Tag: Costa Rica Internship

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!

 

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.

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 

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

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

Surrendering Dreams and Plans | Ocean’s Edge

costa rica, christian internships, Jaco beach, surrender, family, Oceans Edge, ministry, missions

Surrendering Dreams and Plans

Growing up in the Western World you are taught that you should have a plan for your life. Not only should you have a plan, but you should probably have a couple in case the first one doesn’t work out. You should have a dream, and a backup plan. On top of that, your backup plan should probably have a backup plan. Disciplined and steadfast pursuit of your dreams and plans will lead to true happiness and fulfillment……except this isn’t always the result.

So what if you tried something different? What would happen if you completely surrendered the dreams and plans you have for your life, to the plans God has for your life? While on a three month mission trip to Jaco at the beginning of this year, that question slapped me across the face.

 Since I Can Remember… kyle costamagna, firefighter, jaco beach, missions, missionary, christian living, Ocean Edge, Costa Rica

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a firefighter. I have gone above and beyond to make this dream a reality. During my sophomore year of college I went to EMT school at night, on top of my everyday classes. Shortly after completing my EMT certification, I was hired onto the local on call fire company. I then attended the fire academy on the weekends while still in school. At Just 20 years of age, I fought my first fire.

I had a dream and nothing had or ever was going to get in the way of it. What I didn’t realize was that I was so caught up in the pursuit of this dream, that I had forgotten to include the Creator of the universe in the process.

What About All the Hard Work I’ve Done

So you can see that it came as a shock to me when I started to feel a push from the Lord to quit my job, and put my pursuit of a full time firefighting position on hold indefinitely to go into full time ministry. I fought and fought this push for almost 2 months. I was happier than I had ever been in my life and loved what I was doing, but I still couldn’t surrender. Full time ministry didn’t line up with my plan! What about all the hard work I’ve done?!

But the Lord told me over and over again to trust him. Finally I gave in. I broke down and cried tears of happiness for the first time in my life. Happiness that didn’t come from surrendering my dreams, but from who I was surrendering them to.

Proverbs 19: 21

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”

Disciplined and Steadfast Pursuit of the Lord

Since fully surrendering I have learned that It isn’t disciplined and steadfast pursuit of jaco beach, christian mission trip, costa rica, missions, oceans edgeyour dreams and plans that lead to true happiness and fulfillment. These things come from disciplined and steadfast pursuit of the Lord and what he has for your life.

Costa Rica Intern Preparations

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Costa Rica Intern Preparations | Emily Rypkema | Jaco beach | christian internships |missions | the edge | travel | Costa Rica | mission lifestyle | Intern

Costa Rica Intern Preparations | Emily Rypkema

¡Hola! Bienvenido, vámonos a un viaje juntos…

In just a short time I will arrive to Costa Rica so my Costa Rica intern preparations are starting to speed up.  I could try and impress you by saying that I took four years of Spanish honors in high school, but I would have to stop there: 1) that was four years ago and 2) the only thing I actually remember is “Como se dice…” (“How do you say…”) and I would finish the sentence in English. In high school, we spent more time learning about Spanish culture (i.e. eating Spanish food) than the language.

So here we are, I barely know any Spanish and I’m moving to Costa Rica. I may not be great at speaking or understanding Spanish any time soon, but I’m starting small, preparing the best I can. For the past few months I’ve been working on just getting accustomed to hearing it.

I changed my phone to Spanish mode, which has helped me see and hear everyday vocabulary–even if it stresses me out more than occasionally when I’m getting directions while driving. I’ve also been using the Duolingo app which has helped me a ton with pronunciation. If this doesn’t help, I’m just telling myself that my confused face will let everyone know I’m clueless.

God’s ultimately bringing me to Costa RicaCosta Rica Intern Preparations | Emily Rypkema | Jaco beach | christian internships |missions | the edge | travel | Costa Rica | mission lifestyle | Intern

Along with working on my Spanish, I’ve been studying Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Going through this book I have begun to love how it explains godly relationships, forgiveness, hope, and morality in a more profound yet understandable way.

A piece that has stuck with me so far is about forgiveness and what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I love myself, even when I am not fond of myself. I may hate that I’m greedy and selfish but I don’t ever truly hate myself; this is how I should love my neighbor, I can hate their sins without hating them.

The most important lesson I’m learning (in a new way everyday) is to trust. God’s ultimately bringing me to Costa Rica. I’m preparing, but He’ll provide everything I need and will open doors and close others.

I’m still getting overwhelmed with the logistics sometimes. Finishing school brings a lot of anxiety and a fear of the unknown. Recently, many tears have fallen over grades and finances. During these times I have to be reminded to stop and remember His promise to care for me. Most of the time I have to try this, then try it again because it’s still hard.

I would love your encouragement and prayers throughout this journey, and if you have any tips on learning another language or book suggestions comment below!

If you want to see and hear more about the internship I am doing click here to watch a short video describing the Oceans Edge Internships

Passport Program | Ocean’s Edge Lifestyle

Passport Program

Passport Program | Ocean’s Edge Lifestyle

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern. When I arrived in Jaco, around mid-January, I was given my first official assignment: to join a three-month “Passport Program” mission team. The team of 16, as well as their two leaders, would be moving onto The Edge mission base just five days later and we would be serving God in Jaco together under the Ocean’s Edge Ministry program.  I didn’t really know what to expect from my internship with Horizon Church. I had never done anything like this before, but I was up for the adventure ahead.

God’s Way or Bust

Passport ProgramI could hardly believe what I was hearing for two reasons.

First, I was about to have an instant community of Christian friends who were my own age. Praise God! Secondly, only a few months prior I had had my heart set on a different Passport Program trip, as it fit “my plan” perfectly. I also had heard really good things about the World Race Mission Trip, and the Passport Program is sent from the same sending agency, Adventures in Missions.  Unfortunately, I was told I was ineligible to go on a Passport Program trip because I was not within the 18-22-years-old age limit. I had even emailed the director and requested an exception, but the answer was still no.

 

Future Hope

Even when it seems impossible, God can make anything happen to accomplish his purpose. I remember praying that he would open a door to allow me on a trip and look what happened. God has proven himself faithful time after time when he has worked things out in a way better than I could have even imagined. Writing this post has reminded me that God has a good plan for my life. He is not going to forget me nor leave me empty handed.

Passport Program

Emily Rypkema | The Journey Begins | Oceans Edge Intern

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emily rypkema Oceans Edge Internship

Emily Rypkema | The Journey Begins

emily rypkema Oceans Edge InternMy name is Emily Rypkema and I’m going to Costa Rica! No, I can’t believe it either. But it’s true. In June I’ll be taking six month internship with Ocean’s Edge Internship Program in Jaco, Costa Rica and it couldn’t have come at a better time.  

I woke up on a dreary, Monday morning in January feeling uncertain (yet again) about the future. I was finishing up my last fall semester of college and these past four years had been planned out strategically to increase my chances of being accepted into a Physician’s Assistant program. This plan shattered. I was rejected and felt lost. I was nowhere near having an idea of “what I would do the rest of my life”.

 So Why Costa Rica?

Well Daniel and Sarah Barrett moved from Lexington, SC to Jaco when I was in high school. Daniel was my youth pastor and Sarah, my small group leader. They both taught me about being a Godly woman, a leader, and having flexibility while serving; things that still impact me to this day.

 During my Junior year of college I became very interested in visiting them in Costa Rica and serving with them, however, I continued to pursue PA school. I told myself that “if I didn’t get into school this was what I was going to do”. I was terrified of being denied and even more terrified of telling people of this rejection.

 And Then It Happened.

I was heartbroken and lost. And so I began paying about what should be next, asking a lot of questions: would I ever go to PA school? Did I even want that? Or did I just decide on that because it would be a good fit?

One thing was certain; I would apply to the internship in Costa Rica. This was when I had to trust God and relearn what trusting Him meant; I was vulnerable again because I was facing rejection, I have never been more uncertain of my place and purpose and after what felt like months, my phone rang and the red badge appeared over my inbox.

This email would change my outlook of my future tremendously; this email was confirmation of my acceptance to the Ocean’s Edge Jaco Internship Program in Jaco, Costa Rica.

I was elated, nervous, but also relieved; It may not be the rest of my life, but it was six months where I knew I would be and what I would be doing. My excitement grew while reading about my responsibilities but most importantly I was joyously overwhelmed with how this program will mentor, disciple, and encourage me towards a healthy Christ-centered lifestyle.  

Ocean’s Edge Jaco beach | Internship 

Ocean’s Edge works hand in hand with local churches by providing and housing staff to serve in the community. They are partnered with Horizon Church, the church Daniel and Sarah planted which is where I will be. I will be involved serving on their worship team, with the youth, and the children’s ministry, I will host the short term missions teams that come to Jaco, along with various responsibilities that may come up while I’m there.

As I prepare for this next chapter, I sometimes get lost in the logistics: practicing Spanish, reading books, writing letters but it’s when I feel buried with my “to do” list is when I remember that my priority should be spending time in God’s Word and praying for God to take control and open my heart to everything He wants me to learn during my time in Costa Rica.

Today, I still wrestle with these uncertainties but I am excited for the opportunity I have to serve God and love others while using my abilities, talents, and gifts I have been given.

 I would like to invite you to join me on this journey as I write about the preparation and the experience. Your prayers and support mean the world to me. – Emily Rypkema