Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us. 

252 Gordon Street
Footscray, VIC, 3011



Meet Ben and Chelsea Chong...

Ben and Chelsea Chong

Ben and Chelsea cropped.jpg

Ben and Chelsea are travelling for 6 months to 8 different countries, exploring God’s call to love people on the margins. They are meeting with followers of Jesus who live and work in various contexts to see how God is working around the world, gain wisdom about sustainability, and to discern the next steps for their own vocations.

‘I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’ – Isaiah 43:19

This verse in Isaiah speaks to me about how God is in control and can do anything – He can cause water to spring up out of a barren desert. He has been teaching me this in so many ways during our time in Cambodia.

The team from InnerCHANGE Cambodia extended us extraordinary hospitality, inviting us into their homes and lives for 3 weeks and so we had the privilege to glimpse life as a missionary living with the urban poor. These are people who have been serving in Cambodia from a few months up to two decades. They taught me that following the call of Jesus to love people on the margins in a cross-cultural context is laying down your life for the pearl of great price: the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We witnessed what a sacrifice it is to learn a new language as an adult: re-learning basic words for daily survival. It’s a humbling process that seems to strip you back and require a deepening of your dependence on God.

During a neighbourhood walk we were invited to consider how the Kingdom of God is already breaking out and active in the lives of Cambodian urban poor. A team leader explained that since arriving around 20 years ago, their work has been to try to keep up with what the Holy Spirit is already doing here: such a hopeful and humble perspective to take as followers of Jesus, particularly in a cross-cultural setting.

This lesson of dependence and submission was reinforced for me when I attended 4 days of training in Christian Coaching. We met an inspiring cross section of Christian workers, Cambodians and ex-pats, and witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives through coaching conversations.

One of the premises of coaching in Christian context is that every follower has the Spirit at work revealing His will. The work of the coach is to ask powerful questions to expand the coachee’s thinking and begin to reveal what God has already placed in their heart. Learning the process revealed the depth of my self-dependence as a strong desire to give advice rose up in me time and time again. Over the 4 days of training I was supported to release more control and to see the Spirit powerfully at work. It was a deeply freeing experience, the truth of which I will hold onto and work to remember for all areas of my life.

Through the faithfulness and generosity of the people we encountered in Cambodia, God extended my faith, opened my eyes to see His sovereignty more clearly, and drew me to both a deeper dependence on Him and more concretely towards a life lived with people on the margins.

We are beyond grateful to Mark, Susan and Soriya Smith | Sopheak, F, Bethany, Em and Ben Soeung | Joy Kreider | Olivia Wyatt | Maggie Wong  (Inner CHANGE Cambodia) and to Kevin Stebbings who delivered the coaching training.

Looking forward to what God reveals through our time in Manila throughout February!

For more information on InnerCHANGE please visit -

For more from Ben and Chelsea please visit –  and benjaminjchong on Instagram


The Homeground Café Project (Tanti Park Social Enterprises)

Sam Hearn


This initiative grew out of a long term committed Christian community development presence in the disadvantaged Tanti Park (Mornington Park) neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood faith community, Jigsaw, had long held desires to address the need for a positive third place in our community, and also to provide employment and training opportunities for our young people who can struggle to get a fair go.

In 2017 all the pieces came together with a shopfront in the middle of our neighbourhood coming up for lease. It was vacated by the local primary school op shop that we supported the set up of a couple of years ago. We also met a local lady who’d begun doing coffee herself out of the op-shop, and connected this with friends who own a coffee roastery and some other café’s on the Mornington Peninsula. Finally, it was great to get support from Baptcare and the Innovate program, as well as our local council and Federal MP to make it possible!

We launched a couple of weeks ago with a big street party, and while we’re still in the middle of making it all work week to week its been amazing already to see local young people employed and doing great work, and heaps of friends from our neighbourhood hanging out in the café with big smiles on their faces!

HomeGround’s mission is to support young people and create community and belonging in its local neighbourhood and the wider Mornington Peninsula region. We also sling top notch Commonfolk coffees and make great food too!

There are three key areas Home Ground focuses on:

1.    Providing vocational training and employment pathways for young people who are struggling to get a fair go! Hospitality and tourism has the highest skills shortage of any sector on the Mornington Peninsula, and at the same time we have some of the highest youth unemployment in Victoria! Home Ground provides an opportunity for young people to start a journey towards a fulfilling career in the industry. Home Ground partners with Commonfolk Coffee Co to connect with local industry leaders to provide onsite experience to its trainees and offer a glimpse into the some of the best restaurants and cafes on the Peninsula. Upon completion of their training our trainees will be supported to find lasting employment in our cafe and/or the wider industry.

2.    Creating a place to call home! We want our community to be part of creating a 'third place' in our local neighbourhood. A place to hang out, meet new people, and share a sense of belonging, connectedness and friendship. Home Ground has been fitted out with consultation with the local community so the space creates an aesthetic that fits the community and gives them a sense of ownership of the cafe. Home Ground is a place that people feel included and welcome. Community groups are invited to regularly use the café premises as a place for their activities and events.

3.    Providing education and connection around healthier food and access to local foods and community meals. Home Ground will work with local community garden which Jigsaw also was part of setting up and other local growers to focus menu items on locally sourced and grown produce. We will develop a supply chain that aims to have a positive environmental and social impact. Our menu will be accessible but healthy. We are keen to offer community cooking and meals that give people from our local community an opportunity to share skills and create awareness around healthy eating.

Check it out at:

A Different Way

Tom Allen

A Different Way photo.jpg

Heading into it, I hoped A Different Way would be a time for rest, peaceful reflection and discussion. I came away having found all those things, but also with a challenge; to hold onto and embody the full hope of the gospel.

A Different Way is a week to explore Christian alternatives in the realm of the home economy; money, work, consumption, production, and sustainability. This year it was facilitated by Jonathan and Kim Cornford, and took place in Long Gully, Bendigo, with the Seeds community. Ten of us took part, billeted with various households in the community, all within 15 minutes’ walk of one another.

Long Gully is one of the poorer and more stigmatised neighbourhoods of Bendigo. Originally home to the gold diggings and the miners who worked them, it’s never really strayed from its working-class roots and is home to a fairly large commission housing zone. We began the week with a walk through the bush next to the Cornfords’ home, connecting with the place we were in and its significance to all those who have been sustained upon it—from the Djadjawurrung who lived there from time immemorial, to the miners who scoured the land for gold, right up to the kids of the Seeds community, who make cubbies and huts in the bush.

The walk grounded us, and this was a key theme throughout the week; grounding the often-spiritualised heart of the gospel in material life—this body, this place, this time. As someone who grew up in a fairly mainstream church in inner-city Melbourne I had some insight into the difference of the Christian life. It tended to revolve around sexual morality, some aspects of personal financial frugality and generosity, and treating others with love and respect. It was later as my passion for justice became more closely intertwined with my faith and biblical understanding that I began to grasp how wide and deep was the gospel’s call on my life, and how radical. A Different Way was an opportunity to sit with a community that lived out this truth and soak it up.

Each day focused on one of five topics: creation, good work, salvation, hope for the poor, and money. Every day was bookended by prayer, reflection and singing. We would then move into a bible study followed by a discussion on application. The afternoon was for rest, followed by some physical work, which involved building a garden bed, tending the community garden at the local church, and rendering the new mud-brick house of one of the Seeds community members. Dinner was followed by some sort of reflective exercise or discussion as well.

I found the week satisfying, relaxing and exciting in equal measure. In many ways I felt at home. I know my stuff around the garden, I am attentive to the sustainability of my life choices, I have an appreciation of the biblical cases for creation care, Indigenous justice, service alongside the poor, I am wary of the trappings of wealth and comfort; what could I have had to learn from this week?

What I drew from it was a challenge that went far deeper than something to know or to do. The challenge to hope went right to my centre, and it will be much more difficult to achieve than reading a book or planting some seedlings. I, like many of my peers, am all too often prone to cynicism. This drowns my imagination and creativity, blotting out my aspirations to fullness of life. I have come to associate aspiration, positivity and joy with silver bullets, misguided good intentions, and naïveté. But in a bible study midway through the week we considered Jesus’ sermon on the mount, and someone said ‘eternal life begins now’.

My understanding of the Christian life can at times tend towards self-flagellation. This term literally means self-flogging, and it features in some monastic practice, but has come to describe any practice of beating yourself up. Often I measure authenticity of belief or integrity of action by how much it hurts. This isn’t a great recipe for embodying hope, bringing light to the world, or growing the spiritual fruits of love, joy, peace and so on.

What I noticed with the Seeds community was the fullness of their life; the joy of their children, the bounties of their gardens, the cheerful clucking of their chooks. Does this mean they’re self-indulgent, somehow straying from the dark, narrow, muddy track Jesus wants us to whip ourselves along? Not at all. There can be a joy present in faithful Christian community that truly witnesses to the power of the good news.

Going further:

If you’re interested in spending some time learning with the Seeds community, they will be holding a weekend on The Arts of Home Economy in Autumn 2018. Email enquiries to

A Different Way runs every second year, so the next opportunity will be November 2019.

DSCN2102 (small).jpg

Stepping Over

Chris and Jodie MacCartney

I heard the tender and compassionate voice of Jesus, “All I ask is that you Love God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the best thing! And then love your neighbour as yourself.”  The following days I meditated on this reminder. I find my defensive posture relax. My desire to be successful, or to create the illusion of success retreats.

Read More

Our Work has No Strings Attached

Josh Dowton

In my experience, people can see ‘strings attached’ from a mile away, and this leads to deep distrust. Our aim is to be a ‘trusted partner’ in our local community, and we are therefore committed to high levels of transparency in regards to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

Read More

Innovation Not Novelty

Bree Mills

When I began to shift in the ‘missional’ direction I very quickly realized that what I thought was innovation was simply novelty. It didn’t take me long to realise I was not alone. Many churches approach the missional conversation with eyes for novelty, not innovation.

Read More

The Wheat and the Weeds

Sam Hearn

The challenge often is that even within my own being it seems the wheat and weeds are often both present and intermingled. I recognise all too often I can be both forgiving or resentful, friendly or fearful, selfless or selfish, compassionate or aloof.

Read More