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.