For Volunteers


What exactly will I do as a Short Term Missionary (STM)?

Most STMs serve as a companion to a child or adult with a disability. In this role, you job is to be their friend for the week, giving the gift of your time and love. You’ll join your assigned family for meals and a wide variety of program activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding, and climbing walls. Following afternoon free time, you will rejoin your family for evening activities.

STMs may also serve in a specific program area leading or assisting with art, recreation activities, music, or youth programs. In this role, you will lead the program during the day and evening with a break in the afternoon.

What are the requirements to serve as an STM?

You must be at least 17 years old and a committed Christian with a desire to serve families affected by disability. You’ll function as a flexible team player who offers friendship, support, and general assistance to help families get the most out of their week. You must be able to serve the entire length of the Retreat and attend the prior training. (If you are under 17, please, check with your Retreat Director for other service opportunities.)

*STMs do not provide personal or medical care. Families that need this type of care will bring their own personal attendant or nurse.

Will I receive any training?

Yes, onsite training occurs before families are due to arrive – no prior experience is required! This time of training builds a team atmosphere and helps STMs understand their specific roles. Ongoing support from experienced leaders is also available throughout the Retreat.

When should I apply?

We recommend applying as early as possible. We accept STM applications until all STM positions are filled for the Retreat, or up to two weeks before the Retreat begins.

Choose a Retreat and Apply Today!

What is the cost to be an STM?

The cost to be an STM varies from Retreat to Retreat. Our current schedule provides Retreat costs and contact information. The listed cost includes lodging and meals from the time STMs must be at the Retreat site until they leave. STMs are responsible for their own transportation costs.

Is financial support available?

Although some STMs pay their way personally, many choose to raise financial support. STMs often find that their local church, family members, or friends are willing to support their service at Family Retreat. If you choose to raise support, Joni and Friends will provide you with tools to help!

Joni and Friends will only provide refunds for cancellations due to an emergency.

Apply Today!