Death and New Direction

March 12th marks eight months since we left Napa, in faith, on this adventure as missionaries. It was years of God changing our lives and calling us into His service. As the time approached for us to leave Napa the call became so strong and clear. We knew when we left that God had given us a warning that things were going to be difficult. Without understanding what that meant, the question came “How difficult could it really be?” Sure, as we made our way we were met with some challenges, like the van breaking down in Oregon, surviving a bee attack in Washington, a massive hail storm in Colorado that damaged the van, then we were delayed for almost two weeks in Texas waiting for our VISAS, finally ending back up in California where we abandoned our plans to drive down to Mexico and heeded the warning to fly down instead. Once we arrived in Mexico things didn’t lighten up, there was the first several weeks of culture shock and major adjustments, then our kids were very sick for weeks on end. We thought things were finally settling down when my dad’s health began to deteriorate.

The first week of the New Year hit us with the news that my dad was not doing well, he fell, and was taken to the hospital and then released to a nursing home to recover and regain some strength. After a few days it became clear that Jackie needed to fly home and help my mom get some things done, in order to bring him home. The kids and I stayed behind in Mexico to continue with studies since we had just begun our third level of Spanish. After about a week of being back home Jackie was ready to buy her return tickets home but felt uneasy about it, so we waited. That uneasiness was Gods restraint because four days later, my dad took a very bad fall in the nursing home. The fall caused a massive brain bleed. The doctors said he was not going to make it. Upon hearing the news the kids and I booked immediate flights home. Five days after returning home, my dad passed away as a result of the fall.

If you didn’t get a chance to read last months newsletter, we encourage you to recount the beginning of this story, when the Lord prompted McKenna and I to return home to share the gospel message with both of my parents. They both accepted the Lord and only God knew that my dad would take his last breath here on earth only six weeks later. The story is still shocking to us when we recount it. Never stop praying for the salvation of your loved ones and never hesitate to share the Gospel with them either. God hears your prayers and will pursue them to the very end, He can save to the uttermost even through Alzheimer’s. God is faithful!

Being back here in California didn’t slow down the challenges but God has had us here for such a time as this. What a blessing it has been to be here and be missionaries to our own family and friends. We’ve spent countless hours in the hospital, we’ve planned a funeral, we’ve buried my father, the kids and my mom were bit by her dog, Jackie’s mom landed in the hospital, and we moved her to a new house. In all the challenges there has also been opportunities to be a blessing. I’ve been able to minister to some people and offer helping hands all while God had our family here in Napa. It is such a privilege to serve the Lord in any way that we can wherever we are.

Nahum 1:3 says, “The Lord is in the whirlwind and the storm”. The day I read this verse in an Oswald Chambers devotional I did not foresee how it would apply to our family only a few hours later. I took a look at the word, “Whirlwind” and this is what I found. A whirlwind is, “A storm with strong winds that moves in a circle” (Cambridge Dictionary). A whirlwind is also used to describe “quickly changing, evolving situations, happening very quickly.”

Things have sure been a whirlwind and the whirlwind continues. Since we have been here the question everyone keeps asking us is “When are you going back?” Our answer has been, “We wish we knew!” The Lord began stirring out heart that a new direction may be coming. An opportunity with Wycliffe Bible Translators opened up and we pursued it. Everything was going great with the process and we were coming to the very end but we just couldn’t seem to find that peace. Jackie and I had been praying and meeting with our Pastors and with Wycliffe staff, really seeking what God would have us to do. A few hours following my morning reading of Nahum 1:3 about the Lord being in the whirlwind and the storm I received a call from our friend and Pastor in Oregon. It was a casual conversation but I could hear something in his voice at the end of the conversation. We hung up but the Lord prompted me to call back and investigate a little further. Little did I know that conversation would dramatically change our direction.

I found out that our friend and Pastor needs some help at his church just outside of Portland, Oregon. With a fire and spark in my heart I told him, “If you need me, I am there.” The reply was for some much needed help. After praying about it we concluded the Lord was calling us to go to Oregon. Therefore, we are halting our Spanish studies for the time and turning our attention north to support, encourage, help, and be missionaries to Faith on Hill church in Milwaukie, Oregon. We are so excited about this new direction that the Lord is leading us. It is true that it has been a whirlwind this past 8 months, but there is no adventure grander than serving the Lord and being His servant, available to go whenever and wherever He calls us to go. “At the command of the LORD they remained encamped, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD” (Numbers 9:23).

We are still missionaries. God has not changed our calling but He has changed our location. A missionary is one sent by God to accomplish His purposes. God has a good work to do at Faith on Hill church and people need to hear the gospel there and be encouraged in their faith just as any other place in the world. We will miss Mexico for now, but we are confident that we will have opportunities to return and serve there again in the future.

Our plans are to set off from California soon. We ask that you pray for us as we make this next transition, especially that God will open up housing for us somewhere in the Portland area. Pray that our service in Oregon, “May be acceptable to the Saints there.” (Romans 15:31). Pray that we will be able to be a blessing to the church, our friends, and that we will be able to come alongside them, support them, and love them in a tangible way. Pray for us as we have started homeschooling the kids, which is making things much easier in all of the transitions. Thank you for all your prayers and financial support that allow us to serve the LORD wherever He sends us!

Sickness and Salvation

Happy New Year from Mexico! 

One of the most common questions we are asked about our newsletter updates is “Who writes the update?” The answer is we both do! This letter is no different. We each have things that we think are important to share and so we each take a part in writing these updates. Thank you for following along on our journey as we desire to follow the Lord wherever He leads us. We haven’t written an update since the end of October so we will catch everyone up on what has been happening the last two months. 

Shortly after we sent out our October update McKenna became very sick. She had a fever for several days which by the end of the week progressed to a very high fever causing her to be hospitalized overnight. When we arrived at the hospital she had a one hundred and seven degree fever. Thankfully the doctor and nurses were able to bring the fever down within a few hours. It took her several weeks to recover and to build back her strength. During her recovery Mia and Isaiah also became ill with fevers. The end result was a diagnosis of Dengue Fever for all three of the kids. This obviously is the short version. The whole thing played out over weeks with many questions, many days home sick, and a whole lot of medication. This all began to unfold one week after we started our second level of Spanish classes. With the kids sick Jackie was staying home with them, and just about the time they were all on the mend she came down with the flu. Due to all the illnesses she missed a lot of her own studies. We thought that she wasn’t going to be able to complete the second level. 

As the sicknesses wore on so did the discouragement. We were questioning everything and seeking the Lord desperately for His direction. Faithful friends recognized our deep need for a boost of encouragement and flew all the way down here with Jackie’s mom for a quick 36 hour visit. The visit was just the thing that we needed to make it over the spiritual hump we were stuck on. There is nothing like a faithful friend and a mom to come and encourage you in the darkest moments. They came, talked with us, prayed with us, encouraged us to continue on, and then left. After they left we rebounded and so did Jackie’s desire to get back to school. We the approval of our teachers, Jackie was able to put in a lot of effort to catch back up. It took extra classes each week on top of the normal load but she persevered and was able to catch up and successfully completed the second level. We both will be moving on to level three next week. 

In mid December, a strong prompting from the Lord came to return home for a visit. Aaron and McKenna traveled back to the States specifically to visit his parents. Many of you know that his dad suffers from Alzheimer’s and his health has been declining over the past year. While Aaron and McKenna were back home they had the opportunity to share the Gospel with his parents. Praise God that both his parents accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! They were also able to visit many friends and family while there. Thank you all for taking such good care of my family while they were in your midst, it warms my heart to know how much love they received. While Aaron and McKenna were gone in the States, my bother was here in Mexico visiting the kids and I. It was a blessing to be able to spend time with him and have him experience life here in Cacalote! He can attest that it is very different lifestyle than the States.  

Aaron and Mckenna returned home to Mexico on January 1st. Not long after their arrival we found out Aaron’s Dad was continuing to rapidly decline. Over the course of first four days of the New Year, Aaron’s Dad was no longer able to communicate verbally, he suffered a fall, and is now unable to walk. Two weeks prior when Aaron shared the gospel with his Dad, he was able to speak and verbally confess that Jesus Christ died for his sins and surrendered his life into the hands of our loving God. Had Aaron and McKenna not responded to the Lord’s leading, Aaron’s Dad would have lost the ability to confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and even lost the ability to understand the message. We are very thankful to the Lord for the compassion and grace He has on His children. We don’t know how much longer we will have Aaron’s Dad but what we do have now is the confidence that we will see him again in heaven and for that we are eternally grateful. 

Please pray for our family as we have decisions to make. Our third level of Spanish classes start in a few days. It is hard to be torn between keeping on track with our studies and our desire to be home supporting our family during a difficult time. We desire wisdom from God in what our next steps should be and we desire nothing else than to do His will. Pray that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding would rest upon Aaron’s Mom’s heart as she navigates this challenging time. 

This is by far the most challenging journey we’ve taken but even through all the challenges God has been so faithful and we are enjoying the journey. We are thanking Him for each difficulty, each obstacle, and each blessing because we know that we are growing in our perseverance and dedication to Him. A life of service to the Lord is not always marked with ease and comfort, as many of you know. But, it is a life marked with unexplainable joy and peace in Jesus. 

We love you all and thank you for joining us each step of the way. We would not be able to serve in this capacity as missionaries without your continual prayerful and financial support. We pray for you often and pray Gods blessing upon all of you.

Lovingly, 

The Mosleys 

Progress

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25

After fours months of tough transitions and emotionally charged newsletters we are pleased to be writing this month’s newsletter that is full of good news! We have been living here in Cacalote for almost two months now. What once was a place of initial shock has now become a place of familiarity and joy. The people that live here are so kind and encouraging to our family. We have been able to build a home and friends here.

The past seven weeks we have been studying Spanish with much intensity. We have reached our first milestone by completing our first level of Spanish classes. We will be starting level two next week. We are becoming more familiar with words and the structure of the Spanish language. Our ability to speak is about one month behind our classroom learning. So right now, we are able to put together some simple sentences in the present and past tense. Even though speaking is still a bit tricky, the good news is that we can understand much more than we can speak. We have been told that it takes about three years to really feel confident in your ability to speak another language. This helped us to realize this is not a short-term process and that we need to have a long-term approach to learning the Spanish language. So, we continue on poco a poco (little by little)!

Not only are we learning Spanish but we are learning so many things about ourselves, our children, and our Great God.

What a huge difference a month has made in our children’s lives. McKenna has decided that after spending several weeks in the Spanish school with us, she was ready to attend the multi-grade school on the base. This week she entered 7th grade and has really been enjoying it. It helps that she has been attending youth group for several weeks now and has had the opportunity to meet new friends that also attend the school. It has made the transition so much smoother since she already knows several people. McKenna loves having some additional freedoms; like riding her bike around town, hanging out with friends after school, and going to the beach. She has also been very helpful to us by riding up to the store often and picking up items we may need. It’s been wonderful watching her mature. She really loves living here.

Mia is also doing well. She is being challenged in school and is rising to the challenge daily. It’s not a surprise but Mia is catching on, comprehending, and speaking Spanish really well. She thinks its funny when she translates for us! She has made several friends at school and in the village. Each week there is a young girls bible study in town which she is attending regularly. They have a Bible lesson, a craft, and bible verses to memorize all in Spanish. Its fun hearing her rattle off verses in Spanish with such ease!

After repeatedly wanting to go back to Napa his first month here, Isaiah has finally hit his stride this last week. He has made a friend that lives close by and is his age. The boys are spending the afternoons playing Legos, video games, and whatever else boys do! This past weekend Aaron and I took Isaiah for a ride in a friend’s kayak. We paddle up through a narrow waterway which eventually opened up into a lagoon with big beautiful white birds flying from tree to tree. When Isaiah saw it, he said “see this is why I love living here. And, it’s probably cold in Napa!” It is an answer to prayer that God has given him friends and a joy for living here!

Oh, Penelope! Our feisty five-year-old has many wonderful qualities.  We are so thankful that God has given her a personality that is not easily swayed or pushed over. She is still having her ups and downs at school. It frustrates her when she can’t understand something or she perceives that something is too hard. Even though some days can be challenging for her, she is making friends and it seems that every day she is coming home and saying new words in Spanish!

This past month we were seeking the Lord on how we can serve Him right where we are. Even though our time is full with attending school, working on homework, and parenting and even though we are only here short-term, we still want to be useful servants where God has placed us. During this time, a friend here asked us what we missed from home. One thing we miss is gathering together with fellow believers, worshiping, and hearing God’s Word being taught in English. The Lord began to stir our hearts that others might feel the same way and prompted us to start a weekly Bible study with the other Spanish school students/missionaries. So, we stepped out in faith! We invited everyone from the Spanish school to come over to our house on Friday nights. It has been so refreshing to gather with a group of people, share a meal, hear from God’s Word, and pray together. One night while we were all sharing about how our experiences have been here in Cacalote and what God has been showing us, one young lady was so compelled by the Holy Spirit to share something she could not hold back. Through tears she shared that she is here because her two cousins came and she thought it would be fun to learn Spanish with them. The first week here she thought to herself, “I would never be a missionary”. She had plans to be a surgeon in the future. But after several weeks the Lord has been working on her heart and has been speaking to her about joining her family members on the mission field in Africa! It was such an awesome testimony of how God intersects our lives and our plans and can change our trajectory.  We all prayed for her after she shared. It was such an honor to be among  the first group of people to hear what God has placed in her heart. We can’t wait to watch God’s plans play out in her life! Praise God that He calls us and equips us to do His will. Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”

We can’t thank you enough for praying for us. We know God has heard everyone of your prayers. We are so encouraged that some good things have been happening this month. We are so happy and privileged to be serving our great God! We would not be able to do this without God using many of you to support us and encourage us on this journey. It is truly a picture of the body of Christ working together to build each other up and share the good news of the gospel to all the nations. Our prayer for each one of you, this month, is that you will know God’s plans for your lives. That you will seek Him with all your heart and when He reveals His plans to you that you will, without compromise, obey Him. Don’t be surprised if His plans turn out to be different from your plans! Remember there are always blessings in obedience.

With much love and gratitude,

The Mosley’s

Delayed

“What a great adventure this will be!”, they said. “Think of how fun it will be!”. “What a great experience for your children!”. Truth be told the last five weeks on the road has been all of those things: an adventure, fun, and a great experience. However, often with great adventure comes great challenges. The last few weeks have not come without challenges but for the most part they have been fairly minor.  We have been met with car issues, wasp attacks, sickness, and a hail storm in Colorado that left our van with $6000 worth of damages. Thank goodness for insurance! Through all the challenges God has encouraged us to keep going and overcome any difficulty that we confront.

As we have traveled around, we’ve seen the goodness of God through His people. Hospitality is defined as the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, and strangers. We have experienced true hospitality the last few weeks and it has humbled us and made us exceedingly grateful for the Body of Christ. We have been guests in people’s homes that we’ve known and we’ve been welcomed in by strangers! It is so incredible to witness people living out the Bible’s command of showing hospitality. Many have fed us, entertained us, and cared for our family. We have watched our children become so adaptable. They’ve slept on the floor, in beds, in sleeping bags, on cots, they’ve been in hotel rooms, people’s house, or just slept in the car. They’ve learned to have fun wherever they are. It’s been a beautiful thing to watch.

Currently, we find ourselves delayed in El Paso, Texas. What was supposed to be a one-night stop has turned into a week and a half stay. We are tired and our patience is being tested daily. We have not had a consistent place to stay in days. We’ve bounced from hotel to hotel because we thought that surely any day we would be on our way across the border. However, we know God’s providential timing has kept us here.

As we think about moving from place to place we are reminded of Matthew 8:19-20:

“19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Jesus knew exactly what it was like to have no place to stay. He knew what it was like to move from place to place. But, none of that mattered because He was focused on doing the will of the Father. It didn’t matter where he slept, or if he slept His eyes were fixed on what was set out before Him.

Whether we have a home or not does not matter. God is taking care of us. We do have a roof over our head and the Holy Spirit to comfort us. And we long to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ wherever that road may lead.

By God’s great plan He put a Brother in Christ from Chihuahua, Mexico, in our path to provide us with some wisdom and direction on entering Mexico. As we have learned and gleaned from his experience, we are seeing that our time frame for entering the country was not God’s time frame. We are committed to enter the country through the proper channels, which is causing our delay here in El Paso. As we are waiting for documents to arrive from California we are seeking the Lord for His wisdom and guidance. We are “seeking from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions” (Ezra 8:21).  As we collect all the formal documentation for entering, please pray for us that God would send favor in the sight of the Mexican officials to grant us entrance into the country. There is also a question of whether or not they will grant us a permit to bring our van into the country. If that permit for the van is rejected than we will “throw off everything that hinders us” (Hebrews 12:1), including the van! That may mean that we need to jump on a plane and head down south in order to arrive at school on time.

The biggest lesson learned this month is that God has created the body of Christ to work together and to be a  support for one another. We have had to lean in and depend on our friends, family, and the Body of Christ more than ever before. We are used to being self-sufficient and not needing to ask for much help. We are learning that instead of the independence that we are accustom to, God is teaching us interdependence, the idea of being dependent on one another. It has been said, “Independence is rooted in pride, whereas interdependence is rooted in humility.” We have had to humble ourselves and learn to accept the kindness of others. Through it all, we have come to know a deeper appreciation for others and long to have the opportunity to be that support to whoever God puts in our path.

There have been many lessons learned and more experiences had and we wish we could convey all that God has done the last four weeks. We serve a faithful God and love all the “God stories” that He is building in our lives. Thank you for being a part of our story and thank you for keeping track of our family via the Blog. We also want to say thank you to those of you who have reached out to partner with us financially and thank you to those of you who have partnered with us in prayer. We are so blessed to be a part of your lives. Our prayer for you this month is that God would strengthen you to love one another and the Body of Christ more and more so that you would be able to experience the riches of his love, mercy and grace in the Saints, as we have. This is our prayer for you because we are taken back by the love of Christ displayed in the Body of Christ and we desire for  you to have the same.

God bless and be with you all!

Love the Mosley Family

And We’re Off!

The long-awaited journey has begun. We left Napa a week ago and it was with many tears and sad goodbyes but also with much anticipation about what the Lord is doing in this new season of our lives. The whole week before we left was so surreal. Everything that we had been planning and preparing for was actually happening. In the last few days our family and friends surrounded us, supported us, fed us, prayed for us, cried with us, and encouraged us in our calling. They helped us toss, sort and pack. They loved our children, toted them around, and took them swimming. We were so blessed and encouraged not only by the people near to us but by all the people that came out to say goodbye and to wish us well. We really saw the significance of the Body of Christ, coming together, from all different walks of life, to rally around us and to send us off. It was a humbling experience and we truly felt loved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord very specifically called us to give away, sell, and donate the contents of our lives. We packed up only the essentials and even some of those things were cut as we loaded up our van. We had to make the tough decisions on what was truly important. What could we not live without? The Lord really gave us a picture of what we were doing through the story of Gideon. Gideon starts out with an army of 35,000, and the Lord says “nope, that is too many.” So, He pares down Gideon’s army. The Lord looks again and says “nope, still too many”. The Lord eventually pares down Gideon’s army to 300 men and they win the battle. We would sort through things and set aside what we thought were the essentials and then we would realize that we still had too much. So, we would pare down again and make some more cuts. Eventually, we made it out with just a van full of the essentials. But through it all the Lord is teaching us that all we really need in life is Him. As Christians we so often say, “all we need is Jesus”, but is that really true? Do we really only need Jesus? We are learning, at a deeper level than ever before, Jesus really is enough. Like the song says “you can have all this world, just give me Jesus”. Jesus increasingly has become our hearts desire and our one true focus. He is teaching us that we can only be dependent on Him and Him alone.

Fast forward a few days and we had another tough lesson on Jesus being enough. While visiting the Oregon coast with our good friends, our van went down. It decided that it was not going to move from the parked position and shift into gear. After attempting to shift it, jiggle wires and poke at it, no matter what we did we were unable to shift it out of park. Essentially, we were stuck, all ten of us, with no way to go anywhere. The feeling of helplessness was ruling the hour. McKenna came in with a great suggestion to lay hands on the van and pray! So, so we did. Afterwards, two of us walked down the road to some construction workers. We explained the situation and one of the men said that he would send someone to help us. Praise the Lord, the man that was sent was able to get the van in gear! Through this experience God opened our eyes to the spiritual significance of the situation and we felt the Lord reminding us, “You can’t do this on your own.” We couldn’t get the van unstuck on our own, we needed help. The Lord is constantly reminding us that we cannot do this journey without Him. We need Him and our dependence must be upon Him. As God showed Gideon what he needed for battle, we were reminded that God will show us what we need to be victorious too if we will trust and obey Him. We hope and pray that the reminder we received will also impact you. When it comes down to it none of us can do life on our own. You can’t live for God without trusting Him, without surrendering to Him and allowing Him to lead, guide, and provide for you. Being in the place of helplessness is not a bad place to be, it’s just a tough place to be. But there is nothing like watching God provide just what you need at the exact time that you need it!

We still have a long way to go. There is still six more weeks until we arrive at the school in Oaxaca. We are sure we will have many more obstacles and challenges to face along the way but we know that, like Gideon, we only need faith in God to be able to stand up against any challenges that we face.

Until next time,

The Mosley’s

Not For the Faint of Heart

Three weeks and counting…

We are discovering very quickly that being a missionary family is not for the faint of heart. We have not even left our home yet and are feeling the full impact on our family tremendously. While we are excited to embrace this new season that God is calling us to, it is not coming without its challenges. We have sold our house, retired from our careers, are in the process of selling and giving away almost everything we own, leaving family and friends behind, and moving to an unknown place. A place where we will need to re-establish ourselves, build up new friends, engage in a new church, learn a new language, and attend school full-time. There is so much to look forward to but there is also a need to mourn the loss of the things we are leaving behind.

The most common question we are asked right now is “How you are doing?” The answer; really, we are doing okay. We have our good days and our tough days, which will continue for some time. Our oldest girls are having the hardest time and are the most aware of what they are leaving behind. Tears flow from their eyes as they battle through the loss of all that they know and try to grasp an understanding of what life will be like in Mexico. Every tear is an opportunity to embrace them, comfort them, reaffirm them, encourage them and share with them that life isn’t always easy. Service to our Lord Jesus comes with difficulties and challenges and each time it gets hard we have to decide if it is worth it. Is it? Is it worth all of this to follow Jesus? Our family’s answer is yes! So, we press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Each day brings things to do in preparation for the move. Every day is a day we need to lean into the Lord for his wisdom, direction, and strength. It is very clear to us that we could not do any of this on our own, we would have thrown in the towel a while ago. Why? Because it’s hard and uncomfortable. The question then becomes what keeps us going? Paul said it best in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” We believe there are better days ahead, we believe that there are things coming that are going to be the greatest joys of our lives, we believe that God is going to reveal His glory in us. And yes, it is hard, but it’s not worth comparing to what is ahead. We have hope that when we look back, we are going to be so grateful that we went through this, that we gave up everything that we knew and followed the call of God on our lives.

The truth is life is hard. Whether you are leaving all you know behind or you’ve just had a bad day at work, or a tough day with the kids. Life is hard. We need the Lord. We all need the guidance and comfort He alone offers. Being missionaries isn’t for the faint of heart but neither is being a follower of Christ. It’s going to get rocky, it’s going to get tough. The question is will you turn around when it gets hard or will you keep going? What lays ahead for the Christian is far better then what you may be suffering through as the present moment. We encourage you to keep going. Press into the Lord and lean on Him as we do the same. He will carry us through! Make the decision that no matter what comes your way He is worth it! Remember that Jesus made the same decision for us, that we were worth it! He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).