Tag: Costa Rica

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

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!

 

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!

Passion for the Spanish Language

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Jaco beach, christian internships, passion, costa rica, spanish language, horizon church

The Spanish Language Definitely Wasn’t My thing

I never really had trouble in school except for a couple of subjects. One of those subjects was Spanish. There seemed to be a disconnect. I just couldn’t get it. I accepted that it just was not an area I was gifted in, and that was ok. Although I really wanted to, dropping out of the subject was not an option because I needed it for college applications. Not only did I need to take the classes, but I needed to get a B if not an A grade. (At least those were the standards I held myself to). I went to tutoring every week. It was brutal. My tutor and I would review the same thing over and over again, and by the 100th time I would maybe halfway understand what was going on. It’s safe to say that learning the Spanish Language definitely wasn’t my thing.

God Has a Great Sense of Humor

God has a great sense of humor, and you know what’s funny? Calling a guy that hates speaking  the Spanish Language to serve in a Spanish speaking country. But while God has a sense of humor, he doesn’t play cruel jokes. He has a plan! When I got to Costa Rica for the first time in January of this year, I spent the first week or so speaking as little Spanish as possible. But God had a second punchline in store for me…. I was asked to lead a junior lifeguard camp at Casa Fe, a youth house here in Jaco. A youth house where all of the kids speak Spanish… I would have a translator, but still I would need to communicate at least a little bit.

Hebrews 13 20-21

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

I Started to Develop a Passion

Something amazing happened that week. As I began to hang out with the kids I started to develop a passion for the Spanish language. I couldn’t get enough of it. I began to pick it up fast! This was an area where I had previously accepted that I just wasn’t gifted in. But that’s the thing about gifts. We don’t choose to if and when we receive them. We are given them out of Love, and on somebody else’s timeline.

Psalm 37: 4

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

God put the desire to learn Spanish on my heart, and so now one of my favorite parts of my week is when I get to go to Spanish class. Learning Spanish means I can better connect to the locals and begin to speak the love and truth of Jesus into their lives through daily interactions.

Read more about my time here on my website!

http://kylecostamagna.com

For more information about Ocean’s Edge Ministry 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

Visa Run: A Long Day In Nicaragua

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horizon church, christian church, ministry, missions lifestlye, oceans edge, jaco beach, nicaragua, christian mission trips

Visa Run: A Long Day In Nicaragua

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern. As a citizen of the United States, I am able to get a 90-day-tourist visa that allows me to live (but not work) in Costa Rica. That means every 90 days I have to leave the country for a visa run and re-enter to renew my visa. It is possible to apply for residency, but from what I’ve heard it’s a long process and you typically need to hire a lawyer who is bilingual. However, two quick ways to gain residency is to either marry a Costa Rican or give birth in the country. With neither of those options looking very likely in the near future I decided a quick visa run was the solution.

My Family in Town

Visa Run

Visa Run

About a month ago my mom, dad and younger brother came in from Arizona to visit me. Hannah gave me the week off so I was able to explore Costa Rica with my family. We stayed at a hotel in Jaco, a hotel in Arenal as well as a hotel a few hours south of the Nicaraguan border in Playa Flamingo. Although I had been in Costa Rica less than 90 days, I figured while I was so close to the border I might as well do a visa run. Lucky for me, my dad found a great deal on a one-day tour to Nicaragua from Playa Flamingo for only $130 so we booked the trip.

Our day started off at 4:50am when a driver picked up Adam and me from our Air BnB and took us to Liberia. That was where we had our complementary breakfast. The next stop was the Costa-Rican border. This stop was pretty quick as we waited in a short line, walked into a building, got our passports stamped and walked back onto our bus.

Nicaraguan Border

Visa Run

Visa Run

The following stop at the Nicaraguan border was a different story. We began by gathering all our stuff off the bus and waiting in a big parking lot with about 10 street vendors, right next to the Nicaraguan-Border building. Our tour guide took all our passports and said he would be “right back in 20 minutes” and by “20 minutes” he meant an hour and a half. Since I’ve been here in Costa Rica, I have learned that people operate on “Tico Time.”  This means something that would take maybe 10-15 minutes in the States might take up to an hour or longer here. Finally, a woman came to meet us at our bus, handed us back our now-stamped passports and let us back onto our bus. After going through two more quick checkpoints, we were finally in Nicaragua!

 

Finally In!

We stopped at a few different places in the morning before we took a break for lunch. Our first stop was a quaint little town called Catarina. We all had to use the bathroom, so our tour guide told us to tell the bathroom attendant we were with “Eduardo” so that we didn’t have to pay. Well, this bathroom attendant decided to try his luck by telling me it would be $2 to enter the bathroom- even after I told him about Eduardo. He finally let me enter without a fee, but only minutes later I overheard him talking to a group of girls from my same bus behind me and he told them the fee would be $10! These gals stood their ground though, and finally he let them through without a fee.

Masaya Volcano

Visa Run

Visa Run

Next we visited The Masaya Volcano- which by the way, is active. It was actually one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen because when we got to the viewing platform, we were able to look down into the volcano and see MAGMA!! ¿QUE EN EL QUE?** Yep you read that right folks- we saw the actual orange-flowing magma in the cone of the volcano! Best visa run ever!

 

 

 

Lunch Time

After the Volcano, it was finally time for lunch! We stopped at a crowded restaurant where we were instantly served salad, rice and then our main course, all within a matter of five minutes. Let me tell you, going on a tour where lunch is provided is the way to go. After lunch we were free to shop at the nearby market, but Adam and I didn’t see it was right next door to the restaurant. Our bad. We ended up walking multiple blocks away from the bus (sorry mom) and found another market. Unfortunately we had to turn around just when we got there but hey, it’s the journey right?

Granada, Nicaragua

Visa Run

Visa Run

Next we stopped in a sweet, cobble-stone-road filled town called Granada. After about an hour, we took a boat tour on the Granada Lake. This is a fresh-water lake and apparently there are bull sharks in the middle that can reach up to 10 feet long! The crazy thing was that I saw tons of people tubing and swimming in the lake! There are also Caiman Crocodiles (2-3 feet long) in the outskirts of the lake in the more swampy areas. Scary! The Mompacho volcano created a ton of little islands in Granada lake and people built houses upon them. I was shocked to hear how inexpensive these beautiful, big houses were!

 

 

 

 

Going Home

We ended up loading back into the bus at about 6pm and headed back towards Costa Rica. Now for the last leg of the visa run. Another border-crossing adventure. Just as we were approaching the Costa-Rican-border-crossing building, our tour guide announced,

“ok, everybody get out your exit-flight itinerary.”

Ummm what!? Exit-flight itinerary? You never said anything about needing an exit flight to re enter the country! I waited until everyone had already gone in front of me in line. I asked someone who had gotten through if they were checking for the return flights. Luckily she said no, they weren’t, so I said a prayer and tried to play it cool. To my delight, the woman working at the desk didn’t even say a word to me. Just like that she stamped the Costa Rica seal and handed me back a 90 day visa.

Sweet sweet success!

**”Que en el que” is a phrase my teammate Kyle came up with. It is Spanglish (a mix of Spanish and English) meaning “what in the what???” As a team, we now say this in any circumstance that one might think to themselves “what in the world!?”

 

Inviting The Invu Kids To Church | Oceans Edge Lifestyle

horizon church, christian church, ministry, missions lifestlye, oceans edge, jaco beach, costa rica, christian mission trips

Inviting The Invu Kids To Church | Oceans Edge Lifestyle


By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern.
 Cassidy, Kyle, Justin and I have a weekly routine where we take a group of Invu kids to a church called “Iglesia Radical”. To give some context, we do Kid’s Club in the park next to the Invu Neighborhood (simply “Invu” for short).  Iglesia Radical is completely Spanish-speaking and is also the church that Horizon Church is currently sharing it’s facilities with.

Bike Mob

invu kids

Invu kids

The kids who come with us usually range from ages 8-15 and only speak Spanish. It all started one night when we invited 10-year-old Daniella to Church (the same Daniella from this blog post). We made plans to meet in front of her house the following week a half hour before church started. We thought it would be fun if all of us rode our bikes together.

The following Friday, Kyle, Cass and I rode our bikes to Invu, hoping Daniella remembered about church. Sure enough, the moment we turned the corner onto her street I hear “MEL!” Followed by a smile and hug from Daniella herself. We noticed about six or seven other kids playing in the street, so we invited them to come with us as well. To our surprise, all of them said, “Yes!” So, here we are, a bike mob consisting of four gringos and seven little Tico children, riding our bikes “Tico-style” to church.  What is “Tico-style” you ask? It means one person is riding the bike, one person is sitting on the handle bars and/or one person is sitting on the ledge above the back tire. I can tell you from personal experience it is extremely uncomfortable, but it gets you there.

Church Routine

invu kids

Invu kids

Ever since that first week we brought Daniella and the other Invu kids to church, we have made it a point to go to pick them up before service. Without fail, Daniella is always there waiting excitedly for us. I wish I could explain how much joy it brings me to hear Daniella scream “MEL” when she sees me riding in. To make it even better, many of the kids we invited that first week have been coming consistently as well. In fact, sometimes if we are a little late getting to Invu, half of the kids leave for church without us! This is such a huge encouragement because it shows they will want to go to church even if we don’t. I’m praying their excitement for church continues even after the team leaves in a few weeks.

Amanda | Spreading the Love of Christ Through Business

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gospel funding, fundraising, horizon church, christian church, ministry, missions lifestlye, oceans edge, jaco beach, costa rica, christian mission trips

Amanda | Spreading the Love of Christ Through Business

gospel funding

gospel funding


By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern 
This is Amanda and she is passionate about business as missions that will fund the spread of the gospel. After growing up in the states, she left everything familiar and moved to Jaco in March of 2016. This was prompted by a vision from God to help Costa Rican businesses operate for the glory of God.

Business as missions can mean different things. First, it can mean starting a business as a means of gaining access to a country lacking religious freedom. Secondly, “gospel funding” can mean starting a business and giving money to any organization or individual that is working to further the gospel. Although these may be the most common ways to facilitate funding the spread of the gospel, they are by no means the only ways to support missions.

A Vision

gospel funding

gospel funding

In a vision from the Lord, Amanda was told to begin a trading company that networks goods produced by other business as missions operations. The idea behind the business is to act as a model to help educate business owners in what successful and ethical business practices look like.

Amanda married a Tico (slang for a Costa Rican) in June 2016. Her husband, Jairo is also missions -minded and pours the love of Christ into the Jaco community.  Soon after,  Amanda moved to Jacó she became a part of the Oceans Edge ministry team.  She is now the director of the Oceans Edge Business School

Business School

The purpose of the business school is to provide tools for members of the community to excel and become a light.  Experienced and business-minded Christians  teach classes to community memebers who are aspiring and/or currently business owners. The classes not only teach skills such as marketing, advertisement, web design, and customer service, but also teach biblical foundations on how to conduct business in a God- honoring and missional way.

Amanda and Jairo are currently living in Jacó, serving at Horizon Church Jacó and living their lives on mission. Jairo serves as a leader with Christian Surfers Costa Rica and is also a professional surfer.