by Lanna Farmer, FCS Housing Project Intern
My internship at FCS began with confusion, unmet expectations, hopes, and fears. It also started with the still, small whisper of the Holy Spirit, telling me I was here for a reason.
But I started thinking about quitting.
When a challenge or confrontation arises in my life, I typically sink back into fear. That is my pattern. But Jesus is inviting me into the unknown, into the scary, and into the dark places in order to bring light that only comes from Him to a broken world. My project management internship at FCS has offered me the opportunity to join in this work.
My first day on the job, I saw a lot of new and unfamiliar things: broken homes, people living in vacant homes, burnt-down houses, homes filled to the brim with trash. Still, in the midst of all, there were beautiful homes. Since before I took this job, I knew Jesus had his hand all over it. It literally felt like he handed me the job and said, “Here, you’d better take it!”
I had no idea what he had planned after that. But on the way home from the interview, I remember so clearly a picture in my mind of what FCS does, taking vacant houses and making them beautiful homes. And I was reminded how this work is like what Jesus does with us. He meets us where we are - broken, burned, trash-filled, and all - and he makes us beautiful.
Jesus changes our hearts, and he’s currently doing a lot of work on mine. I began this internship afraid to go into a part of Atlanta I’d never visited before with people I’d never met before in neighborhoods where I don’t feel safe. That is the deep dark ugly sin in me. I had been idolizing what was “normal” to me, and when that comfort went away, I felt out of place and fearful. On the other hand, I knew Jesus would jump right into this community and love neighbors right where they are.
So, Jesus called me to repentance. He showed me that the Pharisees did the same thing. They only resided where they were comfortable and could feel pride. Most of my life, this is also what I have done. But Jesus isn’t calling me to be comfortable.
I only have this one life here on earth, and what would I be doing if I chose to live comfortably and hold back from loving people because of how they look, where they live, or how they act? The the housing work at FCS, God is realigning my heart with His to see the beauty in restoration and redemption.
I have admired how FCS enters into people’s suffering and meets them exactly where they are. They don’t demand people change before receiving help. FCS lovingly cares for neighbors in the South Atlanta community by essentially saying, “Hey, I know you’re in a bad place, and we aren’t going to just give you handouts and be done with you. We are going to walk alongside of you and be your friend and guide you into a flourishing community in which you can be free from the shackles of this world.”
FCS seeks to lean in close to those who are hurting, rather than stay back and help from a distance. God is making all things new in South Atlanta. Through the work of FCS, people can flourish in community with one another and experience the care of the Father. He says, “Behold I am making all things new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19