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It Is All About A Love Remembered | Kelsey Vormbrock

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Love Remembered Kelsey Vormbrock Oceans Edge Jaco Beach

by Kelsey Vormbrock | AIM Passport Short-Term Missionary | It is all about a Love Remembered

About a Love Remembered

Have you ever thought about how people will remember you when you’re gone? What would you want them to say about you? Most of us, of course, want to be remembered as a good person and someone who lived their life to the fullest, but is that all that matters? Here’s an even tougher question for you readers: how would you want God to remember your life?

When asked this question my first thought was, “I want God to remember how kind I was.” Pretty general, right? I took the next week to really think about and reflect on this question. God used this as an opportunity to pour into me how he wants to be able to describe my life. This is what he spoke into me:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” –John 15:12-13

God’s Dream for My Life | My Legacy

God loves us, his children, so much he sacrificed his only Son so that we may be saved. Can you imagine a love so strong, a love so deep; you would be willing to give your life to save someone else’s? God calls us to love one another whole heartedly. With that being said, we are first called to love Him. We cannot love one another as God loves us before we know and love Him unconditionally. During my time here in Jaco, God has been teaching me just that. I have learned to love God in a deeper way than I ever could have imagined and through that love I am now able to show His love to the people of Jaco.

I have been blessed with a heart for children. I have a gift to connect with them in such a way it could only come from God, and I am determined to share that gifting. With every child I meet I am overcome by the innocence about them and their ability to take in everything going on around them. They have not yet been corrupted by the world we live in and therefor are in a perfect place to be molded into the people God calls us to be.

Who Are We to Love Any Differently?

Love Remembered Kelsey Vormbrock Oceans Edge Jaco BeachThe children of Jaco have captured my heart completely and have provided me with a perfect opportunity to show them God’s love. I strive to ensure every child feels safe and experiences a love remembered as pure and overflowing. I instill in them the importance of having manners, being polite and being giving of our worldly possessions. I encourage them to be the best person they can be and to never give up. I do not scold them when at first they do not succeed. I put their well-being before my own; I am selfless with them. Most importantly, I teach them what it means to love God so they may love others as He does.

These are all characteristics of God’s love. He keeps us safe, never abandoning us and always encouraging us. If at first we fail, God doesn’t get angry or frustrated. Instead, he picks us up, dusts us off, and tells us to try again. He is a patient and understanding Father. If God can love us in this way then who are we to love any differently?

We are called to love one another. First, seek God and what it means to love him whole heartedly. Then, share His love with everyone you meet.  It doesn’t matter what you do, or how you live, if you do not do everything in love.

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”  –1 Corinthians 13:1-2

Perspective and Focus

That is how I want God to say I lived! I want Him and everyone else to look back on my life and say “WOW! Kelsey truly loved everybody she met just as God calls us to.” So now it’s your turn to answer. What would God say about you now and what do you want Him to say about you when your life is over? Go out and Love the Lord our God by loving all of His people and by fulfilling everything else he calls you to. God bless with a love remembered!

Destiny Assessment Training

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Destiny Assessment Training Ocean Edge Justin Nunes

by Justin Nunes, | AIM Passport Short-Term Missionary | Destiny Assessment Training

A Desk, Wi-Fi & Espresso Machine

This past week, I spent most of the week in a Remax office. “A Remax office, why? Are you not in Costa Rica serving the community? Are you not supposed to be supporting local ministries? Why would you spend so many hours in a place of business? You could do that back home and make money for your future.” Let me answer your questions.
I spent this past week at Hannah Fletcher’s Remax office, the founder and leader of Ocean’s Edge Ministries. The purpose for my time in her office had nothing to do with real estate. Rather it had everything to do with editing and fine-tuning project Hannah has been developing for years – the Divine Destiny Assessment. Her office was simply a conduit for our work; it had all of the tangibles we needed, a desk, Wi-Fi and an espresso machine, listed in increasing order of importance.

The Divine Destiny Assessment

This assessment is similar in function to any personality assessment you may have taken previously, such as the Myers-Briggs test. In contrast, the Divine Destiny Assessment differs markedly in purpose. The purpose, stated or inherent, of most personality tests is to define, group, and categorize the various personalities that God has created, and through this method, better understand the world in which we live.

The Divine Destiny Assessment flows from a distinct perspective. Instead of observing the world, discovering how God created it and applying it to our lives, this assessment starts with what The Lord says about the world and its people in the Bible, then applies His truth to our lives and the world. Through His Spirit, God has gifted Hannah to create a unique method to apply our individual and distinct personalities.

The Spiritual Gifts

The Bible defines the spiritual gifts that God has given us. Some of these are innate, or motivational, by nature and largely define our overall personality. Some gifts grow with spiritual maturity as we nurture our faith. Finally, some gifts are enhanced by God at specific times to accomplish a task or goal to which we have been called. Each individual’s unique combination of these gifts comprise his or her personality. The Divine Destiny Assessment seeks to gauge each person’s composition of these gifts, then encourage him or her to be confident in those gifts that are strongest and cultivate those that are weakest in their personality.

As I worked with Hannah to develop the Destiny Assessment training material, I grew immensely in my understanding of the spiritual gifts, as well as how they apply to people and relationships. We discussed how the specific make up God gave me applies to my passions and to my relationships with others. She gently made it very evident that I still have plenty of room for growth, as we all do, and helped me create tangible and attainable goals to strive for. As Hannah taught me about my personality composition, she also instructed me in the way she encourages others to grow through this assessment. Together, along with a lovely teammate named Ashley, we created the first final draft of the Divine Destiny Assessment teaching guide.

Destiny Assessment Training Ocean Edge Justin Nunes

Destiny Assessment Training

The following weekend, women from El Salvador and the northernmost province of Costa Rica arrived to Jacó for a leadership conference. We used this teaching guide and our newfound expertise in part to help these women grow in their understanding of the Destiny Assessment Training Program which is basically mobilizing others to use their spiritual gifts. It was an awesome and irreplaceable experience to come full circle in a week. From learning and growing through Hannah to teaching and seeing growth in these women, it was an amazing experience to be involved in. I am excited to continue to invest and further develop the Divine Destiny Assessment with Hannah, and to encourage others to pursue their divine personality through this assessment. We all can become the people that God created us to be, but we first need to submit to Him everything that we are. This assessment is a big step in the right direction. #DivineDestinyDevotedPaths

Guidance Spiritual Gifts 

Leader | Leadership | Apostle | Wisdom | Pastor | Shepherd

Communication Spiritual Gifts

Encourager | Exhortation | Faith | Evangelist | Teacher

Navigation Spiritual Gifts

Administrator | Prophet | Knowledge | Discernment

Support Spiritual Gifts

Service | Helps | Giver | Intercessor | Prayer | Mercy

Other Spiritual Gifts

Artistry | Hospitality | Music–Vocal | Music–Instrumental | Skilled Crafts | Writing Service Ideas |

Other Helpful Spiritual Gift Informational Links:

Destiny Assessment Introduction

Spiritual Gift Clusters and Gift Definitions

Service Ideas for each Spiritual Gifts

Divine Destiny Community Facebook page

Rediscovering Relationships 

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Rediscovering Relationships in Costa Rica and Beyond

by Ashley Labella| AIM Passport Short-Term Missionary | Rediscovering Relationships

“When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you be asked to be taken to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter most then are people. If relationships will matter most then. Shouldn’t they matter most now?” -Max Lucado

My team and I are quickly rolling past our half way point here with Oceans Edge in Jacó. In this time we have been blessed with the opportunity to “step back into reality”, away from distraction, overwhelming busyness and other typical comforts of home. We are loving and growing in a culture where relationships take reign as most important again.

We are all incredibly grateful to be living and learning in such connection, knowing that it is not always the easiest to attain in our home cultures, where we are not living constantly with 17 other human beings. Because of these living conditions, we must shake ourselves awake daily, to be in a constant state of “others-focused” awareness. But wow, what a blessing that is. To have a reminder every single morning as you wake up next to five others, that relationships are the priority, not just on the mission field, but always.

Time Spent Rediscovering Relationships

rediscovering relationships Oceans edgeTime spent out in the community has offered us this same reminder,  as we attempt broken Spanglish conversations with locals, watching their eyes light up with authentic joy, all just because we remembered their name… and better yet, how to pronounce it.

Our time spent with the locals reminds us of how painfully easy it is to show someone how deeply loved they are. Whether that means buying a sun-soaked security guard a cold soda or sitting next to a homeless woman to remind her that she is seen.

Whether on our property as a team or out in the community, we are learning to fall in love with people again, and are being blessed with the simple, yet fulfilling feeling of joy that comes as a result.

Our ministry base, Oceans Edge has been challenging us in our relationship-focused service, knowing that regardless of where we are living, whether on a mission trip or at home, we all face the same temptation: to be complacent and comfortable. Oceans Edge, while they teach us the value in resting, also teaches the danger in growing accustomed.

Being accustomed can appear as small, seemingly unharmful changes, but that can form patterns that are lasting and hard to break. Once tear-filled, grateful prayers can slowly become routine rituals to check off and get done. Relationships get put on the back burner simply because they can..because they have no pressing deadline. Because they can always be pushed off to later. We over time, suddenly have “no time” to marvel anymore, becoming suddenly unimpressed by the bright red and orange hued sunset right beyond our window shade.

So Accustomed That We Forget How Extremely Temporary Life Is

This week, to remind us of this temporary and beautiful life in front of us, Oceans Edge posed several questions to us all, that are beneficial to everyone, regardless of their walk of life. The questions are designed to help us look right at the face of time, to envision the day when that time runs out, and to then return back to our current lives with the most powerful intention to live. Almost as if we had already seen our entire life pass before our eyes and faced each of the potential regrets stuck on our hearts.

The questions posed were:

  1. What legacy do you want to leave on that last day? What do you want others to speak of you?
  2. Imagine it was your last day. What would you advise your current self now of?
  3. What do you need to prioritize in order to live out that advise to your current self? What goals can you set to get there?
  4. Are there any excuses you find yourself making that are preventing you from prioritizing and living out that call? Combat those excuses with truth.

Now Live It Out

Live in such a way that on that hard-to-imagine last day, there is not one regret left weighing our hearts. Not one relationship left unreached. Not one “I love you” or “Thank you” gone unsaid.

“If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?”  Rediscovering Relationships starts today.

My Soil | Dirt to Gardens

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Spiritual Gift Teacher Teaching

My Soil | Dirt to Gardens

By Jordan Harrington | AIM Passport Short-Term Missionary. When I first came to Jacó, I remember the Lord speaking this truth into me so clearly.  God spoke to me, “Allow Me to pour into you and from your gardens, I will flow.”

For twenty years, the Lord has poured into this garden of mine in a multitude of ways. I began as a land of dirt: Anyone would look upon me and see hopelessness as a result of my sin. But know that God pursues our dirt-stained hearts and transforms them. He cleanses us with a heavenly rain and makes us new. All because He saw in us what the world had not.

Jordan Harrington Jaco Gardens and my local connectionA Beautiful Oasis

Each species of flowers is a result of different seeds planted by others. God’s hand has guided these people, showing them which seeds go where and how to plant them. Colors in this garden that I had never before seen arose through experiences, both endearing and heart-wrenching. Everything that comes in my path is the root to each beautiful detail that makes up this beautiful oasis. His stems hold us up and carry us through the wind, and let us know that through Him we will not be shaken.

Jacó has already poured so much into this garden, creating in it an abundance of love and growth. Through the locals, sweet testimonies, and the love of our Father, this town has given me new paths to walk upon and new eyes to see what the Lord is doing here. What keeps this garden alive is the light of our Father and the waters from His Spirit. Jesus uproots the weeds that I tend to hold on to and He gently shows me that I am much more beautiful without them.

As God uses Jacó to pour into these gardens, He uses the waters that arise to flow from us and into others. This river called Jacó is both on the giving and the receiving end. Our job is to hand out the roses of the agape love that He has grown in us.

Freedom

Through my experience in Costa Rica, God has introduced me to a new field that I had never before known. He has taught me to dance in the freedom of who I am and to find joy in the thorns. He has used the locals to illustrate this field through their smiles and their stories. They grab my hands, and they twirl with me. The Son shines on their faces and releases an atmosphere of peace. The Holy Spirit dances with us and teaches us new things about Himself- no matter what positions we are in.

As I get to know the hearts of the locals, I see more of what God is doing inside of them and in Jacó. You see, God is a God who attains a spirit of relentless pursuit. He knows us so well and how to rid us of the dirt that lies within; He longs to see an abundance of love rise within us and pour out into others; He chases after us every day, though we may not notice it. Every person experiences this, even if it goes unnoticed. Many of the locals that I have met are in this process right now, where God is sowing small glimpses of His Spirit into their hearts- whether they choose to see them or not.

Jaco’s Garden

Jordan Harrington Jaco Garden and my local connectionWhen I hear of the growth of Jaco Beach over the past decade, I can’t help but thank God for His pursuit and vision for Jacó. His plans for the garden of Jacó are much greater than we can dream of. He longs to see the river that He is pouring in to Jacó to overflow into surrounding communities.

Though this is only our first month at Ocean’s Edge ministries, the Lord has shown me how to truly walk amongst those rivers and allow them to run through me, as well.  He has given me a confidence in Him like no other and is continually pouring His heart into me. My comfort zones have been shaken and my gardens have been flooded with love.

God, indeed, has both poured in and out of these gardens of mine- just as He has promised. For this, I am so thankful.