The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Cindy McGarvie

Episode 14

Cindy McGarvie: Episode Summary

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to Cindy McGarvie about Youth for Christ, bible translation and how Jesus rapidly transformed her life.

Among other things Cindy shares:

  • How a love of Geography led Cindy to Africia’s mission field.
  • What Cindy learnt from her husband.
  • How “resocialisation” in the army developed her confidence and discipline.
  • How feelings of nihilism led Cindy to Christ … eventually!
  • The antidote to bulimia, suicidal thoughts and self-loathing.
  • The time when a recovering alcoholic prayed over Cindy to be saved.
  • The challenges of translating the Bible in Africa.
  • The unreached people group of “Australia’s youth”.

NB. While not mentioned on this podcast episode, Cindy’s book Lost Boys and respective blog are worth a read!

Cindy McGarvie: Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College, a network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development, and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project where well-known Christian share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Well, hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Inspiration Project Podcast. We’re delighted to welcome to the microphone today, Cindy McGarvie. Cindy is currently the CEO of Youth for Christ Australia, a position she’s held for five years. She started off in some of her professional career working with the Australian Army as a nurse. After several years working in that capacity, her and her husband undertook some missionary work in Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. She’s then been working with different charity organisations before she took on her role as CEO of Youth for Christ. Cindy lives in Brisbane with her husband. She’s a mother of five children who are doing different things in different parts of the world. Cindy, can I welcome you to The Inspiration Project?

Cindy McGarvie
Absolutely. I’m so happy to be here. Thank you Brendan for inviting me.

Brendan Corr
It’s an absolute pleasure. We have been enjoying hearing people’s experiences and having them reflect a little on their journey. Intention for our conversation today is just to hear a little bit about how you found God working in your life to lead you in different avenues, which clearly He has done from the military to some missionary work. And now into CEO of a national organisation. When you were back at school, did you have a sense that you were destined for big things?

Cindy McGarvie
Well, it’s funny when you look back. I always was interested in other cultures and one of my favourite subjects at school was geography. I loved learning about people groups and how they thought and what made them tick. And so I just thought, “Oh, that’s just something that I’m interested in.” I didn’t think much of it until years later when I went to work on the mission field in Africa for 12 years. And I remember one day I was walking on this track. I was teaching a group of African women and I had to walk a few kilometres on this dusty track where your feet and all get dirty from all the red dust. And I remember walking and thinking, “This was what I was made for.” And then I immediately thought back, “Oh, that’s why I love cultures. And that’s why I always loved people groups.” And so, yeah, it was something I didn’t recognise, but it was always there.

Brendan Corr
Yes. And that’s an interesting realisation to have after spending quite a few years in a different field of life. Although were you overseas, were you serving overseas in your military service?

Cindy McGarvie
No, I served just before women were allowed to serve overseas.

Brendan Corr
Okay. So, there was a bit of a gender thing that precluded you from that opportunity. Yeah. Right. Well, we might dip back into that topic as the conversation goes. Very different to those sort of … or is it very different to the work you’re doing now? The mission work at the coalface of human need and relationships, CEO of a national company, much of a jump from one to the other?

Cindy McGarvie
Not really, but the Lord prepared me. My husband was the national director for our mission, we worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We trained actually as Bible translators and then we were sent to Uganda. We were sort of pioneering the work there because we, Wycliffe or SIL, which is the sister organisation as it’s known in the field. It was a new work in Uganda and they needed people to pioneer. So when we went in, there were a number of other missionary families from the USA. And so my husband coordinated that. So my husband also has a military background and that’s where we met. And so, he was really good at setting up and pioneering stuff and all that, that good Aussie spirit. And so he helped each of them. There were about three couples or three little families. Some hadn’t had children at that stage. So they were to be located in remote villages. So he was able to go out with them and help them to set up and all of that sort of thing. And so really I walked beside him as the … and then he ended up becoming the director of two countries, Uganda and Tanzania. So I walked with him in that capacity. And I learned a lot about leadership. There were over 100 international missionaries and over 100 national workers and missionaries who served in the Bible translation and literacy work there in Uganda and Tanzania. And so there was a lot of work to do, and there’s a lot from people relations to government relations, to strategy, to business, all of those sorts of things. So I learned a lot through that. And so, on that journey, I guess it was a great learning journey for me. I didn’t know that I was going to end up in a similar role, but yeah, missions is missions. You have to be transformed by the gospel otherwise you’ve got nothing to give other people. If the gospel hasn’t transformed you, you got nothing to sell. And so, I saw that as really, really important in evangelism and sharing the love of God.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. Yeah. Let me roll you back. You’re obviously very conscious of the power of the gospel and the need for that to be a personally transforming thing. Tell me about the origins of that for you. When was your personal encounter with God and with the claims of the gospel?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah, well, I grew up in a traditional religious family, very strict family. I went to a private Catholic school. And so, I was brought up in that way. I was brought up also on a farm and with horses and cattle and all that sort of thing. And yeah, I had a great upbringing, but I didn’t really understand the gospel or understand how powerful it was. So I just had so much self-doubt. I was such an insecure girl. I developed this self-loathing. I just had so many issues that you do with teenage years. And I thought, “There is something wrong with me. There must be something wrong with me.” And then I just developed this thing that I’ll probably never get married and I’ll probably never have children because there’s something wrong with me. And I had a bit of anxiety. And then I joined the army and I met my husband.

Brendan Corr
That seems an interesting career choice for somebody who has some self-doubt and doesn’t have a lot of self-belief. That is a challenging lifestyle to go to the army. It’s not an easy thing. What made that connection for you?

Cindy McGarvie
I think it was because I was very sporty, so I was into every sport and I played sport really well. So I was very athletic. And also, I think when you grow up on a farm, you … I was a tomboy, so I was out riding horses and up trees and just doing everything outside. And so, I love doing all that. So I wanted the rough and tumble. I had a couple of brothers and lots of cousins and I just loved … I played field hockey, the rougher the better. So it seems a bit strange that … so the army was just I repelled out of helicopters, I used weapons.

Brendan Corr
Just special in training and they just keep bringing it on, the physical challenge. Yes.

Cindy McGarvie
I loved all that, I loved all that. But inside about who I was, I didn’t know who I was. I totally didn’t know who I was. And so, that was the struggle. I knew I could do all these physical things, but I didn’t know who I was.

Brendan Corr
It’s a bit of an impression from those of us that have distance to the armed forces, that part of the military training is that they tell you who you are, that they recast you in an image they want. Was that something that you found that it gave you an identity that you weren’t confident about finding yourself?

Cindy McGarvie
Yes. So really the process of being trained in the military is actually called resocialisation. So basically they break you down and then they build you up to something, and it’s so good. I can’t recommend it enough. It is really, really good, but they don’t tell your identity, it doesn’t speak to your soul or your spirit. It speaks to other aspects, which I think are really important as well. So in that resocialisation, you become much more confident, you think, “Oh, I can do all these things.” Once you are self-disciplined, you can do so much more. And so learning to get up in the morning, learning to run, we had to run in a group and learning to not think as an individual, that was the biggest thing I think. We’re all alike, and I’m really competitive with all the sport and everything. And so I didn’t care about anyone else. I just wanted to win a race and get all the glory. And those people who say that winning isn’t everything, I totally didn’t get that. And, so what they would do, they would run us along in a group. And if someone fell down in exhaustion, like we were running up a hill, we all had to turn around and run back and help that girl. We trained with all girls. And then we had to run back up the hill and if we lost anyone, we all had to run around again. And so, basically what it did was it trained us to look out for everyone else all the time. And after a while, those who might have flagged out just from lack of self-discipline and things like that, because there’s genuinely people who aren’t as athletic or whatever. Well, then they would realise that they were putting others through a really tough time having to run up a hill and back until they got their act together. So there was a lot of learning as a group and as a team. And I think it was really important.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. That’s great. That’s super. I interrupted you telling me, you found your husband in the forces, and where did that leave you in terms of finding faith?

Cindy McGarvie
Well, we started dating and I wasn’t a Christian. There were some things that happened that contributed to … I guess me being in a really tough place, there was some bullying and things like that. And so, I had been really searching. I thought, I was looking at people living, some people I had seen, this is outside the army had such peace, but I didn’t have it. And I used to think, “Where did they get that peace from? Because I just don’t know it.” And so we were dating and then we decided to live together, to move in together. So we were doing that and we had another friend, we were just young people of the time. And I was just getting more and more feeling like, “Oh wow. If this is life, if I’ve got a good job, it’s fun, I get to do all these exciting things.” I had a car. I had a job, I had the man I was going to marry. We were engaged at the time. And I thought, “What else would you want in life? What else would you want in life?” And I just thought, “If this is life, this is all life has to offer me, well, then life sucks and I may as well just end it.”

Brendan Corr
Oh my goodness.

Cindy McGarvie
That’s how I was. And so I started seeking, I was really … the circumstances that were putting pressure on me were tough and I couldn’t get out of those circumstances. And so I started, I thought, “Oh, those people who do yoga are really calm people.” So I went to this yoga class and we’re all sitting there. And then they started telling us all these things like so when people … they were telling us some things like, “When a baby is born crying, well, that means that someone could have died in a car accident or something.” And I said, “Hey, is this reincarnation, or?” And I said, “Is this a religion you’re teaching us?” And they said, “What is a religion?” And I thought, well, what is it? I had rejected all what I’d bought up with.

Brendan Corr
The formalities you’d known. Yeah.

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. And I said, “Well, I guess it’s some sort of belief system.” And then after that, I didn’t go because I just thought, “No, I don’t want that.” But it was shortly after that, I had an old friend, she actually got kicked out of the army because she had become an alcoholic in the army, and some of the pressures in the army, like we were all under during that time a long time ago. And she had become a Christian and stopped drinking. And I only ever knew her as someone who just drank and drank. And there were just all sorts of horrible repercussions to that. And so she said, “Hey, I’m not drinking anymore. Do you want to meet up? And I’m now studying, I’ve gone back to school.” And I thought, oh, I don’t know, but I was really intrigued. And she said, “I’m a Christian now.” And I thought, what is this? So I was really intrigued. And I went, she invited me to this barbecue and I went to the barbecue and it was actually this barbecue for this organisation called Drug ARM. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it before, but it’s like a Christian version of Alcoholics Anonymous. So it’s using a lot of those things, but with Christian principles. And so, the first person I met was this guy called Duncan and he was about 40. And I said, “I have to have a beer with you, Duncan.”

Brendan Corr
Duncan from the song.

Cindy McGarvie
Not knowing where I was. And later I heard his testimony and he’s just such a beautiful man. And he just shared how alcohol had just basically wrecked his life, but he doesn’t drink anymore. And he found deliverance in Jesus and all this thing. And then I heard other people tell, a young girl who had come out of drug addiction and stuff like that. And as I listened to it, and it was all just shortly after me going to this yoga stuff, and I was really searching and I listened to what they had to say. And I thought, “Yes, I know God is a way … That I couldn’t do that. Because I just haven’t got that faith. I don’t have it.”

Brendan Corr
Which you did, but not there?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah, yeah. I couldn’t have that faith, but yeah. That’s just for certain people, not me. So I went over to Duncan and I said to him, “Well, I guess I won’t have this beer with you after all.” I didn’t drink beer actually. But I was brought up on Slim Dusty. And so, he just laughed and he said, “Can I pray for you?” And I thought, “Ooh, I don’t want to offend him again.” And I said, “Oh, okay.” I didn’t know what that meant or whatever. And he was standing above me. I was sitting on a stool and he prayed for me and he wept over me. I can feel the tears fall on my head. He died a few years later, but that just … and the next day they said, “Hey, do you want to come to church?” What church? And I went and coming from more of the traditional church, I walked into the church. I didn’t want to be there. I tried to make all the excuses. But when I went to the church, I saw that people were actually happy to be there, I had never seen.

Brendan Corr
Not your previous experience?

Cindy McGarvie
I’m a very observant person and just looking around and it was there that I thought they have something that I do not have, and this is what I’m looking for. And it was there that I thought, “I want this. I know God is the answer. And I want it.” And that’s when I said, “Lord, I want you to, God, I want you”, in my own sort of way. And my life was totally transformed from then on. But my husband wasn’t a Christian then.

Brendan Corr
So there must be a story there?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. Well, that didn’t happen until a couple of years later, but I was like, whoa, he thought I’d gone crazy.

Brendan Corr
And in some ways you had. You’re a different person, right?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. Yeah. I was. And so, there was this whole thing we were about to get married and this thing about marrying someone who’s not a believer and all that stuff. At that stage, I just said, “Okay, we’re not living together anymore.” So, that was a journey. And I just thought, the Lord was working on me to put things in order, and I just thought, “If this man loves me and God is faithful that he will work things out.” And so my husband, he’s like an amazing army guy, sharp shooter, everything. And he was an engineer so he knew how to do all that booby traps and the landmines and build bridges and all that. And he has another amazing story. But what I can tell you, Brendan, is don’t leave notes around for your husband to say, “Turn or burn,” and things like that. It’s not effective.

Brendan Corr
No, that’s right. I suggest don’t leave notes for anybody that sounds like that. I think … But especially your husband. I take that.

Cindy McGarvie
“Repent!” Or anything like that, that just doesn’t work.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, I get that. Well, let me ask you, having had this incredible encounter with the God that gave you an identity that you were looking for, you hadn’t found it at school, in traditional religion, you hadn’t founded it at the army and the structure and the regimented or the achievement that brings, you didn’t find it in yoga and that sort of spirituality, you found it in this encounter with Jesus. What did that do about the circumstances you’re in that were hard and had made you desperate in the first place?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah, that’s a really good question. So at the time, at that time I had bulimia. I had so much self-hatred and loathing that I had bulimia. So, even though I was engaged to be married, and my husband didn’t even know, or my boyfriend at the time or fiance, he didn’t even know. So I was running and running all these kilometres and then I’d go and make myself vomit. And I was getting thinner and thinner. And somehow I believed the lie that if I was thinner and looked better, people would like me better, but it was actually all about me not liking myself. And so immediately that I accepted the Lord Jesus, I asked Him to come and be the boss of my life, immediately that left me. I had no more urge to do that. That was gone. And so that changed me. Also, I was struggling with suicidal thoughts, so that was all gone. What else happened? I started changing. And so, there was this friction with my fiance at the time because we’d been living together and all that sort of thing. And he was like, “Oh, she’s gone crazy. She’s gone off the deep end, or something.” And so that was a friction in itself. But the funny thing was that when we did get married because I just loved God, I loved what He was doing in my life and how He was changing me. And my husband said and because he was away nine months in a year in the army, so I started studying night Bible college. I was a nurse in the operating theatre. So I would get called in and work all sorts of hours and everything like that. But when he was home, so I had all my friends, I’d go to the Bible and everything. I had all my friends, I just couldn’t get enough. He would come home. He’d been away for a month or two. And he might be in the living room watching TV or something. And then he’d come in and I was with all my … I have a couple of friends and we’d be talking and then he’d go out and then he’d come back an hour later or whatever. And he just says, “Haven’t you got anything else to talk about? The only thing you talk about is God, could you not change the subject?”

Brendan Corr
And for you, what else is there to talk about? This is the thing that’s the most important thing in my life. Yeah.

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah, for sure. At the time. And this was the other thing how it changes you. So I didn’t shy away from sharing with him what God was doing in my life. So I would say to him, “I just realised I got this in my life. I feel that God is really speaking to me about this, or I feel like, I just …” And so I would tell him all the time, and he’s fairly quiet, a more internal thinker. I’m an external thinker. And he would sit there and he would listen to me and listen to me. One day, he just said to me, “Gee, you’ve got a lot of problems.”

Brendan Corr
That’s reassuring. You sure you want to take this on?

Cindy McGarvie
So anyway yeah, we laugh about it to this day. “Gee, you’ve got a lot of problems,” but the Lord has really worked in my life.

Brendan Corr
Amen. That’s great. So that’s an amazing story of a transformative conversion or discovery of God’s love for you, I suppose, is what you’ve been describing. What prompted you and your husband then to spend 12 years in the red dust of Africa?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. Well if we look at it from my husband’s perspective, he always had from the time he was in high school, I think he started working when he was 14. He would support a child from World Vision. So actually God planted little seeds in his heart. And he grew up in a totally idealistic non-religious home, but he was always interested in helping others. And, so with the money he made on the side, he worked in a bakery early in the morning before school and different things like that. And then he did a building apprenticeship and things like that. And he just kept supporting children from overseas through World Vision. And when I became a Christian, I said to my husband, “Oh, look, I really like to do …” because our church had mission trips and that just fired me up. And that had missionaries coming to speak and they would say, “If you want to give your life to the Lord to work with missions, to serve with Him.” And I’m like, “Yes, yes.”

Brendan Corr
“That’s amazing. Yes. Sign me up.”

Cindy McGarvie
But I go home and tell my husband and go, yeah. So when he wasn’t a Christian and also then when he became a Christian, he started then starting to get interested in it. And then it just developed from there. We both have a heart to service because both with our army background, we love our country. We’d love helping the poor. We’d love to be able to give back what’s been given to us. So we were in the process of applying for Volunteers Abroad, I don’t know, Australian Volunteers Abroad, which is more of aa Australian government type thing. And that’s all we knew off. We thought, “Oh, okay, I have a nursing background and my husband has a construction background.” And as we were sort of in that process, we went to this little Baptist church in country, Victoria, because my husband’s from that way. And one weekend they brought in a team from Wycliffe Bible Translators and they came and they just presented and they said, “Guess how many languages are in the world? Over 8,000. Guess how many languages have the Bible in their language?”

Brendan Corr
I don’t know.

Cindy McGarvie
The full Bible, maybe only 3,000. Can’t remember the exact figures, but it’s something like that. There’s still-

Brendan Corr
It’s a lot of work to do.

Cindy McGarvie
… so much more where people don’t have the Bible in their heart language.

Brendan Corr
Goodness.

Cindy McGarvie
And there’s so much work to do. And that just rocked us. And also during that time, my husband started really getting into missions. He did some Bibles smuggling in some parts of the world and things like that, he’s a bit of a risk taker gung-ho type. When we saw that, we thought, “Oh wow, wouldn’t it be great to be involved in that?” And so we started investigating, then we started doing courses, and then we ended up studying Bible translation.

Brendan Corr
So you were a Bible translator Cindy. That’s the work you were doing?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. We studied Bible translations. Yeah. But we realised that our gift, well, yeah, my husband’s gift is more in pioneering and managing and big vision, that’s not getting down to a little tiny is this a noun or verb and learn the language and all that. His gifting is not in that area. Although there are some people who are just great at it, fantastic. So we trained at that so we went over to help pioneer and help support the teams. And then it just went from there. And then he was appointed director and he served for seven years as the director.

Brendan Corr
In which case, both of your experience in the army with systems and structures and routines and logistics, perfect preparation for supporting a pioneering mission work.

Cindy McGarvie
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. My husband, he could build anything. He could pack trucks because a lot of the work was remote work in villages that needed it. And so a lot of people who were from cities, people who were Westerners would come as missionaries. So basically, one of my roles was training new missionaries. Orientating them to the culture and the lifestyle and all that sort of thing. And because I was raised in the country and on the land and all that sort of thing, you sort of used to roughing and all that sort of thing. But a lot of people came from cities and things like that. They didn’t know how to pack trucks. They didn’t know how to drive a four wheel drive. They didn’t know how to live in remote areas and things like that. But my husband being an army field engineer, nine months, a year back and forth, back and forth was really … he could just do anything. So he did a lot of that for them, even though he was the executive director.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, yeah. That service heart that he had, “We’re going to make this work and just do what needs to do for God to be present in this place.”

Cindy McGarvie
Yes, exactly.

Brendan Corr
Let me skip 12 years of that. Then you find yourself in this position through a few other little positions, but five years ago, Youth for Christ. Tell us a bit about the work of Youth for Christ and what you guys are doing.

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. So Youth for Christ was started around 70 years ago. It’s a postwar World War II organisation. And Billy Graham was the first missionary for Youth for Christ. So, everyone knows Billy Graham. He went on after Youth for Christ to start his Billy Graham Crusades and all those sorts of things. So Youth for Christ is really about peer to peer evangelism. So quipping and helping young people to share the gospel with their peers. So that’s basically the essence and the core of Youth for Christ. And so I’ve been serving Youth for Christ for five years and we’ve been on a journey, but over the last couple of years or particularly this last year, we’ve been into some really exciting things. And I just want to go back about peer to peer evangelism.

Brendan Corr
Yes, yes. Please do.

Cindy McGarvie
This might be interesting to you. My daughter went to a public school and so I became involved in the Parents and Citizens Association, and with the Parents and Citizens Association, I then became president. So I served for three years. That is just fairly recently. And so I noticed in a school, we had a chaplain, many schools don’t have a chaplain in public school, but the Christian presence was almost zero in the high schools. This was the first time I noticed because my other children didn’t go to a public school. I noticed that all the families had exited the school. And it was just really sad seeing there were so many problems within that school. I just saw that there was a great need, but of all the school I saw that my daughter was probably the only Christian in the school, only Christian student. So if you do the statistics, it was probably less than 0.1% or something like that. So if you think of The Joshua Project, The Joshua Project is a project that researches the unreached people groups, and then they classify if these people groups are unreached, and they use different means of classifying that with how many Christians? Are they evangelical Christians? They look at the culture, they look at the hostility towards Christianity, all of those factors. And I compared that with The Joshua Project and saw that everywhere that we have schools, that there are unreached people groups within. So I counted about eight churches around the school and there was no church presence in the school. There was no church help. There was no church presence and all that. So one Christian person in the school, the really exciting news is many of the churches are now involved and all that sort of thing. But if you think of who are the ones who speak the language of the young people the best? You would know being in a high school, who are the ones who understand the culture? Who are the ones? And I know as a missionary, we had to learn the language. We have to understand the culture, all of those things in order to reach the people group. And so, I think that is the thinking behind, we have an unreached people group, the younger generation, and the younger generation know the language, they live every day with this unreached people group. And so it’s such a need, and we Youth for Christ, it’s our heart’s desire to help train and equip young people to reach their peers for Christ.

Brendan Corr
Let me ask you about that. The notion of a young person who’s got a passion for Jesus, wants to be a light, to be a witness. Is that enough for them to have that passion or are there things that they can learn that will help them be able to make a difference in the lives of their friends?

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things that we’re finding is that they don’t know how to share the gospel. And actually, we’ve just started this what we call the Jesus Campaign, where we’re using tools that were developed by the underground church in Asia to share the gospel. And I’m sitting in with their classes being taught by these young people. And I used the tool just a month or two ago. I was in a laundry. My washing machine broke down. I met a young mother in the laundry and before I knew it, I used this tool and I led her to the Lord. And I’m now discipling her. And then recently on that, led someone else to the Lord. So simple. So using those tools, like learning how to lead someone to the Lord, learning how to tell your story, “There was a time in my life…” So we teach them how to tell your story in like 15 seconds, it was a time in my life when I was so broken and all that sort of thing. And we also teach them how to disciple. So a lot of the young people who might not get to go to church or to be with any other Christians at any other time. So what do you do with your friends? So you’ve got to think when someone comes to Christ, they’re just a little baby, are you going to just leave them there? Little babies need caring for and nurturing. And so it’s giving young people tools to be able to share their faith and to be able to disciple.

Brendan Corr
That is excellent. Really so good. I was looking at some of the notes that we had about your biography. And one of the phrases is that Cindy is an evangelist at heart. And I think that it’s come through so clearly in the story that you’ve told, that the encounter you had with Jesus has made such an impact and such a transformation that you can’t help but tell people about that. And finding ways, whether it’s through the translation of the Word into native language, whether it’s through the relationship that you have in a home or a school or a community, or whether it’s somebody you bump into at the laundry, the driving force to say, “There is good news that I’ve received and I want to pass on to you.” That’s a wonderful thing. It feels a little, I don’t know whether you feel this, but it seems that this current role is the sort of combination of what God’s been doing in your life, that coming to the place of Youth for Christ.

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah, absolutely. And I just love young people. Having young adults for myself, just love it. They’re just so interesting. And they are so much fun, just really, really enjoy having young people around me.

Brendan Corr
Yeah. It is fantastic to find somebody who at the stage of your life and work and can see the hand of God preparing and shaping and adding skills and experiences that in His perfect time will coalesce and be unified in a purpose and a call that obviously you find fulfilling and rewarding and the sense of purpose and meaning.

Cindy McGarvie
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Brendan Corr
Cindy McGarvie, it’s been absolutely wonderful to talk with you. We continue to pray. I know many of us respect the work that Youth for Christ does, and we continue to pray that He uses you to lead that organisation into more and more fruitfulness.

Cindy McGarvie
Yeah. Thank you so much, Brendan. It’s been a pleasure.

Brendan Corr
Great to have you.

About Cindy McGarvie

Cindy McGarvie has been the CEO of Youth for Christ Australia since 2015. She has a long history working with Christian non-profit organisations. For 12 years she and her husband served in Uganda and Tanzania with SIL International in the work of Bible translation and language development among marginalised people groups. On returning to Australia in 2010, Cindy worked as Missions Director at Nexus Church. Cindy serves on the board of Wycliffe Australia. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Cindy loves the great outdoors. She and her family reside in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Cindy has published two books: #JESUSREVOLUTION and Lost Boys.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).