Meet Lief

My name is Lief, and I am a leader on the Romania trip. I’m married to Emily & we have two kids Ellie (4) & Fisher (3). Since 2008, I have had the privilege of going on many trips to Romania to visit our friends and partners in Craiova. One of my greatest joys has been seeing the Open Roads ministry to young adults grow, expand, and change lives. One of the encouraging things is seeing that many of the leaders we work with were also campers once. The stories of LiefGod’s work in the lives of those who grew up without parents, without a family, are many. To see how this ministry, and body of Christ becomes a family for these young people reminds me what it means to be part of the Church, children of God, sons and daughters of the good, good father. We get to partner and support Open Roads leaders in showing them they are no longer abandoned & rejected but accepted and loved by a God who calls them worthy, valuable, beautiful. Is there anything more important than that? Isn’t that the essence of the Gospel? It’s a message that’s powerful and needed for everyone – even those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up with a parents love. How much more then, to those who haven’t? I’m excited for our team to experience and join in to God’s work in Craiova again this year.

Meet Eden

Hey everyone!! I’m Eden. I’m going to be a junior at Memorial High School next year, and this will be my first time ever in Romania!

A little about me:
I have been involved in Blackhawk’s youth ministries since elementary school, and in middle school I participated in home groups, worship team, leadership team, and Madison Missions. I then went on a mission trip to Alaska that was one of the most amazing Edenexperiences of my life! Now, I am a part of home groups, Servant team, the mentoring program, and volunteer in the children’s ministries.

Other than what I do with Blackhawk, I have many interests and passions (I’m known for being ambitious!). I play violin in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (Phil), run cross country, row, and act/sing in musicals. Additionally, I am in a scholarship program to UW-Madison called PEOPLE and a teaching program called TEEM. My hobbies include photography, cooking, reading, and yoga. I have a passion for social justice and education.

It’s crazy to think that in only 4 short days, my team and I will be going to Romania! Although I have no idea what to expect, I am so excited to see what work God has been doing there with the Open Roads Orphan ministries. I cannot wait to have my eyes opened and my heart humbled by His glory! I’m positive that this trip will have a huge influence on my life.

Lastly, thank you SO much to all friends and family who supported this trip. I am amazed by the generosity of so many people who were willing to give! It means so much to me. Please continue to pray for our team to be energized, healthy, and humble as we head into this trip, so that we may love on the Romanians to the best of our abilities through Christ.

Thanks for reading!!

Meet Franny and Ray

Hello friends!

Franny here, representing Team Rosing. My husband Ray and I are excited to return for our second trip to Romania. Watching our team of high school students come alongside the Romanian leadership team at camp last year was truly inspiring, and we are excited to support and encourage our team again this year (and will hopefully stay diarrhea free!).

In everyday life, I am on staff with HSM and spend the majority of my time planning our trips and events. In May I finished my Master’s degree in Social Work, and am looking forward to no more homework for the rest of my life (fingers crossed). Both Ray and I serve in the West Madison Home Group during the school year (WeMad forever- MERCH!!). When Ray isn’t volunteering at Blackhawk, he spends his time educating young minds on American history at LaFollette High School.

During the summer, Ray and I like to play frisbee (go Slaps!), work on houseIMG_1629 (1) projects, and visit new places. In June we went to Ireland for a week, and had many exciting, driving-on-the-left-side-of-the-road adventures!

Thank you for all of your support and prayers. If you’re looking to pray for me and Ray specifically, please pray that we have patience with each other, our team, and our partners in Romania. We both tend to me very structured people, and often have trouble “going with the flow” as this trip requires. We’re learning, but we need help!! We love this team and this trip, and we look forward to sharing our experiences with you when we return. Thanks for reading!

-Franny (and Ray-braham Lincoln)

Meet Katrina

Hello everyone, My name is Katrina a.k.a. The Hurricane (self-proclaimed nickname).Katrina

Wow am I excited for this trip! I’ve been involved in Blackhawk ministries every since I was a wee little thing.  In middle school I participated in Madison Missions all 3 years I was eligible to (team 6 all the way). The past two years I have been part of the Blackhawk West Virginia Mission trip and I loved every bit of those. I felt that God was calling me to take a bigger step in my faith this year, so here I am, only a few days away from leaving the country for 2 weeks, going to Dracula territory. Sadly customs won’t let me bring garlic, so we shall see how that goes. I am so excited to see what God has for our team as we have the opportunity to meet amazing people at Open Roads and experience some pretty cool things.

A little about me… hmm. Well this year I am going to be a senior at Middleton High School and I play many sports, such as cross country, basketball, and softball. As for hobbies, I like photography and being in the Great Outdoors(I’m a National Park junky). As you may have already guessed from my picture I also particularly enjoy climbing trees, so I figured it would only be appropriate for me to have a picture featuring me in a tree (apparently it was really bright out that day). Another important thing to know about me is that I like birds… a lot (yes, I have already researched Romanian birds on google). I frequently go birding and I have a life list of over 200 birds that I have seen. I am always up for adventures, and that is one of the reasons I am so pumped to be apart of this trip!

For prayer requests, I would just ask that you keep us in your prayers, specifically things like our safety and health. As Sammy said, prayers that there are no serious illnesses or injuries and that we can quickly recover from more minor ailments would be awesome. Secondly, similarly to what others have said, we would appreciate prayers for our team to be present with the campers and that we would be overflowing with energy, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, so that we can be effective in building relationships and showing God’s love to the campers, and others we come across.

I hope that y’all will be keeping up with our adventures and all of the cool stories we will be sharing. Thanks for your support!

Meet Sammy

Bună, mă numesc Sammy!
This is the first time I’ll be heading out of the country on a GO team trip, and It’s only a few days away! Ahhhh! I’ve been a part of the Blackhawk high school community in both the Middleton and Fitchburg home groups, and last year got involved volunteering with servant team. I’ve followed along on this blog for a couple years now as the teams would head out, and am glad to finally be able to come along and be a small part of what’s happening there. I’m looking forwSammyard to everything God and our partners at Open Roads will have to teach us, and to spending time learning and living with such an amazing group of people. Now since we’re supposed to introduce ourselves, here are some more personal details:

I’m a recent graduate from my high school, graduating class of one. In case you couldn’t guess, I’ve been homeschooling up until now. My favorite things to study are math, science, and languages. I currently speak Spanish and some Portuguese. I’m hoping to pick up some Romanian while we’re overseas, but I’ve heard it can be pretty tough.

I also love playing soccer and futsal, which is the form of indoor soccer played all around the world. When I’m not out on the field or court, you can usually find me hanging around the nearest instrument. Guitar, piano and cajon are my favorites, and if I don’t have access to those I’m usually singing or beatboxing (read: making annoying noises with my mouth).

After all this is over (two days after we get back, actually), I’ll be heading out to Pasadena,
California to study at Caltech. I’m planning on studying physics or astrophysics while I’m there, and I’ll also be playing D3 soccer.

If you’ve gotten this far through my intro post, thank you! Here’s your secret message (don’t forget your decoder ring!):


Ahhh *sips hot chocolate*. Now that we’ve had our little bit of Christmas in July, back to the final paragraph of so of this post.

As far as prayer requests, I know this trip usually ends up with several members of the team getting sick. It’s my hope (and I’m sure most of the others would echo this) that when we do get sick we can bounce back as quickly as possible. For a second request I’m going to go with something Jesse already mentioned: Keeping our thoughts on where we are and what we’re doing is sure to be hard at times with college coming so soon after the trip, but it’ll be very important that we keep focus and stay present with the campers and others. If you could keep these things in your thoughts and prayers it would very much appreciated. That’s all for now, hope you’ll be keeping up with us as we go!

Meet Britney

Hello everyone, my name is Britney! This coming year I will be a senior a Belleville High School.

 This will be my first year going to RoIMG_2105mania. I have been to Alaska and West Virginia through Blackhawk in past years and am excited to see what God will do with me here!
In the fall I run cross-country, in the spring I play soccer and in the winter I am on a math team, Science Olympiad team, mock trial team and I am involved with the winter musical!
I want to thank everyone who helped me get where I am today, family, friends, my home group leaders Nicole and Samantha, and my mentor Katelynn. I also wanted to send out a thank you to everyone who donated to this trip, we couldn’t do any of this without you!
I am so excited to see how God uses us as a team in Romania and how each and every one of us will change because of this trip!

Meet Angie


I’m Angie and I am on staff with High School Ministries at Blackhawk. I also am part of the Waunakee Home Group. This summer I have been able to take some trips with friends and soak in time outdoors. I also have been spending as much time as I can with my nieces and nephew, especially my new little nephew!angie

I am so thankful for the opportunity to go back to Romania! This will be my third year on the trip. Last year it was difficult leaving Romania with how God had connected my heart more deeply to the people and the mission. It is a blessing to serve alongside the Open Roads leadership team and learn from them. I continually am encouraged and challenged through their faith and commitment to what God has entrusted them with and their desire to follow his leading in the ministry. I’m looking forward to seeing how God has been working in the lives of the Open Roads team and the campers! I also am excited to serve alongside the awesome Blackhawk group of students and leaders. It is sweet to serve together with the Romania team as well and be reminded of the hope of God’s love and grace which brings us all together.

We are so thankful for the team of people that God has brought around us through the prayers and financial support of people like you, God has been showing us his faithfulness through each of you!

Thanks again,


Meet Morgan

Greetings! My name is Morgan, and I have been a part of Blackhawk’s high school ministry since my freshman year. This fall I will be a junior at Middleton High School. Throughout the year, most of my time is spent doing homework, working at Culver’s (come say hi!) or playing soccer.

Last summer I was a part of Blackhawk’s mission trip to Rosedale, West Virginia, as well as the backpacking trip in Colorado. These two trips impacted mymorgan2 faith in ways no other event ever has. I built relationships with the people I served with and developed my relationship with God. It was a blessing to be accepted to be on this amazing team, and I cannot wait to see how God uses all of the people I know and will meet to draw me closer to Him.

As far as prayer requests, I just pray that I am able to step out of my comfort zone and trust God when meeting new people and being an engaging member of camp.

Romania is (time wise) right around the corner and I am beyond excited to experience something not many have the opportunity to with an outstanding group of students and leaders. I wouldn’t be in the position to serve along side of my team and Open Roads without the contributions of my family, friends, and even those of you reading this. All of your support has been a blessing to our entire team. God has big plans and I cannot wait to share our journey with you.



Meet the 2016 Romania Team

Only 8 days until we begin our adventure to Romania! Over the next week we will be posting short bios of our team members, so check back often to meet the team. Hopefully these bios will help you get to know our team members, and give you some insight on how you can be praying for us. Thank you for partnering with us on our journey- we are grateful for your prayers and encouragement!

Now without further ado, let’s begin the introductions with (drum roll, please)…. Jesse!

Jesse Hi all! My name is Jesse, and I recently graduated from Memorial High School. I love reading and playing ultimate frisbee, and this fall I’m headed off to Valparaiso University to study education!

I’ve previously been on missions trip to Memphis, Ohio, Oklahoma, and the Bahamas, but this will be my first time going to Romania (and my first mission trip with Blackhawk!) God is definitely pulling me out of my comfort zone but I couldn’t be more excited to experience Him in a new way and see all of the great things He is doing in Romania. I am looking forward to meeting the people I have heard such great stories about! I hope on this trip to grow more dependent on God and more grounded in His truth.

My biggest worry and prayer concern is that I would be able to stay present in Romania, and not be worried about what my future holds, or the logistics of moving in just 3 days after we get back(!).

I’m so grateful for everyone who has supported and encouraged me as I applied and prepared for this trip! Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated. Can’t wait to share these experiences with you all!


PS-I also REALLY like bad jokes so here’s one: What do you call a camel with no humps? Humphrey!