Everything you need to know about our volunteer program
We have two Christian hostels in the heart of Amsterdam. In these hostels we want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the travelers that are staying with us. Both hostels are run by Christian volunteers (18 to 30 y/o) from all over the world. In our almost free volunteer programs we equip them to engage hospitality and evangelism. On this page you will find everything you need to know about our volunteer program!
Our volunteer program: general information
We offer one volunteer program for all members of our team. All volunteers work in our hostels and live in our Christian community house. Everyone works five to six days a week in the hostels, about five to six hours a day. Volunteers get scheduled for various practical shifts and outreach activities in the hostels. You may learn to work at the reception desk, be a small group leader, organize several evangelism activities or work as a cleaner supervisor. The longer you stay, the broader your range of responsibilities. We do not expect you to come knowing everything; we merely hope that you’ll be eager to share Christ while learning new things, stepping out of your comfort zone and growing in your faith.
What does the volunteering work look like?
The work in the hostels is divided in a practical part and a ministry part.
Everyone in our student volunteer program works about five and a half hours a day: at reception, in the café or as cleaner supervisor. Short term volunteers (1 – 3 months) will work mainly in the café and kitchen. The café is where light meals, drinks, and snacks are prepared and served. It is the place where guests come together for fun, talks and relaxing. Our volunteers prepare food, serve the guests and are great hosts by creating a welcoming, clean and comfortable atmosphere. Long term volunteers (4 – 12 months) will broaden their experience and responsibilities: they get trained to become a receptionist at the hostels’ reception desk or supervisor of our cleaning team (3 to 6 people).
All volunteers could also lead different evangelism and outreach activities. Through our volunteer program we want to equip you to grow in evangelism and share good news with people from all over the world. So during the daily practical shifts there are plenty of opportunities to reach out to guests and engage in conversation with them.
What does a working week look like?
Every two weeks you get a schedule of your activities. Everyone in our volunteer program works five to six days a week in the hostels, about five to six hours a day. Most shifts are divided into morning, afternoon and evening shifts. These shifts vary from cafe work to cleaning supervisor to reception work. At 5.30 PM the volunteers have dinner together in the café (Jordan) or in the staff meeting room (City). Below you can find an example of what a week schedule in our volunteer program can look like. You always have at least one day off every week.
Room enough to grow in your faith
We do not just focus on practical service and reaching out to guests. Because the main goal of our student volunteer program is to equip and prepare you to do ministry. But more important: we want to help you to grow in your relationship with God. Therefore we have our own Ministry Training Program (MTP) twice a week. The MTP lessons are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays, in the morning or afternoon. Furthermore, you will take part in small group meetings on Tuesday or Thursday mornings. “Lots of free time” is probably not how a volunteer would describe his or her Shelter time. But you will have more than enough time to grow in your relationship with God, hang out with other volunteers, explore Amsterdam or other places, practice sports, make music, etc. If you stay longer than three months with us, you also get some vacation days.
Where do the volunteers in the volunteer program live?
Since you are a volunteer at the Shelter, you are given the luxury of not having to rent a room. That makes that we offer an almost free volunteer abroad program: only food is not entirely included! All our volunteers (30 to 40 people) live together in a big community house in Amsterdam. The community house provides bedrooms to accommodate two or three persons per room. Also, there is a big kitchen, dining room, living room and a library to share. The community house is a place of rest after the work in the hostel. But most of all it is a place to enjoy fellowship with one another. The community house is located in the beautiful Jordaan area of Amsterdam, just a five to ten-minute bike ride to our Shelter hostels.
A few colleagues are dedicated to taking care of the Christian community and all the volunteers who live there. We call them "house parents". They don’t live in the house, but are close by and pay attention to the spiritual and personal life of each volunteer along with the practical aspects of maintaining the house. They welcome each new team member and create a comfortable home-like atmosphere.
What does sharing the gospel in the hostels look like?
Type of volunteers: what kind of people volunteer in our ministry?
We have an international team of volunteers from various backgrounds, cultures and church denominations. Our volunteers come from all over the world: the United States, Germany, Australia, Poland, the Netherlands, South Korea and many other nations! We have volunteers from traditional church backgrounds while others may have been raised in an evangelical church. Some have been a Christian their whole life whereas others had their lives turned upside down very recently. Introverts and extroverts, quiet and outgoing personalities, rational and sensitive people, dreamers and doers: everyone is welcome on our team!
Community: diversity and unity in Christ
Furthermore, people join our ministry for various reasons. Some volunteers just graduated from high school and want to do a student volunteer program during their gap year, while others are taking a break from their careers to do missionary work. Some help us out for a month in summer. Others spend a full gap year in our ministry. We are a diverse group that is unified in Christ. But all volunteers have this in common: they are all between 18 and 30 years old, have a desire to grow in their faith and want to learn how to share it with others. No matter what your background is: we believe our Christian overseas volunteer program is one of the best volunteer program you will find.
Is it a free volunteer program? What are the costs?
We offer an almost free volunteer abroad program. Compared to other overseas volunteer programs, you will not have a lot of costs as a volunteer. For example: there is no application fee or accommodation costs. Our volunteer program includes accommodation and training (our Ministry Training Program), free of charge. In case you need a visa, we cover even those costs! We only ask a fee of €60 per month for all your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and drinks. At the hostel and the community house you can help yourself with everything you need for breakfast or lunch. Every day one of the volunteers prepares dinner for all the volunteers in the hostel. So the only costs you will have if you join our almost free volunteer program are:
A €60 food fee per month
A return ticket to Amsterdam
Your medical insurance
Extra money to spend
Interested in joining our free volunteer program?
If you love to meet new people, live in an international Christian community, experience diverse cultures and share the gospel within a safe environment, don’t hesitate and join our student volunteer program! Serve God, grow in your faith and share his love with people from all over the world!