Dream Talk 2016

The year of mystery.

Sept of 2015 we were guided to “ditch the bus” and buy one way tickets to Australasia. We were looking forward to a folk music tour booked in Australia Sept-Nov and then had a loose routing through SE Asia for Nov-Jan. However, after that we had no vision or clarity. That wasn’t really to worrisome for us as we typically can only see about three to six months out. And, we knew we had an upcoming dream talk for 2016 on the books. So, we were hopeful to receive some clarity for the new year.

For those that are new to our dream talk, it’s sort of like a family business meeting with a supernatural element. It’s usually at the beginning of the year and takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few days to hash out. The talks involve us sharing the desires of our hearts, insights from the year prior, putting our requests before our Creator and a receiving a tangible vision and routing forward and then sharing that vision with you all. Ultimately, it’s a time where we sit down as a family and wait on the God of all gods to bring things into focus and then build a plan around that vision.

However, this year, our dream talk was unusually different. This time when we sat down, there was no focus, no tangible vision forward.  Our ideas wavered all over the map, from settling in one place, going to back to school, learning new languages, writing books, to traveling more of SE Asia and Europe, and making a new musical album. We were unable to see clearly and our sense of unity seemed unsteady. When we moved all of our personal desires to the side and got to the core, we all agreed that until we heard differently, that we all still felt a steadfastness about our over all calling to be and go into all the world, shining the light of love and offering encouragement. However, the lack of clarity and unrest really threw us off as we could not seem to find the tangibility in any of it, at least, what we could grasp of it with our limited mindsets. Were we meant to continue on in Australia or make our way back to the states? If we stayed we wanted it to be because we had an invitation. Likewise, if we made our way back, we wanted it to be because there was an invitation back. At the same time, after months of living out of backpacks, we also longed for the comfort of our home on wheels and that seemed to be tainting our dream talk as well. Then an actual sleeping dream was thrown into the mix. This would be a first.

I woke the morning of our scheduled Dream talk, aware of every detail.

16circlesWe were standing at the front of large room with our instruments in hand. Lines of children came flooding in. Then lines of soldiers followed and they stood next to the children creating a stripped pattern. (So a line of soldiers, then a line of children, and so on.) A gruff looking Sargent followed and stood near the door. We knew we were suppose to play music but we didn't know what or why. Was this a sacred or secular thing? Was this a school workshop or was it a concert performance?

Time stood still and in a flash we all saw the scene, set in full... We saw the Sargent blowing his whistle and the soldiers turning to their individual child, berating them verbally, saying horrible things about their worth, identity, cursing their future and telling the child terribly graphic things about what the soldier would like to do to the child. Then time sped up and we all flashed to the present. The Sargent was just about to blow his whistle but before he could Graciana began to bellow out the old hymn 'Be Thou My vision.' Then Craig and Banjo kicked in on guitar and drums. As I looked at the children, singing along with Graciana, I stepped off of the stage and began to walk around the room praying in the Spirit. The soldiers began to spew their words of shame, condemnation and death. I walked up to a soldier in the front of the first line, reached out and tapped his forehead with my pointer finger. He was absolutely stunned and fell backwards, knocking the rest of the soldiers down like dominoes. I looked back to Craig in dismay and he nodded for me to keep going. I continued to walk around the room tapping the front soldier in each line, praying and singing. We didn't get all of the words right on the song but kept on and the soldiers fell one by one. 

The Sargent was last to stand. With fear and rage in his eyes he turned around and ran out, disappearing into the horizon. All during this time the children were taking great delight singing and dancing, oblivious to what was going on with the soldiers. Then I woke.

What did it all mean?

We all sat, trying to find some way of making the dream work with our framework of reality. We began to look back over 2015 to see if there was a pattern building up to this dream. We saw that many of our dreams and desires for that year were fulfilled. Moments sharing in deep community, stepping into the thick of it with kinfolk, fighting for our brothers and sisters bound by lies, sharing woes and joys and being used in the ministry of reconciliation. Then there were the many bus riders who joined us along the line, who we were able to share in life, learning, and faith. We experienced a new-found freedom to share music wherever, to whomever, without worry of commerce, traveling to far off places and seeing the beauty of the saints around the world, all of which were and are dreams come true. We were open to continue to walk in that, however, we also noted that it was a season of great transition, new cultures, loss of friendships, physical aliments and such a fast pace that we almost broke as a family.

And so, the dream, although it evoked a deep desire to be used in the fight, was a bit overwhelming. We sat on it and began to pray for words of insight, knowledge and wisdom. Over the next few weeks¬†we were each given a word. Craig received the word, ‘Praise’ and I received the word, ‘Healing.’ Banjo received the word, ‘Learning’ but Graciana received the most profound word, ‘Wife.’ Her word signified separation from us as a family unit, which we had obviously sensed was coming but the how, when, where, was unknown. And, how did that fit into the dream? So, we cast it aside for a time, just focusing on trying to get our feet on the ground in a new country.

When we landed back in Australia from SE Asia, we met with our kinfolk in Glenrowan, VIC. We were weary and weathered from the road. We shared our lack of uncertainty and vision for the year. Then our friend, Di, prayed for us and for our future. As she prayed, she saw a picture of us all.

IMG_0153This was her picture: 'There was a family; a mother, father, sister and brother, bound to one another in blood and a vision to spread a deep and unequivocal love throughout the lands. They found many along the way who were hiding in the shadows. They offered light and love to all they met. They ran and ran as fast as they could to as many places as the fingers on their hands. 

Then, one day, they stumbled upon a cave. They wandered in, They followed the path deeper into the cave and finally into a large open cavern. They halted to observe the many openings. 

12718056_10154298429069026_6590766396457928282_nThey knew this place for this place had been foretold to them and they knew that it was time for each to take a different path. They were told that this was an important part of their journey. That the individual journeys would strengthen them and they were assured that these paths would one day all wind back together. 

They meandered around the opening for quite some time contemplating, praying, putting fears aside and saying goodbye. And then, one day they got up, bid farewell and each entered into their path."

My heart panicked at the thought¬†of all of us going in different directions. However, she could see the other side of the cave system and assured us that the paths would all lead back together.¬†The picture didn’t really give us a grand plan but it did offer comfort when a few weeks later we all literally separated, Graciana moving in to her first new home in Bendigo, Craig and Banjo tooling around Victoria staying with family and friends and me flying over to the USA¬†to help my parents through a time of healing. That took us to April. When I flew back,¬†the fella’s picked me up from the airport and the three of us made our way to Adelaide to refresh and regroup, then drove north to Byron Bay. However, it definitely felt like we were all still in our own tunnels, with Craig starting an online University program in International Studies, Banjo beating to his own drum with schooling and the things a typical fifteen year old enjoys, and¬†a bout of spiritual and physical¬†issues for me.

As we made our way up to the Byron Shire however, things started to shift. Our first stay was with a small community of believers who welcomed us with open arms but also warned that they were in a season of disarray. We were grateful for their welcome and for a place to call home for a moment. We were also grateful for the openness they showed us in allowing us to come alongside them in their difficult season. We found that through the working out of our gifts of wisdom and counsel that a sense of purpose and renewal in our energies emerged. Our time with them was fruitful as we saw the mystery and ministry of reconciliation take hold. We found a deep sense of friendship and community with them and are so thankful for the ways that God knits us together with the body.

As I write, it’s¬†late August and were in Sydney for a few more weeks. We’re house sitting for our dear friends, The Perini’s and the opportunity to stay in this home as offered us a bit of a reprieve from our backpacks and well as a hub to host gatherings, which we love. We’re just starting to feel comfortable with the way this year is rolling out, just now feeling ok with the lack of control over our future. We can see that this year has been less about us neatly packaging our year so that it is palatable to both us and you¬†and more about us taking an even deeper launch into this life of faith, one step at a time, praising, learning, healing and exploring all it means to rely totally on Him as His bride.

In the meantime, we’ve done some really cool things and visited with some really amazing Saints throughout Australia. We’ve released this need to control the dream talk and we’re excited to get back to sharing those stories. We’ll continue to walk day by day as the Spirit¬†moves and trust that the sleeping dream is a sign of things now and to come. We’ll keep singing and know that when we do that the powers of darkness will be overcome. Oh! that we might be used to set captives free and to make way for celebration. That’s the ultimate dream right?!

For our logistical friends. We can see far enough out to know we’ll be in Australia through the New Year. Our routing looking something like this…

Currently we are in Sydney

Mid-Sept, Melbourne area then west to Adelaide by first of Oct.

Mid-Oct, Alice Springs back to Bendigo

Nov- Dec, we are hoping to make our way down to Tasmania and possibly to New Zealand. Back to Melbourne to be with family for Christmas

Our desire is to do what we do, making merry, story telling, encouraging, and offering a helping hand. If you’ve got kinfolk in these areas, please let them know we’re coming.

Peace and Love, The Hollands!

If you feel led to lend us a helping hand, we have partnered with Modern Day Missions and hope that you find the giving process safe and efficient.

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Our friend Jeff Skeens, wrote: “Jesus, move us. His Spirit changes us. He gives us beautiful dance moves. He give us courage to act in the face of oppressive pressure, as well as, to remain silent. He grants us grace to rest and listen. He offers his presence to us in fresh new ways. He shapes our thoughts, directs our passions, creates new life, and moves us to continue reforming. And when he does, his people listen, follow, and give him all the glory and fame!”

May you be encouraged to step deep and wide! May you be encouraged to dance and trust His unfailing love.

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Kids Perspective  

Life On The Road, Three Years In.

During our five month rest in Austin, we took a little bit of time to reflect with our children about their last three years on the road, their dreams and desires as well as hardships.

gghGraciana, our 18 yr old, shared her desires to continue on with us, making music and¬†pursuing her fashion & travel blog. We talked about her goals outside of The Hollands!, looking at higher education, trade school and/or continuing on as a professional musician. Ultimately,¬†she has a deep desire to be in the music and fashion business but also recognized the gift of compassion and is open to exploring that more in the context of advocating for women’s issue, specifically in human rights and Sex Trafficking as well as healthcare.

There is no pressure however, and we know that it will all make sense when it’s suppose to. All of the time we’ve spent trying to figure out what her next step will be has been a struggle but no different from that of any other part of our journey. As we look back over the last three years of serendipity, provision and guidance, our faith has grown and¬†we trust that it will all¬†make sense for her as she continues to get ready to fly out on her own.

IMG_0324Banjo, our 13 yr old, has definitely morphed into a fantastic young man over the last 5 months in Austin. He’s grown physically about a foot and emotionally/spiritually his soul is being awakened. His time in Austin was a bit lonely due to the pace of everyone’s busy schedules but he did get to enjoy time¬†every¬†Sunday evening at Hope in the City’s youth group. The pinnacle of his time here involved attending his first youth retreat, which allowed him an opportunity to really get to know a few young fella’s as well as experience ¬†all the traditional fixings of a retreat including a shaving cream war, card games, Gaga Ball, and rope swinging into a river. He’s looking forward to getting back on the road and his wish is to save up for a Go-pro so he can start making videos of Skateparks across the country. He is also looking forward to playing summer festivals as those are his favorite venues.

IMG_0707As for homeschool, although Graciana has graduated she continues to seek wisdom and learns everyday. We have been pushing her beyond her comfort zone of being told how to do life into the practical application of doing life. For instance, she just got her temps and did all of the work on her own to acquire it. This has been something that she wanted for a long time and felt, per societal norms, that we should have done for her. We really believe however, that because she took ownership of the process, she is better for it.

IMG_1090Banjo is another story, his learning style is covert, meaning he’s less inclined to ask how to do life, but rather wants to discover things on his own. So, if we press him to learn something that we deem important he usually shuts down. However, if we pay attention to the things that drive him, like building, strategy, entertainment (he really would be a great actor, he can do every accent and is quite flamboyant), and animal science, offering him opportunities to explore and discover, he usually responds and ends up quite the expert on the subjects. Recently, he participated in an Austin Unschool Holiday Market, where he designed and handcrafted his Bottle Cap Shakers based off of the Australian Laugerphone. And, he’s currently he is taking a Pet Psychology class online. It is an adult class and at the end of the course he will acquire a certificate that says he’s completed the course. If he desires he can continue on in the field and eventually have credentials to work in the animal care world. But of course, we have to be subtle about our encouragement as to not turn him off it all together. Ha!

 

 

The Singing Saguaro

Tucson, Arizona was once just a dot on the map for us, but after this past weekend, it’s quickly becoming a favorite.¬†With its breathtaking¬†Catalina mountains, darling historical district just adjacent to a thriving downtown and home to the University of Arizona, Tucson has a fantastic mix of arts, music, food, and sport. It’s a small enough city that the local¬†endeavors¬†stand out but large enough to find your own niche subculture. If there is one word to describe Tucson, it would be artisan.

Happy CampingWe had a few performances in Tucson, including an evening at Monterey Court. A formerly an old run down motel, owners Kelly McLear and Greg Haver redeveloped Monterey Court into an artisan enclave.

The stage was lovely, the food was amazing, specially for a reuben fanatic like me, and Greg was a very gracious host. We had a small but kind crowd come out despite the cold temperatures. And the icing on the cake was a little treasure of a vintage camper Christmas ornament that one of the local venders left behind.

The Hollands! at La Cocina, Tucson, AZWe also performed at La¬†Cocina, Tucson’s venue with a menu. La¬†Cocina¬†sits in the heart of the historic district and has a warm, festive, communal feel. In fact, the reason we wrote them about a performance was because of their self-proclaimed sense of community.

Liz, our server and bar tender for the night was especially welcoming and made us feel like part of the family. A few more faces came out, as it was a little bit warmer than the night before. One kind face stayed through the whole show and introduced herself after. She had heard of us through our friend and comrade, Seth Martin! I immediately hugged her and invited her to dinner at our campsite the next night. What a pleasant surprise to find kinfolk in this fantastic city.

Catalina State ParkWe parked at the Catalina State Park for three nights. We paid $27 a night and had water and 50 amp electricity. The park was well cared for, with friendly guides/officers, hiking trails, and the bathrooms were pristine.

Our friends Jamie and Max stayed with us for the weekend, as Max joined us on bass/guitar at our shows. It was truly the highlight of the weekend having guests on the bus again.¬†We actually met Max two years ago our first time through Bird City. He was living at the Kineo Community House and jammed with us during our impromptu performance at the house. Max married Jamie 10 months ago and it was so refreshing having newlyweds on the bus.¬†Two hands are better than one and the Perry’s work well together. They added a sense of balance to our first weekend back in the saddle, so to speak. We shared story, meals, hikes, a fierce game of Settlers of Catan, Ticket to ride and made music.

A second highlight to the weekend was our hike in the spectacular Saguaro National Park.    We actually started in the State Park and hiked on the border of the National Park, but the Saguaro Cactus were everywhere. The beauty of this area was found in breathtaking mountain range with its the subtle greens and browns, and an occasional orange hue thrown in. There were horse trails as well, which made the hiking even more romantic.

The Singing Saguaro

At one point the sun was wafting between the clouds when I noticed a large Saguaro at the base of a massive rock wall, above that was the mountain range. As the clouds moved the sun would cast a light rolling up towards the large cactus and hold like a spot light for just a moment, and I imagined a tenor singing a ballad of love and passion. The sun would continue to elevate up the rock face and a golden hue would shine, continuing on the sun beams rose up into the mountain where a choir of smaller Saguaro sang the final verse. I sat and watched about three rounds of this movement, before our group lead on. I’ll take that memory to the grave as it was a little taste of heaven.

Dream Talk

Tonight we are alone, as a family for the first time in months. We have been on the road since October of 2011. Time for “dream” talk. This is where we all bring our struggles, ¬†dreams, desires and hopes to the table. Hearing, praying and wait to hear direction for this year’s tilling and/or traveling.

Top ten 2013 Dreams for The Hollands Family:

  1. Warm Climate (beach)
  2. Extended stay in community (3 or 4 months)
  3. Explore other homeschooling options
  4. Grow friendships
  5. Miracles
  6. Music-growth, mentor other muso’s, record, community
  7. Family time, activities
  8. Learn Spanish
  9. Dentist cleaning
  10. 2014 Australia

Below is a detailed list of struggles we’ve encountered (not in any particular order). Followed by our dreams and desires for the future.

Craig- On bus life, long for more projects (construction, gardening, working with hands). On family, more respect and acknowledgment from kids for freedoms given. On weather, no more cold weather.

DREAMS: ¬†Craig- Finish bus conversion //¬†Record two albums in 2013 // Mentor young muso’s on the bus //¬†Learn Spanish // Vacation //¬†And for 2014¬†Travel internationally, hoping to visit Australia from Jan- April of 2014 // Driving the bus to South America.

Jana- On bus life, long for little bit slower pace, to grow friendships and see fruit in communities. On weather, need warmth and the beach. On virtual school, not pleased with the pace, would like to see the kids really learning, not just pushing through material and regurgitating to meet state standards.

DREAMS:¬†Jana- Three or four month stay in community, where we can dive in, serve and the kids can connect with other students // Beach //¬†¬†Launch two albums, better Hollands gigs for 2013, performing arts centers, folk radio, etc… ¬†// Learn Spanish // See miracles, healing // Dentist // 2014 visit Australia

Graciana-¬†On bus life, struggle with unmet expectations, longing for more interaction with 15-19 yr olds. tired of same conversation over and over with new people. i.e… “What’s your favorite place you’ve been? What do you miss most? So, how are you liking bus life?” On weather, no more cold. On school, not a fan of virtual school. Would like to explore other home school options.

DREAMS: Graciana- Really connect with friends // Beach // Learn to drive // Learn Spanish // New education options //  More family time // Workout // Learn to surf // 2014 travel internationally, long to get to know family in Australia better.

Banjo-¬†On bus life,¬†long for more time with peers, specially boys.¬†On weather, no more cold.¬†On family, less talking over each other and more listening.¬†On school, not a fan. Really wants to “unschool.”

DREAMS: Banjo- Ride the Whoops! in Bend, OR // Unschool // Family activities, like carnivals, laser tag, water parks, skinny dipping. (ha!) // Visit NY //Learn Spanish // Visit the Andersons in IA // 2014 Australia

We also each came up with a word that we want to focus on this year as well as encourage one another in. Individually the words have significant meaning but together they are powerful.

  • Craig- Faithfulness
  • Jana- Perseverance
  • Graciana- Responsibility
  • Banjo- Gratitude

Excited to see what is in store.

Little Sheep Farm

Craig and I, find ourselves half-joking and half dreaming about the idea of someday owning a little plot of land, overlooking the ocean, with gardens and sheep. ¬†We have even woven the idea into one of our songs, “Tears in my heart,” where we mention a little sheep farm.

This week we were invited to speak at the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Sedan, KS and meet a couple who are living the little sheep farm dream. They are Lynn and Rita, both widowed and now married about 5 years. They live on the Stagecoach Ranch in a rural part of Kansas on the edge of the Flint Hills. It’s a beautiful part of the state with rolling hills, trees, creek beds, and tall grasses. They are self-proclaimed hobby farmers. They own a handful of the most beautiful Arabian horses you’ve ever seen. They also own a flock of the cutest little Shetland sheep, a wool-producing breed of sheep originating in the Shetland Isles. Rita, introduced us to a ram The leader of the flock is a funny ol’ Lama, who is their protector from the outlining wolves and coyotes. Lynn and Rita also collect old stage coaches, buggies and other antique miscellaneous¬†articles¬†from early settlement to cowboy days. Lynn was proud of his collection and gave us the grand tour.

I had a blast photographing our day. Enjoy the photos below and dream along.

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“The Zone” Phoenix, AZ

The Zone is an area in Phoenix, where all of those down trodden and tired are corralled by the local government into a three block radios. I believe the idea of keeping them in this area is so¬†they can be monitored and kept under raps. It’s a dark and lawless place filled with double murders, prostitutes, child trafficking, drug lords, mentally ill, refuges and rovers. It’s a few blocks down from the government buildings and the business district of Phoenix. So, the contact with the outside world is mostly from the law and business men/women coming down to get there fix, whether drugs or sex.

Our friend, Steve and his team, are a breath of fresh air and visits these folks regularly. They call their efforts Hope Thru Art. Their purpose is to bring a spirit of healing and peace into that hard environment through the arts. On a practical level, they hang raw and unassuming “disposable art;” installations that can be disassembled by those who choose to take. For instance, Steve might hang the letters HOPE on a fence and then using clothes pins he’d frost the piece with layers of colorful photographs of nature scenes and poems. The impact these installations have on this artistically poverty-stricken population is profound.

We spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon with Steve and Dave down in the Zone. I brought my mandolin, Grace sang, Craig and Banjo brought a drum and our friend Cindy came along and played her instruments. Our first stop was the four corners, this was where folks claimed their status. There was the prostitute corner, the drug dealer corner (which happened to be the only one under shade) and the corners where folks were just trying to get by. ¬†A middle-aged man approached us asking, “what’s you gonna play?” ¬†The first song that came out of my mouth was “I got a home in glory land.” He beamed and began to sing along. More folks gathered around and after about 15 minutes in the sun we decided to cross over to the shaded side of the corners. There we meet Lorenzo, who had kind eyes and a warm spirit. He was so excited that we were there and began to bless us with encouraging words. He ended up staying close by our sides the whole afternoon, singing along to all the old hymns and folk tunes, hand to his ear to hear the harmonies.

After about 20 more minutes on the corner we were ready to walk into the heart of the zone. The rectangle yard was large with a few buildings and a fence around it. Folks were sprawled out on the ground, benches and picnic tables, all trying to find shade and comfort. There was a level of tension in the air and folks who seemed apathetic could be arouse immediately if they felt threatened. We sat down in one corner of the yard welcomed by an old Mexican fella. He asked if we spoke Spanish and Steve answered. A huge smile came over the fella’s face as he realized he was about to receive his own personal concert. I wished at that moment I knew even just one folk tune in Spanish and vowed to learn one. More folks gathered around. A few young fella’s, who looked as if they were once soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, a woman who wore a badge and acted as if she were the nurses aid in the village but was not, a few older fella’s with anger in their eyes and a number of young girls walked by with vacant looks in their eyes totally unimpressed by of our presence. A man named David came by and asked for prayer for protection and safety. A 30 something¬†black woman ¬†(I’ll call her Stella as she would not give me her name) sat quietly nearby. She had a sneaky grin and at one point she blurted out, “Ya’ll know Amazing Grace?” “Yes,” I answered. “Then play it,” she demanded. I said, “only if you sing along.” She smiled and, we played it happily.

We continued to play gentle tunes of hope and rest. At one point an old Chevy pulled up and a fella jumped out and opened the passenger door. He began to hand out brown bags. Folks flocked over and took a lunch. One man yelled out, “there burgers” which brought a larger crowd. Upon further inspection they were peanut butter and jelly and the crowd pulled back. Someone gave Stella a bag and she looked apathetically at it. She was sitting behind the angry fella’s and began to break off pieces of her sandwich and toss them in their direction. The pieces would bounce off of there heads and she would giggle. The fuse blew and they were up at her. Within seconds, a few other men jumped up to stop the angry men. They walked off in a huff, all the while we were singing “Swing Low.” She continued to throw the sandwich, aiming further at another happier fella. He just laughed it off. I tried to engage with her by moving over onto the bench next to her. She ignored me. I touched her shoulder and asked her to sing along. She answered, “What’s their problem, I’m throwing it at the birds.” I looked over and sure enough about fifty feet past the men was a few pigeons. I laughed, she cracked a little cheeky smile. We both knew that she was really aiming at those men and using the birds as an excuse.

That night, I dreamt about Stella. Only in the dream she was a very wealthy woman, still the same disposition, but wealth beyond measure. Everyone knew she was wealthy and would put up with her ill spirit because they all wanted something from her. It was said that she paid her cleaning lady, $15,000 a week to clean her house. I heard whispers in my ear about ways to get her to hire me and if I could just clean for one week, all of my needs would be met. I approached the lady with this mindset and when she open the door the scene morphed into Stella sitting on the bench in the Zone. She sat vacant with a sneer on her face. The woundedness the same in the rich woman as in the woman in the zone. I woke up.

At the end of the day, we are all made of the same mud. At the end of the day whether we have wealth or not, the condition of our souls is what matters.  Regardless of circumstance and status,  we are all apart of  the precious precious tapestry of humankind.

KINEO HOUSE:

We meet Steve at Cornerstone Music Festival. Steve also connected us with the Kineo House, and they were our hosts for the weekend. They are a beautiful picture of folks committed to sharing in community and caring for those around them. They were compassionate and possessed a desire to bless and serve each other and their surrounding area. We were encouraged by their openness to us and their genuine offer to pray for us as we continue our journey.¬†We can’t wait to come back and spend more time sharing in community with Steve and our hosts at the Kineo House.

CONNECTING OF THE SAINTS:

Our original contact for Phoenix was a little folk venue called Fiddlers Dream. It’s an all acoustic venue hosted by a handful of sweet and dedicated¬†folkies.¬†¬†We were delighted to share in song with them all. Specially our host, Bill, who expressed a great desire to sing with other musicians on a stage someday. So, we invited him up to sing a little Johnny Cash with us.

Through that booking a kindred and gentle soul named Cindy and her hubby, Alan, contacted us and offered us hospitality, friendship and the added bonus of Cindy’s gift with the tin whistle and bodhran. Besides sharing a lovely meal together, Cindy joined us the whole weekend and by the end of our time together a deep spiritual friendship rooted. Alan and Cindy are our family now and we look joyward to meeting down the line.

Our last stop in Phoenix was in Chandler, AZ at a church called The Grove. It’s one of those big mega churches where everything is beautiful and runs like clockwork. It was a bit of a culture shock after our day down in the Zone but The Hommel’s, our hosts and friend of my parents, were welcoming and cared for us with a meal and opportunity to relax. It took me a moment but after processing the dream I had, I realized that my prejudice towards those with wealth, fame or status was burdensome. That morning my heart was heavy as I began to take steps towards rebuking and confessing my false belief system. We can not be all things to all people if we see them with disdain or if there is any hinderance because of jealousy, insecurities or twisted thinking. It’s easy to care for and love the obvious but much harder when the souls around us tap into our own desire for power and security.

That evening we enjoyed a concert on the lawn with a handful of engaging and encouraging folks and once again we were blown away by the provision offered and allowing us to keep on our way. We came to AZ with our last dollar and we leave with just enough to get to CO, by a few groceries and pay for the $200 hoses to fix the oil leak in the engine. A powerful weekend emotionally, spiritually and physically. Just one more reminder that we are not in this alone but apart of a bigger picture. We continue on filled with gratefulness, joy and ready for more hard lessons to be put to the test.