When I was five years old, I remember seeing a homeless man on the streets of San Diego. I was struck with a deep sense of urgency and calling: He needed help and I wanted to help him. Being only five, there wasn’t much I could do except plead with my father to help this less-fortunate man. I walked away from that experience knowing that someday I would do something. As a staff member at Shepherd’s Gate, many people would say that I’m already doing something. My career is to help hurting women and children get out of abusive relationships and into safe, secure homes. I love my job, and helping others is indeed part of what I do, but God doesn’t just call us to do our jobs, He calls us to live our passions. That’s why last year I spent five days living in my sister’s van. I wanted to see what it felt like — on some small level — to be homeless. Of course, I didn’t have to face the deep-set fear of truly not having a home — I was able to give up my “experiment” and go home at any moment — but I still learned more than I ever imagined during those five days. My eyes were open and my heart was changed. I spent those long nights in my car helping to raise awareness for the women and children who do actually have to live in their cars — or on the streets. I didn’t do it for my own glory but in an effort to inspire others. My part was small, but if we all join together we can truly make an impact. That’s the vision behind 24 in Your Car, our 24-hour live-in-your-car-a-thon that is coming up in May of 2013. It’s my prayer that God will give people all over our country passion to make a difference in the lives of homeless women and children, and that together we will change thousands of lives. Stay tuned because I return to my sister’s van this October for another week of living homeless. You can follow that adventure through my blog posts and videos at my blog Big Girl on a Mission. (www.biggirlonamission.com) Tell me what you would miss the most if you had to live in your car. What would you HAVE to take with you? Where would you park for the night? Talk back to me in the comment section below.