For six years, Eliéde Rodrigues has dedicated her first hours of the day to sending messages to more than 200 people on various broadcast lists she created to share hope and faith. “My routine starts before 5 a.m., because first, I have my moment with God. Then I share the messages with people. Everything is calculated. After I'm done, I'm going to do physical activity and go out to work with a happy heart,” she details.
Eliéde's way of starting the day changed not only her life, but many other people's as well.
With just over half a decade of ministry, Eliéde collects stories. “I met a lady at the fair. I used to buy fruit pulp from her until I got her phone number and started texting her every day. Through this form of Bible study, she began tithing. I was so happy when she told me,” says the teacher, who is also the principal of a school in Macujaí, Roraima.
The first transmission list, created in 2017, included children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers, and acquaintances. It soon reached a total of 60 people. Today, one of the lists has 180 people.
In addition to the messages of “Good Morning, Woman,” “Revived,” and “Meditation of the Day,” Eliéde also has a special group of brothers who have recently arrived at the Adventist Church and receive the Sabbath School lesson from her daily.
“Some people don't even see the messages. Others see but do not respond. When I started, I was sad about it, but later I understood that it wasn't for me that I was doing this, but for Jesus. That's when I understood that what I was doing was my ministry,” says the teacher, moved emotionally.
Another group receives different messages daily—a powerful little phrase: “'I pray for you!' This one, I send to 40 people, who are brothers that Jesus gave me: they are pastors, leaders, and friends who have an agreement to pray for each other until eternity,” explains Eliéde.
Not every day is flowers and sunshine for the missionary woman. “I once wrote down a person's number wrong, and she replied upset, saying not to text her anymore because she didn't know me. I was sad, but I prayed for her even without knowing her,” Eliéde says.
However, there are people Eliéde has texted by mistake who thanked her. “I sent it to a wrong number, and the person thanked me and even said that if it wasn't for that message, they would have made a [bad choice] that day. To this day, I send her a message and prayed for her almost two months in a special way after she separated from her husband,” she narrates.
Mother of six children and grandmother of three grandchildren, Eliéde is proud of the upbringing she has given her children, who are now involved in the church's efforts. Currently, she works as a director and is divided between school activities, home, church, and family, which has now grown to include sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren.
Eliéde always seeks to innovate the messages. During the pandemic, she read two books and shared everything with friends through social media posts. “I'm sure someone read it along with me,” she believes. Eliéde sums up all her work in one sentence: “I have a mission that Jesus gave me: to take the gospel. And that's the way I found it, and I'm very happy with every ‘thank you’ message I get."
Eliéde points out that it's not easy, especially on weekends, but when she thinks about giving up, she remembers how many people she's been able to help and how many she still has to reach with her messages.
This article was originally published on the South American Division’s news site