P. O. Box 1148, Shelbyville KY 40066 120 Henry Clay Street, Shelbyville KY 40065 502-633-1198 Office Hours are: Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Shelby Baptist Association
Monday, October 23, 2017
Leadership, Service, Missions

Alan Haven,
Highland Baptist Church                         
January 2011
Traveling across national borders, stepping foot in another country, and constantly hearing another language that you have no idea of what is being said can leave some people not wanting to leave the comforts of the good ole USA. However, after one week in Costa Rica, I found myself not wanting to come back, but stay and continue working in the mountains of southern Costa Rica and experiencing the power of the Living God we serve.
My excursion began by traveling on the Pan American Highway for close to eight hours to where our team of 17 would be staying for the week. San Vito is a small town, up in the mountains and nearly on the border of the country of Panama. We would then take about a 45 minute bus ride to get out to the reservation we were going to work at for the next four days.
Our first encounter with the reservation and the Ngabe (pronounced Naw-bay) was on Sunday morning. We got off the bus and proceeded to walk across a swinging bridge that stretched close to 40-50 yards over a river. The church we were working with in the village of La Casona was very simple, concrete floor with a three foot base wall around the perimeter and square fencing making up the remaining walls to the roof. The service itself was very eye opening for me, just sitting through a service and listening to hymns  sung in another language was humbling to say the least. Knowing that the same words we passively sing on Sunday mornings in our cushioned pews are sung as loud as possible with nothing but the sound of voices and seeing a pastor on his knees at the altar before the sermon was inspirational, even after he had hiked down the mountain from another village 1 ½ hours away.
Our work days centered around digging and burying a septic tank and drainage lines, setting up walls and mixing concrete for a two bathroom, one shower bath house. This will be the first true running water building in the village for the church. After days of working alongside Ngabe men, digging up rock after rock in four to six feet of earth, mixing concrete by the shovel full in 90+ degree heat, seeing women from the village get their feet washed, stories of hope about women of the Bible, and seeing over 100 women and children stand in line to wait to get their hair cut with the beautician that was with our team not turn a single one away after it was time for us to leave for the day, put into perspective how truly blessed we are to live a country like America. 
Even more so, seeing the needs and having the opportunity to be there and help meet those needs and show love, was truly capturing Matthew 25 and the Great Commission. Having the opportunity was a life-changing experience and one I will never forget, and I had the chance to experience this trip because of the generosity of the Shelby Baptist Association and the willingness to give me a scholarship to help pay for the trip. Thank you, for the gift, but also more importantly to represent our churches and our God in the Costa Rica. Every little bit helps, and the smallest amount of giving helps spread the Gospel. Thanks to all who gave, prayed and supported this trip, and continue to look ahead to what lies ahead for each of us, whether those opportunities be here stateside or in other parts of the world.