Serving the Voices Blog

A Campaign for the Whole Artist

Whether on the road or rooted in the local music scene, the musician community is a world clouded with hopelessness. For many musicians the glamour they project from the stage life in stark contrast with the realities of their lives backstage. Too often life backstage is characterized by deep emptiness and isolation. In search of something to fill the void; drugs, alcohol, pornography, and other sexual exploits are common among faith-based and secular musicians.

So this year-end we’re inviting you to partner with us in caring for the Whole Artist: Mind, Body & Spirit.

THROUGH THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP; YOU CAN TRANSFORM MUSICIAN’S LIVES


3 ways to partner

Purchase a limited edition RYFO T-shirt from our friends at Modfund: Click Here

RYFO - Shirt - Indigo

Stay caffeinated with The RYFO Blend from our friends at Pneuma Coffee: Click Here

pneuma-logo-lrg

Join the RYFO FAM, to be a part of our committed team of financial partners who give a minimum of Five-A-Month: Click Here

Members of the RYFO FAM receive a RYFO Key, as a symbol of our partnership, and our FAM booklet which tells the ‘Serving the Voices’ story

RYFO Key_Sample Image

Prayer for the Voices

Prayer for the Voices

This coming Saturday (the 28th) at 2PM PST we’ll be hosting a nationwide conference call for our staff members, Host Home families, and our financial partners to join together in prayer. If you believe in the mission of RYFO then we invite you to put down your Thanksgiving leftovers, or take a brief break from your Christmas shopping to join us in prayer.

Not sure what to pray? Here are some items we’ll be praying for:

-The launch of our Chaplain program and the expansion of our Host Home network in 2016

-Blessing over RYFO’s existing Host Home families as they head into a New Year serving bands

-That the light of the Gospel would permeate the music industry and transform musician’s lives

Still looking for more guidance on how to pray? Take a look at this article on Praying for the Voices.

We believe our prayers are heard and that our prayers change things in Heaven. When Christ instructed His disciples on how to pray, one of the instructions He gave was to pray like this, “May your Kingdom come, may your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We believe that God’s will is to see the music industry impacted and transformed for His Kingdom.

Will you join us in this powerful time of prayer? 

How We Will Be Serving the Voices in 2015

RYFO Serving 2015

By: Simeon Lohrmann (Team Leader)

Serving the Voices the past 6 years has broadened our understanding of family and taught us about the power of sacrificial service.

As a staff we are continually amazed by the families we are blessed to partner with through our Host Home program. Some of these families discovered RYFO through an advertisement, others stumbled upon us while browsing online, and still others were referred by someone to check us out. Regardless of the way in which they happened upon our ministry, God was at work in every case, directing these radical families to join us in Serving the Voices.

As it stands today RYFO has Host Homes in 26 States and 1 Canadian Province. We are a growing network of servants who understand the needs of touring musicians, and who have said YES to the call to respond to those needs.

One of our most tenured families, the Lubs, recently reported that over the past 5 years they’ve hosted 239 different musicians, served 1,214 individual meals, and made 564 beds. Can you imagine the conversations they’ve had during those meals, and the friendships that have been formed with bands who have stayed with them during multiple tours? It’s truly amazing. These families are portraying the love of Christ through Radical Hospitality.

I count myself blessed to be leading this amazing ministry and I’m excited to share a snapshot of what’s ahead in 2015.

The RYFO FAM

Last week we mailed gift packages to the 30 individuals/families who currently make regular financial investments in our ministry. We’ve chosen to name this committed group The RYFO FAM. Without their partnership our ministry could not exist. FAM is about transforming the lives of musicians who are outside of the local church, by providing backstage access for the Gospel and discipleship.

In the coming weeks we will begin extending an invitation for others to join this group by committing to invest a minimum amount of “Five-A-Month.” Through the expansion of The RYFO FAM we are confident that in 2015 we can begin investing more resources back into our Host Homes than we currently allocate towards our administrative expenses. This financial transition will enable us to actively recruit and better equip our Host Home network, as well as improve the platform we developed for bands to connect with our homes while on the road.

A RYFO Tour

We firmly believe that the best step forward is to go deep with the Host Homes we are currently partnered with. In order to do that we need to invest time being with them. So we devised a plan to do just that.

This coming summer my family and I will be traveling around the country to deepen our relationship with RYFO’s existing Host Homes, and to raise awareness for our ministry. We plan to cover as much of the country as possible, including areas where RYFO is looking to expand by recruiting new Host Homes.

RYFO Chaplains

After many years of dreaming about serving musicians in ways that extend beyond Host Homes, 2015 is the year for that vision to take form. Last week our staff began the process of developing a Chaplaincy program for the musician community. This program will be relevant to both local and touring musicians. Chaplains will proactively bring truth and hope backstage in venues and concert halls around the country, while also being available to connect with bands as they come through town. Some Chaplains may even find themselves on tour with a band. The options are as diverse as the needs for which they exist.


If you are interested in any of these initiatives we would love to hear from you

You can contact us by emailing info@ryfo.org

The Archetype of RYFO

Jason Wisdom Becoming the Archetype

By: Simeon (Team Leader)

From his years as a touring musician to his recent experience as a classroom teacher, Jason Wisdom is the archetype of the RYFO staff. Jason reached out to RYFO Founder Nick Greenwood earlier this year wondering if our team could use his talents.

Fast forward nearly 6 months…

After completing a formal application and assessment process, we are elated to announce that Jason has officially joined our team as our Discipleship Coach. In this role Jason will combine his experiences as a touring musician (with Becoming the Archetype) with his passion for defending the faith (becauseitstrue.com), to help develop training on the process of discipling musicians. Jason’s background, skill set, and personal passion make him the ideal candidate for this role.

If you’re excited as we are about Jason’s addition to the RYFO staff, then we invite you to support the training he and his wife will be going through 2 weeks from today: Support The Wisdom’s.

10561691_10152579198260056_210340621047413898_n

Serving the Voices at Warped Tour

Vans Warped Tour

By: Simeon Lohrmann (RYFO Team Leader)

With over 100 bands performing in 32 states in under 2 months, Warped Tour is a MASSIVE undertaking! This summer Warped is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and while the tour is celebrating its 20th year; we’re celebrating our 1st time having a RYFO presence on the tour!

Since the tour kicked off last month in Texas, our volunteers have been spreading the word about our Host Home network, and looking for opportunities to build relationships with the bands on the tour. When it’s all said and done 21 different volunteers will have represented RYFO at select tour dates in 6 different states. With one date remaining for our volunteers in Atlanta next week, we wanted to share about our experience thus far.

A Warm Welcome

Since our first appearance on the tour at the San Antonio date, the bands have been wowed by our desire to care for their needs on the road. Some of the bands went so far as to stop what they were doing to sign up on the spot. Comments like, “This is the best idea I’ve ever heard!” have been repeatedly noted by our volunteers as they share about RYFO. Simply put, RYFO has been warmly welcomed into the Warped Tour Community!

One notable, and somewhat comical comment made by an artist at the Pomona date went something like this…(a phone conversation while walking up to our booth in the catering area) “I’m about to get lunch (brief pause while reading our sign) and apparently I’m about to get a shower!” We proceeded to share with this artist, as we have with most of the musicians on the tour, about the hospitality of our amazing Host Homes all around the country. He was blown away!

In contrast, some of the artists we connected with thought RYFO was simply too good to be true. When Audrey Thompson, RYFO’s Host Home Coordinator was asked, “So what’s the catch?” by one of the more skeptical artists. She responded plainly, “Well actually there is a catch. We’re doing it all for Jesus.” To which the artist responded, “That’s a good catch!

To add to all the positive receptivity from the Warped bands, RYFO’s acceptance on the tour was fully cemented when Warped Tour’s founder Kevin Lyman took it upon himself to approach our table and personally thank us for serving their artist community.

With such a warm welcome across the board our staff has concluded one thing for sure – This summer won’t be the last time we’re Serving the Voices at Warped Tour!

 

A big shout out and thank you to our amazing volunteers!

 

10303800_10152535082759396_8294160946837162101_n

IMG_6235

IMG_6234

IMG_6233

IMG_6273

IMG_6313

10397239_662799319081_2119476134077667133_o (1)

IMG_6336

 

RYFO at Warped Tour

Vans Warped Tour

RYFO at Warped Tour
By: Kiah (Summer Intern)

We are excited to share that for the first time ever RYFO will have a presence on Warped Tour!

We will have volunteers stationed at select Warped Tour dates this summer to offer our services to the performing bands and give them a chance to check out our new mobile app! This is the message we’ll be sharing with the bands:

RYFO business card SIDE A-page-001

Our volunteers will also be available to encourage and pray for the bands. Please keep us in your prayers as we finalize our preparations.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting pictures, updates, and prayer requests from our volunteers, so keep an eye out for that! Feel free to say hi if you find yourself at any of these dates:

6/14/2014 San Antonio, TX (AT&T Center)

6/17/2014 Albuquerque, NM (Isleta Amphitheater)

6/20/2014 Pomona, CA (Pomona Fairplex)

6/22/2014 Ventura, CA (Seaside Park)

6/25/2014 Chula Vista, CA (Sleep Train Amphitheatre)

7/2/2014 Maryland Heights, MO (Verizon Wireless Amphitheater)

7/24/2014 Atlanta, GA (Aaron’s Amphitheatre)

Host Home Spotlight: Meet the Harners

Harner family

Welcome to the next edition of the semi-regular feature “Meet the Host Homes.” It’s time to get to know the Harner family. Dave and Sarah live in Dayton, Ohio, with their 3 sons.

Meet the Harners
By: Cathy Hill

The first band the Harners hosted was Icon for Hire in early 2012, when the band seemed to be in the area every month. Dave made a point of connecting with Shawn Jump, the band’s guitarist, and exchanging information and offering them an open invitation to stay whenever they’d pass through next. The band finally stayed in March, and during their visit Dave asked drummer Adam Kronshagen how the family might better connect with bands and offer hospitality (short of “stalking them,” he says!) and Adam mentioned RYFO. So thanks to Icon for Hire for being the RYFO advocate! Not long after that conversation, the Harners were registered as a RYFO host home and had Reverse Order as their first “official” RYFO group.

Dave’s wife Sarah is the expert in the food area (she’s from the south and loves to cook for visitors). Her “go-to” meal is a taco buffet with salad, chicken, and whatever else she brings out. “The bands eat so much garbage on the road, so we always make sure to have lots of fresh veggies and fruit,” says Dave. “They always appreciate whatever is served because it’s ten times better than anything they get along the road. My advice is to have fun feeding them because they will appreciate Hamburger Helper if that’s all you can make. In the end, bless the food and let them eat. Don’t burn yourself out.”

I asked the Harners for any trade secrets for host homes, and I love this one: buy small, foldable fabric coolers (from Goodwill, for instance) and send the bands along with extras and leftovers. They can be folded away or tossed afterwards (or brought back to be refilled on the next visit!).

Matthew 6:6 is a verse that Dave cites as meaningful: “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Dave likes how it talks about being humble and not looking for praise from men. “Your Father knows what you do, and you will be rewarded for it,” says Dave. “If I did something ‘worthy’ others will notice and I can point to God.”

Much of what RYFO host homes do is unnoticed by “the world” but the bands recognize them as the hands and feet of Jesus. This is why we serve. The Harner family has chosen to be rebranded fans and offer the road-weary musicians love and support in the form of a bed, a meal and encouraging words.

Voices from the Road: Sydney Fontaine // de la CroiX

Sydney Fontaine de la croix

Broken Down
By: Sydney Fontaine 

It was our first real tour and up to that point nothing had gone right. From losing the fender of our trailer, to shredding tires, to locking our keys in the trailer, to breaking down completely. Spending hours in repair shop waiting rooms and truck stop parking lots, having to cancel shows and facing the financial strain of repairs and delays.

Looking back, I remember feeling like my prayers in those months were falling on deaf ears and that my tears of frustration were being ignored by the Lord. In retrospect I laugh at my unrelenting hopelessness towards circumstances I couldn’t control. I can’t exactly blame myself. I didn’t know what to expect from the road, but I knew it wasn’t this.

Sydney Fontaine de la CroiXWe were in Wisconsin when our RV broke down for the second time that week, only two hours from home where we were going to stop on the way to our next show. After spending 8 hours the day prior in a repair shop where we thought they had fixed the problem. The week had already put us on edge, and we really couldn’t afford the delay of another day at a repair shop. To make a long story short, we (after a long day of pacing, praying and hoping for a reasonable solution) ended up getting towed back to our home town (praise God it was only two hours from where we were stuck) and we finished the tour in our Suburban with a couple tents thrown in our trailer. It wasn’t ideal, but we laugh remembering before we had any means to travel saying we’d camp out if we had to, feeling strongly that God wanted us to be mobile. Apparently He wanted to see if we meant it.

That tour was just the beginning of our adventures, and many worse break downs and struggles have we walked through since then. For a while we thought our calling might be to tell mechanics and tow truck drivers about Jesus because of how frequently we encountered them! Things haven’t really gotten easier, but I think the more you pursue what you’re supposed to pursue, the better you understand yourself, your calling, and the Lord.

See, before I started touring I thought that ease was a direct result of success. I thought that if we were obedient, that God would make everything a cakewalk and that the repercussions of our obedience would be instantly visible. But over the past few years I’ve found that when you turn your life over to Jesus, success isn’t always marked by the tangible result of your obedience but often by obedience itself. Even if at the end of the night you’re feeling beat up and have nothing but busted guitar picks in your pocket.

Sometimes you might not know why you did it till days, weeks, years later. You might never know. But resting in the knowledge that you did what you were supposed to do is a pretty sweet feeling.

This is my encouragement to you: most of us want to see mountains moved and tides turned when we give God room to work. We want to see the whole picture fabricate before our eyes, and it makes me wonder how often we discount the times where there seems to be no resolve, no ‘fruit’ of our labor. But how beautiful to be able to rest assured that He is faithful, and that his power is perfected in our weakness?

When you find yourself in a season of life where you can’t see the big picture, take heart. He is working in and through you in some capacity, even when you can’t see or recognize it. The Lord never sleeps, He never turns a blind eye to your pain or your efforts. Trust that His heart for you and the causes that you’re passionate about is so much bigger than ours could ever be.

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9

Serving the Voices at SXSW

HM Magazine Music for Good Showcase

Serving the Voices at SXSW
By: Taylor Adkins

When I found out about a year ago that I would be moving from Virginia to San Antonio Texas, I knew that I would only be a couple hours away from one of the largest music festivals in the world: SXSW. Having just come on staff with RYFO as the Artist Coordinator, I began working on a plan with our staff to have a presence at SXSW in order to build new band relationships and deepen our existing ones. As we began working on plans for SXSW, I reached out to David Stagg (owner and CEO of HM Magazine) to get his feedback about the needs he sees most with the bands he interviews. Before I knew it, he was offering RYFO the opportunity to be a part of their SXSW Showcase. This was the door into the festival that we’d been looking for!

Fast forward a couple months and I am arriving at The Ranch in Austin, TX to kickoff a day full of great music. The showcase lineup included performances from Yesterday as Today, Darkness Divided, Silent Planet, PhinehasEveryone Dies in Utah, ’68 (first ever live performance), and Sleeping Giant. As a long time reader of HM Magazine, I couldn’t have felt more blessed to have a role in the showcase. I got to the venue around noon and met David Stagg for the first time in person. He expressed how excited he was to have RYFO partnering with them for the showcase.

Shortly after my arrival the Harvey’s (shown below) arrived, RYFO’s Host Home family in Cedar Park, TX, just north of Austin. While I was the staff member at SXSW, they were the seasoned veterans! The Harvey’s have been hosting bands long before RYFO began, they run their own venue, and Ian Harvey is in the band UGLYTWIN who has had the opportunity to share the stage with many of the bands RYFO serves. The Harvey’s arranged to order and pick up all the food for the bands that day and even brought care packages in the form of a plate of home made cookies for all the bands in attendance.

Taylor and the Harveys

Before and during the showcase I had the opportunity to speak with many of the performing band members about our desire to have the church walk alongside them as artists and for RYFO to be a medium for that opportunity to take place. Between the hugs, prayers, and even some tears shed by members of bands I spoke with, one thing is for sure…these bands need RYFO! I don’t mean RYFO as in our staff, RYFO the brand, or RYFO the website, but RYFO in terms of the missionaries that make up our organization.

There are many temptations, struggles, and obstacles that plague bands with doubt, depression, and loneliness out on the road. The time spent away from close friends and families can be incredibly tough. These bands are pouring everything they have into their art with few opportunities to be poured into. I want every single person involved with RYFO to know the impact you are having on the lives of these musicians and the ripple effect in their own lives and the multitudes of people they reach with their music.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, the Harvey’s, David Stagg, HM Magazine, the bands who allow us to bless them, and to God for giving RYFO the vision and the opportunity to show the love of Christ by being a servant to these bands. We look forward to many more opportunities to continue Serving the Voices!

Host Home Spotlight: Meet the Petersons

Meet the Petersons host home spotlight

This blog post is the first in a new series of blogs through which we plan to gradually introduce each of our Host Home families. Our desire is for you to be inspired by the testimony of their experience as a Host Home. As described by the men of Silent Planet, “The heart of the Gospel is truly alive in these revolutionary families.” They are Serving the Voices!

Meet the Petersons
By: Cathy Hill

As I begin to introduce our RYFO Host Homes, it seemed logical to start with Doug and Michelle Peterson, since they have been hosting bands even before the start of RYFO. The Petersons, along with their children Mekahla and Kendon, live in the Kansas City area and have been serving the voices for 7 years. They estimate that they have welcomed more than 40 bands into their home.

The Petersons have been able to dedicate their entire basement to serving the bands. It’s full of beds, made and ready to sleep in. They have a lot of towels (“they don’t match but still work!”). And there is always a lot of good food for everyone. “People always appreciate food and it puts them at ease,” says Michelle. “Doug loves to smoke pork ribs or roast for pulled pork. I make cheesy potato casserole, salad and dessert to go with it.” And, she adds, there can never be too much popcorn: “We love to introduce people to our favorite topping which is Hidden Valley Ranch Dip powdered mix. It is awesome!”

When I asked the family to share a meaningful Bible passage, they chose one that clearly articulates the RYFO vision: 1 Peter 4:9-10. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Before becoming involved with RYFO, the family did not recognize hospitality as a gifting. Michelle says, “I thought of it as something we just do (be hospitable). Now I understand that it truly is a gift and we are blessed to have it! Our family has been blessed to meet all of the people that we have over the years. Isn’t it is just like our God to provide blessings back to the people who are just trying to serve! Our families thought we were crazy for opening our home up like this; they worried that our kids were going to be abused, illegal things were going to happen, things would be stolen. Absolutely nothing even close to their misgivings has ever happened. Our involvement with RYFO has witnessed to our families in a way that a church service never could. We are grateful!”