This basement may not look like much, but it may be the future home of Envision Atlanta. It’s the basement of an apartment complex in Clarkston, GA. You may see water damage and a mess. I see a bunkhouse and classrooms, a staging ground for future work and a metaphor of the kingdom of Heaven.
The apartment complex this basement is in is owned by two Muslim Iraqi brothers. They have offered to rent this basement to Envision Atlanta for $1 a month. Yes, you read that right, $1 dollar a month. But how could such a mess even be worth that? You can see there is water damage, clearly, it floods. And what you can not see in this picture is that you have to walk down a slope to get to the one entrance. My list of projects that needed to get done before we could even think about renting this space was:
- Get the flooding fixed.
- Have stairs and sidewalks put in? See update below!
- Have a second entrance put in. See update below!
These are not easy fixes and they aren’t cheap fixes. I wasn’t the only one who thought of these issues for the building. The men potentially leasing us the property thought that these were issues also. Before we could even bring up these issues they offered to fix them. God has gone before us and he has picked this building for us. These Muslims men rent a similar basement in another complex to our friends at Global Frontier Missions and they have seen that neighborhood change. They’ve seen disturbances go down and people willing to rent for longer because their living situation is a little bit better. The owners now have hope that another Christian organization will have a similar effect on another complex. And you know what? We are hoping they are right! Isn’t it just like God to take a broken down mess and turn it into something that gives life? I know that’s what he’s done with me!
Stay tuned for updates as we transform this space into something beautiful.
- We’ve been able to put in sidewalks!
- A second entrance is now in the building! Photo coming soon!
Brian and his wife Anna serve in the metro Atlanta area, home to people from more than 761 different people groups. They work with refugees and urban poor with Envision Atlanta. Brian has helped Envision Atlanta start two businesses, a window cleaning company, and a mobile thrift store. One of the goals of each business is to provide job training and livable wages to its workers. Brian and Anna are required to raise their own support to pay their salary. You can give here. Search for Brian and Anna Baldwin where it says, “type name of worker or project”. Envision is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance and your gifts are all tax deductible. Every gift is valuable for advancing the work being done. You can also sign up for Brian and Anna’s newsletter here (outside link FYI).