Liberty People began as the missional work of Steve and Helen Blake, who were pastors in the Hunter Valley (New South Wales, Australia) in the 1980s and 1990s. The work has since grown to include other friends, family and partners who are passionate to further the loving mission of God in the world.
Our work began in Vanuatu in 1987, with a vision to evangelise and minister in churches across its islands, and to establish a community development base in the remote north of Tanna Island. Today, our work in Vanuatu primarily involves education, relief and rebuilding in times of disaster, ongoing community assistance projects, and major public Christian events.
Our work has included many other nations, including former Soviet countries, Philippines, Cyprus and persecuted regions in the Mediterranean region.
All of our work is done in Jesus’ name and in partnership with local churches and other community groups.
Our Australian Team (Management)
While our Australian management are only part of the large community of friends who make the work of Liberty People possible, they are the founders and directors of the work. The Blake family (Steve and Helen, and their sons Jon and Matt, pictured below) have served the work of Liberty People for thirty years.
Brought up in a Christian family in country Victoria (Australia), Steve experienced the call of God on his life at an early age. In his late teens, Steve was popular in his region as an anointed singer-guitarist and church youth leader. In his early 20’s, while studying at Bible College, he met his future wife, Helen. From 1977 until 2002, Steve preached and led youth ministries and musical outreaches together with Helen, and started several churches in Victoria and New South Wales. In the late ’80’s, while leading a thriving church in the Hunter Valley, Steve led his first church mission team overseas. God’s call to serious overseas mission involvement grew, and eventually led to the founding of Liberty for the Nations (now Liberty People), in April 1991.
Today, Steve regularly ministers overseas, mainly in the Pacific, Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean. At home in Australia, his apostolic and preaching gifts serve local churches and church leadership teams, and his engineering and building skills outwork themselves in the designing and planning of building projects in Vanuatu and the Philippines. Visit our YouTube channel for video messages and sermons. (Also, don’t forget to visit our blog for teachings by Steve and others!)
Brought up in Papua New Guinea, Helen was the child of missionary aviation parents. Her Secondary School years were spent in Queensland (Australia) at boarding school, where her primary interest was learning classical music on piano and organ. In her late teens while training to be a nurse, she became very involved in outreach to young drug addicts and in street evangelism. Sensing God’s call all the while to overseas mission, after graduating as an RN she enrolled at the same Bible College as Steve in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.
Today, Helen manages and works in the Australia offices of Liberty People, and oversees various initiatives and programs in other countries. Helen also enjoys writing, and has authored a short book ‘Liberty Years – Through My Eyes’, a collection of inspiring stories about being Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. To download the eBook in PDF format, click below:
Having been actively involved in his parents’ missional work from a young age, Jon began working full-time with them in 2000, when he moved to Vanuatu to serve in the remote north of Tanna Island. In 2001, he married Abigail and together with her family led the NorthGate community development mission in North Tanna until 2005. They then moved to Port Vila to manage the expanding work from there. In January 2011 they moved to Australia, from where Jon worked in the many aspects of Liberty People’s activities from home base.
Jon and Abi and their four children are now based in Port Vila, where Jon manages our major LifeChanger Gospel outreach events, building and well drilling community assistance projects, serves on the management of LifeChanger Christian College, assists Australian teams who visit and serves other Christian missions in Vanuatu.
Matt has felt a strong ministry calling since a young age, serving in many worship, youth and young adult ministries since his early teens. After a decade-long career in IT (based in Melbourne), Matt followed a strong Godly prompting to leave his IT career and serve with Liberty People full-time from the start of 2016, prompting himself and his wife Priscilla to move interstate to Newcastle, NSW.
Today, Matt’s role at Liberty People is on a part-time basis, and involves pastoral care of our overseas leaders, web and social communications, initiating events and relationships to build our future, and producing online interactive Christian leadership and Biblical Studies materials for young leaders. Matt is also the Lead Pastor at Beachside Christian Fellowship in Taylor’s Beach NSW, and a keen theology student at Ridley Theological College. He posts his thoughts on God and the Bible at his personal blog below: