Last Updated on March 29, 2023 by OCF Communications

Hospitality toward others is often expressed in a number of ways—a kind word to those we meet or sharing something of ourselves with someone else—but at its core is the opening up of our hearts, lives, and even homes.

Through OCF’s Hospitality Homes program, an established yet growing network of OCF members who are passionate about the Biblical mandate to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:13) have signed up as Hospitality Home hosts, opening their homes to their fellow OCF members as a place to stay, offering a meal as they travel, and connecting in Christian fellowship.

“I might not know the Webster’s Dictionary definition of hospitality, but I know it when I feel it,” said Maj Eric Burkett Jr., USMC (Ret.), a Hospitality Home host who, along with his wife, Melissa, recently provided a place to stay for Col Hous and Tami Waring, USAF (Ret.). “Hospitality is inviting, warm, safe and happy. It usually has good stories told over a nice meal. It provides a place to relax and rest. It feels like home.”

Eric said the Gary Sinise Foundation built a smart home for them, complete with a dedicated, American Disabilities Act-compliant guest bedroom and bathroom.
“My wife and I wanted this feature because of some of the hardships I have experienced at hotels. We wanted people with all but the most severe of disabilities to be able to stay with us without the worry,” he said.

“Despite being a disabled veteran, I lead an extremely blessed life,” Eric said. “We live on a beautiful piece of property that overlooks the Neshannock River and supports a menagerie of wildlife. It would be wrong of us to not share this blessing with others, especially Christian brothers and/or sisters, traveling through.”

“It was like walking into a retreat home where the peace of Christ rested,” said Hous, OCF Director of Field Engagement, who travels extensively for the ministry with wife Tami. “We sat over coffee and got to hear a testimony of God’s faithfulness and goodness as Eric shared about growing in faith through the years, to include his MC-22 crash that claimed his lower legs.”

“Their place was warm and inviting,” said Tami, who is also OCF Staff Representative for Women’s Ministry. “It was hard to leave the fellowship.”

To find out more about the Hospitality Homes network and how to get involved, visit:

Are you traveling? Check out the OCF Directory by scrolling down to Categories, and selecting Hospitality Home to discover if any host homes are available in your intended destination:

Submitted photo

Tami and Hous Waring, left, recently visited Hospitality Home hosts Eric and Melissa Burkett. “It would be wrong of us to not share this blessing with others,” said Eric.

Rooted in the OCF B&B Directory, a printed resource from decades ago, the Hospitality Homes program is an online listing of hosts and their home locations. Its ministry-wide unveiling was sidelined in 2020 by the COVID-19 outbreak and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic as its varied impacts continued to unfold.

Now being ramped up for utilization by OCF members, the Hospitality Homes program provides opportunities to see and experience Christian love, giftings, fellowship, and ministry in action. It is also in stride with other OCF-targeted goals of bolstering engagement and reconnecting members with one another.

“Hospitality Homes epitomize much of the heart of OCF, as members willingly open up our homes and lives for the good of our fellow believers,” said Scott Fisher, OCF Executive Director. “In the same way a person may opt to stay with a family member when traveling within their area, Hospitality Homes enable the joy of fellowship with our OCF family when they are in our area, whether for a vacation, move, or temporary duty.”

Although the Hospitality Homes network is still in its early stages, the program has begun gaining traction among several OCF members who are eagerly anticipating having fellow brothers and sisters in Christ stay in their homes.

Photo by Carl Pinkham

The view from Hospitality Home host Carl Pinkham’s Vermont home.

Dick Ford, a Hospitality Homes host in Pennsylvania, underscores thatCChristian hospitality is something that “should be done out of a heart of obedience and a genuine caring for others. Helping brothers and sisters in the Lord is an integral part of the purposes God created in the church.”

“After teaching Air Force dependents from Joint Base MDL for several years, I understand the stresses and challenges military life brings,” said Dick. “The Hospitality Homes program addresses the family portion by providing assistance during difficult times like going through PCS and all the adjustments that entails.”
“Being a Hospitality Homes host offers a great opportunity to live out one’s faith,” he added.

In addition to living out the Christian faith by taking “the command to be hospitable seriously,” former Naval officer Jacqui Kilpatrick also relishes what being a Hospitality Homes host presents to her and her family.

“Hospitality is one of my gifts! It is easy for me to invite people into our home,” said Jacqui, who hosts with husband, LCDR Ian Kilpatrick, USN, from their Maryland home. “We also figured it would be an easy way for us to show and teach by example our kids to see hospitality in action.”

Beyond providing lodging and a chance to break bread together as fellow believers in Christ, COL Carl Pinkham, USA (Ret.), is eager to have other OCF members in his Vermont abode for other reasons as well—to enjoy the view and showcase God’s work in his ministry efforts.

“We would love to have more people take advantage of our spectacular view,” said Carl of his home overlooking steep, rolling, tree-studded hills. Involved in ROTC ministry at Norwich University, he is especially eager to “share how God is working in our life and theirs.”

Dick went on to say that the act of Christlike service to others through the Hospitality Homes program comes with reciprocal blessings for him as well, from “the enjoyment of fellowship, making new friends and seeing guests relax from the grind of life as they find an oasis for a brief time.”

“That feels rewarding to me,” he says. “I end up feeling glad I put in the time to help someone.”

“In the U.S. we have such a ‘go-it-on-your-own’ attitude that we don’t want to inconvenience people,” Tami said. “At first you might think it is awkward, but it never has been that way. It is like visiting family that you have never met. We have met the most amazing people when we have stayed with someone who registered as a Hospitality Homes.”

Beyond the need for OCF members to “move beyond comfort zones” such as those, Hous also underscores the need for intentionality when it comes to using the Hospitality Homes network on travels.

“We need OCF members to unabashedly plan travels when it comes making plans so that they stay with other OCF members,” he said. “It honors the OCFers who have listed their homes, encourages them in Christian fellowship, and helps keep our ministry healthy because we stay connected to one another.”

“If loneliness is the number one health epidemic in our nation,” added Hous, “then the military community can certainly step into that area by opening up our homes and by planning to visit others.”

To find out more about the Hospitality Homes network and how to get involved, visit: