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Rock Hero: Melissa Homakie - July 2011
By Dave Franco

Born in Michigan to a Christian family, Melissa Homakie received Christ at 10 years old. It began a happy life marked by family, church and doing good. It was a perfectly fine existence, albeit a little short on excitement.

When Melissa was in college, she studied abroad in Australia. While shopping for journals in a bookstore, she saw one that showed two poor little girls hugging. Tears began to roll down her face. And she had no idea why the photo had hit her so hard.

Her time in Australia seemed to heighten her adventurous spirit and the next years were spent preparing for another 6-month stay in Australia—and then a 4-month trek across Europe.

Upon returning home, a friend suggested she come and live with her in San Diego. With San Diego being outdoorsy and fun, it seemed to be right in line with the trajectory of her life. Melissa made the move.

Upon her sister's invitation to attend a free day for a Christian discipleship program, she reluctantly agreed. She walked in the building and as the service started, she felt something come over her. She soon found herself crying again—only this time uncontrollably. "What is going on with me?" she wondered. She signed up for the program that day.

Melissa found herself falling into deep, all-consuming devotion to God and the Word.

"Because I'm calling you to a life of caring for orphans," she heard God say.

Later, as a leader with Impact 195, she found herself on a 2-week mission trip to Haiti. Spending time with the orphans, she couldn't stop thinking about them even when she wasn't with them.

The other missionaries could make the separation. "Why can't I?" she asked. "Why am I so broken-hearted?"

"Because I'm calling you to a life of caring for orphans," she heard God say.

She had always wanted a fun life, but now, she knew she was about to get much more.

Later, she returned for six months to Haiti as Impact 195's first missionary. Melissa contributed to the building of a fresh water well for the community, learned Creole so she could teach Bible stories to kids, tended to healthy and sick children at multiple orphanages, volunteered weekly at the medical clinic, met many needs of the people she came in contact with and prayed with street kids. She saw firsthand how the love of God can change lives.

The entire experience was a reconfirmation that God was calling her to commit her life to the Haitian children. And she couldn't be more excited about it.

She will soon be on her way to Haiti again. When she returns she will prepare to go once more—only this time, she will purchase a one-way ticket.

When asked why she would walk away from her life and give everything to the orphans, she is quick to cite the Lord's words recorded in Matthew 16:

"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:25

Melissa has taken God at His Word—pursuing a radical life, sold out for Jesus…and scores of lives are being changed through her.