Thursday, July 13, 2017

Big Corn Island - July 13, 2017

Preaching at the top of Quinn Hill
We have been living on Big Corn Island for over six months now – we arrived in December 2016 and it is now almost the middle of July 2017. Coming back to Nicaragua has been quite an adjustment for us. Maybe because we have lived here before we mistakenly thought the transition back to Nicaragua would be easy. Perhaps if we had returned to either Leon or Pearl Lagoon that would be the case. However, life on Big Corn Island is vastly different than either of those locales and we have found it to be somewhat of a challenge.
For us, life here on the island is far more physical than it was in Leon or Pearl Lagoon; and vastly more than what life was like in Canada. Our primary form of transportation is by bicycle and we don’t have a washing machine so clothes are washed by hand. There are no supermarkets to buy food, although there are a few well stocked tiendas where we can purchase the majority of our groceries but shopping for basic necessities can be a weekly if not daily challenge. Since we have a clay filter we bike to the public well to fill up containers – it is a 5km round trip – which we do at least two or three times a week.

One of our pioneers conducting a Bible Study
In order to keep within budget (or at least try to) we have opted to live in a one room efficiency apartment. It really is a converted hotel room in a rundown former hotel. However, the location is amazing – truly waterfront living with a constant ocean breeze which means we have no need for an air conditioner. Our landlord is in the process of fixing the place up and in time these rooms will be in high demand if he makes all the changes he talks about. Living in one room has advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side – there is very little to clean. On the negative side – there is very little room to move around and no sitting area except on the bed. This isn’t really a big problem because we have a huge veranda and only becomes an issue when it is raining and we can’t sit outside. For the most part, we have embraced tiny living.

Another reason for a difficult transition was the fact that we don’t know how long we will be able to stay in Nicaragua. The day before we left Canada Pat received a phone call from his Lymphoma doctor about a couple of lymph nodes he is concerned about. The doctor indicated that if we were staying in Canada that he would recommend that Pat have a biopsy performed on them. Since we were due to leave the following day we decided that we would continue with our plans and find a doctor in Nicaragua to monitor Pat’s health. There is a doctor from Bluefields that Pat visits every three months – so we are living our lives in three-month increments.

There are two congregations on Corn Island and one language group. We belong to the Long Bay Kriol Congregation which has about 15 publishers – 9 are regular pioneers. Currently, there are 5 Elders but come October that will change as one couple has been asked to move to Bluefields and we have two Ministerial Servants. The congregation is conducting over 70 bible studies with every publisher conducting at least one. The door-to-door ministry is amazing as the majority of islanders love to talk about the bible. It has been a real joy to get reacquainted with brothers and sisters that we met when we were in Nicaragua last time, as well as getting to know new ones.

All in all, life here on Big Corn has been good. We are enjoying spending more time together doing the things we love. We are discovering new talents and resurrecting old delights. We hope that this blog continues to be a resource for anyone looking to serve in Nicaragua.

First day in the ministry.