Rod Hofer is a recently retired Environmental Engineer from Lawrence, Kansas. His interest in Anabaptist history was nurtured within the Freeman SD community where he grew up. After attending Bethel College he joined MCC as a Paxman in Slovenia from 1969-1971. This provided the opportunity to travel extensively within Europe. With his wife Roberta they have returned to Europe numerous times. The family lived briefly in Thailand where Rod served as a water quality advisor to the Royal Thai Government. Rod and Roberta have also travelled extensively within the United States where Rod logged his fiftieth state soon after retirement.
Before attending their son Tim’s 2010 wedding in Alba Iulia, Romania, the knowledge that the Alwinz Bruderhof (1622-1767) had existed nearby stimulated an interest in researching the history of the Hutterites in Romania. Their visit introduced them to the history and culture of the Saxon German communities within which the Hutterites and their Carinthian Lutheran converts operated. The importance of the story is accentuated by the fact that the small group of 78 Hutterites that escaped over the Transylvania Alps in 1767 represented the sole surviving members of a sect that had once numbered nearly 30,000. A desire to share what he had learned in researching this pivotal time in Hutterite history led Rod to write Hutterites in Romania – A Brief History and Guide. Having seen where his Hutterite ancestors lived, were imprisoned and escaped over the mountains led to a desire to share those experiences with others and ultimately led to the Romania Hutterite & Cultural Tour.