Who Wore It Best?

Hello from Romania. Bria and Grace here. Sorry that this post is coming a little late but unlike some members on the team we do like to sleep.
Yesterday was an absolute blast. We started the day off with breakfast and admired each others’ church clothes. Abby and Katrina happened to have brought the same skirt from Target Boutique, labeled as a chic floral print. We have yet to take the official vote on who wore it best but we’ll keep you updated.
Church was held in the basement of the Azel (a nursing home in Ethos) as the new church construction is underway. Hannah, Mattea, and Eden helped lead worship with the Romanian team, and it was amazing to hear the same worship songs from home sung in different languages. At church this week there was also groups from Germany and Moldova. The family from Moldova sang for us in Russian in four part harmony, and it was beautiful.
Our very own Larry Brady and Dan spoke to the congregation about their personal experiences. We were all moved to figurative (and in some cases literal @bria @pat @larry) tears. #soproud
As we were eating a traditional Romanian meal of sarmale and mamaliga (funny story: the dish actually is from turkey) we received our first round of letters from home. Shout out to Eleanor Mackey for writing four great letters with exceptionally drawn sea hares. The encouragement from all of you is invaluable.
The whole team went on an excursion to Auchan, the Romanian version of Costco, where we proceeded to demolish the Joe aisle. Liter sized teas were bought, lunch meat sections cleared, Andrew convinced to make purchases.
After filling our bags with sweets for camp and our bus ride up, we drove to our evening activities at a sports park where we met with the campers. We played heated games of energy, dodge ball, energy, ultimate frisbee, and futbol (soccer).
One of our favorite moments from yesterday was during a short break we had between Auchan and evening fun. The worship team had been practicing in the house that Grace, Bria, Abby, Morgan, and Athena have been staying in and happen to leave their instruments there. Abby busted out one of her many talents and started playing various pop, Disney, and Broadway songs on the piano. During a particularly passionate rendition of “Let it Go” those of us singing loudly and quite off key chose to act out the scene from the movie. Note this included sprinting up the stairs and stepping out onto the balcony for the final line of the song.
So here are many many shout outs from the team.
First shout out to Joshua Chen for turning 12 today!!!!!! I hope your enchromas are treating you well and that the world is more colorful for you now (I still have my doubts about whether or not they actually work). Also, I ate Schwarma!
Angie Xu: I bought Pringles and ice tea
Shout out to David Karbusicky for some awesome and quotable comments.
Mamma Pete: I forgot my retainer : l
Ray : I finally know how to make good soup (Noah)
– Shout outs from the Morgan’s
Jake: I am so excited to see your senior pictures. The ones with the punting poses sound awesome! Congratulations on surpassing McKenna with HIMYM. Maybe you should wait on the sonic, as I have many tasty treats to come home with for you. I miss and love you!
Lisa Genyk: I would like to correct myself and calling your summer salad pickles. Although…pickles sound good too 🙂
Twins: U2 would not believe what I saw yesterday. Two little girls were watching SpongeBob and the voice actors were quite different. I have video to show you. Dad: congratulations on getting the job! I’m so excited for you.
Syd: if you’re reading this, I saw some of the cutest little bunny rabbit at the supermarket yesterday. Thought of you. I miss you! – Shout out to Mom & Dad Pincombe: Thanks for sending hugs! The team made sure I got them, and they’re making sure I’m staying out of trouble 🙂
Shout out to Madison P: Just got your note yesterday!! Missing you extra. Listen to some For King & Country on the way to Ames for me.

Shaorma Dance

Our favorite leader on this trip is Emily Bostrom. (Or at least she said that would be a good opening sentence for this post). Anyway, Hannah and Katreetree here. Actually its just Hannah because Katrina is too busy hitting people with pool noodles. Today was a very busy happy day, as my grandma would put it. This morning after breakfast and team time, we adventured out of the neighborhood in Romanian taxis to a market where Romanian stickers, patterned pants, and Pat’s lunchbox size suitcase were bought. Following lunch and Mel almost reaching her breaking point trying to solve the “good soup” riddle, we finished up planning for camp. Some teams were more productive than others. (*cough* sports team *cough*). We then headed over to the fields at Ethos for a Romanian version of vacation Bible school with kids from the near by Roma village. We got to hear the story of David and Goliath, several songs with motions, and the rules for blob tag all in Romanian. The 90+ people, mostly under the age of 10, all playing on one small soccer field was slightly insane, but lots of fun and filled with energy. The kids took turns using a sling shot to try to hit a big picture of Goliath, which then turned into a game of using the sling shots to shoot chocolate onto peoples’ mouths. Katrina and Andrew successfully completed this challenge after many tries. For dinner, we went to the city center for trip-famous Shaorma. Katrina and Noah started “break dancing” in the street (doing the Robot and many other middle school moves) and Dan did a happy Saorma dance.We then walked around the beautiful buildings of downtown Craiova, got soft-serve ice cream, and hung out by the famous fountain. We all came back very ready for some sleep! Everyone is in bed now…except for us!
Shoutout: Cliff Anderson- for the clearly googled but still appreciated bad joke. Also I have not died from my throat ailments yet Leah Metzger- my ID is 104378! And I miss you so much!!! Don’t move onto my room. 🙂 Malcolm/Addie- Don’t steal my family while I’m gone. Schmoopsypoo???- you’re seriously so embarrassing. But I hope you’re having an amazing time in LA! I wish you could see all the pretty old buildings downtown Craiova. They are SO cool. You would love it so much. Anyway, I miss you and love you lots and can’t wait to show you pictures! Also Katrina wants you to know that all her tie dyes made it safely. 🙂 Madison P.- thank you for all the great comments and encouragement!

Live From The Field

Buna! It’s Mattea here bringing you the Rom0717 update! Today was quite eventful. We started out the day with a wonderful breakfast, and then grouped up to read the blog comments. They were awesome everybody, so keep them coming! Maybe some can send us some really terrible jokes! The highlight of the day was meeting up with the campers and playing games such as name games and relay races. This ended our action packed day where we also met up for breakfast, had team time and lunch, and did some preparing for camp. These preparations may or may not include many failed attempts to make a slingshot. Many failed attempts. There were so many old and new faces. After we met up with the campers we came back for dinner and played a big game of psychiatrist. Lots of fun going on here on Romania.
“Matt Metzger, Hannah’s favorite name.”
Lisa Genyk: We had cucumber salad tonight with our dinner (it’s 9:45 right now) and it made me miss, terribly, your homemade pickles. I hope all is well in Wisco! Love, Morgan R
Shout out to Ray: how do you make good soup? -Ed
Tyler – Wait a week and you can have Madison’s room. Love you lots! – Morgan P
Madison – Thinking of you each time they bring out the coffee 🙂 Love you, Morgan P

Day 2: We ALL arrived

Hey everyone!
It’s Morgan R, Eden and Adia. We are happy to inform you that all 20 members and all 40+ bags arrived to Bucharest safely and soundly (sort of). Our first flight was 8 hours of movies, failed attempts to sleep, and subpar airplane food (@SwissAirlines, we saw that salmon you were serving to first class). We then had a two hour layover in Zurich, and the Swiss Chocolate cravings were fulfilled. Once again, we boarded our flight, achieved a little more sleep, and grew more and more excited to see familiar faces waiting for us at Bucharest. Upon our arrival to the baggage claim, we retrieved and organized the luggage as it emerged. We rejoiced in having lost no bags (especially Katrina)! As anticipated, many smiling faces met us outside the doors of the baggage claim area. There were many hugs, laughs, and introductions to new team members both on the American team and Romanian team. We can speak for all in saying that the news of having A/C on the bus was the cherry on top of our journey to Romania. Now, we are 2/3 of the way through our six hour bus ride to Craiova, where a large dinner and a much needed night of sleep await. We are getting to know the Romanian leaders, and the next couple days will give us plenty of opportunity to bond. La reverdere, for now!
Joel, Naomi, and Mom: do you miss me yet?? Ok, it’s only been a day… Joel, finish ESP strong! I can’t wait to hear about it. Naomi, enjoy being an only child for now:)
Gail, Dad, and Mom: I miss you guys so much! Thanks for loving me and supporting me through this entire process. Dad and Gail, give hugs and kisses to Luke and Ruby for me. Mama, snuggle Cassi for me. Love you guys <3

The Reeds (and then some): how is everything back in WI? We passed some cows earlier, and it made me think about you all and how lonesome you must be without me. 😉 Twins, I keep imagining how much you two would love it here, so I hope you are prepared to apply for next year. Jake, how many trips to Sonic have you made since I left? What’s the tally on HIMYM episodes? Oh! I have had The Score on repeat. Every time “Legend” comes on shuffle, I get more and more excited for football. I hope all goes well with camp and two-a-days. I miss you! And mom, are you holding down the fort? I hope Finn, or at least Captain, has compensated for my absence. To any other friends and family members reading, hello and thank you for all that you do! Love, Morgan

Ali mongoose- Irina misses you almost as much as I do

Shoutout to Lief. 🎈.


We were shook (but not really)

  1. Hi all!
    It’s Noah and Grace here, signing in from Ohare! Surprisingly we arrived nice and early with 3 hours prior to boarding. The ride down was a blast full of off-key singing and heightened excitement. Imagine the disappointment when one of the leaders *cough* Mel *cough* told us that our flight was delayed for 8 hours! (Just kidding) We were shook (common slang to say we were shaken), to say the least. The only thing that could have made that okay was the potential of spending the time in Ikea eating Swedish meatballs. After recovering from being so shook (just to clarify, Grace actually wrote that!) checking in went without a hitch (although some of our bags were debateably too large and we were forced to check them. Please pray that our bags, especially Katrina’s, will be waiting for us in Bucharest). So far, we are doing quite well, passing time by playing Euker and a guided tour through the airport courtesy of Ed and Marilyn. Can’t wait to hear from you guys!
    Shout outs to:
    Josh: I saw that picture, I hope the beard washes off 😉
    The Pollard fam! Ali- keep.being awesome and holding down the fort while I’m gone. I’m gonna miss having you around. Moma- there ya go, first blog post just for you! Oma- don’t get too crazy while I’m gone 🙂 Pops- Keep making music that’s real pretty. A little wink wink
    Calvin: hi. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your frisbee game, I’m a little busy this week (Noah says hi)
    Angie: don’t OD on cfa sauce while we’re gone.

Love you all!!
We’d love comments! Noah and Grace signing off!

Our Bags Are Packed…

We are two days away from takeoff! Sunday night we spent a few hours packing bags and making sure everything met the airline restrictions. Cheeseheads and green & yellow Santa hats made an appearance (“pack(er)ing” party) while everyone pitched in to pack bags, re-pack bags, weigh bags, record information and encourage each other. We shared our excitement and our nerves about leaving and we can’t wait to begin this journey together. I hope you have had a chance to read all of the team’s bios and learn more about these amazing students. Thank you all who have supported us and been praying for us! -Melissa


Hello everyone! My name is Andrew, and I am going to be a sophomore at Middleton High School this year, which makes me the youngest person on the team by two school years. This will be my first time going to Romania, and I am absolutely thrilled! I can’t wait to see what interesting ways God will be working through me on the trip. I have two older siblings that have already gone to Romania multiple times, so I have heard many stories of how incredible it was for them, and I can’t wait to get a hands-on perspective of Open Roads and the work they are doing there.

Some things you should know about me are that I have been playing piano for 7 years, and I can never resist playing a quick song or two on a piano if I see one. Some extracurriculars I have been a part of are Middleton Theatre, who recently put on the production Urinetown, and Global Outreach club, who put on fundraisers to raise money for Open Roads and other organizations. Also, I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 10 seconds (and I will be bringing several puzzles on the trip).

My prayer requests for the trip are that I am able to make meaningful, impactful relationships with Romanians as well as with others on the team, and that I am able to be fully present in my time there and make the most out of this incredible experience. Finally, thank you to anyone who supported the team financially. Without you, this trip would not be possible.

-Karbusicky #3

Mattéa // pronounced Ma-TAY-uh

Hello everyone! My name is Mattéa, yes, WITH the accent (haha), and pronounced Ma-TAY-uh. I recently graduated from Edgewood High School (if recent can still be considered in mid-May), and this is my first year on the Romania team, and any mission team. I am super-duper excited to be a part of this team and make experiences that will last a lifetime. 

A little about me: I love all animals, but especially birds and my two pups, a cockapoo named Saidie and a Labradoodle named Emmit. I had a life changing experience when I got into a car accident on Leap Day of 2016. I was driving to school when I was T-boned in a blind intersection and sent into a tree. I was a block away from the my town’s high school and there were a lot of kids walking to school, so there were so many factors that could have gone wrong but God was watching out for me. Since that day, I really took to heart the idea that life is short. I decided that I should make the most of it and do whatever I can to make the world a better place and to help others in any way that I can. I love music and songwriting as well. Before graduation, I would often jam with one of my friends, Jeremiah, and recently joined a band in hopes to spread musical joy. I am so excited to see what this trip holds for me and to make new friends along the way. 

Thanks for reading! 


Hello from Morgan

Hello! My name is Morgan, and I am excited to be a part of Blackhawk’s Romania GO team for the first time. Reading this blog and hearing from friends who have previously traveled to Craiova has grown my curiosity and desire to see what God is already doing in Romania and to jump in alongside Open Roads.

Outside of Blackhawk’s High School Ministries, I swam competitively all four years of high school and picked up lacrosse and ultimate frisbee in the off-seasons. I love music (playing in the band, listening to Spotify’s Discover Weekly, and attending concerts), trying new and unusual foods, being outdoors, and reading. Traveling with my family over the years has also developed and sparked my desire to hop in a car or on a plane to change up the scenery, learn how others live, and see the beauty and diversity of God’s creation. And I can’t wait to visit Romania! Shortly following our trip, I will be moving to Virginia to attend the College of William & Mary.

After eighth grade, I traveled to Sutton, Alaska with Blackhawk to partner with Eaglecrest and serve community members whether through physical labor or simply time spent connecting. Before the trip, my thoughts centered mostly around the supplies and activities needed for the mini-day camp we would run and whether or not I had enough sunscreen. Afterwards, however, I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about the people I had met. I am truly excited that relationships are among the most valued aspects of this trip, and I cannot wait to spend the time talking with the Romanian leaders and campers.

I don’t speak Romanian. As cool as it would be to know the language, I recognize the language barrier that will exist. Previous team members have talked about using translators, but because I have never attempted to speak through a translator or communicate explicitly through gestures, I am not quite sure what to expect. My biggest prayer request is that God could use me even when I can’t comprehend the language in any capacity and that I would come to appreciate the time and these friendships in a new regard after seeing God work in ways which are unusual to me.

A MAJOR thank you to those who have encouraged me to apply for this trip, who have helped me prepare, and who have made it possible to go. I am incredibly grateful for your thoughts and generosity. I can’t wait to share the experience with you!

Stay tuned for updates throughout our trip! Thanks,