Samaria Mission on Facebook

Mark and Alicia Raley

.:Check out our family blog here:.

.:Get the newest Raley newsletter here:.


I have been in law enforcement since I was 21. Alicia had studied to be a teacher, but took a position as the preschool coordinator at our church. In 2003, Sean Mullin came to our church to present Samaria Mission to the congregation. Afterwards, our pastoral staff decided to organize a trip to join Samaria Mission. For many years, I have had a deep inner feeling to go to Africa but had never pursued it. This opportunity presented itself and I put my name on the list. Alicia decided to attend the first meeting with me and the others wanting to go on the trip. Before we left the meeting, Alicia had put her name on the list as well. So we made our vacation dates with our employers and proceeded to raise funds. This is when our real journey begins…

In October 2003, we went on our first outreach trip to Matsilele, Mozambique, and both the Mullin’s and the Vaughan’s lead this team. The Lord began to open our eyes to missions and the importance of taking the Gospel to the unreached. October 8th is our anniversary, and on that evening, we sat underneath a full moon in Mozambique reading the Bible. Alicia and I questioned each other as we both knew God was calling us to be involved in missions. Upon returning home, we were very careful not to make any decisions on a "mountain top" experience. Several church members would randomly approach us about when we were going to be involved in missions full-time. God opened our eyes to the work He was inviting us to join Him with.

The following year (2004), I had an opportunity to go to Guatemala and work with Pat and Charlie Reynolds, who at the time were involved with taking the gospel to the local law enforcement. I spent 2 weeks there and had a great time and enjoyed the work we were able to do. The Lord used this trip to continue to grow a love for missions in our heart, especially for Mozambique.

In 2005, we once again joined Samaria Mission on an outreach. The desire to move to Africa became stronger and we began to talk to people about serving full time in missions. In 2006, we went back on outreach to Mozambique and took our 2 children with us (age 6 and 11 at the time). We felt like the Lord was continuing to open a door for us to move and join Samaria Mission and we wanted Brit and Luke to experience it. We were able to come on outreach again in 2007 and began to talk to the mission staff about the possibilities of joining them full time. They invited us to stay for one extra week after the outreach in 2008 so that we could meet and interview with the staff and elders of Christ Baptist Church.

After returning in 2008, the Lord continued to work in us and was moving us to join Samaria Mission but we just were not sure of the timing. We prayed and sought wisdom from the Lord on what to do. This was not a move we could do on our own but one that had to be guided by Him. Together we studied Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby. Chapter 18 is titled, "Joining God Requires Obedience." It is a great chapter and in it Henry Blackaby says that obedience is costly to you and those around you but disobedience is far more costly. God was opening a door for us to serve as full time missions and we knew we had to obey him. We have to trust that His plans are perfect for our family. We began to make steps toward the move, with LOTS of prayer, trusting the Lord to open or closed doors as we walked.

As 2008 ended and 2009 begin, we started raising full time support, resigned from our jobs, sold our house and vehicles, and moved in June of 2009. We arrived at our new home on June 24th. We are so grateful for Samaria Mission and CBC, who together, made us feel at home in South Africa. It has been and continues to be a journey, one that is sometimes difficult but most of all we praise The Lord for allowing us to serve Him here. We love working with the mission and being able to build relationships with the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I think about the twelve apostles, particularly Matthew. Matthew was not the best qualified to be a priest, but he was a tax collector and publican, he was despised by the Jews for the position he held. Yet, God called him to be a follower, an Apostle. We may not have been the best qualified or educated to be involved in God’s calling on our lives, but God’s calling on our lives qualifies us to join Him at His work.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6