We live in a time with a lot of bad news. The lingering social, educational and economic fall out after the pandemic, Russia and Ukraine, rising living costs, Israel and Hamas … just to name a few.
Christians talk about the “good news” … but in the last two years, Western countries have seen the biggest decline in church attendance in their respective nations’ histories.
It seems that there is a lot of disillusionment, anxiety, and concern for the future … and not enough hope.
For us as a family, yesterday was the funeral for Mal Garvin, Lizzie’s Dad. Mal was also the person God used to start Fusion in Australia and then as it spread to other countries around the world (including Jamaica). His funeral has already been watched by more than 1,000 people, and messages of thankfulness and appreciation have poured in from around the world. I knew Mal as a leader, mentor, teacher, father to his family, and grandfather to my children.
What was it about Mal’s life and message that inspired these responses?
For me, when I was in my mid-twenties I was very disillusioned in my faith journey … I’d been through some storms. I had taken leaps of faith and hit the ground hard, I had tried working with other Christians in mission and experienced disappointments. I was close to giving up on the church.
Then I was invited to Foundations in Poatina, where I met Fusion and Mal.
The Kingdom vision that Mal had was not like anything I had encountered before. It was so all encompassing, and yet so practical. And the Kingdom community in Fusion was just beautiful. More storms were to come, big storms, but in spite of those I am more compelled by that vision, those practical insights, and those ways of being community than ever. You can tell if something is built on solid ground by how well it weathers the storms. Mal wasn’t perfect, he was a fallible human being like all of us, and some things he started have not endured, but what I and many others around the world have gained from him have given us a firm Foundation that helps take positive initiative even in shaky times.
At it’s core, it is the conviction that we are to live like we belong to a different Kingdom … alongside some very helpful tools for doing that.
I am so grateful for Mal, for the Garvin family, and for the Fusion community around the world. I’m so grateful for Mal’s prayerful and sincere example.
Carrying on with what God used Mal and the Fusion community to start is the greatest honour of my life, and the main thing I am committed to passing on to the next generation.
God bless you Mal.
If any of you knew Mal and want to see his funeral, you can find it by clicking here.
The funeral was 2 hours long, so here are two other videos (1 minute, and 24 minutes) so you can catch a glimpse of Mal’s heart for God’s Kingdom, and what his six decades of service produced.