Moving on

After a full year on Corn Island, Jean and I have come to the difficult decision that we will be moving away from Corn Island for the time being. It was a decision we made fairly suddenly and It really wasn't something we wanted to consider, but for various practical reasons we are unable to stay on the Island any longer. Corn Island is a wonderful place and we will really miss the congregation here, there is a lot of need for brothers that can stay here long term, and we really thought we could stay longer.

Some of the reasons for our move were discussed in my last post, namely the amount of time it takes to travel to and from the Island, this has meant at times we spend more time off the island riding buses and boats than we do on the Island itself. Cost of living is also much higher here than on the mainland, but still manageable. One of the main reasons for our move is that its hard to find work here. Our situation is rather unique and different than I would have expected. When we came to Corn Island I was teaching English online over skype, but after about a month of being on the Island i lost the job due to poor internet connectivity. At times the internet was fast enough but it would often cut out without warning or any reason. Also having to pay for data made it unprofitable to do video calls to teach.
Claro que no.
Since then I've tried many other things, I've applied for many of jobs online and even tried starting a business. We've sold food on the street and homemade jewelry. Selling food seemed to do the best out of everything, but this is unfavorable because my wife has to do the selling while I make the food at home, because as a foreigner my hands are tied when it comes to making a living inside the country. I'm not allowed to work, except online for a business outside the country (such as teaching English). And then, even if I could get a job in the country, I'd be looking at a wage of $5-10 US per day, and the process of getting residency takes years.

At one point we decided to give in, and go to Canada to work for a few months and save up. But those plans came to a sudden halt when Jean's visa application was denied. We had applied for a 3 month tourist visa, expecting that should be easy since she's married to a Canadian... but no. They claimed that because of her "family ties" that is, being married to a Canadian citizen, it was too high of a risk that she would attempt to stay in the country illegally, therefore her tourist visa would not be approved. Believe it or not, its easier to get into Canada if you have nothing to do with any Canadians. After some consultation it may still be possible for her to get a 1 month visa at some point in the future to go to Canada, but 1 month is not enough time for me to work enough to even pay for the flights.

Now, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, I just want to share our experience in the hopes that maybe it could help someone in a similar situation. Some may use our situation as an example for why its a "bad idea" to marry someone from another country, and may use our problems as "ammunition". But as Jehovah's Witnesses we are not confined by national boundaries. As citizens of god's kingdom we are above such things. We have these problems because we live in Satan's world, and if someone isn't ready to face these kind of obstacles for the sake of the person they love, then they aren't ready to commit to marriage either.

Of course at any moment I COULD go to Canada on my own, work for a few months sending money and come back. I could buy a plane ticket, go to the airport and be in Canada within 24 hours, and be working in any minimum wage restaurant within a couple days which would easily pay all of our expenses for a good while. We do not consider this to be an option. Matthew 19:6 says "What God has yoked together, let no man put apart". We've had many articles in recent years about the problems that arise when a husband leaves his family to work abroad in hopes of making more money. We feel that this counsel now applies to our situation, and so we refuse to live apart. Where I go, Jean goes. Where Jean goes, I go.

And so finally, after considering all these things and what options we have we have decided to leave Corn Island. Jehovah has provided a way out for us, that doesn't force us to live apart or sacrifice our spirituality. We are moving to another part of Nicaragua where reliable Internet is easily obtained, and costs of living are much less. We will be moving to Jinotepe, Carazo and serving in the English Congregation in San Marcos. This way we will also be closer to Managua and to the border so that we won't lose time and money traveling, and the process of my applying for Nicaraguan residency will be much easier.



Comments

  1. (Acts 14:21, 22) . . .. 22 There they strengthened the disciples, encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”

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