(Alexandra Ramey of Grace OPC, Vienna, VA, served on the Volunteer Staff at the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, NJ, during the summer of 2016). Here at the Boardwalk Chapel we aren’t just another group of young Christians on a summer mission’s trip. The Boardwalk Chapel is different. We live together in one house as a community of believers, and each night we perform a program at the Chapel so we can share with people walking along the Boardwalk the love and joy that Christ shares with us. We build relationships with summer travelers and workers in Wildwood in ways that bring joy and comfort to those who hear our stories.
This is my second year as a Volunteer Staff member serving on the Drama Team at the Boardwalk Chapel. It’s actually my fourth year to be associated with the chapel, because for two years prior to my first year on the staff (2015), my church youth group came up from Vienna, Virginia, to serve as a “Ministry Team.” That’s the cool thing about the Chapel – the church youth groups that come each week to visit and participate in our nightly programs and evangelism. When I came with my youth group, what touched me the most was the unity and fellowship of the staff. I loved singing and praying with them, performing with them, and fellowshipping and building relationships with them. I fell in love with the Chapel because of the staff and the love they showed us. I knew I wanted to be on staff as soon as I could.
As a staff member, I have learned SO much over the past two summers, but two things have stood out the most to me – strength and prayer. It takes a lot to go up to a complete stranger and ask them if they believe in God when you don’t know if they will answer in a positive or neutral or aggressive way. I’ve learned to rely on the strength of God to empower me to go out and share His truth, because I’ve fallen in love with the people here in the small town of Wildwood. People come from all over the world to work or just relax here. I’ve utterly enjoyed building new relationships and friendships with people who were once complete strangers to me, and only by God’s grace have I been able to talk with them and become friends with some.
I’ve also learned that God teaches us patience on so many levels. We pray all the time that the people we talk to and befriend will lean on the hope and truth of Christ, and sometimes God saves them and sometimes He doesn’t. Yet, no matter what, he calls us to fervently pray, and so day by day I pray knowing that God’s will is being done. The dear lady and two young Turkish gentlemen to whom I talked last night might not come to Christ for ten more years, yet I will continue to pray for them. Each day we see our friend who works at a nearby pizza shop come closer to a life lived for Christ, and I continue to pray for him. Prayer is powerful, and the Chapel has taught me how powerful it truly is in every aspect of life, no matter what the circumstance.
A fellow staff member sang a song in a program the other night and dedicated it to us. The song is called, “Tent in The Center of Town,” by Sara Groves. A few lines of it go like this:
There’s a tent in the center of town
And the people are losing their frowns
Cause they think they’ll go there and see lions and bears
In the tent in the center of town
But it’s all about the winning of souls
Say the signs on the telephone poles
They say if you are blue Jesus is calling you
To the tent in the center of town
The Boardwalk Chapel. A place of love and joy and fellowship, where people come in and smile and lay their burdens down as they rest in the peace our Lord gives to His beloved children.
PHOTO: Alexandra (2nd from left) with other staff members serving on the Drama Team at the Boardwalk Chapel
Visit www.opcstm.org for more testimonials from those who have served as short-term missionaries in the OPC!
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