OCEAN CITY, Md.—Amy Smith, director of the resort and international ministry in Ocean City, is taking a deep breath preparing to dive into a whirlwind summer. Smith recently began her full-time service succeeding Lynn Davis who retired last year after Davis led the ministry for over three decades.
Smith will coordinate summer ministry activities to reach local families, tourists, and summer workers including beach patrol and first responders, and hosting surf camps, day camps, and weekend coffee houses. She also will lead the very large international student outreach that includes Monday night dinners, and conversational English classes, as well as building relationships with international churches.
Smith believes God has been preparing her for the role since she was a child. “I was one of ‘Lynn’s kids,’” she said, sharing her parents were members of Ocean City Baptist Church before she was born.
“I participated in Surf & Sand Club and Parents’ Night Out. I clearly remember the night my parents took me and my younger siblings to Parents Night Out, but when they started to register us, Lynn said, ‘No, don’t count Amy – she’s a helper.’ I was a preteen and that was an exciting moment to be moved up to helper status! As I got older I went from helper to junior missionary to summer missionary living with the rest of the team for the summer.
“I saw missions as a normal part of Christian life. That had a huge impact on me. It was awesome. I would see summer missionaries and college students serving with us who were excited about their faith. Those were the cool kids in my life!” Smith says.
She went on her first international mission trip to Argentina in 1999. “That first sparked my interest in foreign missions.”
In 2002 she moved to North Carolina to serve in a multi-housing ministry. “About half of my neighbors were from other countries – mostly Central America, some from Africa and some from the Middle East. I also attended a Hispanic church during that time. God fulfilled a dream for me to serve in international missions in Raleigh!”
Seven years later Smith returned to Ocean City to find that the international ministry had expanded in a huge way. She jumped right into volunteering again. “I loved it,” she says.
There are many ways churches can help with the resort and international ministry including providing financial support, sending a summer missionary, or a team to help, providing health care kits, and praying.
“This is a team effort involving members of Ocean City Baptist Church and Eastern Baptist Association churches, and summer interns and volunteer teams from Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware churches and beyond,” she explained.