How you grow through our ministry opportunities

The Shelter Youth Hostel Ministry is a unique place. We hear this from the guests in our hostels, but even more often from our volunteers. Every Christian volunteer who has joined our ministry opportunities in the past fifty years, without exception, will say that their time at the Shelter was the time of their lives.

People change in the Shelter. In some people is that change is drastic and unexpected. For others the change is slower yet no less important. But through all these changes, one constant factor remains: God. It is our deepest desire that the name ‘Shelter’ points to “the Most High, the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91). God, made visible by his son Jesus, is the beginning and the end of everything we say and do. If you are looking for international ministry opportunities, this is how you would grow through joining our ministry team.

International ministry opportunities

We could have chosen to hire an international team of paid workers to do the missionary work in our hostels. But we chose to employ young Christian volunteers, to help them grow and mature in their personalities and in their relationship with God. Throughout the years this became a very important part of our ministry. It is our goal and desire that our volunteers leave the Shelter excited, in the realization that they have grown further in their personal relationship with God, knowing themselves and their place in the world. And that they are able to recognize ministry opportunities and to speak more freely about Jesus Christ and what he means in their life.



Abigail from Israel joined our ministry team to reach out to travelers from all over the world. Because of  her background, she had a special group of travelers in mind: Jewish people. Through the ministry opportunities in the Shelter, she learned a lot about sharing the gospel:

"I have experienced firsthand that when I just quote from the Word of God or open the Word of God with them, that’s when real change comes. Because it is not about my words, it’s not about their words, but it is all about the Word of God. The Word of God has the power to change, it has a power that I don’t have. The Word of God is crucial for salvation. It has all the power to change hearts and to change lives and bring salvation."

Check out Abigail's full story in the video below.

Volunteer Abigail about ministry opportunities among Jewish travelers (video in English, with Dutch subtitles)

How you grow through our ministry opportunities:

  • Learn more about inter-cultural interaction and gain new perspective on cultures, backgrounds and mindsets by living and working together with an international team;
  • Identify ministry opportunities in daily life and work and share in a free and natural way about your faith;
  • Develop your social skills and mature as a person in your relationship with God;
  • Put your faith into practice through the support and unity of the community;
  • Learn how to share your faith in a kind, creative and understandable way, with people from all over the world;
  • Experience living in a Acts-like community with people from various cultures, churches and backgrounds. A big diversity, but a unity that comes in Christ.

Ministry opportunities through volunteering in our Christian hostels

The purpose of our Christian ministry is to share Christ and His love with the guests who stay at our hostel. Through interaction with guests at the reception, in the café or during activities, many ministry opportunities come up. Especially in the daily interactions it becomes easy to share about God’s love. Therefore connecting with guests is very important. Obviously we spend time conversing with guests about regular things: traveling, Amsterdam, work, studies, etc. Through these daily conversations, “bridges” to the Gospel often come up naturally. Guests are often open to exchange ideas, to philosophize about God, Jesus and the Bible. We want them to experience the Shelter as a safe place, and it is our deepest desire that they find God, the ultimate shelter for life. So if you want to grow in sharing the gospel and identifying ministry opportunities, we might be the perfect place for you.


Our ministry is not only focused on reaching out to the travellers in our hostels. Our volunteers are an important part of our ministry. All our volunteers (30 to 40 people) live together in a big community house in Amsterdam. Through our ministry and Christian community we want to equip you for a life of ministry and service. During this time, you will have the chance to grow and discover your unique gifts. Through the Ministry Training Program, weekly small groups, worship sessions at the community house and prayer meetings, you will grow together in faith and unity. The Christian community will help and encourage you to keep your focus on God and grow in your walk with Him.

Ministry Training Program

In weekly sessions, called MTP, you will learn more about yourself, about God, about evangelism and serving in the hostel. Once or twice a week all volunteers receive training in topics both spiritual and practical. The sessions are based upon the ministry context of the hostel. Through working in the hostels you learn how to put the MTP-lessons into practice. The Ministry Training Program (MTP) will provide you with the necessary tools to evangelism in the Shelter ministry and beyond. We therefore look for volunteers who have a desire to learn and grow in this area.

Small group

Through weekly small group sessions and worship nights you grow together with other volunteers in faith. All small groups starts with cozy community breakfast, where there is time to relax and catch up with your peers. Afterwards a Christian topic is introduced about which you talk and pray in small groups. You get to know God, yourself and others in a deeper way through this. Small group is a great encouragement for your personal faith life and it will help you to build friendships for life.

Personal prayer mentor

We see Christian young adults are longing to grow in character, faith, and the ability to be a witness of that faith. They desire a place where they can be formed and challenged. The Shelter wants to be a place like that. That is why every volunteer gets a prayer mentor during their time of volunteering in our ministry. They pay attention to the spiritual and personal life of every volunteer. They will help you when you are facing difficulties and questions and keep you in prayers during your time. Moreover they will encourage you to keep on growing and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Interested in our international ministry opportunities?

Are you looking for international ministry opportunities? A chance to truly grow in missionary work and to live, work and share the Gospel in a dynamic international community? And are you interested in joining our ministry? Do not hesitate and apply! Meet new people, live in an international Christian community, experience diverse cultures and share the gospel within a safe environment.

More practical information about our volunteer program is found here. If you want more information about the application procedure, click here. We are looking forward to meeting you!