Six years ago, Eliéde Rodrigues began to dedicate the first hours in her day to sending text messages and now reaches more than 200 people on several lists she has created to share messages of hope and faith.
“My routine begins before 5:00 a.m., because first I have my personal moments with God,” Eliéde, who is a school principal in Mucajaí, Roraima, Brazil, says. “Then I share the messages with people. Everything is carefully scheduled. After I’m done, I go to do some physical activity, and then go to work with a happy heart.”
Eliéde’s way of starting the day changed not only her life but the lives of many others. After six years devoted to 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 sending text messages to her every day,” Eliéde says. Through those Bible studies, the woman learned about tithes and decided to start tithing. “I was thrilled when she told me about it.”
A mother of six and grandmother of three, Eliéde is proud of the upbringing she gave to her children, who are now actively involved in their local churches. Her first texting list, created in 2017, included children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, siblings, and acquaintances. It soon reached a total of 60 people. Today, one of her lists has 180 people.
In addition to the messages to groups called “Good Morning, Woman,” “Revived,” and “Daily Meditation,” Eliéde has a special group of new believers, who get a daily message related to the Sabbath School Bible study guide.
“When I started, I felt deeply when people didn’t read or answer my messages,” Eliéde says. “But then I realized that my outreach initiative is not an end in itself; I am doing it for Jesus. That is my ministry.”
Still another list includes around 40 church pastors, leaders, and friends, who get a daily simple message. “I am praying for you!” it reads.
God’s Providence at Work
Not everything is easy in her ministry, Eliéde concedes. Sometimes, people do not react the way you would expect. “Once I miswrote a person’s number, and the person answered me upset, telling her not to text her anymore because she didn’t know me,” she shares. “I felt sad, but I have been praying 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 if it wasn’t for that message, she would have made a very bad decision that day. To this day, I keep texting her and praying for her, especially after she and her husband split.”
Eliéde says she is always seeking to innovate as she shares her daily messages. During the pandemic, she read two books and shared many thoughts with friends through social media posts. She summarizes her work in one sentence: “I have one mission given to me by Jesus, which is to share the gospel. Every message I receive back makes me very happy.”