Home

I was born into a military family where the saying was always “Home is where the Army sends you.” As I grew older, my father retired and we settled down but the saying changed slightly: “Home is where the heart is.”  For me, home will never be a specific location, but a place where I feel at peace, where my heart longs to be.

Last week, an amazing lady returned from her adventure overseas with The World Race. Over the past 11 months, she spent time in 11 countries serving alongside various missionary partners, local churches, orphanages, schools, and her teammates that have become her family. When she returned, I started writing a note to send and I stopped.

The words that I had written stated “Welcome home.” And I struggled with those two words for several minutes before I deleted them and started over.

Home is where the heart is.

And in all of our travel overseas, across the country, and around the world, as missionaries, tourists, or simple visitors, we leave part of our hearts in the hands of those left behind. For those of us that have traveled extensively, our hearts have been stolen by smiling children, grateful faces, and grasping hands full of good will.  Our homes have become the churches we have slept in, the houses that have opened their doors to us, and the ground beneath the stars in the open fields that are surrounded by the dark of night.

Home is where the heart is.

For those of us who have worked beside hundreds of people, out homes stretch across the nation, across the world, with each individual that we have come in contact with, that has shaped our lives. Our home is with our teams no matter where they are. Our home is in the midst of devastation left by disasters, beside survivors and volunteers. Our home is with our friends, family, and loved ones, known and unknown.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is both a place and a feeling. Home is when we are surrounded by friends, by nature, and/or by God. Home is a simple tent set up in a field, a tarp stretched between two trees, a shack constructed from unnamed items left behind, or a mansion filled with riches, as long as we are surrounded by those who we love.

Home is where the heart is.

If you were to catch me on a day where I’m feeling slightly feisty, I might tell you that my home is in Uganda. Or aboard the M/V Africa Mercy. Or in Saranac, NY. Or Woodbridge, VA. Or St Louis, MO. Or on some scattered trail in Montana.

The simple fact is that our hearts are not capable of settling down, and home is wherever we it roams.

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