Six years ago, Eliéde Rodrigues began devoting the first hours of her day to texting and now reaches more than 200 people on several lists she created to share messages of hope and faith.
“My routine starts before 5 a.m. because I have my personal moments with God first,” says Eliéde, who is a school principal in Mucajaí, Roraima, Brazil. “Then I share the messages with people. Everything is carefully planned. When I’m done, I’m going to do some physical activity, then I go to work with a happy heart.
The way Eliéde started the day changed not only his life, but the lives of many others. After six years in this ministry, she has a collection of stories to tell.
“I met a woman at the fair. I used to buy fruit pulp from her, and one day she gave me her phone number. I started texting him every day,” says Eliéde. Through these Bible studies, the woman learned about tithing and decided to start paying tithing. “I was thrilled when she told me about it.”
A mother of six and grandmother of three, Eliéde is proud of the education she gave her children, who are now actively involved in their local churches. His first texting list, created in 2017, included children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, siblings and acquaintances. It quickly grew to a total of 60 people. Today, one of its lists has 180 people.
In addition to messages to groups called “Hello, Woman”, “Revived” and “Daily Meditation”, Eliéde has a special group of new believers, who receive a daily message linked to the Sabbath School Bible study guide.
“When I started, I felt deeply when people didn’t read or respond to my messages,” says Eliéde. “But then I realized that my awareness initiative is not an end in itself; I do it for Jesus. This is my ministry.
Yet another list includes about 40 pastors, leaders and friends of churches, who receive a simple daily message. “I pray for you!” it reads.
God‘s providence at work
Not everything is easy in his ministry, concedes Eliéde. Sometimes people don’t react as you would expect. “Once, I misspelled someone’s number, and the person wrote back upset, telling them not to text them again because they didn’t know me,” she says. . “I felt sad, but I prayed for her even though I never met her.”
On other occasions, however, Eliéde sent messages to others by mistake but the person who received the message contacted her to thank her. “I sent it to the wrong number, but the person thanked me and even told me that without this message, they would have made a very bad decision that day. To this day, I continue to text her and pray for her, especially after she and her husband separated.
Eliéde says she always tries to innovate by sharing her daily messages. During the pandemic, she has read two books and shared many thoughts with friends via social media posts. She sums up her work in one sentence: “I have a mission entrusted to me by Jesus, which is to share the gospel. Every message I receive makes me very happy.