Location: Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul – Brazil
Rodrigo & Viviane’s Story
Rodrigo lost his father at the age of 4. Although he had uncles and grandfathers to look up to, and a very loving mother, he often felt like something was missing.
“As a child I learned the ways of the Lord through the local church and people from the church where I initially had many joys and could feel the love of God in my life. Bible camps were the apex of the way I wanted to live, in communion with brothers in Christ. But everything changed when I started to know the world. I knew which was the right path, but because of the friendships I had developed it was comfortable to continue living in the wrong way.
Alcohol, drugs and unhealthy friendships were constant from 13 until I was 17. It was around that time that I began to realize that the ramifications of this way of living would lead me to several consequences; physical death, poor health, a bad reputation, and the worst of all, the removal of the presence of God in my life. Like the prodigal son, I decided to return to my Father’s arms. I recommitted my life to Christ and then it became clear that God’s purpose for my life was different and not the way I had been living when I stopped hearing my Father’s voice.”
During his childhood, while he went to church and was involved with the activities of Open Arms with his mom, Sarita, he recognized the blessing of being surrounded by so many people who were serving and dedicating their lives to Christ and His will for their lives. Despite those teen years of fleeing from the Lord to pursue the world and its temptations, the influence of these servants of the Lord would eventually help him to understand God’s love for him and draw him back.
At the age of 17, his family moved to Aquidauana where his mom, Sarita, wanted to start a new life away from the negative influences that Rodrigo had gotten himself involved with. She also felt called to establish an outpost for Open Arms in that city, which she did in 2009. In Aquidauana, Rodrigo finished high school and began to help with the neighborhood Bible clubs alongside his mom as a volunteer.
In 2016, Rodrigo married his sweetheart, and fellow volunteer, Viviane (Vivi). Viviane has a similar background, and just like Rodrigo had found her hope and strength in Jesus. They have two beautiful little girls, Maria Clara & Paola.
In 2021, after many years working in the private sector, Vivi and Rodrigo attended the Mission School of Open Arms in Assis, Brazil where they were mentored by other Open Arms missionaries and nurtured in their walk with Christ and in their marriage, to prepare them for full-time missions work.
In 2022, they fulfilled their calling and dream as they became full-time missionaries with Open Arms Worldwide helping to advance the work that his mother started in Aquidauana so many years ago.
Rodrigo & Viviane’s Current Ministry
- In addition to helping to lead the Saturday neighborhood Bible Clubs in and around Aquidauna, Rodrigo teaches English to a small group of youth throughout the week, leads a youth worship service and bible studies.
- Viviane has a small group of girls that she disciples in addition to the bible study she helps lead with Rodrigo.
- Together they visit the homes of the children and youth in the ministry to assess needs, counsel, and pray. In addition to all of this, they conduct several sports activities throughout the week as outreach to the youth in their mission field.