Betilda Vásquez Quiej is a local church elder and treasurer in Guatemala.
When Betilda Vázquez Quiej, 64, came across the TikTok app, a social media network platform that uses short-form videos, she was moved to start a Bible study ministry. The grandmother of eight began to share Bible verses and an encouraging message every day from her home in San Lucas Sacatepéquez, in Guatemala.
Quiej soon began to gain many followers. In just two years since joining TikTok, she has amassed more than 29,700 followers.
Her daily messages follow a “Do Not Fear” theme and include the “Faith of Jesus” Bible courses and other initiatives promoted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She recently highlighted the 10 Days of Prayer that the world church follows at the start of each year.
TikTok gained popularity at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and it was perfect timing for her to begin with the app, Quiej said.
“I was motivated to begin with social media platforms because most people are connected and spend a lot of time, even during their productive times at work, they are listening to messages on social networks,” Quiej said. “They keep their phone next to them and take time to listen and view videos, and so I realized that the Holy Spirit can work through an audio, through a video.” That was motivation enough for Quiej to start her ministry.
“One day, I noticed that I had more than 1,000 followers, and so I thought, ‘Well, they like what I’m doing,’ so I continued to do so, trying to improve each day,” Quiej said.
A Seventh-day Adventist since she was 13 years old and a native of Nicaragua, Quiej is active in her San Bartolomé Milpas Altas Adventist church in Guatemala, serving as head elder last year. She was recently appointed again as an elder and treasurer.
Grandmother, Business Owner, and Active Member
As a wife, mother, grandmother, and business owner, Quiej keeps busy during the day, beginning with personal devotional time. She also takes time to exercise, do gardening, and run her two beauty school shops. Every afternoon she makes TikTok videos. She also posts on Facebook Live and recently opened an account on Instagram.
Quiej’s daily videos have gained her popularity as the Seventh-day Adventist TikTok grandmother in Guatemala who shares encouraging Bible messages every day.
She studies for the best time to post her videos on the TikTok app every day, takes time to answer questions that her followers send her, and tries to ignore or block hate messages she occasionally gets.
A Very Personal Ministry
“This has become a very personal ministry to me,” Quiej said. What she likes most is that she has found a purpose in sharing Bible promises. Her followers are based in many different countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and the United States.
Quiej shared that she has received many questions from hundreds of people. “I may not know the answer to every question, but the Bible does, and it has all the answers,” she said.
“I see this as such an important ministry because we have to preach this [gospel] message throughout the world, and I believe that I’m doing just that, preaching to Europe, Asia, to America, and the rest of the world. I want Jesus to come, and I want to use all the opportunities I can to that end,” Quiej said.
No Limit to Preaching God’s Word
Quiej said she is blessed every day she gets to share on TikTok — 365 days of the year. “I just love this about the social networks, that there is no limit to preaching God’s Word.” She dreams of being surprised by the people she has touched by the message of the Bible in her ministry when she gets to heaven.
She has had highs and lows in her life. She left the church for two years and returned to the Lord, was re-baptized, and has clung to Jesus since then. When Quiej thinks back to how God helped her in this ministry, she is grateful.
Quiej and her husband, Moisés, have been married for 48 years. She has lived in Guatemala since they married. Their three children live in the same town and are active in their local church.
“When I started to use social media networks, I was like a chicken pecking corn, with my fingers, but now I’m managing better, and it’s enough for my ministry,” she said. It wasn’t easy, but she loves technology and keeps learning how constantly changing and dynamic it can be. She believes anyone can share the messages of love and hope found in the Bible through their mobile devices.
Quiej hopes to soon surpass 30,000 followers on TikTok and continue growing her ministry. She will continue ministry on Facebook and soon begin Bible studies on Instagram.
The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.