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 is also an opportunity to seek the Lord for their next steps. We hope that each participant will leave with a better understanding of ministry and the part they have to play.

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)
  • Improve their English (if appropriate)
  • Visit local churches and/or participate in a local church
Dates Apply by
January Wednesday, 01 January - Tuesday, 31 March 2020 22 November 2019
February Saturday, 01 February - Thursday, 30 April 2020 27 December 2019
March Sunday, 01 March - Sunday, 31 May 2020 24 January 2020
April Wednesday, 01 April - Tuesday, 30 June 2020 21 February 2020
May Friday, 01 May - Friday, 31 July 2020 20 March 2020
June Monday, 01 June - Monday, 31 August 2020 24 April 2020
July Wednesday, 01 July - Wednesday, 30 September 2020 22 May 2020
August Saturday, 01 August - Saturday, 31 October 2020 26 June 2020
September Tuesday, 01 September - Monday, 30 November 2020 24 July 2020
October Thursday, 01 October - Thursday, 31 December 2020 23 August 2020
November Sunday, 01 November 2020 - Sunday, 31 January 2021 26 September 2020
December Tuesday, 01 December 2020 - Sunday, 28 February 2021 23 October 2020
Cost £1,080*
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. Participants will be involved in practical service from Mondays – Fridays from 8:30am – 5pm. They will also be fully involved in OM team life including weekly team devotions, prayer meetings and prayer times, monthly birthday celebrations and other occasional team events. Participants have opportunities for growth through shared cross-cultural living arrangements. Participants should expect to share a house, bedroom (not a bed) and bathroom with others of the same gender. Both houses are fully equipped with kitchen, laundry and internet facilities. Evenings and weekends are usually free but there are many opportunities for church involvement and social activities within the OM team and local community.

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.

Accommodation:

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

Food:

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.

Travel:

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.

Health:

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.

Visa:

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 program. 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.

Notes: 

*Price excludes flights, visa & insurance & is subject to change according to the exchange rate.

Applicants must be 18 or over.

Ideally, you will attend OM UK’s Getting into Gear weekend (GiG), in Shropshire which you can attend either from 3rd-6th April 2020, 12th-15th June 2020 or 9th-12th October 2020 (as long as the weekend is before you start your placement). This is a weekend of training and orientation and is included in the price.

As part of our Safeguarding policy you may require a valid enhanced DBS certificate, which will cost an additional £20. 

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.

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