Zach & Míša Harrod
Hi we are the Harrods, or the Harrodovi, as we would say here in Czech - Zach, Míša and Oliver!
Zach is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh with a BA degree in Religious Studies, with an emphasis on Islam (after dabbling in Radio/TV/Film for 3 years). His world was turned upside down his freshman year of college, and became a follower of Christ during that year. During his time at UW-O he was heavily involved with CRU, ministry with my church RiverValley, and a smattering of other things. Zach was also a four year letterman on the football team with the TITANS at UW-O.
After graduating he packed his bags and got on a plane heading to Prague, Czech Republic for what he thought would be about two years of work with Athletes in Action (the sports ministry of CRU), well those two years turned into nearly a decade of serving with AIA, mostly spent in Prague. While serving with AIA in Prague, Zach served within two primary capacities; 1) the small community of American football (as a player, coach, mentor and etc.) in Czech; 2) the sports university of the Charles University. In his years of ministry with AIA Zach saw God bring relationships from many different communities and his heart to reach out beyond the sports world grew and grew. Following God's leading in his life Zach transitioned from AIA to TEAM, so he could continue to be a "missional insider" to the American football community in the Czech Republic, serving as a coach for the Prague Lions and also to do what has been a desire of his heart for years - Church Planting and seeing faith lived out in real, even sometimes gritty, missional ways to a city (Prague), country (Czech) and continent (Europe) that ache, unknowingly, for a Savior.
Míša was born in the Czech republic and God blessed her with a grandma who believed in Christ during her forties and led her to Him. Otherwise, the whole family consisted of atheists. Míša first believed when she was about 8 years old and became a proud and vocal Christian but when the puberty hit hard, she cared more about being popular than belonging to God. Thanks to Christian friends and a team of missionaries from the States organizing an English camp, she rededicated her life to Christ at the age of 14. Ten years later God called her to become a missionary to her own nation!
She joined Zach in marriage and ministry in 2014 and at first served mostly within the CHURCH PLANT coordinating children’s and teens’ ministry. Later on, she and Zach discovered their passion for living on mission together within the concept of MISSIONAL COMMUNITIES, growing in vulnerability, serving, learning from each other and reaching out to people in our surroundings. Almost at the same time, God broke Míša’s heart for trafficked women, men and children, when she got invited to an ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING training. Not willing to see the exploitation and evil, she convinced herself those people made their choice. Looking back, she can’t believe she’d even think something like that. But that fact actually helped her see the gap in awareness of these terrible practices in the Czech republic. After a year of training, she joined the brothel outreach team and started visiting women in brothels of Prague to listen to their stories, bringing the light of Jesus into the darkness and letting them know they’re not alone. Since there’s not really a network of facilities/organizations that offer help to trafficked persons, the team is still trying to figure out ways to help those potential brave first survivors who decide to leave the brothel and escape.
In 2017, the main pastor of the church plant left and the leadership found themselves in the need of RE-PLANTING. The numbers dropped but the focus on authentic relationships paid of and now they’re more of a family than they’ve ever been and slowly, new people are connecting with the church and they can see God working through the church family.
In May 2017, Oliver Eduard joined their immediate family and they’ve entered this adventurous journey of living on mission as a family.
It is our prayer that God would reach the Heart of Europe, Prague and the Czech Republic, and that in reaching the Heart of Europe He would reach the Whole of Europe and that Jesus would be made much of on this continent once again.
Míša, Oliver Eduard
Church Planting, missional living amongst the American football community of Czech Republic, children's ministry, Anti Human-Traficking and seeing vibrant Missional Communities started in and throughout Prague and Czech.