11 May 2016

Meet Roxette Falesima

Second year Bachelor of Ministries student
Henderson Campus

I’m the second oldest sibling of five brothers and one sister, and one adopted sister. My mum has been a solo parent for over 11 years and in that time I was unofficially adopted into another family. I grew up on the North Shore of Auckland until moving to West Auckland with my family in 2003. I’m a bit of a fruit salad, with a mix of cultures from NZ European, Maori, Portuguese, Scottish, Cherokee and Niuean.

Why did you decide to come and study at Laidlaw?

I left high school before I could finish year 13 due to chronic migraines and dizziness. The following year I studied a pre-Police course but had to withdraw in the first semester as the migraines caught up with me. I found myself working in a factory with no sense of direction or purpose. One day I was walking home past Pak’n Save in Lincoln Road and sensed God telling me to look up. In front of me stood a huge “Laidlaw College” sign. Through prayer and conversation I just knew that was the path God needed me to take. The rest is history.

What were you doing before you came to Laidlaw?

In the year I graduated with my Diploma of Christian Studies from Laidlaw, I lost my adopted dad to a heart-attack. We had planned to travel around NZ with his band ‘Scattered Time’. Amidst the grieving process I became the co-ordinator of the Salvation Army’s Sinai Worship Academy. From there I went to Excel Performing Arts School, majoring in vocals. I was then selected to tour New Zealand as a drama major (actor) the following year. I travelled from Kaitaia to Invercargill over six months with 21 amazing people, sharing God’s Good News. Near the end of my tour, I met a pastor in Timaru. After a brief but deep encounter, he encouraged me to come back to Laidlaw and “finish what I started”. So, here I am, back at it again.

How did you come to faith in Jesus?

My biological father’s family were predominantly Mormon so I grew up in that background. It wasn't until my parents divorced and I met my “adopted” family that I knew there was more to this “faith thing”. My adopted parents were big entertainers and had joined the worship team at the Salvation Army Faith Factory. Eventually I started going along with them and over time I was introduced to this Jesus guy. One Sunday I remember just crying for no reason and yet for so many reasons all at the same time. For the first time I felt the presence of God surround me. I had never felt so much love and peace before. Now there’s no place I would rather be than in His presence.

How has something you’ve learned in class impacted the way you live?

I've learnt so much more about myself and why I might react the way I do through ministry papers. I'm a lot more aware of things within ministry and life in general. I use almost all my course work on my friends and family!

What’s your favourite class at Laidlaw, and why?

Currently my favourite class is Spirituality for Ministry. Every week I learn something new about myself. I'm always excited to sit in this class! It's practical, life stuff that everyone should learn. I love this class SO MUCH that I invited my supervisor to come sit in for an hour. She loved it so much she stayed for half the lecture!

What do you do outside of Laidlaw/study?

Outside of Laidlaw I’m an amazing aunty, daughter, girlfriend, movie fanatic, a friend, and part-time security guard/usher and cleaner. I’ve been part of the Salvation Army Faith Factory (Henderson) for the last nine years. I've been serving in the worship team for eight years as a vocalist. I am a youth leader/ mentor for our young people and have recently joined our creative ministries team.

Which person has inspired you the most?

My mum has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my journey as a musician and as a Christian. Her strength and persistence inspire me to keep achieving. As a solo mum and caregiver of her two year old grandson at the age of 55 years old, she graduated with a Diploma in Business!

What would you love to do after Laidlaw?

Create my own album and eventually travel the world sharing God's Good News!