Another Aly(i)ssa, but you can call me Ali

Hey guys!

My name is Ali and I am going to be a junior at Middleton High School where I play saxophone in the jazz band. Besides music, I love sports and enjoy ski jumping, tennis, basketball and playing soccer with my friends (I’ve also been told I need to try out ultimate frisbee, maybe that will be my new spring sport 🙂 ).

Last year I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Honduras to work with kids living and working in the city garbage dump. It was life changing. My perspective has been flipped upside down, turned around and then twisted a tad more. My biggest mistake was going into that trip thinking that I was going to help the kids. They didn’t need me (although I like to think I was a fun addition to our team which worked alongside AFE, an awesome organization down there educating the kids and teaching them the love of Christ). God was (and is) doing crazy work in AFE, and the kids were the ones who helped me. The way they were all so genuinely happy and loving, even though by our standards they had nothing, blew my mind. Our team built a house and lead a retreat for the high schoolers, and I haven’t stopped thinking about those kids since we left.

Unfortunately, increased crime rates have cancelled high school trips to Honduras, but I believe where one door closes, another door opens. Honduras isn’t the only place God is working, or the only place I can build relationships. Prepping for this Romania trip has been really hard, but I am so looking forward to everything the Romanians have to teach us and to experiencing the ways that God is working through Open Roads ministry. I love our team and can’t wait to lean on them when the tough gets going. 

Thank you guys for all of your support! 




A Little About Maddie

Hi everyone!

My name is Maddie Schumacher and I am so excited to be going to Romania in the next few days! I’ve never been to Europe before, but I have traveled to Mexico and Jamaica with my family for vacation and China with my parents to adopt my little sister. I’m also fluent in Spanish (and am taking it at the UW-Madison next spring!) which also allows me to immerse myself in another culture.

I’m a rising senior at Madison West High School and the eldest of 4 children in my family. I really love running, competing in Forensics (speech competitions) at West, and hanging out with my family. I’ve been going to church since I was a baby (with my parents, of course) but only in middle school did I really start delving into the depths of my faith and learning more about Jesus Christ.

Please pray for safe travels for the team, and the ability to build strong relationships with the Romanians – because that’s really what this is all about.

Thank you for everything,


Graduation, Goldendoodles, & Coffee, Oh My!

Hey everybody! I’m Emily Bostrom, and I’m one of the leaders with this trip.

At the beginning of this summer, I had no idea I’d be going to Romania. After some crazy circumstances, there was a space for an extra leader, and I was asked to join the team. Though I initially wrote off the trip as an impossibility, God worked incredibly so that everything fell into place (including the 2 weekends in Romania being some of the few without weddings I’m attending, getting time off work pretty last minute, and my wonderful parents offering to move me out of my current place and into a new one. Hi Mom & Dad! You guys rock!) I tell you, God is good. A big shout out to the rest of the team for inviting me into the group with love & sass.  Continue reading

My name is Alistair and oh hello!

Hi! My name is Alistair Sewell, I’m 18 years old, I just graduated from Memorial High School and I’m super pumped to be a part of this team. Coming away from our retreat last week I felt deeply encouraged about the members of our group and the gifts we contribute to serve this cause. We’ve built such strength within our group, and it will enable us to direct our energy solely on the work in Romania. I have never before been with a group of high schoolers with so much maturity!
I grew up in Madison, I have two wonderful older sisters and I plan to continue acting in my career beyond high school.

I feel truly blessed to be a part of this group, and I look forward to whatever lies ahead in Romania.

Please pray for wisdom for our team, that we may understand issues beneath the surface. Please pray for clear thought and maturity, that nothing will distract us from delivering God’s plan.

Alyssa Polley in a Nutshell

Hi guys!

My name is Alyssa Polley; I am one of the three Aly(i)ssas on the team this year. I will be a junior at Waunakee High School this fall. I am extremely excited to be going to Romania with these lovely people in just a few days! I have never been on an international mission trip before but, last summer I did an exchange program to France for 5 weeks. That was a really fun experience that fueled my love for travel and trying out different cultures.

A little bit about me: I like to bake, sing, and be outside. My family has been attending Blackhawk since before I was even born. It wasn’t until about middle school though that I made God a part of my life and began owning my faith. Homegroups and other church events have really helped me to connect my life to the scripture and answer questions I have. Continue reading

Get to Know Sarah Zimmerman

Hi everyone, Sarah Zimmerman here. I’m pretty awful at this whole get to know you thing so I’m going to do what I do best – wing it, whoohoo. This is my first trip to Romania and I’m unbelievably stoked for this opportunity to engage in fellowship with the Romanian people. I can’t think of a better way to spend the last part of summer than to love on these beautiful humans with such a sincere and humble team. This is my 3rd mission trip – previous ventures have been to the Native American Crowe Reservation (which absolutely stole my heart) and West Virginia. I’m so excited to cross the border and serve people in a place outside the States, an undeniably challenging endeavor that will be so sweet. But mostly, I’m just excited to be a vessel for God’s love and to take this step of faith with Him by my side. I love adventures with the Father.

Continue reading

1 week till Romania

Hi Everyone,

My name is Katelyn Gabrielse and I am so pumped to be going to Romania in 1 week.  I am currently a senior at Abundant Life Christian School and have been going to Blackhawk all my life.  I am passionate about music and worship.  I also love playing volleyball in the fall and singing and acting in musicals in the spring.  Thats enough about me…now I’ll share a little bit about why I wanted to go to Romania in the first place!  First off, I know God is doing incredible things already with Open Roads ministry in Romania.  I am so excited to see how God will use the Open Roads ministry to touch so many lives.  I am also looking forward to making new friends in Romania and building relationships with people.  (Hopefully I’ll get a few new pen pals).  Secondly, I love going on trips with Blackhawk because I become so much closer to my friends, but most importantly I grow closer to God.  Now it’s time to pack and get the final preparations done so we can be ready to leave in a week!

Thanks Everyone for all your support!!

Katelyn Gabrielse

Amy Sullivan is Pleased to Meet You

Hey! My name is Amy and I’m gonna be a high school senior in the fall! I’m pretty much intensely excited to be going to Romania in 8 days with all these awesome people on the team. I’ve never been on an international mission trip before, so it’ll be a thrilling adventure, to be sure.

As for me, I am a competitive swimmer, I really like books of most kind, I have a lot of pets (5), I am mildly allergic to all my pets, and I play guitar. I’m also an avid writer so this whole blogging thing is like second nature to me (I must practice self-restraint to insure that this post does not evolve into a novel). I’ve been attending church since I was young and around the middle of middle school I started really taking taking my faith seriously and making it my own, demanding answers to my own questions (and learning that there aren’t always answers) and personally investigating God and striving to know and follow him better. HSM has really helped me grow in my faith and introduce to me to a ton of snazzy Christ-followers who’ve stood together for the years. I’m praying that God will show in my actions while in Romania and that, through him, I can show the orphans there the type of love that I have been shown.

Again, super excited for this trip and also excited to help lead worship at camp! Yay for Romanian worship songs!

(word count: 250, just under novel length 😉

Get to Know Sami Zimmerman

HI there! My name is Samantha Lynne Zimmerman, but most know me as Sami, and this year is my second time venturing to Romania. I am unbelievably excited to see my Romanian friends again, I have been counting down the days like a child waiting for Christmas until our departure, but I also can’t wait to start forming new relationships as well. But, of course, you know that I am part of the Romania team, and the purpose of this post is for you to learn other things besides that. My favorite animal is a giraffe, Shawshank Redemption is the best movie of all time, I like to bake (and consequently eat), I enjoy playing music and particularly the violin, I once spent an entire day in my bed reading, and I also love being outdoors. I started attending Blackhawk around the time I was entering middle school, and before that I went to a small Lutheran church in our town. Although my relationship with Christ didn’t start “snowballing” until 7th or 8th grade. Being around such awesome people empowered me to actually start to have a relationship with Christ, and not through memorized scripture/rules like I was used to. Long story short, I ended up here with a great love for life and Jesus and the desire to share it with others. Thank you for reading a little bit about me, although there’s so much more I could share and so much I’d rather learn about you!


What’s a cats favorite button on a remote?


(I’m also a really big fan of terrible jokes)

Get to know you-Alyssa Colbert :)

Hey Guys!

My name is Alyssa Colbert and I am an intern with high school ministries this summer! I am going to be a senior at UW-Madison majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. Few things about me: I love kids, especially babies; I love coffee; I love polar bears; && I love speaking in accents.

show up henna

I started walking with Jesus my freshman year of high school and since then, it has been the best and craziest ride!! I am really involved in a campus ministry at Madison called Cru (or Campus crusade for Christ). Last summer, I went to Nicaragua with a group called Adventures in Missions in which I lived at an orphanage for two months with nineteen other women doing ministry and showing love to those who don’t know it.  Continue reading