Christians in Overseas Service Trust (COST) was established in 1972 to assist short term volunteers to obtain initial funding, which enables and facilitates them through the provision of monetary grants. COST is open to applications only from Christians who are British nationals.
The Trust was founded by the Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship (now INTERSERVE) but works with all mission agencies.
In the last 20 years, the Trust has assisted almost two thousand students and other young people. The policy is to provide a grant that is modest but significant. The emphasis has been on assisting gap year students, medical electives and bible college students. This emphasis remains but is not exclusive.
The intention is to kick-start the process of fund raising to help them secure additional funds from other sources. The Trust's grant may be likened to a "pump priming" contribution.
COST is a relatively small Trust. But it has a large client market. It has identified a niche area of need. In so doing it has assisted hundreds of young people to raise the necessary funds from churches, from temporary work and from other trusts. Our selection procedure has come to be relied upon by others. We are investing in young lives and have proved that a little goes a long way!
The work of the Trust has become widely known and short term volunteers from the following organisations are amongst recent grant recipients:
Latin Link, Action Partners, CMS, Oasis, INF, OM, YWAM, INTERSERVE, OMF, Mid Africa Ministries, AEF, World Horizons.
In addition, a large number of Mission Hospitals in Asia and Africa have been helped to appoint Medical Electives as part of their training and overseas experience.
It is the policy of the Trustees to evaluate and select suitable applicants. An emailed, one-page report at the end of the assignment will be requested.
The aim of the Trustees is to assist Christian young people to express their concern for others by giving them the opportunity to share their time, their gifts and their love of Christ with people overseas.
These younger people (18-25 years old) have a particular contribution to make by virtue of their age in that they are able to communicate more readily with their peer groups in Asia and the Middle East. In the countries which make up this region of the world more than half of the population is under the age of 25. The successful COST applicants are therefore making a significant contribution to the NOW generation, shortly to become the NEXT generation from which the countries' leaders will be drawn.
It is so encouraging that considerable numbers of young Christians are willing to invest parts of their summer vacation, or longer, in helping other people overseas – losing the earning potential these months contain. In recent years, until the emergence of the Covid 19 Pandemic, short-term opportunities to help others overseas increased. The necessary financial resources could be a barrier or disincentive but COST exists to help combat this problem. One sincerely hopes that there will be a return to previous levels of overseas placements, some of which may lead participants to further and longer-term overseas service.
Applications are invited from British Christians wishing to serve overseas who need additional help with their funding.
Anyone who is a British Christian may apply.
Those wishing to apply are invited to download the application form, complete it, and forward it by email to the General Secretary, COST, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All applicants must be volunteers.
- They must pay for their own travel and accommodation and not be in receipt of a salary.
- They must be appointed to work with an institution or agency in the receiving country.
- The level of grant awarded will only cover part of the costs involved.
Individuals who apply for a COST grant do so by completing the application form attached to this website. Completed hard copy application forms are considered by COST and are then filed securely for secure destruction after 6 years. The majority of applications are received by email; they will not normally be circulated beyond the General Secretary, but may be seen by other Trustees/Directors of COST.
Some information in respect of successful applicants will be transferred onto COST's financial spreadsheet. This consists only of the applicant's name, church, destination on Christian mission, the sum awarded and the cheque number. COST must retain this for 6 years prior to deletion.
Once a grant has been sent to, and received by, a successful applicant COST will make no further contact with that applicant other than to acknowledge receipt of a post-placement report if appropriate. Where an applicant is unsuccessful, COST will make no further contact following notification of the outcome. Applicants may request, at any time during the 6 year period of retention of their application details, to see a copy of their details held in COST records. Such requests should be sent to the General Secretary. Those who have submitted post-placement reports (these are for the information of the Trustees) may request to the General Secretary that their report be removed from the file and/or email inbox and destroyed/deleted.
Individuals who donate funds to COST may request that their donations remain anonymous if they wish. On receipt of a donation the General Secretary will acknowledge it, and then initiate no further contact with the donor unless asked to do so by the donor.
COST will never pass any details whatsoever to any third party, except to its accountant for audit purposes, and will do its utmost to ensure all personal details in its records are held absolutely securely.