Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight. Learn about Melinda and Michael Pierce's ministry in Uganda with Amazima Ministries, which provides food, education, spiritual nourishment, and job support in Jinja, Uganda. Ten percent of proceeds from the LAJ shop go to Amazima.

A couple of months ago, I got an e-mail from a woman who had stumbled across my blog by googling Amazima Ministries. If you didn't know, Amazima is the LAJ Shop cause, and 10 percent of all shop proceeds support their ministry work in Uganda.

Melinda was googling Amazima because she, along with her husband Michael and their five youngest children, will be boarding a plane in December with one-way tickets to Uganda to work with Amazima. They will establish a missionary kids' school for the children of the Amazima School’s in-country staff.

As it turns out, Melinda and I have a lot in common. She's a native Mississippian who also graduated from Mississippi State, and she has several friends who live in Brandon. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I got to join Melinda and her friends at a luncheon to hear all about the Pierce Family's upcoming move to Uganda. 

I asked Melinda if she would share her family's story with you, and she graciously agreed. Today, she's writing about their journey to Uganda and how you can help them along the way. I'm still in awe of the way that God brought us together, and I can't wait to follow and support their ministry in the coming months.

The Pierce Family is gathering support to serve as missionaries in Jinja, Uganda with Amazima Ministries. Find out how you can support them at

The Call to Adopt

As a family, we have done some things that have surprised even us.  

In 2010, with four kids already, we adopted our two youngest from Ethiopia. We prayed and felt God leading us to adopt specifically from there, so we obeyed, even though there were lots of unknowns. Our biggest test of faith came in the area of finances. Paying for an adoption is no joke, and it's not something we could ever do in our own strength or through our own resourcefulness.

But we believed that God had called us, so we also believed that He would pay for it. Even when our faith wavered, we saw time and again that God is always faithful. Not only did he provide every penny that we needed, many times from those whom He knew but we had never met, He provided it all in record time.

We serve a faithful God.

The Call to Go

Fast forward to April of this year when we were unexpectedly contacted and asked to pray about accepting a position with Amazima Ministries and moving our family to Jinja, Uganda.

We prayed, and God said, "Go." So we said, “OK," even though:

  • We are 54 and 46 years old.

  • We have 5 kids (18, 16, 14, 10 & 9) still at home who will be going with us.

  • Only my husband and one son have ever been to Uganda, and none of us have been to Jinja.

  • We are responsible for our own financial support. No salary is provided.

Once again, there are lots of unknowns: Where will we live? Who will we meet? How hard will daily life actually be? Will the kids make new friends there? Which American foods and luxury items will we miss the most?

As if the unknowns aren't bad enough, there are also the scary knowns: Leaving behind our 21-year-old son and daughter-in-law. Moving far away from family and friends. No air conditioning. No washer or dryer.  Spotty internet. Iffy electricity. Weird bugs. Big rats. Snakes.

The whole thing reminds me of Hebrews 11:8. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”

So we are stepping out in faith once again, believing that if God is calling, He will provide. But before you think we must have a special kind of faith or give us credit where it’s certainly not due, please read on.

I stress. I doubt. I panic. I have total inner freak-out moments.

Again, the thing that scares me most is the financial side of it all. We will not receive a salary. We must rely on brothers and sisters in Christ to send us. Looking back on the adoption and how God provided, it seems ridiculous that I would ever doubt God’s provision, but I do. I forget Whom I serve.

The Call to Send

The truth is that we are NOT going on this adventure alone. We are NOT solely responsible for raising our own support. We are going in the strong hands of our perfect Heavenly Father who loves us more than we could ever imagine and who owns the entire UNIVERSE. And we can depend on Him!

God is good and He is faithful. And God will provide for us now just He has done in the past—through calling our brothers and sisters in Christ to come alongside us.

God invites us to use the resources He has placed in our care to be part of sharing the Gospel around the world. That’s how He’s been sending out missionaries for the last 2,000 years, and now, the generation He is calling to send and to go is our own. 

As believers, we are all expected to either be goers or senders. There’s no third option. If you genuinely cannot support missionaries financially, you can support them in other ways. Write a note or send an e-mail to encourage them. Just make sure you do whatever you can to be involved in what God is doing around the world. Your faith will grow when you see how God is working through the personal gifts that you have given. There’s nothing like it.

How You Can Help

If you have friends on the mission field, they're trusting God to provide, just like we are. I'm sure they would be honored and excited for your support, financial or otherwise. Just ask them how to do it and they will gladly tell you. And when they say there is no amount too small, they mean it.

If you don't know anyone personally for whom you can be a sender, we would love to have you as one of ours. One of our greatest privileges is praying for our family’s senders. We're preparing a prayer wall for our home in Uganda. It will have pictures of everyone who supports us financially, and our family will pray for our senders each day.

We would love to have you pray for us and consider joining our sending team. You can keep up with our journey to Uganda and our work at the Amazima School on our blog or on facebook. We also have a private facebook group for members of our sending team. If you want to join our sending team, click here to set up your donation. Please feel free to share this information with friends or family who may also be interested.

And finally, please contact us if you have questions or want to know more about the Amazima School! We're looking for teachers who feel called to be goers to work with us in Uganda, and we love hearing from fellow believers to see how God is working through ALL of us. 

Find out more about Melinda's family, follow their adventures in moving to Africa, and learn how you can get involved in supporting them or joining them in Uganda at her blog, We Don't But God Does.

Packing Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

Ideas and Tips for Packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. Be sure to include clothes, accessories, toiletries, toys, school supplies, and other useful items. Find more ideas at

I'm a firm believer that God blesses his people so that we may in turn be a blessing to others. During a month when we typically spend a lot of time giving thanks for all our blessings, it's good to consider how we can pass those blessings on. As a family, we try to do this in many ways, but one of our favorite ways to bless others at this time of year is to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

OCC is a branch of Samaritan's Purse. Each year they collect boxes filled with all sorts of goodies for children the world over. It's a tangible way to spread joy and share the Good News of Christ with those who may otherwise never hear it. OCC collects the boxes during the third week of November every year. If you want to pack a box, click here to look up a drop-off location near you, and get to packing!

Over the years, packing shoeboxes has been a powerful teaching tool for our girls about selfless giving, sharing the gospel, and being a blessing. I'm just going to be honest here and say that our kids sometimes get upset about giving away items that they like (there was a particularly epic battle over a light-up bouncy ball last year), but if we don't teach them how to be cheerful givers, then who will?

It's nearly impossible for my children to understand the depths of poverty in the world, but OCC helps connect them to the unfathomable and teaches them how to put others first. This year, both of our daughters chose to pack a box for a girl in their age group. They each helped choose the items in the boxes, and I thought it would be fun to show you what we packed. So, let's take a look, shall we?

There you have it! One of our OCC boxes for the year. What did you put in your boxes this year? Let's share tips and ideas below. 

Until next time, grace and peace.