Offerings

Have your heard of the ancient temple of the Lord, built by Moses and his people? It is said that this temple was made of the finest gold, silver, bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet material; fine linen, onyx stones and lamp oil; spices for anointing oils and for fragrant incense. All were offerings, freely given by any who were willing. It is recorded that the offering was made to the Lord, not to the tabernacle (for a tax deduction). In fact, this story is amazingly God-centered. God is present in every step of the process. In the text that this story is recorded, Exodus, God details the need, tells how to use the supplies, prompts Moses to ask for them, prompts certain people to respond, the people give to God and the gifts are used to glorify God by craftsmen God gifted.

It is an amazing story of how the great designer pulls together the most amazing mysteries and wonders, engaging with us to create community.

We are not building a temple of the Lord but we are building a bus that we long to use to create and encourage community. The bus is empty right now yet there are divine appointments happening daily. Folks are coming forward to share the load, excited and ready to help. It is humbling and almost unexplainable, expect for the fact that I know there is One I can trust through it all.

Here are a few of the offerings we had over the last weeks.

Troy, a neighbor, called and offered a fantastic deal for our sheet metal. Paul, another neighbor, stopped by and took a tour. He was pretty excited about our endeavor and announced that he is a mechanical engineer and would like to help design the heating system. We found reasonably priced salvage windows online through Factory RV Surplus, out of Elkhart, IN. Then our friend, Saul popped over and shared his expertise as an electrical engineer. If time stays on our side we will have heat and electricity by our departure date of Oct. 12. If not, ¬†at least we’ll have the plans for what needs to be finished.

Another wonderful offering came from Allen Gokey, owner of Packerland Builders and a long time friend. He graciously donated a trailer full of cabinet grade birch wood that was once used for a skate park/outreach  in Appleton, WI. A word of delight greeted us as we loaded the wood on the trailer. Most of the wood is in great condition. One side was coated with the memories of youthful skaters enjoying life and company. The other side was pristine and will make for a beautiful home.

                        

To top it all off, Craig’s old band mate and violinist on our album Ashes to Beauty, David Baumgartner arrived with his fabulous family and Swiss expertise in furniture¬†architecture. We dreamed, designed and built for two days straight. David’s mind moves a mile a minute and his design ideas were brilliant!¬†Debbie, his wife and dear friend, brainstormed ideas for fabric and decor. She helped with meals and was such an encouragement.

                

We are so excited to see what else comes our way this week. “Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written, Nothing left over to the one with the most, Nothing lacking to the one with the least.” (2 Cor. 8:12-15 )

On a side note: My skin cancer issue has been resolved as my appointment with the dermatologist concluded that I am healed. Thank the good Lord and thanks for all your prayers, concerns and well wishes.

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The Good, The Bad and The Deer In The Headlights

Last weekend we hosted a major event. It was major in a few ways. One, it was a full day extravaganza,¬†8am-8pm, of bus tours, conversations and explanations about our endeavors, sale of all of our possessions, setting up and tearing down, potluck and concert with The Unfortunate.¬† Then there were the intense emotions leading up to this event and all that came with saying goodbye to stuff. Thank God for our dear friends, for we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without them.

Days before our fundraiser, my friend, Paula came over and helped me get everything out the door, load after load, mourning and rejoicing at the same time. ¬†Susan and the Van Fossen’s donated some of their stuff to the event and Tara took care of the detail of making signs for the front yard.

During the event people came and saw the awesome design work by Marc Brummel and got a chance to walk through the bus. We shared our desire to serve and encourage community using our gifts of music and building. With no set pricing for our possessions, we asked people to donate what they felt they had to offer towards our mission. The responses we got varied, a true testament of human character.

We saw greed and we saw charity. And then we saw people who struggled with the donation idea because they though we had some hidden expectation of what we wanted but weren’t telling them and they didn’t want to get the answer wrong. Then there were those who listened and turned around and walked away with a deer in the headlights look. All in all though, we saw charity, great charity. And, with the help of neighbors and friends we were able to raise enough funds to pay for our sheet metal, windows and heating system!

Team Holland and Outback Consulting


It’s been a trying and testing 10 days. The emotional transition of Virtual School started one day after we returned from our 8 week tour. Our final days of working (9-5 job) were finishing up and we found out our health insurance failed and the research to take care of a skin cancer issue are back on the table. To top it all off, there is a bus sitting in our yard that needs immediate attention. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep much this week.

All hands on deck! With the help of our children and a friends we find ourselves in the final stages of demo.

It’s been a huge learning curve as we are really shooting in the dark, trying to learn as much as possible to meet our deadline of Oct. 12, 2011. From what we’ve read it will be nearly impossible, as most of the folks who we are gleaning wisdom from, say it will take 6 month minimum, up to 3 years to convert our bus. Oh well! We’re always up for a challenge and with the help and support of our FIRST SPONSOR and friend, Marc Brummel of Outback Consulting¬†and¬†Brummel Architectural Group, we now have a plan!

We’ve been stretched beyond recognition regarding our need to always be in control but that doesn’t mean there isn’t suppose to be a plan. And, sitting down with Marc was a breath of fresh air. Offering his mad skills and innovative talents, we were able to dream, weave & create a real live working model of our home. It is a true gift and we are so thankful to have this vision to share with you. Here you go… have a look at our new home. (of course we are open to the plan changing but this is a start)¬†

We’ve been asked what our needs are and up until now, we really didn’t know?Having a plan has helped us sort it all out. So, Here is a list of tangibles:

  • Helping hands: Help hanging sheet metal mid-week. Next week help from Welders, Electricians, Plumbers. Contact Craig if you have a bit of time/talent to offer. 920.883.6874
  • Meals– Any help with meals these next two weeks would be so appreciated.
  • Rental referrals-¬†Our lower, 2 bedroom apt. is for rent starting anytime after Oct. 1. $750, includes ALL utilities, parking and a shared laundry, yard space. (no smoking, no pets)
  • Support- Our fundraiser is this weekend. Sept 17. 8-4pm is our donations sale. All of our belonging will be available, give what you can. 5-8pm; Potluck/Concert ($10 suggested donation) Our dear friends, The Unfortunate, from Chicago, will be joining in the fun. We will be set up to take credit card, cash or check. Also, our PAYPAL link has not been working but if you go to www.paypal.com and use janahollandmusic@yahoo.com to route the donation too it will make it our way just fine. Otherwise checks can be sent to: 732 S. Clay St. Green Bay, WI 54301
  • Here is a list of basic Systems we need to raise funds for (est): Heating System: $400, Electrical System: $2000,¬†Plumbing System: $1200, RV Windows, $1000,
  • *¬†These items are luxury items that would facilitate a more comfortable or economical ride: Generator: $7500,¬†Air Units: $1500, ¬†Veggie Oil System: $5000, Solar Panels: $1500
  • ¬†Basic interior needs: ¬†1/4 in plywood, 2×4’s, Flooring: tile, cork board, wood. RV toilet, Fridge, RV stove/oven.

Thanks for joining the team.

The Rig

For the past few months we have been exploring buses, RV, 5th Wheels and everything in between. After our visit with fellow travelers at Cornerstone Music Festival we felt the bus was the way to go. We knew we needed a bus with¬†undercab¬†storage for Craig’s tools and music gear so we narrowed in on the MCI or Eagle. Our budget, $7,000. That’s what we have saved over the past two years. The¬†pickin’s¬†were slim as most of them run about $40-120K¬†and the dream seemed to be a distant cloud.

Craigslist¬†seemed to offer a little hope with a few findings in the $15K range. Could we take out a loan? Hmm. We really didn’t want to have to do that as we are so unsure about what the road will bring financially, so we kept looking. Then, two weeks ago, on our drive up to Minnesota we pulled up the Eau Claire¬†Craigslist¬†and there it was, a 1984 MCI-9 with 215K miles for $9500. We called right away. After a 1/2 hour conversation with a lovely and kind fellow we decided to have a look. You know how you get that feeling where you just “know”? Well, that’s the feeling we all got. The history of the bus solidified our feelings as it was a bus used by the Casper WY Drum and Bugle Corp. Our kids started dreaming¬†immediately. Trying to see themselves in the bus, where they would sleep, visit with friends and most importantly where they would watch TV. ūüôā

Ah, but $9500, we only had $7K and the seller was pretty solid on his price. We called the bank but that was a no go. We called the seller and told him our plight, his response floored us. “Just pay me what you can and we can set up a payment schedule for as long as you need.” ¬†What? really, I said. And that was that. Last week wired the money in exchange for the title and this Friday we pick it up. And, as Ma Holland says, “Praise the Lord!”, we do.

So, now to the conversion. This will take another miracle as we only have 6 weeks to get it ready and our bank is back down to zero. Things to get in order;

  • Clean out the upper unit to have ready to rent by Sept. 1.
  • Plan our Super Sale/Bus Fundraiser for Sept. 17.
  • Research and find recycled materials to use in our conversion.
  • Look for sponsorship.
  • Get our lower unit ready for rent by Oct. 1.
  • Booking for Fall/Winter on the West Coast.
  • And Sept. 1 the kids start Wisconsin¬†virtual¬†School.

Whew! Yep, it’s gonna take a¬†miracle¬†and most importantly community. We really need you! ¬†If you would like to help:

Looking for helping hands, meals, financial resources or folks/business interested in sponsorship, creative souls, organizers and treasure hunters. Most importantly we need your prayers.

Wish list for the bus: If you’d like to donate please contact via janahollandmusic@yahoo.com

For financial donation we are working through PAY PAL. Thank you!!

  • Batteries
  • Generator
  • Invertor
  • Water Tanks (x3)
  • Water Heater
  • Veggie Oil Conversion
  • Ceiling Air Conditioners (x2)
  • Solar Paneling
  • Furnace
  • RV Windows
  • Flooring
  • Metal studs
  • Plywood or other recycled building materials
  • Shower
  • RV Toilet
  • Sink
  • Stove
  • Fridge
  • Kitchen Sink

Ashes To Beauty

“Ashes to beauty, healing has come. Will you look in the mirror or turn and run?¬†Redemption has come, now rest your weary soul. Will you consecrate your life or go back to war?” ~jh

We are excited to reveal the cover art by Kara Counard.

“Ashes To Beauty” is the name of our new album.

The name feels right, maybe a little cleche’ but it’s fitting. We have been married for over 10 years and this album reflects many of the highs and lows of our commitment to each other. Everything from our first love to betrayal and the act of reconciling our love for one another. It would fair to say that we are¬†MORE¬†married today than yesterday.

It’s not only for married people to listen to however, our desire is for the listener to hear a message of hope and encourage the connection that comes with commitment whether it’s in marriage or in community. We chronicle our journey, to show the process of healing that comes through reconciliation.¬†¬†When we are open and look in the mirror to see our impact on others, redemption comes and our ashes turn to beauty.

Release date to come…