In 25 years of life, I have lived in five states, and 16 houses. That statistic means one of two things, I was a military brat or a pastor’s kid, but in my case, both. The path of my life resembles a four-year-old scribbling on a map, yet it has given me a mature appreciation for home.

What is the perfect equation for home or at least feeling at home? Is it a hometown, where you grew up, played little league baseball, won the science fair, had your first kiss, and played under the friday night lights? 
          Actually, if you won the science fair and were able to kiss a girl, your parents did the project for you to   make you appear intelligent. 
Is it a physical house that makes a place home? Could it be the town or city you live in? 

I want to speak to those who are homeless, even if you have a physical shelter, you’re without a home. 

Home is not what surrounds you, it is who surrounds you. 

The what surrounding you cannot be a consistent sense of home, because it is too easy to judge the what

     For instance, in the summer of 2011, I was apart of team that went to Ferrier, Haiti, to love on orphans, help build their school, and see revival flow through the town. Coming into their what of a home, it would not be home to me because it was cinder blocks cemented together with bright pastel colors unevenly painted on the walls. Not to mention the concrete floors, absence of air conditioning, lack of hot water, and the abundant presence of mosquitos. In the same manner, if Rosie, a nine-year-old, beautiful and brilliant, girl living in the orphanage were to come to my house it would not be home to her based off the what of the home. 

The who surrounding you provides a sense of home.

I experienced this in a radical way in the past year of my life. Ashley and I have a house in Waco, Texas, it is big, beautiful, and in a great neighborhood. To make this wild test of faith and faithfulness possible was the family who lived with us. 
          By the time we moved into our house, Ashley and I had already lived in California as newlyweds for 10        months, and quickly realized that we are at home when we are with each other. Being at home when I am with Ashley is despite a physical location and the what of a home. 

Living with Jesse, Megan, and newly born Zion added to the who surrounding us. Through the course of one of the most challenging years of Ashley and I’s lives, Jesse, Megan, and Zion made the year survivable because who they are and our house was a true home. Ashley and I could have been in our great house and not felt at home in Waco. Thanks Jesse, Megan, and Zion for being creating a home for Ashley and me. 

Home is not what surrounds you, it is who surrounds you. 

Fortunately, if you have disqualified this definition of home because you don’t have positive who surrounding you, there is hope. There is a promise of consistency, stability, and the presence of someone that will always exceed what any other person can offer. The who is God and by His Spirit He surrounds us, giving us rest, strength, protection and joy.* In fact, we cannot escape His presence, even in depths of hell, the furthest place from a peaceful home, rejecting God, maybe even in hatred towards Him, or in unbelief to His existence, He is with you.**

By recognizing the presence of the ultimate Who, anywhere can become home. Once at home you are able to give to others who are homeless. Everyone needs a physical home for shelter and everyone needs a spiritual home for life. 

Let’s invite others into our homes and eradicate homelessness even for those who are not on the street. 

What defines home for you
What is the longest you have lived in house? Has that changed your view on what home is? 
Comment below, we’d love to hear from YOU!

- Josh and Ashley 

* Rest: Exodus 33:14 / Strength: Isaiah 41:10 / Protection: Isaiah 43:2 / Joy: Psalm 16:11 
** Psalm 139:7-8

Contributor Ashley M. / Editor Hannah E. - check out her blog http://journeytojoy2013.blogspot.com