Back in the early 2000, in a small Fijian household in the UK, a curly haired child with lanky limbs sat on the sofa with her beautiful, graceful mother. Together they watched Pastor Joyce Meyers intently as she preached a message of love, hope and the redeeming grace of God through Jesus Christ his son. The child watched the screen, oblivious to everything else around her, yet something inside her knew that this was where her purpose lay.
The curly haired child is now a beautiful woman at an RAF base here in the UK. Though she did not realise it then, seeds of her anointment were being sown and had been consistently done so since she was born. She is Grace Raqio and I had the honour of meeting her for the Connected Conversation series.
Born to Reverend Raqio and the late Laisa Raqio, one would assume that her path to ministry would be a given. Even Grace herself recalls telling her beloved late mother that she wanted to be like the phenomenal preacher Meyers, yet it would take a bit of pruning and refining before she could fully step into her purpose. As she spoke to me about her childhood and her calling, the hairs on my arms stood on ends. I silently prayed over us as I felt the presence of God take hold of our conversation.
I needed to tell her story right and this piece has taken me ages to write. It is not because I procrastinate or that I do not have enough material, the honest truth is that for a person anointed to ministry, no one else but God can write her story, and that He has chosen me to be the first to write about Faith in Motion Ministry is both a burden and a blessing.
But what Christian calling is not?
To be called out for a purpose is daunting. Moses gave five excuses on why he could not do what he was called to do and sure enough, the risks are many as we look through the bible. Stephens call led to his stoning, John to his beheading and Peter was crucified upside down. Granted, we are now in the 21st century and martyrdom is now obsolete but whatever the form, the Christian walk is never easy and is only best endured when it is interspersed by kneels. On the 25th of March, Grace was on her knees, submitting her walk to God. And it is a funny thing about knees. And kneeling. While it is a position of surrender, it has the power to move the heart of God.
The 18th Century Evangelist and Publisher Dwight Moody has said of kneeling that; “Every great movement of God can be traced back to a great kneeling figure”. We can interpret this to mean literal church and evangelical movements but also it could be simple as the spirit of God moving in response to a figure of a human in kneeling submission. We see both of these in the two stories of when the leper knelt and thus moved Christ to heal him (Matt 8:2), and when King Ezra knelt before God in front of his people thereby causing a fervent revival amongst a nation who were previously obstinate against their God (Ezra 10:1).
A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean’.Jesus reached out and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said.Matthew 8: 2-3
So that morning, when Grace got on her knees and recommitted her life to walking with God, she felt the Spirit of God clearly speak to her. She recalls the words put into her spirit telling her to, “Just use what you’ve got”. She knew that she had to carry out what had been placed into her heart years before, that she was anointed to carry the gospel of Jesus. With those words resounding in her head, she quickly took stock of her resources and with a phone and social media, she got to work designing her logo and contacting people to help her start her ministry.
Four people answered her request and Faith in Motion was born. To make things more interesting, the message put into her heart added that she was not going to use her personal platform which already had over 9k followers. God wanted to show her that this was His space and His only. And so it has become just that, a space where youths gather to glorify and share their love for Christ. The bible studies conducted through zoom has featured inspirational messages from various speakers who have include Radini Titilia Boila, Rev Nemani Raqio, Rev Kolivuso and his daughter Sue Kolivuso, David Chacha and Esiteri Seniyaro; and they have attracted a variety of people from all around the world. The hand of God moved when Grace submitted and stepped into her calling.
For Grace, her act of submission on this day came after a few years of having dulled the call of God in her life. She dulled it in the hurt of losing her mother at thirteen, then again in the depression that followed and in the subsequent years of trying out what the world had to offer. However, Grace is not afraid to take ownership of all the three battles above when I broach the topic. She acknowledges each battle and surmises that through all of it, it was only through the mercy and the love of God that made all of it work for good.
Because you see, had she not encountered any of them, she would have remained a self-righteous pastors kid without the ability to relate to her peers. It was her getting on her knees to diligently seek his face again that moved the heart of God to work through her.
Her relatable ministry gives her an edge and though she is years younger than I, when she talks about pain, I can feel it through her eyes. This young woman had known the pain of losing a parent at a very young age and when she recounts stories of her mum as the Proverbs 31 woman, I can imagine the beautiful Laisa smiling at us even though we had never met! And when she talks about joy and the spirit of forgiveness, there is such joy in the room and the two of us are grinning from ear to ear! That is the beauty of Grace. She is relatable and authentic. In one of her video sermons she tells her audience that her messages are based out of her own experiences and the solutions are what she knows to be real. She added that she would not use her platform to talk on things she had no experience in, or had any business doing.
It is reassuring to hear such a bold statement of purpose from a young lady at a time when media influencers have saturated social media to the point where our children are exposed to all worldly influences and there is a constant pressure to be on trend. A research by the Business Insider found that influencer marketing is expected to spread to £15m by 2022, so the fact of the matter is that our children who are already on Tik Tok, IG, FB and Twitter will at some point be exposed to the risks that such social influencers create. For parents, aunts, and uncles; we can be rest assured that amidst all the worldly influences that our children can come across, there is a team of young men and women who are working under the Faith In Motion Ministry to ensure that the message of Jesus Christ finds its way to your sons and daughters.
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams”Acts 2:17
We are all called for a purpose and as Grace pointed out, sometimes we are anointed but our “appointment time has not yet arrived”. What excuses are we holding onto? I hope we can all aspire to be like Grace, to stop making excuses and just use what we’ve got. When Grace got on her knees in submission to the Lord, she did not only surrender the use of her phone, her contacts, and her digital prowess. She also used her pain, her joy, her charisma, and the disappointments of life and in doing so she was mobilising a generation of youths who are earnestly seeking the Lord.
Who knows what these young people will go on to become and the Christian Youthquake they will cause? The Lord said, “no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him”, so to this end, we wait in anticipation and say Amen, Amen and Amen.
Just before we go, this was too good not to share and has been extracted from voiceofprophecy.com:
What excuse are you using to evade the call of God? These are the five excuses that Moses used when he was called by God:
1. I am not good enough: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” -Exodus 3:11
2. I don’t have all the answers: “Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” -Exodus 3:13
3. People will not believe me: “Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’” -Exodus 4:1
4. I am a terrible public speaker: “Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” -Exodus 4:10
5. I am not qualified: “But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” -Exodus 4:13
1. Picture credits: Faith In Motion Ministry https://www.instagram.com/faithin.motion/