Henry Martyn Trust

Finding a Placement

We want to encourage people to spend time immersed in a different culture, engaging with aspects of life and Christian worship alongside those who live and work there, in order to be challenged, encouraged and enriched by mutual learning in an intercultural environment.

Here are a few things you might want to think about when approaching short term trips and discerning the kind of placement that might be best for you:

What are your skills and interests? What can you offer and what skills would you like the opportunity to develop? (These could be things like music, sports, English, working with children or young people, medical skills, teaching skills.)

Would going with a team or as an individual help you, at the stage you are at, to best engage with the culture around you and learn from your experiences?

Are you willing to be challenged in aspects of your faith and culture? When others do things differently to what you expect, are you able to remain open and non-judgemental?

Do you speak another language? Is there a part of the world you are particularly interested in learning more about?

Placements can often be set-up through church or personal links, or through mission organisations, with people who already know the environment you are planning to visit. 

The Encounter Scheme doesn’t offer organised trips but we do have a bursary scheme to help finance short term missions according to certain criteria ( look under the Encounter section for what these conditions are). Our Encounter Co-ordinator is available to meet up to discuss your interests and to answer any questions about the Encounter scheme. Email encounter@cccw.cam.ac.uk for more information.


Here are a few suggestions of Christian organisations that organise short term placements below. Some of these trips would qualify for our funding and some wouldn’t, so make sure you check the conditions on our website if you are planning on applying for a bursary. Make note of any application deadlines too!

As well as these larger organisations, there are numerous smaller charities, projects and local church links which others you know may well be able to point you towards. Ask at your church if they have any mission partners or connections within the congregation you could make use of, or anyone else with personal experience of living in a different culture who could help you find out what is available.


OMF Serve Asia

OMF Serve Asia provides opportunities to be part of short term teams or to arrange an individual placement (for a minimum duration of 2 weeks and maximum of 11 months) in South East Asian countries.

United Society (US)

‘Journey with US’ gives applicants the opportunity to spend up to 12 months with US partners, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. ‘Placements are tailor-made to meet individual preferences, including location.’


Tearfund offer a wide variety of short term trips intended to ‘give you the chance to live out your Christian faith in a fresh context, to act on your desire to make a difference, and to build real relationships with real people from different cultures’. 

Soap Box

Soap Box provides opportunities for people to go on short-term mission projects, including medical and teaching trips to ‘some of the poorest communities throughout the world’.

Operation Mobilisation (OM)

OM works in over 110 countries, motivating and equipping people to share God’s love with people all over the world. They arrange short term mission trips each year.


WEC Team Treks take groups of up to ten people, led by experienced WEC workers, on short-term missions lasting between two and four weeks. You can read more here.

Church Mission Society (CMS)

CMS offer short term opportunities for committed Christians who are ‘open to spending from four months to two years living and working alongside Christians in other cultures.’


Interserve work in Asia and the Arab world. They are centred on issues of sharing the gospel, combatting injustice and poverty, and bringing healing to some of the world’s hardest places.  Their short term opportunities range from 4 weeks to 12 months on placement. 

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