Tag: horizon church

Living in a Hot Culture

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

Living in a Hot Culture

Cold and Hot Cultures

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

Warm to Hot Culture

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

“Tico Time”

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

Good or bad?

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

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

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

Horizon Church | SIX11 Youth Group

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

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

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

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

My Youth Group Experience

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

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

 

 

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

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

Romancing The City

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

Romancing The City

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

What we’ve been doing

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

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

There’s always time for God

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

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

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

Seeing the fruit

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

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

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

La Cumbre Camp | Horizon Pre-Teen Camp

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La Cumbre Camp

La Cumbre Camp | Horizon Pre-Teen Camp

The past few days I had the honor of helping to lead at La Cumbre Camp. I went with Horizon Church on this three-day pre-teen retreat and nine of our youth kids joined as well. La Cumbre Camp is located up in the mountains near the capital city, San Jose.

Small Groups

There were three other youth groups in attendance in addition to Horizon Church. All the kids were between 9-12 and almost all were completely bilingual. I wish I could speak English and Spanish as well as these kids could! There were multiple small groups and I had a group of six kids assigned to me and my co-leader, Melissa. We stayed in these small groups for our morning devotionals, afternoon Bible studies and daily activities. One of the best part of the camp was definetely the nightly dance parties. Two hours before bed we would all dance for an hour straight so that the kids would be tired. The plan worked and they were begging us to go to sleep!

Salvation

I loved leading the pre-teen aged kids because they are so sweet and aren’t at the age yet where they are too cool to care. They are enthusiastic about everything and get excited about little things. I also love how genuine they are as they have no problem letting you know if something you said doesn’t make any sense. This was especially helpful when we were going through devotions because Melissa and I were able to answer some of their questions. We were so blessed to see two people in our small group receive salvation and give their hearts to Christ- the very first day! Then, on the second evening, another girl in our group gave her heart to Jesus. What a blessing it was to see these young children cross from death to life!

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Centro Prenatal | Ocean’s Edge

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

Centro Prenatal | Ocean’s Edge

Centro Prenatal

Centro Prenatal

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern Today, I helped out in the Jaco “Centró Prenatal” (“Pregnency Center” in English) for the first time. There is also a Centró Prenatal in Tarcoles, and I have had the pleasure of serving there as well. They are run by an overseas-missionary organization, Beautiful Feet. Horizon Church sponsors and helps support the centers, as well.

Jaco Location

I am most familiar and work the most in the Jaco Centro Prenatal, as it is closest to me. Here there are currently three Spanish-speaking counselor who volunteer on a rotating schedule. The counselors work with moms who are either pregnant or needing help with their newborns. Centro Prenatal also offers free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests. The counselors take the women through parenting lessons that cover a variety of topics, all while sharing the gospel. As the moms attend their classes, they have an opportunity to earn “dollars”. This is done by memorizing scripture and doing their parenting homework. They are then able to use their “money” to “purchase” items for their children. This could include diapers, baby clothes, baby wipes, strollers etc. The purpose of this ministry is to show women they have value and to provide them with tools. We want them to know God created them and their children for a purpose.

Secretary Work

Right now I am in training for how to be the secretary for the administrative side of things at the center. Before me, a few of the team members were assisting several days per week and before them it was only the pastor’s wife, Sarah, and another missionary here, Becky. I am excited to continue to learn more about secretarial work so that I can serve the center as best as I can. In addition, its cool to expand on my skill sets so that I can learn how to become a more well-rounded person.

Centro Prenatal

Centro Prenatal

Prayer Meeting | Horizon Church

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

Prayer Meeting | Horizon Church

prayer meeting

prayer meeting

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern. “We are going to the weekly prayer meeting today at noon” our leader, Sarah told us.

“How long will it be?” someone asked.

“Probably about an hour” she responded.

AN HOUR!? How are we going to fill up an entire hour with constant prayer? I thought to myself, I’ve never spent more than 15 minutes, maximum, in continuous prayer before!

Although I had never been to a prayer meeting, I was curious about it. What do we even do at a prayer meeting? Do we talk about what we want prayer for? Do we pray over a prayer-request sheet? Do we all just pray at once?

I didn’t realize it then, but this prayer meeting adds richness to my walk with God.

Our Arrival

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

prayer meeting

We arrived at the church about five minutes before 12pm, and have continued to do so for the previous eight Wednesdays. Typically pastor Daniel starts us off with a prayer and leaves the floor open for anyone to add. It has been transforming to see believers from the congregation take an hour out of their week to come together and pray. These prayers range from prayers of thanks and confession, to prayers of intercession and needs. My favorite aspect of the entire meeting is observing the older believers while they are praying. I am so inspired by the genuine tears that stream down their face as they communicate with the Lord. About every 10-15 minutes, Daniel picks up his guitar and he plays a worship song. It is beautiful to see the peace that so clearly reflects on everyone’s face as they sing praises to God.

Prayer Muscles

A wise woman once told me that we all have a “prayer muscle” and every time we intentionally spend time in prayer, this muscle grows. I feel like my “prayer muscle” is getting a stronger and stronger because of the prayer meeting. I also have grown in confidence while praying out out in a group as well as the overall enjoyment in prayer. This spiritual discipline is so important in the believer’s life, and I love the growth I am seeing in my life.

Unfinished Story | My Testimony | Oceans Edge Intern

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

Unfinished Story | My Testimony | Oceans Edge Intern

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern. My unfinished story begins when I gave my heart to Jesus at age 11. Growing up I participated in campus ministries, discipleship groups and Bible studies while walking closely with God for many years. When I turned 21, I began my gradual drift from God and became enticed with partying. Although I never denounced Jesus, I began questioning God’s goodness. Why would a “good” God forbid something seeming so fun and life giving? I had one foot in the “God door” and the other in a “party door”. I didn’t know it at the time, but I received a high from partying. Unfortunately, that “high” was actually a false imitation of the abundant life I was truly searching for. As I continued this party routine, I began feeling my life lose fullness and meaning. Consequentially, I drifted further from intimacy with Jesus.

Intentional Change

Testimony of intentional change in Australia, change of scenery in New Zealand and next steps, Unfinished Story

Unfinished Story

At 22, I graduated college and moved to work in Australia for one year. I was sick of the emptiness that partying had brought, and I needed a change. I promised myself I would ditch the party lifestyle and find a church and Christian community in Australia. By the grace of God, I did just that. In my free time, I surfed and attended a Bible study through Christian Surfers Australia. After being involved with this ministry for about 6 months, I began serving as a Christian Surfer leader to the kids in the local surf community. I also began to attend a local church called Thrive. I wanted to get more involved at church, so I volunteered with the high-school youth group. As a result, I discovered a passion and gifting for reaching and impacting youth for Jesus.

Change of Scenery

Testimony, intentional change, Australia, change of scenery,New Zealand, next steps, unfinished story

Unfinished story

After my Australian work visa expired in November 2015, I applied for a six-month work visa in New Zealand, and moved to a small beach town called New Plymouth. I worked as a waitress to make money and became involved serving with Christian Surfers New Zealand by helping teach kids to surf. In April 2016, I moved back to the States and worked for a Christian summer camp called TbarM Christian Camps. I was a camp counselor mostly working with high-school-aged girls.

 

Next Steps

Testimony, intentional change, Australia, change of scenery,New Zealand, next steps, unfinished story

Unfinished Story

At the end of camp, I was trying to sort out what my next steps should be, so I talked with my boss, Natalie. She shared with me about a mission trip she went on for a month in Jaco, Costa Rica. As a result, she suggested I check out a local church there. I emailed the pastor’s wife, Sarah, and she said there was a need in the church that I could help fill as an intern. Soon after I committed to going and now I am living in Costa Rica for six months. In conclusion, if the Lord leads me to stay longer, I will make an additional 1-2 year commitment. I am curious and excited to see how my unfinished story will continue.

SixEleven | Horizon Church Youth Group

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christian ,Costa Rica, fierce competition ,horizon church , jaco, photo scavenger hunt, youth group, youth group games, youth ministry, costa rica, oceans edge

SixEleven | Horizon Youth Group

Youth Group

Youth Group

 “Ok guys, remember, act like normal people!”

“My grandma has a black dog! Let’s go to my grandma’s house!”

“I have an idea, let’s look in Los Suenos!” (A town 25 minutes away)

“RICARDO, RICARDO, RICHARD, RICHARD” (the task was to “find a Richard”)

“Um excuse me Mel, what kind of pizza are we eating later?”

These are just some of the funny lines I overheard from the kids in the Horizon Youth Group as we competed in a photo scavenger hunt through town. In addition, this was the the first kick-off event of “Sixeleven”, the official English-Speaking youth group. With so many English-speaking-international families living in Jaco, an English-speaking youth group is a welcome idea. In fact, until this point, there haven’t been any Christian-ministry resources for youth-aged English-speakers.  

Fierce Competition

First of all, imagine five outgoing-and-energetic 11-14 year olds and you are looking at my team. We were in fierce competition against two other teams, each with two adults, one vehicle and one hour to complete as many “tasks” as possible. I was with the Pastor of Horizon Church, Daniel Barrett, and we rode in the classic church van. One funny moment was watching my team “perform a memorial service for a smashed toad” on the side of the road. The kids all got really into it, fake crying and shouting “WHYYYY!” Also, I loved seeing their excitement and dedication to completing each task no matter how difficult it was. 

Future Plans

Youth Group

Youth Group

When the hour was up, each team met at Sarah and Daniel Barrett’s house to review the photos and eat pizza. In fact, this was the best part of the night as each team had taken hilarious photos. We explained to the youth that we wanted to have more of these types of event and eventually begin meeting weekly as well. They were all so excited to hear this, and in turn it made me super excited! In conclusion, I love working with youth-aged kids so I can’t wait to see this youth group continue to develop.