What is MOCA? Mothers of College Age, a group of same-season moms who pray together for their college-age children, whether in college, the workforce, the military, typically ages 18-25, plus moms of high school Seniors.  And how do I start a MOCA group? It’s easy! Jesus said that wherever two or three of His people are together in His Name, He is with us! Find a friend and start praying!

Is this a PWOC thing? While not typically part of a PWOC board or events calendar, many MOCA moms can be found in PWOC groups around the world.

Is this a chapel thing? If you are in a MOCA group on your installation and in your PWOC, letting your chaplain know of your intent to pray for the young adults is a good idea! But it is not a chapel auxillary organization.

Do I have to be a Christian? MOCA moms are unapologetically Christian, relying upon Jesus Christ for their salvation and praying in His Name for their families. We are moms of varying denominational backgrounds, all united in Christ.

What if my child is not a Christian? Always keep praying!  While each person is responsible for answering the call of God on their own life, bowing the knee to Christ in repentance and belief, we as parents are to continue with our commitments made when they were very young…to continue training them up in the way they shall go…holding God to His promises to His followers and their children.

How do I advertise a MOCA group? Experience has shown that simple word-of-mouth to others in the same season of life is the best way to share about MOCA. Maybe a PWOC devotion could share with others (regardless of age or age of kids) about how moms with young adult kids are getting together to pray and be a support to each other.

Are there any rules?   The number one rule (besides being committed to Christ and to prayer) is confidentiality. Whatever is shared in MOCA, stays in MOCA.

What does a MOCA gathering look like? Grab a cup of coffee or tea. It’s not necessary to make a program out of it. Simple is best. Sit around in a living room or around a table, introduce yourselves and the names/needs of your loved ones, and go to the Father in the Name of the Son and lift them up to the throne of grace. Does this all sound kind of formal? It just means to pray. The love you have had for your kids over all the years doesn’t end just because they went away to college, but it sure does fuel the fire of prayer for all they need prayer about in their young adult years. Other MOCA events can include but not be limited to: sending encouragement cards and care packages to the students, sponsoring a larger event for the Collegiate Day of Prayer each February (collegiatedayofprayer.com), and getting families together when the students are home on break (especially overseas).

What are we praying for? Everything. Salvation, good choices and decisions, going to church, making good friends, physical safety, their driving, where they spend holidays, their roommates, professors, and advisors, their classes, projects, exams, their financial management and time management, their future spouses, their families back home, especially younger siblings, depression, anxiety, mental health, everything.

A little back-story:

In 2008, our oldest son graduated from high school and was preparing to enter a university an hour away. I was part of the small PWOC at Fort McPherson, GA, and found myself among several other moms with college-age kids. We were an encouragement to each other and sometimes swapped prayer requests. While it was not an official MOCA prayer group, it was a place of knowing that I could count on these other praying moms with similar experiences and burdens. I was in touch with a PWOC friend (De’Etta Goecker – mother of nine – and in light of my own five, I figured we had been praying for lots of kids for decades) who mentioned a prayer group she had with some other moms. MOCA had started and has spread to several PWOCs around the world. The uniting factor is our love for Christ, our belief that God answers prayers and cares about our lives, and our love for our families, in good times and bad. When we moved to Germany in 2011, I started asking around if anyone wanted to join a prayer group like this. A couple of other ladies and I would meet on occasion after PWOC, even if just for a few minutes. I opened up my home and asked people to come on a couple of random times. It became evident that the need was great and the best way to proceed was to pick a regular day and time throughout the week. So here’s what you can do. Assess the need. Gather the like-minded, same-seasoned moms. Pick a regular time and location. We try to meet twice a month during the school year. We keep an active (secret) Facebook group for local MOCA moms, a place for prayer requests and updates. We keep our group confidential. We share ideas beyond prayer requests, including Tricare updates, student travel orders information, and other things that help us when we’re a planet away from our young adults.

You can do this!
Do this together with the Lord’s help.
This is the body of Christ.

Mothers of College Age. MOCA. It’s more powerful than a good cup of coffee.

Melinda Hemphill
July 2017
Wiesbaden, Germany

Find out more about M.O.C.A. HERE