The congregation of Jehovah Jireh Baptist Church in Logan may be small, but they have big dreams.
Perched on a block of land in the suburb or Berrinba, the church is predominantly made up of Burmese migrants and asylum seekers who have settled in the area.
The church provides not only spiritual guidance, but a place to refine English language skills; learn about family budgeting and use of social media; enjoy a sense of community; and engage in a favourite pursuit – growing fresh fruit and vegetables.
Pastor Lal Fanai’s vision to transform vacant land on the church’s property for the benefit of his congregation and community is taking shape.
An existing crop of chilli and ginger grown by the womens’ group will be extended to include Asian green vegetables and herbs courtesy of a grant from Carinity’s Collaborative Community Projects.
The grant will see an additional 1000sqm of church land cultivated, with two groups of 20 participants provided an opportunity to adapt existing agrarian skills learnt in their homeland to suit the Australian climate.
The group’s chillies are already in hot demand at Inala markets, but Pastor Fanai’s vision for community engagement doesn’t stop there.
“We have been blessed with this land and we want to make it a genuine community resource. We plan to extend our hand to the entire community by operating regular farmers markets on site that would be open to all local market gardeners. It is a great way for a diverse section of the community to come together and earn an income,” Pastor Lal explained.
Collaborative Community Projects is a new initiative where Carinity provides financial support to Queensland Baptist Churches to carry out local activities that relieve and mitigate disadvantage, promote connectivity for vulnerable people and increase the strength of neighbourhoods against disadvantage.
A total of 14 local churches and their communities will benefit from the program in the first round of funding.