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.

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