“… for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:13)


God at work in the life of Jamie Walker

"I became determined to live within a budget. I cut unnecessary costs and spending, and I also found ways to increase my income through a side business."

Three years ago, God placed a calling on my heart to pursue full-time missions work overseas. As an adoptive mom of a daughter from Ethiopia, I was initially looking to adopt again. Then a dear friend and mentor of mine encouraged me by saying, “Jamie, be open to possibilities. I think God may want you to impact more than just one more child.”

Over the next month, God repeatedly showed me that He wanted me to pursue His calling to full-time missions overseas. After repeated confirmations, I knew beyond any doubt I’d heard God’s call to work with deaf communities in Africa. The marginalized deaf communities overseas were of particular importance to me and my calling because I am a highly-trained, nationally-certified sign language interpreter, and I have worked as a professional interpreter for the past ten years. Africa also has a special place in my heart because that’s where I adopted my daughter.

There was one obstacle which stood in the way of me accepting and following God’s call for my life: debt. Between student loans, credit cards, and a loan from a family member, I was $37,300 in debt. I knew I could not move overseas as a missionary with the amount of debt I had accumulated. So, with His calling on my heart and life as the major goal going forward, I became very intentional about stewardship. I set out on a journey to be free from debt, and God has worked in miraculous ways — in my finances and also in my heart.

Overcoming Discouragement

When I began accumulating all the debt, I was in a very stagnant spiritual place. I knew that I was not being a good steward of the resources God had given me, and yet I was prone to use my money in whatever ways I wanted. I was not diligent to seek first His plan and be wise with what I spent. Seeing the climbing debt each month and not being able to pay it off or even really pay it down aside from minimum payments was very daunting and overwhelming. This fed into my stress and the depression I used to struggle with as well.

“ With God, all things are possible.”

I felt like there was no light at the end of this tunnel of debt. Often, I found myself making excuses, such as, “Well, I’m a single mom. What else is to be expected? Debt is typical for single moms.” The deeper I fell into debt, the less likely I was even to want to try to reduce the debt. I didn’t want to look to God for guidance and be obedient to Him because it just seemed too overwhelming.
Once He placed the call on my heart to go overseas, God began to squash my excuses. No longer would I think, “I can’t because I’m a single mom,” or, “I can’t because I’m in so much debt.”

Little by little, God showed me, “Who’s to say I can’t? if He says I can, then I can!”

Praying, Planning, and Persevering

In response to God’s call on my life, I became determined to live within a budget. I cut unnecessary costs and spending, and I also found ways to increase my income through a side business.


Jamie updates this thermometer chart each month to track her progress toward becoming debt-free. This chart shows debt paid off from June 2016 through December 2017. It does not include the $10,000 she paid off in the first two years of her journey.

The past three years of preparing for missions and paying down debt has been challenging and also very rewarding and exciting. For the first two years of this three-year journey, while I was doing what I thought I could to pay off debt, I did not have a hard and fast game plan. As a result, I only managed to pay off $5,000 each year for a total of $10,000. Granted, this was huge for someone who for years prior had only been adding more debt instead of paying down anything. However, I knew at that rate it would take many years to become debt-free and head overseas.


In June of 2016, God worked in my life through a coaching program I participated in as well as important mentors who helped me become even more intentional to establish a specific plan to pay off my debt more quickly. I set the goal of being 100% debt-free in two more years, which would be June 2018. In just these past 19 months of following this plan and intention, with a lot of prayer and seeking God’s guidance each month in financial choices, I have now paid off an additional $19,977 on top of what I had paid off in the first two years!

So, in the past three years since God called me overseas, I have paid off a total of $30,331. I am now down to only owing $6,974, and I’m on target to becoming completely debt-free by this summer of 2018! This was coming from an initial debt of $37,300!

God has worked in miraculous ways in so many areas of my life, especially in the realm of finances.


Financial and Spiritual Freedom

God has truly blessed me in following His call, and I now see a light at the end of the tunnel of debt! There is so much freedom in not having the huge amount of debt hanging over my head anymore. It is both rewarding and inspiring to know and follow God’s call in this area of my life. I have now partnered with Pioneer Bible Translators to serve with them overseas in their newly developing deaf ministry. We are on target to leave New Jersey this coming summer for additional training in Dallas, Texas, and then we plan to head overseas by early 2019. I am eager to continue pursuing God’s call both in the realm of finances, as well as in missions work, meeting needs of the marginalized overseas deaf community and sharing the hope of the Gospel.

It once seemed impossible to break free from debt. I’ve learned that with God, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26) •


Jamie and her daughter Helina

Jamie on a missions trip in Ethiopia in 2015