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.

A Balancing Act

It has been a challenge balancing the many ministries and responsibilities that I have. I know, to be effective, I need to commit to a few and do those well. These past two months, I have been exploring avenues of service and work and believe that I am approaching a healthy work, ministry, and life balance.

I have been involved in both the Japanese and Korean communities since moving to Georgia. I am seeking to learn more about the trafficking happening within these communities and work alongside law enforcement to put an end to this horrific crime.

I have recently spoken with a human trafficking specialist in the local Sheriff’s Department, and he reiterated the need for assistance due to the enormity of the task. He also confirmed that trafficking within the Asian community here, near Atlanta, is a serious problem. I am still hoping to attend the police academy in January, but God will have to open some pretty big doors to provide the funding for that. The equipment that I needed for my private investigator job swallowed up the funds I had set aside, so I will wait for the Lord’s perfect timing for the Academy.

Since beginning my PI job, I found myself extremely frazzled and having very little time to devote to the ministries I enjoy, such as participating in ESL classes, meeting with my Asian friends, and mentoring youth in aviation. Just recently, knowing that the decision might jeopardize my ability to attend the January class at the police academy, I limited the number of hours I am working my PI job. There is a steep learning curve, and I found myself putting in just as much time working on administrative tasks (unpaid) as I was working in the field (paid). I knew I needed to take a step back to do what God has called me to do here. God will provide all that I need. I am sure of that.

This past weekend, I was extremely blessed to stay at a missionary guesthouse operated by Missionary Care Ministries, here in Georgia. Missionaries are invited to stay free of charge whenever they need a time of refreshment. The rest was greatly needed and I anticipate returning in the future.

As I view the calendar, I realize that the holidays are just around the corner. I love being only 6 hours from my sister and her kids. We are planning to get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am really looking forward to that!

Thank you, as always, for your ongoing love and support. It is incredibly meaningful. Please continue to pray for a permanent housing situation for me, where I can best serve the Lord. Many blessings to you all and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

In 2021, I am thankful that I am in Georgia. I absolutely love it. I love the people, the ministry that I get to be a part of, and the creation all around me.

My Georgia Life in Pictures

Korean Church Family

Japanese Church Family

Aviation Community

I am extremely blessed to be here in Georgia. I am involved in many areas of ministry that are close to my heart. I am thankful for all the opportunities to share the love of Christ with those along my path and look forward to the months ahead.

Ministry Opportunities Abound

Today marks my third week in Georgia. The Lord has moved quickly, providing an abundance of ministry opportunities.  I am thrilled to be here.  As I was having my prayer time this morning, I thanked God for satisfying some of the deepest longings of my heart. 

Being involved in the Asian community is such a joy to me.  I have been attending a Korean church each Sunday afternoon.  My favorite part is the music.  The worship is simple and sweet, and the harmonies are beautiful.  I hope to be able to sing a song in Korean one day. The church has been supportive, especially during my housing search. The pastor and his wife have invited me to their home for a Korean meal, so I am looking forward to that! 

The Japanese community has also been a special blessing.  I first attended the Japanese church two Sundays ago.  The sermon was spoken in Japanese but displayed in English on the large screen, so I was able to follow along. While I was there, I learned about a conversational English class and asked if I could attend.  That meeting was the highlight of my week, to be sure! The class began with an assignment to discuss five different characteristics of our hometown. At my table were girls from Myanmar, Pakistan, and Japan.  I was delighted as our conversation quickly shifted from heritage to religion.  The four of us spoke gently and openly about our beliefs.  The class leader and I answered some of the student’s questions and were able to present the gospel simply and clearly. It was the most beautiful thing that I had been a part of in a long time! It still warms my heart.  The One I serve loves us so much that He died for us and gave us the great pleasure of sharing that with others.  I was so blessed. I am eager to attend the next class.

Tonight, I will be attending a campus ministry at Georgia State University.  I anticipate a wonderful time getting to know students, encouraging them in their faith, or walking alongside them, as they may be introduced to Christianity for the first time.  We will enjoy a meal together and then a time of worship.

So, you might be wondering, “Why all this talk about Asian ministry?” Where did this come from, and what does that have to do with FlyMissions—which has an obvious tie to aviation ministry?  Since I was young, I have had a special love for the Asian community.  When I first learned of trafficking, it was brought to my attention that trafficking was rampant in Asia.  My heart was instantly gripped with concern, and over the years, that concern has grown into a passion.  As I continued my aviation studies, God showed me how to use aviation to help victims, and my vision remains the same. I want to use aviation to bring victims to safe homes where they will hear about Christ, and be transformed by Him.  My goal in working with the Asian population (Japanese and Korean, for now) is to find out how to help those in the Asian community who are victims of trafficking. 

That is where the investigation piece comes in.  I am working part-time as a private investigator to learn the techniques of surveillance and investigation.  I plan to use those skills to combat trafficking in the neighborhoods around me.

As you can see, I am very busy.  I would be thrilled and honored if you would like to continue partnering with me through prayers and, if possible, finances. The harvest, indeed, is plenteous (Matt 9:37). The link below will lead you to my new giving page where you can learn more about the work that I will be doing.

For those wondering about my housing situation, God provided an opportunity to live with a woman from church for six months while I seek permanent housing. This solution is a great blessing and answer to prayer. It will allow my finances and work to stabilize while I continue to develop the ministry here. Praise the Lord!

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. I look forward to sharing more soon.

Many blessings to you and yours,

Liz 🙂

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!