PROFILE Despite being imprisoned and cruelly beaten in seven penitentiaries, he never wavered in his determination to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom.
IN 1948, my wife, Paula, my daughter, and I began attending meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Blanco Arriba. We had to walk 25 miles (40 km) round trip, but we never missed a meeting. On January 3, 1949, Paula and I were baptized.
Six months later some from our congregation were arrested and sentenced to three months in prison. We had to sleep on the floor and were fed only one meal a day
I had to be extremely careful because some of my persecutors were my own relatives. Even though I slept in the mountains or on a farm to avoid detection, I sometimes still got caught. After one of my arrests, I was sent to La Victoria prison in Ciudad Trujillo, where there were 50 to 60 prisoners to a cell. There, we received two meals a day
The last time I was imprisoned, a soldier beat me on the head and on my ribs with the butt of a rifle. Even though I still suffer from the physical effects of that beating and other mistreatment, those tests strengthened my faith, my endurance, and my determination to serve Jehovah.
Now, at 96 years of age, I serve as a ministerial servant in the congregation. Although I can no longer walk long distances, I sit in front of my house and preach to all who pass by. The Kingdom hope is not a dream to me. It is a reality, and I have been preaching about it for more than 60 years. The new world is as real to me today as it was the first day that I heard the Kingdom message. *
^ par. 3 Efraín De La Cruz died while this account was being prepared.