Christmas Blessings!!!

When I first purchased my vehicle from a friend of mine, I was warned that there was an issue with my automatic braking system which would not affect the safety of the vehicle but it did illuminate the check engine light. It was a costly repair, so the work was never done. In Florida, that was not an issue because vehicle inspections are not required there. When I moved to the Atlanta area, it was a different story.

As I began to troubleshoot the causes of the check engine light being illuminated, there were several issues. I was able to fix several of them myself, which was a blessing. One repair saved me $800.00! The ABS problem proved to be a bit more challenging. I found a salvage part online and wanted to attempt the repair but needed some guidance. At the missionary guest house where I was staying, there was a mechanic who was recommended. I learned that he had been a missionary for 13 years and thought, perhaps, he might be able to help me.

I called the mechanic and told him who I was and the predicament I was in. He asked if I could bring my vehicle over so he could look at it. I asked him if his shop could do an oil change while they had it. I was also interested in receiving an estimate on replacing the rotors. I knew I could do the work myself, but I did not have the space to work on it and my tools were in storage. He loaned me a car and kept my vehicle for several days.

A few days later, I received a phone call from the shop. They said the vehicle was done and that I could pick it up. It was unclear to me what had been done, but I knew at the very least, the oil change must have been completed.

I proceeded to the shop where the owner went through the details of the work. The oil change was done, the rotors were installed, and the ABS problem was resolved. I noticed the amount on the bottom of the bill was $1,725.91. I was not sure what to think. I saw that he received a good price on the ABS part so I was glad about that. As he finished speaking, he folded up the bill and told me that I did not owe him anything. I was shocked! Not even for the oil change, the price of the parts, taxes…nothing? Wow! I was speechless.

Have you ever been given a gift so generous that you simply could not pay it back? When it happens, a deep sense of gratitude fills your heart and while the words “thank you” seem inadequate, that is all you can say. It is a poignant picture of what Christ has done for us. He sacrificed everything so we would have eternal life. There is nothing we can do to repay Him. All we can say is “Thank You!” We can live out our thankfulness to Him and trust that others will see our good works and glorify Him.

I know of so many who are grieving the loss of loved ones this year. Nothing can be said to take the loneliness and pain away. But, I was reminded that despite the loss that is amplified during this time, we can find joy in knowing that Jesus left everything in heaven, to come as a baby, not to live for himself and his own pleasures, but to die so that we might live forever with Him. He loves us that much, and for that, we can be grateful. May His loving care be your comfort this season. I wish you all a most blessed Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

Enjoy the pictures below.

Family Christmas 2021

What I Didn’t Know

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “Things are not always as they seem.” That sums up my short stint working as a PI. After receiving my Private Detective certification in Georgia, I worked for an agency for 2 months and it quickly became apparent that the job was not a good fit for me. I know that I enjoy investigative work and there are many facets to this career field, so I am trying to find the space in the profession that would best allow me to use my gifts and abilities to fight trafficking on a day-to-day basis.

As I continued to seek connections here, I was invited to meet with the Trafficking and Child Exploitation Unit of the local sheriff’s department. Present at the meeting were three sworn officers, a victim advocate, and myself. The reason for the meeting was to see how I could help them fight trafficking within the community. The plan that had been discussed prior to the meeting consisted of me graduating from the police academy and volunteering part-time with their department. At the meeting, I was informed that I had been given incorrect information and because of the nature and sensitivity of the work, a volunteer could not serve in that capacity. One would have to be employed full-time with the sheriff’s office to assist their unit. As you can imagine, that came as a blow. I had hoped to attend the police academy in January and now that was not going to happen. Upon the investigation job not working out, and now the disappointment with the sheriff’s office, I was left confused. Amidst the confusion, I was at peace knowing that my relocation to the Atlanta area was not a mistake and that God has a plan. I was blessed to spend 5 days at a nearby missionary guest house where I could seek the Lord about what His next steps for me were.

After two nights at the guest house, I realized that if I were to stay longer, I could take care of some end-of-the-year ministry tasks and begin the groundwork for coordinating flights on the East Coast and see where that might lead. The staff at the guest house graciously allowed me to extend my stay for an additional two weeks.

The airport where I have been volunteering some of my time is located in Lawrenceville, GA, halfway between where I currently reside and where the guest house is located. When I first moved to the area, one of my first visits was to the airport. I noticed that there was an airplane parked with a logo on it that I recognized. It was a plane owned by Wings of Grace, a ministry that had partnered with Harvest Aviation to bring relief supplies to the Bahamas while I was there. It was obvious, based on where the aircraft was parked, that it needed maintenance work, so I attempted to connect with Wings of Grace to see if there might be a way that I could help them. Two months went by and I had not heard a response. Finally, I thought I would give it one more try. I reached out to the director through LinkedIn. He responded the next morning and the floodgates for ministry connections began to open.

What I didn’t know was that the Wings of Grace ministry had expanded and they began a chapter of their ministry at the airport in Lawrenceville! Through a partnership with another local ministry called Christ Flight Ministries, youth that are pursuing a career in missionary aviation can receive maintenance and flight training and participate in various missionary service projects, locally and abroad.

You ready for something even more wild? As I began to acquaint myself with the staff of Christ Flight Ministries (CFM), Wesley, asked me what my purpose of moving to this area was. I told him that I relocated to help fight trafficking. He told me that CFM had been talking about participating in the same kind of work. He asked me if I had ever heard of a ministry called Wings of the Way (WOW). I chuckled in amazement and replied that I am on the Board of Directors for WOW. Wesley said that CFM had been talking with Justin, the director of WOW, for a couple of months now about how CFM could assist with flights for trafficking victims. About 10 minutes later, I was speaking to Damon, the director of CFM, when he stopped and exclaimed, “You’re Liz!” I said, “Yes, I guess so!” It was amazing. Apparently, the directors of each organization had been talking about me, but no connection had ever been made. The next day I would meet a pilot, Greg, whom Justin had told me about. It turns out that he also volunteers with CFM and is passionate about assisting in transporting victims. It is really incredible and a bold reminder that God is at work even when we don’t see it.

I do not know what God is going to do with the law enforcement and investigation piece of the plan. I still have an interest to be involved in that capacity, I just don’t know what that will look like. As you can imagine, after the story I have just shared, I am not too concerned about it. I know that God has a plan and that He is working out something very good. In His time, of course.