book your flights, and help you through all the visa paperwork.

Financial help: Volunteer placements are usually self-funded, but for some of our placements, there may be some help available for some of your expenses or living costs. Plus, we’ll be able to give you some tips and resources to help with your budgeting and fundraising. We won’t charge you any overheads, administration or training fees either.

A thorough selection process: Our volunteers complete a comprehensive selection process, including interviews, references, background checks and medical checks to ensure we get the right people into the right placements.

The sending church: We’ll work carefully with your sending church, equipping and encouraging them to take an active role in supporting you whilst you’re away.

It completely exceeded any expectations I had – God went above and beyond and did immeasurably more than I could have ever asked or imagined!

Alexandra, Volunteer in Uganda

How you’ll benefit

Growing in faith – Immersing yourself as a Christian in an unknown culture causes you to rely on God in a whole new way. Plus you’ll have the chance to experience Christianity from a fresh and enriching perspective – your faith will grow!

Growing in confidence – You will have the chance to do things you’ve never done before. Make the most of it and watch your confidence grow.

Travelling somewhere exciting – Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe or the Middle East – go somewhere you’ve never been before!

Meeting new people – BMS’ primary focus is people. We work with them and for them and by becoming a BMS volunteer you will get the chance to work alongside them, build relationships with them and learn from them.

Experiencing a new culture – Every country BMS works in has a different culture and by volunteering with BMS Mission Personnel and locals who live in the country, you will have the chance to learn and experience these and watch them enrich your life.

Learning new skills – Even though you will be in a placement suited to your skills, there will be an element of learning to use them in a new way, along with developing skills you may never have expected you’d be needing!

Having lots of fun! – It’s not all hard work. You are given plenty of time off to explore the area you’re in in your own way, and our volunteers encounter some bizarre but fun cultural experiences such that they would never experience staying in the UK!

Our flexible approach

We recruit Christian volunteers from a wide range of different professions, at different stages in their career, or in retirement. Sometimes volunteers apply individually and sometimes as a couple. We’re used to accommodating a range of different personal needs, requirements and circumstances.

We’re happy to speak to people whatever stage they are at in their thinking.

How much?

You will need to meet the exact cost of the placement – there are no hidden charges. And BMS provides the set-up and administration, residential preparation in UK, pastoral support overseas and debriefing all free of charge. You need to budget for flights, visa, insurance, accommodation, living expenses, vaccinations and personal expenses. We will help you in putting together a placement specific budget.


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