First Baptist Church Lakeland

FBCL | Easter 2024 | NAMB – Malachi’s Testimony

Mar 31, 2024

In his 12 years of life, Malachi Joseph Russell never met a stranger. He never saw someone that triggered shyness in him or dissuaded him for speaking life into their souls.

But that’s what messengers do.

In fact, the name Malachi, in its Hebrew origin, literally means, “Messenger of God.” And the young son of Roger and Kim Russell lived up to his name every chance he got—even until cancer caused him to draw his last breath.

“We named him Malachi after the prophet Malachi in the Old Testament, and his name means, ‘my messenger,’” Kim said. “We named him Malachi so that he would be a messenger of the Lord and he would share the gospel and advance the kingdom here on earth.”

It’s similar to how parents named their children in ancient Hebrew/Jewish culture. The names weren’t just names. They were labels that the parents hoped and prayed their children would embody.

“When he was born, we were praying really hard for the ‘my messenger’ part, because, (Malachi) was just a bundle of energy,” Russell said.

“Full throttle all the time,” added Kim. “And so, I’d always pray, ‘Lord, take all this energy and just fan the flame of evangelism in his life with it,’ because, I mean, he was so inquisitive, so curious. He just asked a lot of questions and would talk to anybody. It just seemed like a natural thing.”

From North American Mission Board Website

Malachi’s Story Part 1

Malachi’s Story Part 2

Malachi’s Testimony