Twenty years ago, we moved to our first overseas assignment in Schweinfurt, Germany, with three children under four years old. The sense of feeling overwhelmed with three littles in another country and far away from extended family was our reality. I can remember well-meaning people saying, “Wow, three kids! Just wait until they’re all in college at the same time. Start saving now!”

Flash forward to today. Those three are now full-time college students, and while the family again lives overseas, they live in the States. Being apart from them for more than a few weeks a year is another very hard part of parenting. We’ve raised them to be independent adults, and that is still the goal…but we miss them…

Before moving here, I was in a conversation with another PWOC leader about a concept called MOCA. Mothers of College Age. Imagine a group of prayer warrior moms in an environment something like MOPS and Moms In Touch. Ladies who are similar ages and peers. All praying for their young adult “children” in this pivotal stage of their lives.

So when we moved back to Europe this time, I started canvassing our PWOC for these women of similar life stages, and today we have a solid MOCA group that meets twice a month during the school year. Our secret Facebook group is the constant place to connect, but our prayer times in my living room or in another’s home is the venue to truly pour out our hearts for our college-age students.

We have one main rule – that everything we share is confidential among our group.
We have no apologies that it is a group that trusts in Jesus Christ as our Savior and that we petition God through the Holy Spirit for the needs of our families.

We have prayed for everything from academic needs, roommates, friendships, campus ministries, jobs, safety on the roads, safety when flying, safety in everything, scholarships, Tricare concerns when they turn 21 and 23, being apart (especially across an ocean), drivers licenses (especially when teens in Europe usually don’t drive until they return stateside), and so many issues!

If you are among this growing PWOC demographic of Mothers of College Age young adult children (whether in college or not, typically age 18-25), stay tuned for more information about starting a MOCA group in your community.

We thought it was really all about praying for our kids.
We discovered a safe place to share our Mom-hearts.


Melinda Hemphill
Wiesbaden, Germany

For more about Mothers Of College Age., visit our M.O.C.A. page.