Here For A Reason (Georgia Living, Part 2)

Ministry in Georgia has begun.  I have been seeking numerous ways to become involved in the Asian community.  My heart’s desire is to learn more about the trafficking within their community to see how it can be stopped.  Sunday, I attended a Korean church. I was blessed by their worship and hospitality and was invited to return.  This Sunday, I plan to attend a Japanese church. While other ethnic groups are represented near me, I may focus on these two populations for now.  I have been to both Korea and Japan, so it is an easy connecting point. 

I was able to make another vital connection this past week.  As I was looking for housing, I spoke with a lady at one of the local community service organizations.  In her attempt to help me with housing, she explained that I should stay away from a specific extended-stay motel because trafficking was prevalent there.  I explained to her what my mission was, and she was grateful.  I look forward to connecting with other professionals as well, such as the sheriff’s office and police station. The need is great, and I believe that God brought me here to help rescue those enslaved and introduce them to the Savior. 

So, while the housing may be uncertain, the need to be here is sure.  While I long to do this work full-time, I know that I need training first. My time working on private investigation cases will provide the experience and extra income that I need.  In the meantime, I will attempt to make the most of every opportunity. The harvest truly is plenteous!

Catch-22 (Georgia Living- Part 1)

In case you have not heard, let me tell you, the housing market is crazy. Around the area of Cumming, GA, there are very few housing options. Even the two boarding houses I called were full!

This past week, I found out that the job I was supposed to start on Monday would not allow me to begin until I secured a permanent address. On the other hand, I could not apply to a low-income apartment until I had proof of income in Georgia.  It was a Catch-22.

I had been searching for a one-bedroom apartment.  I would take a studio or a room for rent, but nothing presented itself.  I explored everything from Apartments.com to Craigslist (with extreme caution) and everything in-between.  As of yesterday, I only found one vacant one-bedroom apartment and it was $1,400 per month.  The cost was so much more than I wanted to pay, but I did not see any other options.  I decided to call them today. Within one day, it was leased out. The next best thing they had was going to be $1,538 per month. Wow! In addition, the receptionist just received word that the rental prices were going to increase by $100 by Monday.  Man! I felt like time was of the essence!  I continued to hunt, scratch, and claw, trusting that God would point me to the right place. 

I started exploring the areas south of Cumming, increasing my radius.  I knew that the Asian populations I have a heart for reside primarily in that region, but I had initially checked that area off my list because the rent was so expensive.  Well, now push had come to shove, and I needed something, so I tried again.

I found one! It was $1460 per month and included a fitness center, which was a nice bonus that I had been secretly praying for. I figured if the rent was going to be that much, I might as well ask God for a place to work out. 

I was nervous about applying since my income on paper looks very shaky.  I have a job that I cannot start yet, I have income with Harvest, which ends on October 11th, and verbal commitments to transfer funds to Global Service Network, but I will not receive the link to that giving portal until Monday.  I was also concerned because the application was $250.  But, I felt led to apply, so I hesitantly hit the “submit” button.  I prayed that, even if I was declined, I might have an opportunity to speak to someone and explain my situation.

Thirty minutes later, I received a phone call.  My application was, in fact, denied, but the receptionist wanted clarification regarding my income.  I nervously explained my situation, realizing full well that a secular person might not understand churches and individuals providing for my needs.  By the end of the conversation, I was fighting back the tears.  She and I worked together to figure out the best-case scenario and increased my income accordingly.  As of right now, the application is pending, and I should find out the results on Monday. I am thankful that God heard my prayer and allowed someone to listen to my situation. 

Prepared for This

Just like God prepared David for the battle with Goliath, I believe God has prepared me for this time. Since I was 5 years old, I had a special affection for the Asian community. Now, 35 years later, God has provided a way for me to minister in their communities to fight trafficking.

In the neighboring communities where I reside, one city has an Asian population of 12.67%, while another boasts of 25.4%. Just six months ago, the nation learned of a shooting that took place at several locations in Atlanta including massage parlors and spas where it is suspected that trafficking was taking place. The suspect claimed to have a “sex addiction” and seemingly blamed these women for his vice. My heart is to reach deep into the heart of these suffering communities and bring the light of Jesus to hurting hearts. https://www.npr.org/2021/07/27/1021144933/georgia-man-pleading-guilty-to-4-of-8-atlanta-area-spa-killings

Please pray with me as I seek tangible ways to get involved in the lives of those with a different culture, language, and skin color than my own. Please petition the Lord that I may find in-roads that could only be made possible through His hand.

— Blessings —

Georgia Peaches

Well, I don’t know much about Georgia peaches, but I suppose I will have time to learn because I have made plans to relocate to Cumming, GA, one hour NE of Atlanta.

While all the details haven’t yet been made clear, I sense the Lord moving me and feel very good about making the transition. Several opportunities have been presented and time, and the Lord’s leading, will make certain the path that I take.

The first opportunity, which led me to the area was a job with a private investigator agency. It would not involve human trafficking or missing children cases but would teach me the skills needed to work in the field of investigation. I had the privilege of spending one week with the agency at their Florida location and really enjoyed my time with them.

The second opportunity, which I would hope to do simultaneously, is to volunteer with the local sheriff’s office in the same city, as a reserve deputy. Two factors quickly surface when I think of why joining law enforcement appeals to me. First, I would like to be trained, not only for self-defense purposes but also to learn the basics of law and it’s enforcement. As a private investigator I desire to work closely with officers. I hope I could build a repour with the department which I can use to help victims in the future.

Another opportunity also presented itself yesterday, which merges the two options mentioned. I spoke with a gentleman who operates the Human Trafficking Response Team, which he hopes will become a 501c3. It is a network of private detectives who work with law enforcement to stop trafficking. This is ideally what I would like to do but I do not have many details yet. I am hoping to meet with the gentleman who operates this non-profit to discuss more of what this opportunity might look like if I were to volunteer with their organization.

All in all, things seem to be coming together, although the view is a little hazy right now. I have given my notice at Harvest Aviation in preparation for the move, and my last day will be Friday, September 3rd. I know the Lord will bring all the pieces together in His time.

So, what does this mean for those of you have give financially? Well, I have a huge praise! I submitted an application with Global Service Network and was accepted. GSN is an umbrella organization that supports individuals that desire to serve the Lord but do not have the capacity or desire to become their own 501c3. After a ministry proposal and a letter of recommendation from the director of Harvest Aviation, I was accepted! Partnering with this network will allow donors to continue assisting with my living expenses or even participate in sponsoring a trafficking case.

For those interested in donating finances to this new mission, I plan to provide further ministry details within the next couple of weeks. This will include a breakdown of ministry duties, how funds will be allocated, the use of time spent, and steps on how to contribute. I can also be contacted through email at lizperr@gmail.com where I can answer any specific questions you might have.

Well, here we go! Let the adventure begin…or continue! As I relocate, I face many exciting opportunities but following closely behind are the challenges that ensue. The cost of housing is almost double of what it was in Florida and apartments are difficult to come by. My employment will also be unsteady for the first few months as I develop in the private investigation trade. I know the Lord will continue provide both the opportunities and resources I need, so I will rest in that. Thank you for taking the time to read how the Lord is working in my life. I am looking forward to all that God has planned in this next chapter of my life.

Would You Follow Him Then?

I am still learning how to answer this question completely and sincerely. Of course, on the onset I would say yes. But, when it comes down to it, do I really trust Him? If He chooses not to give me the desires of my heart in this lifetime, will He still be good?

I have been encouraged by two friends that the path ahead may look different than I am expecting it to. It is another reminder that I need to trust God. He is the only one that knows the end from the beginning.

As I look forward to attending a private investigator conference this weekend, my heart is tender. This past year has had several disappointments as I have sought God’s next step for me. I want to be able to trust God completely regardless of the outcome. While it is a difficult process to go through, I am thankful for it. I have learned to rely on the strength of my Savior and rest in His sovereignty.

So, if this conference comes and goes and no door appears to open, will I still trust God? If you asked me this question yesterday, I would have admitted my doubt. And, if I am honest, I still have doubts today but I also have the assurance that He will lead me day by day. He will continue to provide my every need, even if it means relying on the help of others.

Will you pray for me? Will You pray, more than anything, that I will trust completely the good hand of the Lord?

Thank you family. Your prayers and words of encouragement are a source of strength. When moments become difficult, I often go back and read comments or email replies as a way of comforting my soul. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel.

The Lord is Good and He is Faithful. One day we will see His face and behold His beauty! Oh, what a day that will be!

“Father, thank you for Your love for us. A love that never ends and knows no bounds.”

Aside

Upside Down

Since leaving my month-stay in Ohio, life has felt upside down in several ways. When I landed in Florida, I hit the ground running. Within three days, I moved out of my apartment. Having been removed from that setting for more than one month now, I can affirmatively say that there was something in the environment that upset my health, and I feel 75% better now, so I am extremely grateful.

For the next three weeks, I was blessed to stay with a family in Sebring, 35 minutes from where I work. Unfortunately, I came down with Covid-19 while I was with them. They took great care of me; breakfast in bed, home-cooked meals, room service- the whole nine yards. I was spoiled, for sure.

An added blessing during my stay with them, especially during the time of isolation, was the ability to walk to a nearby pond where wildlife was present. It was great to sit by the pond for several hours throughout the day, witnessing God’s creation and spending those moments reflecting on God’s magnificence and His care for each one of us.

Before I came down with Covid-19, I had a meeting scheduled with a private investigator. We had been discussing a possible internship with his agency. I was looking forward to meeting with him as soon as I could. He lives in Ocala, FL, 2.5 hours north of Wauchula, where I currently live.

I have a friend whose mother lives in Ocala. I wondered if I could stay with her mom for three days while I make connections. Well, not only could I stay for three days, but her mom was currently residing with her in New Jersey, and I could stay in the home rent-free for the summer! Wow! What a huge blessing and great first step.

I went to Ocala on three separate weekends. I enjoyed it there. The investigator and I had trouble coordinating our schedules, so the first two weekends, we did not meet.

The second weekend I was there, I was able to visit Cross Pointe church. Upon arriving, I made instant connections and felt at home. There was an international student get-together that night, so I asked if I could join them. I was welcomed and had a great time! It had been a while since I had participated in an event that gave me so much joy! There were about 10-12 people there, most of whom did not have a relationship with Jesus. What an incredible way to show them God’s love and introduce them to the One who died that they would have eternal life!

Last Friday, I met with the private investigator. It was a difficult decision, but I decided to pass on the opportunity. While there were elements to the job that I would have benefited from, there were too many unsettling factors. Overall, it did not seem like a good fit. I sensed in my spirit that God had something better for me, so I walked away. After waiting for more than one year for an opportunity to make itself known, I was not ready to settle. I wanted God’s best.

I have since moved out of the house in Sebring. A friend loaned me their camper for two weeks, so that is where I am as I write this update. I love camping, so I am in my happy place. As upside-down as life can feel at times, I am so thankful that God is always holding us tightly.

I am looking forward to attending a conference with many private investigators in Florida on June 17-19. One of the speakers is Toby Braun, who donates time to investigate human trafficking cases. He will teach about the rise of human trafficking investigations and how investigators can equip themselves for this work. Perhaps, he will be a good connection for me. I am hopeful.

I want to say a special, deep, and heartfelt “thank you” to all who have given one-time gifts over the last few months. God has faithfully provided each month above and beyond what I need. Praise His Name!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We are blessed!