Nicaragua was an amazing experience. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to experience firsthand serving in a foreign country. It’s so worth the effort. Indeed it takes a leap of faith to go against others well-meaning concern and give your all to Jehovah’s service. I was able to serve in the English congregation in Granada. This is a young small congregation that has a lot of rich territory. We would go into some territories that seemed impossible to find English speaking people and we ALWAYS found someone. Most of the times you were able to place literature and sometimes start a study. Many Nicaraguans want to learn English or already do. This coupled with the region’s inherent desire to learn more about God’s Word makes for an awesome preaching experience. No more apathy and no more hunting people down for studies. Speaking at every door affords you the opportunity to hone your skills. Granted this is still a challenging territory due to the search and discover nature of service. This sometimes means mornings consisting of mostly census. But Granada is a very touristy area as well. Many English speaking tourists frequent the area. Although street witnessing opens you up to many varied beliefs and a variety of ethnicities, this is great to break up the monotony of the constant census work. I have to admit that I didn’t fully take advantage of this avenue of service but it was easy to speak with tourists simply by asking what brings them to Granada and asking where they are from. The few people I did speak with certainly were friendly. It’s always handy to carry meeting invites on your person.
My trip also took me to other parts of Nicaragua. I was able to sample the coast, where English is predominantly spoken as well as places where Spanish is only spoken such as Jinotega. Pearl Lagoon is in desperate need of help. They go overnight preaching trips in order to cover their territory and due to the religious nature of the people there, you could easily share 3-4 scriptures at each door. I felt so unequipped, but this challenge was good because it helps you prepare for the ministry with a purpose. Jinotega doesn’t have much territory and it gets covered every 2 weeks. But surprisingly you meet different members of the family at home and definitely have to keep your presentation fresh. The most shocking part is that interest is still found daily! I spent a week there and could have had my own bible study! In contrast, I was in Granada for 6 weeks before I found a girl who really wanted to study. I got the information of the sister who took the study in Jinotega and eagerly wait to hear the results of my initial seed.
All in all I think everyone should have the experience of serving somewhere. The longer you can go the better since more time means more time with your studies before you turn them over. The cost of living here in inexpensive and the cities are safe. There are hardly any guns in Nicaragua which contributes to the safety factor. Travel within the country is ridiculously cheap. I’m talking $5 to get clear to the other side of the country, how long it will take you is entirely another story. If you can take cold showers and want an instantly productive ministry, I say go for it! Try it out for at least 3 months! I promise you won’t regret it!