Zach and Míša love seeing faith lived out in real, missional ways in their city (Prague), country (Czech) and continent (Europe) that ache, unknowingly, for a Savior.
Zach is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a BA degree in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Islam (after dabbling in Radio/TV/Film for three years). During his time in college, he was a four-year letterman on the football team and was heavily involved with CRU ministry. Currently, he is a staff member with TEAM (a global alliance of churches and missionaries) where he is a “missional insider” to the American football community in the Czech Republic, serving as a coach for the Prague Lions and also church planting. Míša serves in brothel outreaches with Anti-Human Trafficking.
When I left for college in the fall of 1999, I thought I had a clue where my journey would take me. I was enrolling at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh to be the next Steven Spielberg. I pictured that my journey had celluloid, cameras, exotic locations, beautiful actresses, surely a boat load of money and my name in the big lights of cinemas all over the world. That was supposed to be my journey and that is what I wanted my journey to look like.
As a college freshman, I imagined the road of my life was much like a road you will find on the plains of Nebraska. It was a long road that you could look ahead and see for miles and miles, or in my case, years and years. Yes, it is true the end of that road couldn’t be seen, but there was quite a bit between the horizon and me that I could see.
Well, I was mistaken! The road wasn’t going through the plains, but it was a road nearing the foothills of a massive mountain range. Those mountains didn’t have roads that were straight or easy, but roads that were unpredictable and even terrifying at times!
Don’t get me wrong I love the mountains. I love everything about them. The majesty, the snow-covered peaks, the vertical drops that scream for me to test them on my skis, the beautiful pines, the jagged rocks, and even the twisting mountain roads. My mountain came in the form of a guy who walked this planet 2000 years ago. I thought I had known this mountain, but I had no idea of what He was or the turns and twists that He would bring in my life. If you haven’t connected the dots yet, that mountain that seemingly dropped out of the sky and interrupted my peaceful voyage through the plains, was no other than Jesus Christ.
My freshman year I began the ascent into the mountains and there have been more twists and turns over the last six years that I could have never imagined. Jesus has been that ascent and now my journey in many ways resembles Jesus’ journey that He made on our planet 2000 years ago. Luke, the physician speaks of it in his Gospel:
He [JESUS] went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. (Luke 13:22 ESV)
I no longer desire to see my name in lights, nor have the loads of money, but my simple desire is to go wherever the mountain roads lead me. On this journey, I hope to teach as many people, that will listen, about my journey towards Jerusalem. I don’t speak of the earthly Jerusalem (I do, however, hope to physically journey there), but the heavenly Jerusalem, where I will spend my days being part of the biggest wedding party of all time. This wedding party will be of Jesus to His Bride, the Church. That will be a joyous day, but that Jerusalem isn’t here yet. I have as many days ahead on this journey that the Lord will give me, and I now have the attitude of the great missionary David Brainerd, “Oh, that I might never loiter on my heavenly journey.”
Why the Czech Republic?
The Czech Republic is one of the most secular counties in Europe, as 89% of Czechs claim to be atheists and there is only .2% of the population that profess to be Christians.
The history of Christianity in the Czech Republic is rich but devastating. Time and time again the evangelical Christians were forced out of the Czech lands over the last few centuries. This has produced a skepticism that runs deep through the Czech society.
Some would even argue the Czech people never really embraced Christianity when it arrived in the Czech lands in the 10th century, as Bohemians (western Czechs) returned to many of their pagan roots within a century. Some of this pagan tradition still exists within and under the Czech culture, even during Christmas. The skepticism was only enforced by a variety of occupiers who took the Czech lands again and again, which created a great distrust in the lives of the Czech people.
- That his football players would see that being a Christian is not about religion, that it affects every part of their lives and that it is a viable option. Zach prays they would become passionate about God, about their country, their sport and their team. He wants to see them come to faith in their Father and be mirrors, reflecting the light of Christ, reproducing more disciples, and exposing more of the Czech people to who God really is.
- That he would be able to demonstrate and encourage excellence in the game and continue to help the game get better and better, doing it all to the glory of God, and for the good of the Czech people.
- That he would see a movement at the Sports University of the non-believers who meet regularly and eventually who will turn to God. He desires for them to progress in their knowledge and understanding of Christ and see that He is their all loving and powerful maker and not the uncaring, boring, stereotype most have made Him out to be.
You can learn more about Zach and Míša’s ministry and lives at their website – www.zachharrod.com.