Divine Destiny and Devoted Paths

We are created uniquely to carry out the good works that God set before us. Yet, our heart and love is what God desires. Our devotion to this lifestyle will largely depends on who we believe God to be. Is He worth it?

MINISTRY LIFESTYLE BOOK AND TRAINING MANUAL IS COMING SOON… read more

Uniquely Created Assessment

Each of us have a special blend of abilities, spiritual gifts, personality, passions and calling. You were created to SHINE!

Take the Uniquely Created Spiritual Gifts and Personality Assessment

Holistically Embraced | OCEANS edge Opportunities

Reach your God given potential spiritually, relationally, physically, professionally and financially as you positively impact your local community and beyond for God’s glory.

OCEANS edge opportunities

Passport Team

No Comments
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

No Comments
Amidst Tragedy, Oceans Edge, Horizon Church, Iglesia Radical, tropical storm nate, disaster relief, christian internships, jaco beach, costa rica

Amidst Tragedy

Overwhelmed with Tragedy

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

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

No Comments

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

No Comments
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

No Comments
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.

Wonderfully Made | Psalms 139

No Comments
psalms 139 wonderfully made

We are wonderfully made by an ever-present God. There is something both comforting, sobering and completely scary about the majesty of God being with us.

Wonderfully Made | Psalms 139

God is with us all the timeI love reading how King David processed this very reality in Psalms 139.  He recognized that God knew him entirely, including his actions, thoughts and motivations. David meditated on how God was always watching, as if enamored by his every move. Like a friend who can read your mind and finish your sentences, David’s Lord thoroughly understood him. Indeed, God went before and after him as if to prepare the way and protect his blind spots.

Even before David was conceived, the Creator carefully designed his form and with immense power brought him into existence.  David responded, “Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high [above me], I cannot reach it” (Ps. 139:6 AMP). God’s presence humbled David as he soberly considered the weight of hosting Him at all times in all places. This divine company also invoked a since of confidence.  In verses eight through 11, David spoke of his assurance that God would even go to the darkest place to be with him, lead him and take hold of him.

Soaking in An Eternal Identity

No matter what abundance or despair David was facing, he knew that God’s supremacy and sovereignty would not be limited. Like a kid belongs to his daddy, David belonged to God, but in a much more personal and eternal manner. The fact that he was a wealthy king, beloved warrior, successful conqueror, well know musician and much more, all seemed to fade away in the light of this truth.  We can hear him soaking in his identity form the source of life Himself, “For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well” (Ps. 13:13-14 AMP). David stood tall as he admired God’s intricate and skillful masterpiece knowing that he was a work in progress.

A Divine Awakening and Purpose

wonderfully made psalms 139David’s love for his Maker propelled him into action.  He knew that God affectionally appointed each day with his good in mind.  David affectionately addressed God: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You (Ps. 139:17-18 AMP).  His future was before him even, though it had not yet taken shape.

David had a choice to live in light of these truths or completely ignore God all together.  Yet, knowing and meditating on God’s character brought him to joyfully and willing push away everything contrary.  His heart started hating the wickedness that distorted God’s goodness and he desired to physically remove himself for anything that minimized God’s glory.  Then, as if God placed a mirror in front of him, David prayed for his own spiritual freedom.  David unconditionally submitted himself to his King of Kings with a devotion to live in such a way that pleased Him and with a desperation to stay close.

Selah | Stop and Calmly Think About It

ps139-oceansedge
God knows everything and is all-powerful.  He designed us for a particular purpose and has the ultimate authority over us. Yet, He does not force us into His service.  He is a gentleman who wants our hearts more than our labor.  Psalms 139 reflects this very important aspect of our personal interaction with the Creator.  God is always present, available and ready to interact with us.

The second we turn to Him with a genuine heart, we will find Him.  “Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Ps. 139:23-24). David’s prayer challenges us to dive into His goodness and His unconditional love, with an unconditional surrender.

Surrender Removes Obstacles

As we draw close to the Lord in this manner, our desire to have a deeper friendship with Him will bud new life. This personal connection roots and nourishes us as we experience God’s character first hand.  God is continuously calling us to follow Him down the path of eternal life. We must only look to Him and allow the obstacles to be removed.  It is in this place that our story begins to align with our divine destiny and our identity is found in our Heavenly Father.  For we are wonderfully made by an ever-present God.

Continue Reading: Table of Contents Start from the beginning | Get Connected

Would you like to be part of the #DivineDestinyDevotedPaths community? Follow us on Facebook and you will be notified when new posts are released. Contact us for more information about internships, the Destiny Assessment and international service projects.

Living in a Hot Culture

No Comments
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

No Comments
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!

A Masterpiece In Progress Living The Good Life

No Comments
masterpiece living the good life which God

A Masterpiece In Progress Living The Good LifeA Masterpiece In Progress by Hannah Rico Fletcher

For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. – Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) 

My family and I had the pleasure of visiting Roatan, Honduras.  It is known for diving which means clear water and beautiful reef.  Each day centered around the baby blue ocean and soft white sand.  From the shore, you could see the fish playfully moving in and out of the rocks and reef.  We brought our own snorkels and practiced with the kids in the shallows. The masks allowed us to fully engage, explore and appreciate the underwater world with every size, shape and color of fish.  It was a little taste of heaven.

Living the Good Life

masterpiece living the good life which GodSeeing and swimming with a sea turtle has always been on my bucket list.  So, a wave of joy came over me when my husband pointed one out in the shallow reef.  I swam as fast as I could to keep up with him as he gracefully moved through the reef. He kept looking back at me as if to simply acknowledge my presence and continued along his way.

His beak was spotted with shades of yellow and orangish-brown.  His neck had cracks and bumps that seemed to reflect a purplish-blue. His shell was a combination of amazing plates of armor perfectly placed and unified.  I rubbed my hand on his back and felt the soft and even mossy surface. Soon after the turtle led me to a 20-foot drop off. I soaked in the beauty of how my new friend moved as he disappeared into the deep blues of the ocean.

I was completely out of breath and an overwhelming sense of thankfulness came over me.  I had no idea how I was going to find my way back to my husband through the shallow underwater maze and I didn’t care.  I had just seen an outstanding masterpiece and I wanted to remember every detail.  The artistry and elegance was a testimony to the existence of a masterful Creator. 

Seeing what God Sees

A Masterpiece In Progress Living The Good Life (2)I know this same Designer made me but honestly it is hard for me to think of myself with such awe.   When I look in the mirror I am not captivated with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.  As I go about my daily routine, I forget that God considers me a work of art that needs to be treasured and guarded.  Instead, I feel normal, wooed by this world and life passes mostly without consideration. This really got me thinking about the disconnect between how God describes me in Ephesians 2:10 and how I see myself. I seemed to be missing something.

If the word masterpiece was meant to describe my physical appearance, accomplishments and deeds, I would continue to be faced with my shortcomings. It seemed to me that I could either strive to improve or accept a sense of failure (either on God’s side or my own).  Then I realized my focus was off.  I was never meant to be the main character. Instead, I am the work of art testifying to God’s craftsmanship in a continuing creative process.

A Masterpiece In Progress

Like a potter sitting down with fresh clay, God sees my potential (Isaiah 64:8). The truth about my lack makes His strength, grace and compassion shine. He started by offering a full spiritual transformation from death to life.  Instantly, I was completely redeemed by my acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment for my sin. Freed from the burden of past failures and the striving effort to be worthy; I am compelled to daily submit to His refining work.  He gently and intentionally strips away my old sin nature and continues to mold and shape me.  

As I humble myself, soak in His love and walk in the good works set out for me, I find myself identifying more with who God is and less with the old me and this fallen world.   I now look in the mirror and see God’s goodness and find joy in the process. I was created and designed for this very purpose: to be a testimony to God’s goodness and be fruitful accordingly.  His commitment and promise to accomplish His work in me is awe-inspiring and supernatural. I see my growth but God sees His masterpiece.

#DivineDestinyDevotedPaths | Where Divine Destiny Meets Devoted Paths