So long…farewell…Auf Wiedersehen…Goodbye…

On Monday, our MOCA group met at the regular time and place but for a brunch as well as prayer time.
It’s the last one for the school year. This year we’ve seen several ladies move to
other locations and new ladies join us. We have praised God for our kids’ successes and His work in their lives, and we have mourned some really tough situations. As we shared a meal around the table, we reminisced about the year, our high school Seniors, our college students, our young adults, and the reasons this kind of group has been so beneficial. We’ve missed our families across the Atlantic, and we’ve bonded here in this current home.

When I arrived in Wiesbaden in 2011, one of my first tasks was to find other like-minded, same-season moms that would want to get together to pray. The vision began small but faithful, and after a year or so of meeting occasionally with a lady or two (plus a meeting at a Worship&Study conference with four of us), our group in Wiesbaden began to grow. We have maintained a secret group on Facebook for communications and have met twice a month each month of the school year for the past six years. We have prayed for dozens and dozens of college students and their families, participated in a few Collegiate Day of Prayer events, and encouraged countless moms in what we have seen as this important stage of parenting as the young adults prepare to leave the nest.

The vision for MOCA was cast longer before I arrived in this community, and I’ve been remembering its origins. When we were at Fort McPherson in its last years (2005-2011), we had a few moms with college students who were mutually concerned about the well-being of their college students. While never formally meeting or involved in a concentrated prayer effort, we did pray for each other and swap stories of our kids and how we could support each other. There were five or six of us in that group. That was about the time I became friends with De’Etta Goecker who coined the phrase, MOCA (Mothers of College Age). It has been a thrill to watch God grow this grass roots effort in this military community and others as ladies have moved from here and planted it in their new homes. I hope you will consider starting your own MOCA group as you meet other moms with older kids (think of it like MOPS on the opposite end of the parenting spectrum), both as a confidential prayer group and as a place to support each other and build community.

We will move from this home soon, this place where we have lived for seven years, the longest for Andy and me in our married lives and for him in all of his life. We are now retired from the Army and are returning to the home we built in 1997 just south of Atlanta, where we lived nine of the 28 years active duty and where we’ll start this next phase of our lives.

I close this long post with part of one of my favorite parenting and ministry verses.
Psalm 78:4 ESV…Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD…

God bless you all, Christian sisters around the world, and never give up hope for your kids of any ages. Keep praying for them. Begging God for their salvation, their safety, all matters of academics, finances, relationships, decisions, employment, emotions, and health. The Lord our God is faithful.

Peace be with you.

Melinda Hemphill
Wiesbaden, Germany (2011-2018)
Atlanta, Georgia (2018)