DANIEL AND MIRIAM were married in September 2000 and had a comfortable life in Barcelona, Spain. Daniel explains: “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 something happened.
At a convention in 2006, Daniel heard a talk that asked 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?” (Proverbs 24:11) The talk explained that we have the responsibility to preach the Bible’s message because the lives of people depend on it. (Acts 20:26, 27) Daniel remembers, “I had the feeling that Jehovah was talking to me.” The talk also mentioned that we are happier when we do more in Jehovah’s service. Daniel knew that this was true because he could see that Miriam, who had already begun pioneering, was very happy.
This talk affected Daniel so much that he decided that it was time to make a big change in his life. He started to work fewer hours, began pioneering, and thought about how happy he and Miriam could be if they served where the need for Kingdom preachers is greater.
FIRST THE DIFFICULTIES—THEN THRILLING NEWS
In May 2007, Daniel and Miriam quit their jobs and moved to Panama, a country they had visited before. Their territory was made up of several islands in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Most of the people who live there are Ngabe. Daniel and Miriam thought that they could stay in Panama for about eight months with the money they had already saved.
They traveled the islands by boat and bicycle. They still remember the first time they rode their bikes about 30 kilometers (20 miles) up steep hills in very hot weather. Daniel was so exhausted that he almost fainted. Yet, the Ngabe families whom they met were very hospitable, especially after the couple learned some expressions in the local language. Soon they had 23 Bible studies.
What happened after they spent all their savings? Daniel says: “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
Because of changes in the organization, Daniel and Miriam had to stop serving as special pioneers in 2015. What would they do now? 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 work so that they could support themselves as regular pioneers, and today they serve in a congregation in Veraguas, Panama.
Daniel says: “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!”