Dave is one of those rare fellas who can think profoundly… communicate clearly…and is committed to putting stuff into practice!
I reckon his natural leaning would be to ‘hermit’ away with his reflections,..but the choice to be an ‘agitator for good’ in his world means his ideas have depth and groundedness because he knows the cost involved. Not a ‘loner’ either, he and Kylie open their home and hearts to the needs they see…and share the load with the community that gathers around them. Don’t be fooled by his genuine modesty, though. This man can teach anyone and has certainly taught me…through example as well as multi-sensory, layered, responsive, playful and inspiring training. He can make a complex subject accessible…as well as unearthing its relevance.
I’d trust him with my most cynical or fragile friends…because he’s the real deal. Enjoy!
Naomi Swindon, Scripture Union, Melbourne
A while ago my wife and I needed someone in Bendigo to call on a friend of ours who was really struggling. Well, more than that, really—we needed someone to become their friend. Dave and Kylie immediately came to mind. They had already chosen to settle outside Melbourne. They had planted themselves in Long Gully, amongst the poor and right near where our friend lived. They were committed to an incarnational approach to mission. So it’s no surprise that they’ve become friends to our friend.
Their way of being Jesus-followers alongside those who are on the edges of society inspires me. It’s committed, thoughtful and humble. And it happens in the nitty-gritty. I pray they will experience great joy on the journey and much support.
Ross Langmead, Professor of Missiology, Whitley College, Melbourne
I’m on record as saying I’m a big fan of Praxis. I have worked with them on and off for more than five years and found them to be one of most spiritually integrated, culturally sensitive, practically orientated training organisations I have ever come across anywhere in the world. And it’s people like Dave Fagg who is one of the major reasons I would recommend them. Dave is a community work practitioner. He practices what he preaches. And he teaches what he has learned from his practice – the wisdom that he has gained from years of grass-roots, kind-hearted, clear-headed, hands-on community work practice with his partner Kylie. I count it a privilege to be associated with Dave and Kylie and to be collaborators with them in the glocal conspiracy of the Spirit.
Dave Andrews, Author of “Compassionate Community Work”
I have known Dave Fagg for over the past three years in a professional capacity as Bishop of Bendigo. I have been most impressed with Dave’s leadership of Seeds Bendigo as he has developed it from scratch using a combination of his skills as a youth and community worker.
Long Gully, where Dave has sought to establish Seeds, is a much marginalized, lower socio-economic community with many needs. Dave has gone into this situation and with his faith, passion and commitment has begun to engage the community. Because Dave has committed himself to the area by purchasing a house in Long Gully this has sent a clear signal about his priorities and values. So often in the past the residents of Long Gully have seen community workers and human service experts come in from the outside and disappear over the horizon. Dave has demonstrated to the community he is in for the long haul!
I have worked with and helped Dave to lease St. Matthew’s Long Gully for the next three years to get Seeds more established and I have been impressed with Dave’s integrity and the way he has brought ministry and community development together. At the heart of building community is to model community in your own life and relationships, and again Dave has done this by the people he has gathered about him.
Andrew W. Curnow, Anglican Bishop of Bendigo
Dave and Kylie ventured to South Africa a number of years ago, leaving behind their jobs, their community and their friends and family to create another home for a while with the staff and volunteers at YFC/KZN. They came to see, to learn, to serve, to love and to be. As a worker at YFC/KZN at the time I was privileged to get to know both Dave and Kylie and they quickly became good friends. In the months that Dave was with us a number of things stood out to me about him. Dave has a rich ability to observe and to see. He sees without judgement, with compassion and with intrigue. What he sees allows him to feel and what he feels leads him to stop and think in order to make meaning of what he has fully experienced. With Dave, you can be assured of deep conversation that is authentic, challenging and vulnerable. His love for God, his ability to see the goodness in people, his desire to walk with the broken and the poor in a way that is trusting and inviting makes Dave excellent at what he does. For Dave, it is also important to test what he believes before he invites others to do the same. Dave translated belief into practice. I remember clearly he and Kylie limiting themselves to a bucket of water a day over lent, as a way of identifying with those in South Africa how don’t have running water. It was a little thing…but it was meaningful practice for them as they explored what it means to “be with people” and challenging for those who stood by and watched. For me, Dave and Kylie are living reminders of a God that I often am unable to see clearly but trust is there.
Robyn Hemmens, Operations Director
Dlalanathi, South Africa
There are few people I know who have made decisions to serve the poor who have done so with more integrity, intelligence, and constancy, than Dave and Kylie Fagg. They have consistently chosen to go to the hard places and forgotten people in our society, and have done so with sometimes little support. Dave and Kylie have an inspiring commitment to the community of Long Gully and their work there has been creative and tenacious. They have demonstrated a willingness to continually struggle with and reflect on the ideas and practice of their mission work. For this reason, Dave’s teaching on mission amongst the poor is invaluable – it is grounded and gritty, and based on a deep love and understanding of the gospel.
Jonathan Cornford, Manna Gum