Tag: Jesus

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!

 

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!

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

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.

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.

Jaco Casafe | Surf Ministry

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Jaco Casafe | Surf Ministry

Jaco Casafe

Jaco Casafe

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern.One of my favorite ministries to serve with is Jaco Casafe. 26-year-old Lisa started this ministry four years ago when she first came to Jacó with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Her heart broke for the children she witnessed around Jacó and God gave her a vision for Casafe. Jaco Casafe provides a positive, Christ-centered atmosphere for kids to experience a loving community. In addition, the children learn computer skills, English, surfing and receive homework help.

Family-Dinner Night

Jaco Casafe

Jaco Casafe

This week we were able to assist Lisa and the kids Bible study night. On Wednesdays, Jaco Casafe usually “opens” around 5pm for an hour of swimming and surfing. When the hour is up, Lisa calls them in for snack and begins a Bible study (in Spanish) soon after. The house is typically open for three hours and “closes” at 6pm. This week was a bit different and was open for an addition two hours because it was “Family-Dinner Night”. Lisa does this once a month where she and the kids cook a meal together and watch a movie after. Lisa makes a list of food needed for the meal, and the youth sign up to bring something.

Movie Time

I noticed during the movie, one of the teenage girls was sitting on a couch in the next room, listening to her music alone so I sat down next to her. She told me she had already seen the movie and didn’t want to see it again, so we began to chat through broken Spanish. I knew she was trying to learn English, so we picked up a “Where Is Waldo” book and she read the English captions while I listened carefully and corrected her English pronunciation. After the English book, she picked up a Spanish devotional book and had me read it and she corrected my Spanish pronunciation. I’m excited to see our friendship will grow!

Jaco Beach Spiritual Warfare | Ocean’s Edge Ministry

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Praise God Personal Experience

Spiritual Warfare | Ocean’s Edge Ministry

By Melissa New | Ocean’s Edge Intern “There will be extreme spiritual warfare on the mission field.”

Josh’s face became serious. He leaned forward and lowered his voice.

“I don’t want to scare you, but you need to be aware of it.”

Little did I know, I was about to experience this spiritual warfare.

It began two weeks after I arrived in Jaco, when awoke in the middle of the night, terrified. I can’t put my finger on it, but I felt a presence of evil that kept me awake. The next day I poured through the scriptures, looking for passages to remind myself that God is in control and not to let fear paralyze me. My team also prayed against the spiritual warfare and I was able to sleep soundly. That is, until the following week when my eyes shot open from a bizarre dream.

My Dream

I was walking around Jaco, late at night and I came across two women leaning side by side against a wall on a dimly-lit side street.  I didn’t know the first woman was, but I recognized the second woman, Sarah*, as someone I have regularly seen around town. As I began walking towards them, I could sense the growing presence of evil.  Starting in the pit of my stomach, a fear began to rise up into my throat and then out over the rest of my body. I knew I was no match for this evil, so I began to pray, soft at first and gradually growing louder and louder until I was shouting “Devil, in the name of Jesus, I command you to leave Sarah!” As I said it, the woman next to Sarah turned towards me and looked me dead in the eyes. It’s hard to explain, but as I got louder, she began to grow angrier and her eyes grew larger until I got swallowed up by them and woke up. Sound creepy? Believe me, it was!

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

Sarah

Sarah is a slender Costarican woman who is in her mid-thirties. She regularly walks around in nothing more than a t-shirt and underwear, mumbles incoherently to herself and is hostile towards Christians.  A few girls on my team recall a time when they felt spiritual warfare as they passed her in town because she threw small rocks as well as spit and cursed at them. After talking with a few of the locals, I learned that Sarah used to be quite “normal”, but after multiple drug addictions, she has become mentally unstable.

I believe wholehearted that the devil is preying on Sarah’s mind. If you think that sounds crazy, I would encourage you to read Mark 5:2-10, Luke 4:33-36 and Luke 9:37-42. These passages talk about the reality of demons and how Jesus is able to cast them out through prayer. I feel like God is putting Sarah on my heart so that I will pray for her. As a result, I see her almost every time I ride my bike around Jaco.

Satan

According to God’s Word, we have an enemy and his name is Satan. He is constantly “prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He wants nothing more than to destroy us and represents everything that is “bad” in the world. When we try to do the “right” thing according to God’s word, we are actively fighting against Satan. The Bible says “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Since this is not a physical battle, we need to wage war and prayer is one weapon we can use to fight (Psalm 54, Acts 16:16-18).

If I’m honest, I do feel a sense of fear whenever I come around Sarah, and I know that is not of God, but of the devil (2 Timothy 1:7). I am learning to stand firm, even in my fear, because the devil is not patient. The Bible promises that when we stand firm and resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). Remembering this promise has helped me to be consistent in prayer against the devil and bold in prayer for Sarah.

*Name has been changed

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.