DANIEL AND MIRIAM married in September 2000 and settled down in the city of Barcelona, Spain. “We led a so-called normal life,” relates Daniel. “Our jobs allowed us to eat in fine restaurants, travel abroad, and wear quality clothes. We also shared regularly in the field ministry.” But then a change occurred.
At a convention in 2006, Daniel was deeply touched by a talk that raised the question: “Are we doing all we can to help those who are ‘staggering to the slaughter’ to get on the road to everlasting life?” (Prov. 24:11) It stressed the responsibility to make known the Bible’s lifesaving message. (Acts 20:26, 27) Daniel recalls, “I had the feeling that Jehovah was talking to me.” The talk also mentioned that expanding one’s ministry leads to more joy. Daniel knew that this was true. Miriam had already begun pioneering and was experiencing joyful blessings.
Daniel says, “I concluded that it was time for me to make a 180-degree turn.” And he did. He cut back on his hours at work, began pioneering, and thought about the joy he and Miriam could have by serving where the need for Kingdom preachers is greater.
FIRST THE CHALLENGES—THEN THRILLING NEWS
In May 2007, Daniel and Miriam quit their jobs and set out for Panama, a country they had visited before. Their new territory was made up of several islands in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, mostly inhabited by the indigenous Ngabe people. Daniel and Miriam thought that by using their savings, they could stay in Panama for about eight months.
They traveled the islands by boat and bicycle, and they well remember their first cycling trip—about 20 miles (32 km) over steep hills, under the blazing sun. Daniel nearly fainted from exhaustion. Yet, in the homes along that route, the Ngabe families received them hospitably, especially after the couple learned some expressions in the local language. Before long, they were conducting 23 Bible studies.
When their savings ran out, however, the couple’s joy turned to sorrow. Daniel recalls: “With tears in our eyes, we began thinking about our return to Spain. We were so sad to leave our Bible students behind.” But then, a month later, they received thrilling news. Miriam says: “We were invited to serve as special pioneers. What a joy to be able to stay in our assignment!”
THEIR GREATEST JOY
In 2015, as a result of adjustments in the organization, Daniel and Miriam were asked to continue their service as regular pioneers. What to do? They trusted in the promise found at Psalm 37:5: “Commit your way to Jehovah; rely on him, and he will act in your behalf.” They found secular work to support themselves as pioneers, and today they serve in a congregation in the province of Veraguas, Panama.
Daniel relates: “Before we left Spain, we were not sure if we would be able to live a simple life. Today we do, and we lack nothing of real importance.” What is their greatest joy? They say, “To help humble people learn about Jehovah is a joy beyond compare!”