Category: Oceans Edge Intern Blog

Passport Team

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passport team, Adventures in missions, christian internship, horizon church, oceans edge, jaco beach, costa rica, jaco, team, mentorship, discipleship

Different ages, places, Perspectives

Different people and teams are always coming and staying at The Edge property. It is always fun having more people at the property. I love meeting people of different ages, from different places, with varying perspectives on things. Currently we have a Passport team from Adventures and missions living at The Edge for a month and a half.

Passport

Having this Passport team here has been extra special, because I myself first came to Costa Rica on a Passport team in January of this year. As I’ve written about in previous posts, the trip was one of the best and most influential things that ever happened to me. (Read more about that here) And now God has called me to help facilitate a similar experience for this team.

Full Circle

I am humbled and honored that I now get to serve on the receiving end of things. It’s amazing to see how God brings things full circle. Often this comes in the form of using the things and experiences that have had the most impact on my life (positive or negative) to bring light and wisdom to others.

Opportunity to Pay it Forwardpassport team, Adventures in missions, christian internship, horizon church, oceans edge, jaco beach, costa rica, jaco, team, mentorship, discipleship

I remember how I felt coming to serve in Costa Rica for the first time. I didn’t know where anything was, I spoke almost no Spanish, and just overall felt lost. The amazing leaders around me guided me through all of these things. Soon enough Jaco became my home. Now I have the honor and privilege of showing people the ropes of this town, language, and culture that I have come to love so much.

Not only did my leaders guide me in learning about the culture and town, but spiritually as well. Each week I received mentoring from one of the Elders of the Church. Now him and I are mentoring together! It has been such a cool opportunity to pay it forward!

Read more about the author HERE

Read more about Ocean’s Edge HERE

Amidst Tragedy

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Amidst Tragedy, Oceans Edge, Horizon Church, Iglesia Radical, tropical storm nate, disaster relief, christian internships, jaco beach, costa rica

Amidst Tragedy

Overwhelmed with Tragedy

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I stood at the church observing what was happening around me; I saw women preparing food, medics caring for people, the red cross checking people in, children playing together, all amidst tragedy.

This past week Tropical Storm Nate hit Costa Rica. It caused heavy rain, landslides, and floods. The rain destroyed houses. Families lost every single belonging they owned. The roads flooded and leaving towns isolated. Nearly 400,000 people without water and power.

Tragedy had come and gone, taking anything that stood in it’s way.

Preparing for Tragedy

The Ministerio de Salud drove up to the church Wednesday during noon prayer at the church, they were going to issue a volunteer evacuation and they began by inspecting and preparing Iglesia Radical to be a shelter.

I didn’t know what to expect; I had never been in the midst of a tropical storm. In South Carolina, where I lived, we have a “rainy season” during the summer through September. However, typically when it rains, the heavy downpour lasts only about an hour or so. I’ve seen on the new what would happen: houses would flood, rivers would overflow, landslides could happen but I didn’t really know what it would be like to live so close to the damage.

Helping handsAmidst Tragedy, Oceans Edge, Horizon Church, Iglesia Radical, tropical storm nate, disaster relief, christian internships, jaco beach, costa rica

I got the call Thursday morning, people were beginning to evacuate from their homes and arrived at the church for shelter. The Ocean’s Edge Team and I headed to the closest super. We bought beans and rice, bread, cookies, pasta. Then we drove to the church.

At the church, I felt this overwhelming peace amidst the tragedy. Volunteers were in the kitchen, cooking and serving food with smiles on their faces. Kids were running around, cookie crumbs on their clothes. More volunteers were passing out water and preparing beds. In the midst of a storm, there was peace.

Because the storm didn’t directly hit Jaco but the neighboring towns, just two days later the shelter turned into a donation distribution center. People all over; some from the states, sending luggage, some from Jaco who had been helped before and now wanted to help, some were from the Spanish church and others from the English church. All were donating clothes, diapers and formula, shoes, food and water

Spreading the love of JesusAmidst Tragedy, Oceans Edge, Horizon Church, Iglesia Radical, tropical storm nate, disaster relief, christian internships, jaco beach, costa rica

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me” (Matthew 25: 35-36 NIV).

Everyone came together to help. They wanted to spread the Love of Jesus by giving whatever they could to these families that lost everything.

Jesus Was Interruptible

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Taught me how to be a little more like Jesus…

Jaco beach, Costa Rica, oceans edge ministries, oceans edge interns, hot culture, cold culture, latino culture, christian internships, horizon church,In my last blog post I wrote about how Costa Rican culture has stretched me to be more patient. It has taught me to slow down and love people. The culture has taught me to be interruptible. It has taught me how to be a little more like Jesus. You see, Jesus was never in a hurry. He never let the tasks he had planned for the day stop him from ministering to someone in need. Jesus was interruptible.

Jesus stopped….

In the book of Luke, chapter 8, we see Jesus get interrupted. Jesus is on his way to heal a dying girl. In order to get to the girl Jesus had to walk through an enormous crowd. The Bible describes the crowd as so big that it was almost crushing him. I imagine it being a similar feeling of trying to push your way through a crowd at a concert. It’s not a pleasant feeling. It’s something you generally want to get out of quickly. So Jesus is pushing through and pushing through and then he stops….. “Who touched me?” he asked. Peter says, “Lots of people are touching you, they are pressing up against you!” But Jesus knew he had felt something special. He looked around only to have a woman fall at his feet. She had been bleeding for 12 years. Jesus looked her in the eye and said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Joyfully interruptible…

You see Jesus was on his way to do a task. A noble task, but even still he didn’t let that get in the way of an opportunity to stop on the way and heal another sick girl. Plans are great, but we need to be willing to be a little flexible when opportunities to love others present themselves.

This is something God has been teaching me a lot, lately. How to be joyfully interruptible throughout my day with opportunities to serve in ways I never could have planned.

 

Read more about the author’s ministry HERE!

Read More about Ocean’s Edge HERE!

 

New Culture, New Experiences, New Growth

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Jaco Beach, costa rica, culture, oceans edge ministry, horizon church, christian internships, international living

Popping the Bubble of Familiar Culture

Living in a foreign country has by far been one of the best experiences of my life. Prior to coming to Costa Rica the only other country I had been to outside of the United States was Mexico. Being immersed in a culture other than my own has been an incredible growing opportunity.

It’s really easy to trap ourselves in the bubble of whatever culture we grew up in, or have spent most of our lives in. It was hard for me to imagine how or why people elsewhere would do things differently. And when people from another culture came into mine, I didn’t understand why it was so hard for them to adjust. If there was one thing I was ignorant of, it was other cultures.

Polar Opposites

Jaco Beach, costa rica, culture, oceans edge ministry, horizon church, christian internships, international livingI have spent most of my life living just east of San Francisco, California, in the booming business world known as the Bay Area. Here work is fast-paced and efficiency is king. People are generally task-oriented and know how to get the job done. This creates a very successful business environment, but relationships are often put on the back burner.  People take huge pride in what they do, how they do it, and how fast they get it done. When I say people, I am/was definitely included in this group.

On the other hand Costa Rican culture values highly the “pura vida” lifestyle. Laid back and relationship-focused, work almost always come second to friends, family, and community. This creates a very friendly atmosphere that highly values relationships between people, but work does not always get done in a very timely manner.

The point is that the Bay Area, California and Jaco Beach, Costa Rica are polar opposites when it comes to culture. But you know what I’ve learned? That there are things I love about both! Bay Area culture taught me how to work hard for what I believe in, and to accomplish my goals. Costa Rican culture has stretched me to be more patient. It has taught me to slow down and love people. It has taught me to be interruptible.  Jesus was interruptible…..

To Be Continued…

This post is part 1 of a 2 week series. Check back next week for part 2! In the meantime you can learn more about the Ocean’s Edge Ministry HERE, and more about the author, Kyle Costamagna, HERE.

 

 

 

Created with a Purpose

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Jaco, Jaco beach, Divine destiny, oceans edge ministry, costa rica, horizon church

Created with a Purpose

Destiny AssessmentDevoted Paths and Divine Destiny Uniquely created Assement

We are all created on purpose; for a purpose, and with a purpose. For me, I know I am created on purpose but struggled with knowing my purpose. Prior to beginning my internship at Ocean’s Edge, I took the Destiny Assessment, which is an inventory on what God is doing in people’s lives. It couples personalty tests with spiritual gifts to help discover God’s fingerprint on your life.

Finding your purpose

Throughout our lives, others tell us who we are and what we are like. Some statements are truthful and encouraging. So we let these words ignite us like a sparkler, bringing security only a few minutes. Meanwhile, the lies are stored. They take root, hold us, and ultimately shape us. The Destiny Assessment aids in discovering your spiritual gifts, in doing so, the lies are destroyed as God’s truth about you is revealed. Who you truly are in His eyes and what you were created to do.

“and having put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:10)

My purpose

I was eager to learn these truths. The Destiny Assessment revealed that I am an “inspiring benefactor”; aware of what is happening around and constantly responding to the needs and wants of others. I have a strong belief and confidence in the potential of others. I am a natural encourager, inspiring leader, and facilitator. These are the truths of my natural personality, being brought to light while destroying any lies about myself that consumed me.

My top spiritual gifts are teaching, leadership, and mercy. My greatest areas of victory are in my gift of teaching coupled with my gift of knowledge; along with my gift of leading, coupled with mercy. God created me with a purpose. I may not know exactly what career I will pursue or where I will live but I now know the truth about who I am. I am a child of God, created by God to teach others about Him, to lead others to Him, and to see and meet the needs around me.

Living in a Hot Culture

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Jaco beach, Costa Rica, oceans edge ministries, oceans edge interns, hot culture, cold culture, latino culture, christian internships, horizon church,

Living in a Hot Culture

Cold and Hot Cultures

Most of the world is divided into two types of cultures; hot culture and cold culture. I was born in the cold culture of New Jersey. Efficiency is the main priority of the cold culture. Time is important and should not be wasted, communication is direct, even relationships are centered around schedules. I moved to the “warmish” culture of South Carolina when I was eleven. I say warm because the south functions in a cold cultured country with hot cultured influence. Hot cultures center around friendliness; you’ll always have a conversation during check out at a store, people may tell you your haircut looks good even when it doesn’t, the task at hand is never more important than the relationship.

Warm to Hot Culture

Jaco beach, Costa Rica, oceans edge ministries, oceans edge interns, hot culture, cold culture, latino culture, christian internships, horizon church, Now I am here in Jacó. I just graduated college in May, and even though I went to a university in the warm culture of South Carolina we still are primarily task-oriented. Everything in college is a check list of homework, exams, lab reports, study groups, and meetings. The hardest thing about living here, is switching from that mindset. Here, people will sacrifice completion of a task in order to build or maintain a relationship. This is so foreign to me. When a job is given to me, I want to complete it as quickly as possible. However, when it comes to ministry, the relationship is what counts. Being Jesus to just one person is more important than writing 100 blog posts.

“Tico Time”

In cold culture places, time creates order. Schedules, due dates, appointments dictate the productivity of a day. The more things completed, the more one is satisfied. If an event starts at 4:00pm then the cold culture people would plan to arrive around 3:50. However, hot cultures are more spontaneous and flexible, event oriented. They are able to go with the flow, they’ll arrive 10-15 minutes late because they stopped to talk to someone on the street. Whereas, arriving late, to a cold cultured person, it’s often viewed as disrespectful since their time was wasted.

Good or bad?

There’s no “right” or “wrong” culture. It is being aware of the culture opposite to your own that is important. Look at how they value time and relationships. Notice how they communicate. And when you find yourself in another country with a different culture, be aware and respect their values.

For more updates on my internship here in Costa Rica check out my website https://emilyrypkema.squarespace.com/

and for more information about Oceans Edge click here to contact us!

Horizon Church | SIX11 Youth Group

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horizon youth group, six eleven, jaco beach, jaco, costa rica, christian internships, oceans edge, horizon church, youth group

horizon youth group, six eleven, jaco beach, jaco, costa rica, christian internships, oceans edge, horizon church, youth groupOn August 31st we had the first ever weekly meeting for the Horizon Church youth group! I am so honored that the Lord called me here to help the church start this group. The group is called Six11, because it is for students in grades 6-11 (There is no 12th grade here). The group will meet weekly on Thursday nights, with other special events planned throughout each month. I am super excited because at the end of this month we are going to the water park! Helping to plan these events really takes me back to all of the amazing memories I have from being in youth group. It’s so cool to be on the planning size some 5-ish years later. It really is everything coming full circle.

Crazy Events to Bring Kids to Christhorizon youth group, six eleven, jaco beach, jaco, costa rica, christian internships, oceans edge, horizon church, youth group

I love how God can use ridiculous games and crazy events to bring kids to Christ. This past week we played a game where the kids were divided into teams. Each team had to pick a goalie to duct tape suspended from the soccer goal! The teams then competed taking penalty shots at the other’s goal. It was hilarious! It’s a beautiful thing to see kids of different ages, backgrounds, and interests come together each week in a community formed around being yourself, having fun, and growing in relationship with the Lord.

My Youth Group Experience

horizon youth group, six eleven, jaco beach, jaco, costa rica, christian internships, oceans edge, horizon church, youth groupYouth group was by far the best thing part of my middle and high school years. I couldn’t get enough of it. To this day some of my best friends, are ones that I made at youth group. Aside from all of the fun I had, my youth leader was and still is one of the most influential people in my life. Weekly he brought guidance to my life and so many others. I truly believe that God put him in my life, when I was at a very formable age, to help mold and shape me into the man I am today.

Knowing what youth group did for my life, I am honored and humbled to be put in a position where God can use me to help create a lasting impact on the lives of teenagers here in Jaco, Costa Rica.

 

 

Read more about my experience in Costa Rica  at http://kylecostamagna.com

For more information about Ocean’s Edge Ministries click HERE!

Romancing The City

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Jaco beach, christian internships, romancing the city, costa rica, Horizon church womens ministry, horizon church

Romancing The City

Saturday morning, The Horizon Church women’s ministry made gift bags to bring into 30 of Jaco’s businesses. Each woman arrived with baked goods in hand and a smile on their faces, prepared for the day ahead. Romancing the city the way God romances us.

What we’ve been doing

As interns, Ashley and Kyle worked on this project and I joined in once I arrived in Jaco. For us, we created pages on JacoBeachInfo.com of each business. Whether a restaurant, souvenir shop, or surf shop, each page contained photos and a description. This job was centered on appreciating the business while promoting them to tourists. The past week we worked to fully complete 30 of the 500+ businesses.

As the women joined us Saturday, the bags were filled with baked goods and a bible verse specifically for that business along with a link to their personal page. Our hope was that the owners and employees would feel loved as we went into their businesses, thanking them for what they do while offering prayer over them.

There’s always time for God

Jaco beach, christian internships, romancing the city, costa rica, Horizon church womens ministry, horizon church

I was teamed up with the other intern, Ashley, and Sarah Barrett. We took our five gift bags and set off into downtown Jacó. I thought it was just a coincidence that I was in the same group as Sarah but as Ashley and I debriefed later that day, we talked about what a blessing it was. We saw first hand the heart Sarah has for the Lord and for the people of Jacó. To her, it wasn’t just a list to check off after visiting each place. Each business had individuals that Sarah knew and was praying for.

Our last stop was a tiny air conditioned restaurant with an even tinier kitchen boxed in the back (with no a/c). We found the owner, she was working tirelessly with her son cooking. We thought it was going to be a fairly quick exchange; however, when Sarah told her that we wanted to pray for them , the women said “Come in come in, shut the door, there is always time for God.” That line stuck with me. This women was in the middle of serving the lunch hour rush on a Saturday and yet she stopped, taking a moment to pray with us.

Seeing the fruit

I had the ability to see the fruit in what we were doing. Earlier that week I struggled with being so task-oriented: “finish the 30 pages, add the photos, is there a description?” That I lost sight of what we were doing; going into businesses and building relationships through love and prayer. Now as we work to finish each page for every business, I am excited to see the fruit of our labor once again.

If you would like to follow me or my time here please visit my website at http://emilyrypkema.squarespace.com/

or if you would like to know more about Oceans Edge ministries click here for more information.

Trust Me

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Jesus, trust, costa rica internships, Jaco beach, missions, lifestyle, oceans edge, international internships

Trust Me

Trust me.” A phrase we hear and say all the time.  So much so that these words have lost their value to most people. The trouble comes when we translate this lack of trust in people, to a lack of trust in the Lord. I think a lot of trust issues with the Lord come from trust issues we have with people, at least that was the case with me…. “

Jesus is Always Closer Than We Think He Is 

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In Mathew Ch. 14 Jesus tells Peter to trust him. He asks him to step out of the comfort and safety of the boat he is in, and walk to him on the water.  Initially Peter steps out of the boat in confidence, walking towards the Lord. But as he sees the wind and the waves pick up his confidence starts to dwindle. He loses trust when he sees how far he has to go and the conditions getting rougher. Peter begins to sink. He cries out “Lord save me!” Jesus, who is closer than Peter thought, reaches out his hand and immediately pulls him up. Jesus is always closer than we think he is.

Momentum and Confidence From the Lord

I can relate to Peter in this story because I have been there. No, God has never asked me to physically walk on water, however he has asked me to step out of the safety of my comfort zone to a place where I would have to trust him. Part of God calling me to go to Costa Rica involved raising financial support. A lot of financial support…. Talk to most any missionary and they will tell you what a large and challenging task this can be. They will also tell you that though it is sometimes hard, God has always provided. I had to trust that God would do the same for me.

When it came time for me to start fundraising I hit the ground running. Like Peter, I was quick to jump out of the boat, eager to walk with Jesus. I used this momentum and confidence from the Lord to drive my efforts. I knew with all my heart that the Lord would provide! The Lord had told me to trust him, and so I did. God surely came through and I was having greater success than I could have ever imagined. But instead of looking at how much the Lord had done, I chose to look at how far I still had to go and how many obstacles I still had to overcome. Peter made the same mistake. He chose to ignore the fact that he had just taken multiple steps across liquid water, and instead chose to look at the wind.

Jesus Did a Jesus Thing

Jesus, trust, costa rica internships, Jaco beach, missions, lifestyle, oceans edge, international internships

Prayerfully I had set a goal to be fully funded and heading back to Costa Rica at the beginning of August. It was the beginning of July when I began to lose trust that this was actually going to happen. Looking at how much more money I still has to raise, it was beginning to look like a September launch date was a lot more plausible. At this point I was at about 65% of my goal. Then Jesus did a Jesus thing. In just 1 day enough support came in to bring to be about 97% funded! I was ecstatic…….speechless. It was God’s way of saying, “I told you so. Now do you trust me?”

 

Satan’s Agenda | Ocean’s Edge Lifestyle

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Satan’s Agenda | Ocean’s Edge Lifestyle

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone would just tell the truth? If the Devil didn’t have an agenda? Unfortunately, he does and Satan’s Agenda is to do anything that opposes God (1 John 3:8, 2 Corinthians 11:3, John 8:44). I have been realizing this more and more each day and realizing the implication of Satan’s Agenda for us is that he wants to deceive and lead us away from God. One of the ways he tries to do this is by false teachers and prophets.

“False Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible.” – Matthew 24:24

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the LORD.” – Jeremiah 23:16

Ferocious Wolf

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” – Matthew 7:15

The way I interpret the last scripture is that this “ferocious wolf” prophet will look like an authentic believer. However, they will not be a messenger of Christ. They will probably even know scripture well! Even the Devil quoted Psalm 91: 11- 12 to Jesus, trying to tempt him:

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city. He had Jesus stand on the highest point of the temple. “If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. It is written, “ ‘The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you. They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won’t trip over a stone.’ ” – Matthew 4:5-6

God’s Word

So what do we do with this information?

We need to know God’s Word like our lives depend on it- because they do. We need to be able to discern Satan’s agenda and whether something is Biblical or not. When we know scripture and are lead by the Holy Spirit, we can be confident in our discernment. This is the only way we will be able to obey the following verse:

“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1