A Taste of Camp

Jimmy here. Thanks for stopping by the blog for a little update on how things are going over here. I want to commence this address by saying THANK YOU for all your support before this trip even left. Some of you have been parents of the amazing members of this team, and what incredible people you have raised. Some of you are alumni of this trip and have had influence in the lives of Romanians who were campers years ago and are now leading at this camp. Many of you have supported the trip financially, and your generosity is, besides the will of God, the main reason we were able to make it over here and do what we are doing. And all of you who have been praying for us since the beginning and now are appreciated so much. We feel loved and encouraged by the Father’s Spirit. Keep the love coming.

On to the update. We learned early on that while we thought we were leaving for camp on Monday, we are now going on Sunday (returning Friday). This means we have had to really hit the ground running when it comes to planning, and we have accomplished a lot so far. We still have a lot to do tomorrow, but everything is and will be coming together in a sweet way. Alongside the Romanian leaders, we have come up with tons of games, skits, songs, dramas, talks, and more so that the campers, who grew up in the orphanages, will experience love, grace, and community in the way we were made to experience it.

We got a little flavor of camp tonight at Romanescu Park. We met a bunch of the campers and played games together. We shared laughs and started to break down some of the barriers. We played a game called “WA! WA! WEE!” which was quite hilarious. Then we played a similar game called “Viking!” which was raucous yelling mixed with laughter. You can witness these two scenes to figure out these games:


[Due to not having time to upload peoples cameras, these are the only ones I could find on facebook. We will load more pictures soon].

Except there is this picture too:


I think this picture says a lot about why we are here. We are here for God to teach ALL of us that despite where we live, despite how we grew up, despite our circumstances, despite our different struggles, and despite our different joys, we are at the very heart of our being

Children of God.

And that makes us family, brothers and sisters united through Jesus’ work on the cross.

The theme for our camp will be, “Who I am.” We will discover the lies we believe about who we think we are and who others say we are. We will look at our true identity as God sees us. We will reflect on the Gospel story and the reason we can have confidence that we are loved and accepted by our Father. And we will celebrate the fact that we are


This is a powerful message. I hope the campers, and our team as well, can come to realize and experience the radical love and grace of the Father in a truly profound and life-changing way.


28 thoughts on “A Taste of Camp

  1. I have no doubt that the Daniel & the Open Roads team are feeding you well… including lotsa cabbage (and a few things you can’t identify). I also imagine lots of gestures at your host families to help with the language barriers. Hannah, if you are at the same one where we stayed two years ago, say HEY from me!

    You are demonstrating true servant leadership to trust the leaders there. We are proud of you! Can someone please give Claudia a hug from me? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Not gonna lie. It feels like a proud accomplishment to post before Lief. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Blessing to Taylor Stevens, and the entire group, from those that love you, and love the Lord, in Iowa. Stay strong and keep the faith. Matthew 5:16 – read it and live it – everyday! We leave for China on July 19th so you will have prayers sent from Asia as well.

  2. It looks like you all are having so much fun. Abbie, we all miss you in Michigan.

  3. Hey Logan. We miss you here and, no, Nolan hasn’t taken over your room…yet. Everyone is anxious to hear about the life-saving story, so make sure it’s a good one! Keep being flexible with plans and know that they are God’s plans.

  4. Hey Romania Team!
    Games at Parcul Romanescu?!…Awesome!! Hope you guys had a killer time and were able to connect with some new campers this year. Also Megan… you will have to teach me this WA WA WEE game it sounds hilarious!… I will be praying for you guys as you prepare to head off to camp very soon and I hope things run smoothly for you all. The theme for your camp this year is really powerful! Wow. What an opportunity it is for you guys to share the Gospel and Jesus’s love for his children. This is going to be a great thing I can feel it!

    So much love,
    Catie Smiley ๐Ÿ™‚

    p.s. MEGAN …i miss you.

  5. HI to the whole team!!!
    Sounds like a fun evening in the park after a day of tons of work! Great job doing your best with the changed timeline! Here are the shoutouts from the Stevens family:
    SO to Tia….we miss you already. I am driving your car like crazy and the boys are already making design plans for your room changes to start on August 26th! Just kidding….they miss you and love ya lots! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love you chica!!
    SO to Olivia….hope you are having a blast! The boys and I went to Orange Leaf today…can’t wait to go after you get back and hear all about this trip!
    SO to Leah…Hi Leahbean! Hope you are loving the adventure you are on! I missed dancing with you at TobyMac last night but I am thinking you are having more fun!
    SO to Hannah Howe…it was great to meet you on Wednesday! Hope you are all smiles now!
    SO to Larry…. hoping and praying that your shoulder is doing well!
    SO to Pat… I know that you are in your happy place so I just hope you are soaking it all in!

    Safe travels to camp, hope it is a special time filled with many moments that God’s love shines through clearly!


  6. Hi everyone, but especially Jeremy! What a nice photo of you. Isn’t that Erik’s t-shirt? Anyway, we are praying for you and hoping things are going smoothly and you are all staying healthy. I got to sit with Linda Hershberger through some of her chemo treatments today. She is a strong woman! Jenna was there too and so was Josh’s mom. It was quite the party. We were thinking about you guys in Romania and hoping all was well.
    Love to JerBear and a grateful shoutout to Pat and Larry and Jimmy.
    Love Momma Gartland

  7. Incredible to think of you guys on the other side of the world, changing lives for Christ and putting His word in action. I am so proud of each and every one of you. This experience will change you forever. Thank you for being someone God can can use and for taking his love to the orphans of Romania. I am praying for you all. ps – Megan, Catie is out of surgery and is doing good. Gary Tupy was her anesthetist.

  8. Hi to all of you! Rachel, we missed you at the campfire tonight where we attempted to cook cinnamon rolls on the hot coals;black on the outside and raw on the inside…mmmmm! We are praying for all of you regularly and are thankful that things are going so well. Have a blessed trip to the Transylvania mountains! Love from all of us here.

  9. What a great post! I am so excited for the next step in your journey. Who am I… What an awesome theme. I am praying that everyone, from each country, will hear God speak to them about who He created them uniquely to be. Blessings to the whole team!

    Leah, let your light shine bright! You have been given a gift to love others well. And for such a time as this. I love you bunches Leah Bean!

  10. Wow – so awesome. Games in the park, Viking: Jimmy & Abbie, you guys look like you are killing it! WA WA WEE: Daniel, your form is textbook.. Vali, a little lacking from the looks of the picture, but I’m sure with practice, you too, one day, be able to compete with the likes of the “Grand Sensei Vieru” (but, hey, that could just the picture…) ๐Ÿ™‚ Speaking of pictures, an awesome one of Jeremy and Costy and I agree with Jimmy – I am confident that being united as part of God’s family – being brothers and sisters is a powerful biblical truth that gives us a shared hope and is an example of God’s grace to us. Can’t wait to hear how that plays out at camp, especially with the new group of campers! Don’t miss a beat guys. Carpe Diem! God’s already working – just jump in and be part of what He is inviting you into! I love you guys! Keep trusting God for big stuff & keep telling stories. Carpe… Diem – Seize the Day!

    • ps: at the ’12 Honduras Team reunion at the Watt’s tonight – around the campfire, we all talked about you guys, read your blog, laughed and thanked God for what He’s doing over there. There’s a buzz over here about what’s going on over there.

      • Also – Mฤƒmฤƒligฤƒ! Everybody make sure you eat a little extra mฤƒmฤƒligฤƒ for me! You won’t regret it!

  11. Hi Kira, your aunt and uncle and cousins are praying for you and your team! Can’t wait to hear your stories when you get back! Love you!

  12. What an adventure you are on. Rachel Hartig, as well as the rest of the team, is constantly in out thoughts and prayers
    – The Ryan Cousins

  13. Where do I even begin??? I’m a little tiny extrememly bit jealous, but SO so SO happy for y’all to have this opportunity! I really do hope it’s as life-changing for each of you as it was for me. I’ll be praying for you constanlty, even though I won’t be able to check the blog again after today. Sorry, Meg ):

    SO to the Bradys for their devotion to the Romanians and Blackhawk. You are the greatest!!
    SO to that Smiley chick. Don’t get food poisening at Mickey D’s. Love you.
    SO to Jimmy Bero for his willingness and courage to take this trip on.
    SO to Josh. You rock.
    And SO to the rest of the team, thank you for your time and energy that you’re putting in to serve Jesus!

  14. JIMMY JIMMY!! Sounds like you all are having a blast! Lief was telling me you already hit up the shaorma place and I am SO jealous. Please tell all of the Romanians I say hi and make sure to teach this years team about Tambalu ;). Also, looking forward to at least one food blog. You are all in my prayers and I can not wait to hear all of the stories! Noapte buna!!!!!

  15. Awesome – I know that you will have a great camp. Praying for all of you.

  16. TAMBALU!!!!!!!! SO to all on the team. Every break I can get I run to our camp computer to read about how God is doing wonders over there! I am praying for all of you as you leave for camp today and the bus ride there! Challenge yourselves to know names and attempt conversations even if one of the Romanians does not know english. I know that your first two days have been a ride of excitement, nervousness, and preperation, but trust in God and each other! Tell everyone that Michaela (Mihaela/ Mihai sends her love)! God’s love is go big and unstoppable!

  17. This is amazing! Getting goosebumps as I read your posts…. we are praying hard for you guys! It is so cool to see from afar the way that God is working! Thanks for bringing us all along with you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Praying for a fruitful week! Awesome team, fantastic ministry, loving Father God. Good combo.

  19. Today I heard two songs on the radio from previous camps in Romania [God of this City and Made to Love] and immediately thought of you guys. Praying for energy, relationships, and health!

  20. Loved the updates on your time there in Romania. It brought a smile to my face and also a tug at my heart, missing all in Romania. I will be praying for hearts to really understand how precious we are to God. Hugs to all!

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