The Florence STEP (Short Term Exposure Programme) is a unique opportunity for individuals to serve God in Florence, SC, USA at the OM Ships International campus. It is ideal for those with little, or no, missions experience and those looking to improve their English. Our desire is that participants learn and grow in their Christian walk and have their eyes and hearts opened to what God is doing through OM Ships. It also provides an environment to increase the participant's cultural intelligence and to gain a better understanding about missions and church mobilisation. We hope that each participant will leave with a better understanding of ministry and the part they can play in it.

During this 2-3 month programme participants will:

  • Serve in our Ministry Centre sorting & packing books. Other service opportunities are available on an individual basis depending on the person’s expertise
  • Participate in the OM Ships Florence team life and interact with our international OM missionary staff
  • Experience the American culture and have the opportunity to visit one or two nearby cities (Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte)
  • Join the missions and mobilisation awareness weekly class which provides fundamental knowledge that will help you to better understand missions and to engage better with different cultures
  • Improve their English (if appropriate)
  • Visit local churches and/or participate in a local church

Apply by

September 2024

01 September - 30 November 2024

23 July 2024
October 2024

01 October 2024 - 31 December 2024

23 August 2024
November 2024

01 November 2024 - 30 January 2025

25 September 2024
December 2024

01 December 2024 - 28 February 2025

24 October 2024
January 2025

01 January - 31 March 2025

25 November 2024
February 2025

01 February - 30 April 2025

17 December 2024
March 2025

01 March - 30 May 2025

22 January 2025
April 2025

01 April - 30 June 2025

24 February 2025
Cost £1,230 (excluding flights, insurance & visa)
Ages 18+
Suitable for single people welcomemarried couples welcomesorry, no familiesgroups welcome

Ministry Details

Participants will serve daily at the OM Ships Ministry Centre.  The team receive, sort, pack and ship Bibles and other Christian literature that will be sold in the Logos Hope Book fair, via the internet or to book stores around the world. They will be involved in practical service from Mondays – Fridays from 8:00am – 4pm.  They will also be fully involved in OM team life including weekly team devotions, prayer meetings and other occasional team events.

Participants will join the Thursday Missions & Mobilisation Awareness class where they will learn  to be more effective in multicultural environments and also have opportunities for growth through shared cross-cultural living arrangements - they should expect to share a house or apartment, bedroom (not a bed) and bathroom with others of the same gender.  Houses and apartments are fully equipped.  Evenings and weekends are usually free but there are many opportunities for church involvement and social activities.

Watch this video to get an insight into Florence STEP!

Participant Profile

Participants should come with a love for Jesus and a desire to serve Him in a practical way. They need to be sufficiently fit to be on their feet all day every day and, preferably, able to lift boxes of books. They should be able to take care of themselves without supervision.


We will provide onsite accommodation in one of our guesthouses and apartments.  Single men and women are accommodated in separate houses.  Couples and Families will be accommodated together.


Participants will be responsible to purchase and prepare their own meals.  Each guesthouse has a fully equipped kitchen.  They will be given a monthly allowance to cover their food and fuel costs.  Lunches during the week will be provided.


Participants need to arrange their travel to and from Florence, SC. The best airport for arrival is Florence, SC or Columbia, SC. Participants will be met on arrival at the airport. Participants should bring their national driver’s license with them if they have one. An international Driver’s license is only needed if their license is not in English. Approved drivers will be given shared access to one of the OM team vehicles for local use.

Please do not book any flights before you have applied and received an acceptance email from the Short Term Missions team.


Participants need to be in good health and able to be on their feet all day every day in order to serve in our Ministry Centre (Literature). If that is an issue we will work to determine another more suitable role prior to their acceptance.


British citizens can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. The programme is limited to a max of 90 days for those entering the US under the Visa Waiver programme. On arrival in the USA participants must not say they are coming to work as we will not be paying them. They are coming to volunteer with us and experience the USA.


Price is subject to change according to the exchange rate.

Applicants must be 18 or over.

We highly recommend you join OM in the UK’s Getting into Gear weekend (GiG) which you can attend a weekend in October (dates tbc). This is a weekend of training and orientation which will be conducted in Shropshire and will cost an additional £75.

As part of our Safeguarding policy you may require a valid enhanced DBS certificate, which may cost an additional £15. 

We can take participants at any time, for any length of time, depending on their individual situation. 

Cost – US$400/month/person. Couples are welcome if both spouses are planning to engage with the ministry. We are unable to have families unless the children are either home-schooled or on holiday. There would need to be a willingness for the whole family to engage with the ministry to some extent.

Taking the Next Step

I'm ready to apply  I've got a question

Return To All Outreaches