Actor, performer and producer George Perez was a teenage dancer when he came to know Christ in an intimate way. And very quickly, God showed him how personal this relationship was.
Raised Catholic by a widowed mother as one of nine children, Perez tells host Derrick Gates on the Unleashed podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network, he was dancing in a show for the March of Dimes someone he met told him he could hear from God. "Growing up Catholic, you see Him hanging literally on the cross, and then for someone to tell you that He talks to you, it's Him talking to you—He's off that cross. He's not on that; He's resurrected. He's a living being, and He's in you, and He's with you," Perez says.
But God had even more for Perez. "All I wanted to do was just give my life to Jesus," he says. "I had desires in my heart to be a dancer; I was dancing, and I started getting more into dancing. I was doing more shows. I wasn't thinking so much about acting, even though I told myself as a little kid that I wanted to be in movies.
"And I remember asking God to reveal to me how it is He loves me," Perez says. "I wanted to know: 'Show me how You love me. Show me how You love people. I want to see people the way You see people.' And no one told me to pray; this was just something directly from my heart that I asked. And so He answered, and He revealed people's hearts to me everywhere I went."
But later, Perez prayed about his career as well. "God, I want to be in a music video. Even if it's just for two seconds in the background" was his prayer, Perez says. "And I didn't hear anything back. And then I felt convicted, like 'Oh man, I shouldn't have prayed for that. What's wrong with me? I'm praying for something wordly.'"
But God quickly showed Perez how much He cared about even the "worldly" request. Only 15 at the time, Perez was attending the LA County High School for the Arts in Los Angeles and made a connection with Kenny Ortega, who had just finished choreographing the movie Dirty Dancing. "Wow, you can really dance," Perez says Ortega told him.
Six months after their meeting, Perez got a call from Ortega, who asked him, "Do you want to star in a music video with Elton John?"
"Sure," Perez said.
"What's your availability? ... Can you get on a plane tomorrow?"
"And I was like, 'I'm 15 years old. I got to ask my mom. It's summertime; I'm not doing anything.' And right at that moment, when I hung up the phone, I just dropped to my knees and just started praising the Lord and just crying because I knew that it was Him answering my prayer."
To hear more of this story and how God has continued to use Perez in Hollywood, listen to the entire podcast here.
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