Recently Priscilla and I had the privilege to have a lunch with Rickey & Patti and after lunch, we did an interview! Rickey & Patti have been our host family for 6-7 years and they have hosted five students with two graduated and two more to graduate this year. Their love of these kids is contagious as you can tell from the video. But most importantly, they carry the same mission through highs and lows and every day in between. The following script is based on the interview but edited for reading purpose while preserving their meaning. Click the link below to hear what they said.

Can you introduce yourself?

Patti: Hello, I’m Patti Moser, a retired teacher with over 31 years of experience. Currently, I am part of an ESL program at my church, and I have a passion for working with international students!

Rickey: Hi, my name is Rickey Mosser. We’re married. For the last 20 to 25 years, I’ve been in the contact center arena. We’ve been hosting students for about six or seven years now, and it has been quite a blessing for both of us.

How many students have you hosted?

Rickey: We’ve hosted five students! Their names are Sunny, Tony, Angelina, Frank, and Lucas.

What motivated you to become a host family?

Rickey: I’ll jump in on this one because I’m the person who initially wanted to host international students, although Patti loves doing it now. I’ve always wanted to host international students since high school, but it never seemed to work out. Then I heard an ad on the old radio station Spirit 105 that PREP needed host families for Chinese students, so we decided to give it a try. We weren’t sure what we were getting into exactly. Having never had kids of our own, we went from having zero kids to a teenager, and we were a little bit nervous about it. However, with the support of PREP, it has been a great experience for us. Our mission remains the same: to change China one student at a time by sharing the love of Christ with them and, as part of that, sharing the gospel. We hope to change their lives just as they’ve changed ours.

Patti: When Rickey came home and said he wanted to host a student, I was taken aback. I thought, “What? Okay, well, I’m going to have to pray about this.” After completing a comprehensive 13-page application, we met Sunny, who became our host son. To this day, we still visit with him, and he comes to see us. His family is like our own, and our family is his. It has truly been a blessing.

What was the most challenging aspect of hosting?

Rickey: Personally, the most challenging aspect was managing the hectic schedule we took on—ensuring that everyone got to school and their various activities. Between juggling church commitments and school events, our lifestyle took on a whole new dimension. However, hosting itself wasn’t as challenging when it came to guiding the students through cultural adjustments. We were there to support them, and interestingly, none of the students we hosted seemed to struggle significantly with adapting to the culture. In fact, we relished learning more about Chinese culture, while they gained insights into American culture. Overall, it turned out to be a rewarding experience for us.

Patti: Sometimes, it was tough because these students came from families where they had spent 14 or 15 years growing up together. Suddenly, they were with us, and we found ourselves teaching them about teenage experiences—things they needed to navigate throughout the semester and their formative years. Our approach was to do this in a Christ-like manner, ensuring they felt involved in our church community. Currently, we have two boys who attend church, and my prayer is that they develop a deep connection with Jesus. It was indeed a challenge, but one we embraced wholeheartedly.

What was the most rewarding aspect of hosting?

Patti: I genuinely believe that we’ve made a significant impact on their lives. We’ve witnessed this firsthand, especially with the first two boys we hosted. Even after they’ve entered college, they’ve returned to express their gratitude for what we’ve done. If we’ve managed to make even a small difference in their lives, that’s what it’s all about. Hosting isn’t easy, but the rewards are immense. Watching a young man grow into an adult and hoping we’ve equipped them with the right tools for life—it’s incredibly fulfilling.

Rickey: Absolutely, without a doubt! Hosting these students has been one of the most rewarding experiences in our Christian lives. Having them come and live with us is incredibly fulfilling. But what truly makes it worthwhile is the unwavering support we receive from Ed & Priscilla. They’re there for us every step of the way, providing guidance and answers whenever we encounter unfamiliar situations. I wholeheartedly recommend this to any church family.

Rickey: I wholeheartedly agree with Patti. Our connection with these students doesn’t end when they leave our home. It extends beyond the two we’ve hosted. Take Sunny, for instance. When I fell seriously ill, he accompanied me to the emergency room and stayed by my side throughout. His presence meant the world to me. And then there’s Tony. After his graduation, he’s returned two or three times in just one year. He even mowed our yard—an unexpected act of kindness. These students become more than just part of our immediate family; they’re woven into our extended family, including my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.

What makes a good host family?

Patti: I believe having a heart for young people from other countries is essential. It’s a calling—I truly feel that God led us to this path and provided us with just the right kids. Each one of them came into our lives for a reason, and it’s nothing short of amazing.

Rickey: I wholeheartedly agree with Patti. To be a good host family, you need genuine love for these young individuals, for the children. It’s about showing them the way of Christ while also empathizing with their situation—being far away from their families, halfway across the world. It’s an experience I’ve never encountered, especially at such a young age. Patience and unwavering love are crucial to guide them through the school year and to demonstrate the love of Christ throughout their entire stay.

Would you recommend a church family to consider hosting?

Patti: Indeed, it’s a blessing and a joy to share our lives with these students. They become part of our family—some even call us mom and dad. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable.

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