Friday, December 4, 2009

What God says

Third posting of robbery incident...

Zephaniah 3:16-20 New Living Translation
...Cheer up Zion! Don't be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.(He will be silent in His love or He will renew you with his love.) He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!"

It's amazing to me that as I read through the minor prophets that I happen to "stumble" upon these words. It's as if God Himself knew of my predicament and my need and He is there and He is Here right now speaking LIFE over me and my family. Why someone doesn't follow God baffles me.

In the Aftermath

Second posting of our robbery incident...

First of all, many thanks to so many who have reached out to our family in prayers, concern and support. Our Ghanaian and ex pat friends here have reached out in so many caring ways and our friends abroad have made themselves available to help us in any way. So reassuring. We indeed have a great team of family and friends who love and intercede.

Reality sets in like a stone. The whole experience was surreal when it was going on and yet throughout the whole ordeal, there was a supernatural sense of peace of God's presence with us.

Things we have rejoiced over:
Maggie was surrounded by all three of our dogs while the thieves took Claire inside the house
She has no visual memory of strangers in her room.
Luke had a friend with him in his room so he was not alone when we left his room,
(he jumped from his bed to his friend's bed and said, "We need to pray."),
Claire was bold and protective of her kids and made the thieves allow her to go out and check on Maggie,
My phone which was on my waist but covered by my t-shirt rang just as they were asking for it and I was able to slip it off and slide it under the bed...they never saw it or heard it.
It has every phone number, email and address of all of our contacts in the U.S. and in Ghana,
Most especially no foul words were spoken, no harmful act of violence was ever leveled against us.

God was good, God is good and God will be good, no matter what. I have probably struggled the most in the night with memories of retribution but in my heart there is peace and I have no tinge of bitterness towards them. My anger rises up when I see Luke afraid in the night and needing someone to be with him while he is showering or going to sleep and him telling me, "I'll never sleep in my room again." I believe this too will pass.

Maggie and Claire are doing really well and each of us is dealing with this in varying ways...we were glad to have a debrief with a team of counselors who are experts at dealing with this very type of trauma.

We trust in Psalm 91:15 which says, "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him IN TROUBLE. I will take him out of trouble and honor him." We were in trouble but God was with us in it and will continue to be with us.

Thanks for praying

Michael for the Mozleys

Joining the ranks of the violated

This is an old note from Facebook but wanted to put it on my blog...

Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings from the great country of Ghana. Though the image is now slightly tarnished...Robberies happen all over the world and people are violated at different levels in each instance. Thankfully ours was mostly emotional and nothing physical really happened to us...

On Wednesday night five armed robbers pushed through our gate and our night watchman to demand all the money we had on us and in our house, as well as every electronic thing they could put their hands on. Claire and Maggie had just returned from an evening program at Maggie's school and it was 8:30 p.m. When they pulled into the gate, armed robbers folllowed close behind and made their way into our compound. They took Claire and Maggie's phones and dumped their purses on the driveway looking for money then made their way inside to look for me and all of our money. I was in Luke's room about to have prayers with Luke and his spend the night friend Seth. Claire walked in looking frantic and saying, "I need help." Just behind her was a young man not more than 20-25 with a shot gun and another young man holding a machete (cutlass). They ordered us to sit down and then asked where all the money was. We told them to leave our son's room so it wouldn't frighten them. Claire and I showed the two robbers our room and gave them all the money we could find....thankfully it was no more than a couple hundred U.S. dollars and about $600.00 in Ghanaian cedis...then they started picking through all of our belongings taking cameras, every laptop available, four of them and lots of, earphones, ipods, i-touch that Maggie got for Christmas...the most devastating loss was my laptop and all my PhD work gone...most of which has been backed up but some of it was backed up on another computer, which they also took. After 20 minutes they were gone. At one point I said to one of them, you know I'm a pastor and I love Jesus and He loves you. He said, "Oh I know, I'm a Christian too, He's my savior." I said, My friend you are not a Christian or you wouldn't be doing this to our family.

Maggie was probably the most traumatized because she was left in the front lot of our home while Claire was taken inside being held at gun point.

I'll write more later, but in the mean time, just pray for our family, our memories, and our healing...


Michael for the Mozleys

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Simple Update on Life

I just wanted to give you an update of my life and family and where God is leading us.

In late 2005 I was appointed by The Mission Society to be the African Regional Coordinator; that is, to give visionary oversight to all of our fields on the African continent. We have folks working full time with The Mission Society now in Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. There are families that are soon to be sent out to Senegal and perhaps South Africa. We also have seconded relationships with folks that are serving in difficult places on the African continent. It is exciting to see God at work here.

Since January I was also appointed to be the missionary observer participant on the board of The Mission Society. This has been a dream fulfilled for many of us serving on the field to have some voice and interaction with the governance board. Our president, Phil Granger, recently went through a life threatening surgery and was in ICU for many days and we can say that God truly brought him back from the brink of death. We are thankful that he is back in operation and working hard throughout the world.

The most ominous and yet rewarding thing in my life at this moment is my PhD study. Even though I’ve continued to give guidance and leadership to many of my coworkers here in Ghana, I have really been a full time student at Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture here in Akropong, Ghana. I started my course work in the Fall of 2006 and completed that portion in June of 2007 and was approved to continue my work on my PhD. My studies have led me into the bowels of the archives here in Ghana, London and Oxford. I have found some incredible letters that were written from 1835-1890. It is in those letters that I have found incredible insight into missions, life, applications that will assist me in my current ministry and in my future. One quote that I cannot forget from Thomas Birch Freeman, the man that I am studying for my PhD said when he was 28, “It is necessary for me to go (on the mission field) but it may not be necessary that I live.” He is the man that I want to emulate and it compels me to ask the question, “Where are the men and women who have that passion and zeal any more to proclaim the Gospel?!” I am thankful to work with many who have considered their lives and put all on the altar in answer to HIS call.

Recently I attended a seminar by a Ghanaian woman who’s name is Mercy Odudoye. She said, “If we don’t know where we’ve been, how can we know where we are going?” It is the essence of my passion to learn history! At the same time it is essential for me to realize the situation we are in as a nation and as a world. Christianity has indeed shifted in our direction in the southern hemisphere, including South America, Africa and parts of Asia while Europe and North America fade in their Christian fervor. Africa is the fastest growing continent in Christianity today.

I still continue to preach at my home church of Asbury Dunwell every third Sunday and our family shares the Gospel once a month at Pram Pram to a childrens’ home. I continue to travel as African Regional Coordinator and will be visiting our people in Kenya in December and assisting a new family to determine if Senegal is the place God has called them in January.

Our family is blessed. Anna is thriving at Asbury, Maggie is loving being a sophomore at Lincoln, in the winter play and playing soccer, Luke loves his school and all of his friends, especially Momo, his best friend from South Africa. Claire continues to manage our home, the kids, short term teams, discipleship of her Muslim friend Suaba, prayer groups and Bible Study. She always amazes me.

God is good, we continue to pray for all of you in the midst of these economically challenging days. We love you and seek God’s Highest for you in all things.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Attacked by a mother hen

I've lived in Africa for the past ten years. I've seen a lot and done a lot of very interesting things. I've sat on the back of a crocodile, held a crocodile's tail, thrown a live chicken into a crocodile's mouth (don't tell the animal rights people), but I've never been attacked by a mother hen. I have walked hundreds of miles in dusty villages, seen thousands of animals in those villages, chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, cows, monkeys, parrots, mice, rats, dogs and cats. In all those miles and with all those animals, I've never been threatened once until now, by a chicken!

This past weekend our family travelled to Kumasi to visit some of our very ill colleagues who were diagnosed with terrible malaria and to pass on the generous contributions of a church in California to over 200 orphans at Adullam Orphanage by purchasing beans, rice and fish for them. While Claire and our intern Rebecca went to deliver the food items, Luke and I stayed behind in Kumasi to meet with some of our leaders. Luke and I went to lunch with our dear friend Joe Otsin and then decided to take a nostalgic walk through our old village of Adiebeba. As we got down from Joe's car and crossed the road we decided to walk on the back side of the village between the houses rather than go on the main road. Usually this is the place where people direct their run off water from their houses so it's very narrow, undulating and smells interesting. As we were making our way up the alley I saw a bevy of chicks drinking the run off water and the mother hen was close at hand. As I started to step in their general direction, the mother hen went into attack mode, threw her wings out and went bezerk on my feet. Thankfully she didn't draw blood and I decided to back up and start over. When I backed up, a sweet Ghanaian lady had heard the commotion out the back door of her home and she was laughing hysterically at my predicament. Luke was standing just behind me and said, "Daddy, I'm not going that way." I started up again and she went after me a second time. But, I persisted and made it through, Luke had no choice but to follow suit and he was right on my heals as he didn't want to meet the fury of a mother hen feeling threatened.

Great life lesson. God says he will cover us in his wings...I know that experientially now. God really loves us and doesn't want anything evil to happen to us. Luke and I have a new appreciation for mother hens and for how much God longs to protect us. We finished our walk through the village felt the extreme heat that Ghanaians live in everyday. We loved the old scenes of banku being boiled, sellers selling their wares and school children buying their snacks during their break.

We made it to Ankaase later that afternoon to find our dear friends and colleagues, the Dalenbergs, prayerfully concerned for their son Samuel. He originally had +5 Malaria which is very dangerous and his body had reacted to the treatment of quinine and damaged his liver and kidneys so he was jaundice, weak and on a drip. We prayed for him and spent time with the family. Since that time they've had to move him to the teaching hospital in downtown Kumasi. Samuel is not out of the woods yet and desperately needs your prayers. If you read this, pray for Samuel Dalenberg and his family.



Saturday, August 2, 2008

What's in a name?

It has been a few years since I sent out an email declaring my name change. For many it seems weird because for the first 43 years of my life I've been Mike. My mother named me James Michael Mozley, though I don't recall her ever telling me why. When I was young she would say she loved the name James and she was going to call me that but of course I was always Mike so I protested strongly and she succumbed to my wishes. For most of my life people have only known me as Mike Mozley, even though in high school I think the preferential name was just Mozley.

In the winter of 2005 I was back in the States and traveling like mad all over the Southeast speaking in churches and as Jackson Brown says, "I was running on empty." So I went to see a friend and we began to ask God what was going on and of course God responded. Here is what he said in a nutshell...."Michael, I want every stone of your life overturned. I want nothing hidden, no secrets, no hidden motives, no dark places and I want to be back in your name." So as I thought about it, there was something cathartic about hearing the name Michael and it spoke deep within me every time I heard it. Michael is the Hebrew word which when broken down is Mi-cah-el. And of course EL is the Hebrew word for God. And it means, "Who is like God." I have also been told that it is also a question, "Who is like God?" Because Michael in the Bible is the greatest Archangel, perhaps God was saying, "Who can be like Me?"

So in the winter of 2005, I didn't change my name but God did! So for those of you who have known me as Mike, I'm now Michael. I know it sounds weird to many and if I'm called Mike, I don't ask people to change in public, only if they ask. So instead of going through a mid-life crisis and buying a new sports car, I got a name change and it fits me perfectly.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Here we go again!

Who knows about all these blog spots? Who reads them? Who has time to read them or check back like in my case who doesn't write in several is too busy and too much going on to blog. But I'm sitting in the Pitts Library at Candler School of Theology or Emory University as it is better known doing more research on my doctorate. And so here it goes more blog on my belt. I don't like this very much honestly...I'd rather talk to people than just write these random thoughts hoping to get a rise out of that close knit group of people who seem to read my blog.

What a weird world I live in. I travel to the States for three weeks, do a missions conference, do research, sit in on The Mission Society Board meeting and I fly home. See my family, go to school, do my research and have to present a paper that is heavier than that albatross that that guy talked about in his famous poem...part of growing old is forgetting names and where they came from. Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner is the name of the poem and he is starving on his boat for water and he feels like an albatross is around his too.

The research is incredible, the writing is the grind but that is where the gold is refined and the diamonds are made. Press on dear friends. Take deep breaths and don't forget to dance in front of Jesus! He needs a good laugh every now and again!