Did Christmas and New Years sneak up on you? It did sneak up on me! During this break from school I relaxed quite a bit and the whole break I was taken back at where my year went and how fast the Holidays came upon me. People have told me the older you get the more often this happens. I still see myself as a young man (Despite my friends who give me a hard time for coming up on 30!), so as I wrestle with this phenomenon I struggle because I don’t want to merely live through, or just merely survive, each day and at one point look back with regret that I missed so much. As of late
this seems to be a lingering fear in my mind. I ask myself and God, “I’m only 27, should I really be thinking this now?” Part of me says, “No,” and part of me says, “Praise God!” Praise God for this breakthrough now on this side of so much, Lord-willing, yet to come in my life.
With that said, I was journaling and spending time with the Lord in my favorite cafe, KafiÄku, in Prague and I felt very reflective on the year of 2007. I wrote in my journal;
“This might have been the biggest year of my short 27 years thus far. Big life decisions. Big life transitions. And so much more God. Could this be the biggest year yet?”
I would say YES. Bigger than leaving for college. Bigger than graduating college. Bigger than moving to Europe for 18 months. Bigger. Biggest yet. So much has happened in the last year. I’ve seen evidence of God in so many ways in the last year. I’ve been challenged to continue to grow up this past year in ways that I expected and didn’t expect. All in all it was a great year. As I reflect on the goodness of God and the fullness of 2007, I wonder what 2008 will bring. There is so much ahead of me. Many things, “life landmarks” if you will, that I have yet to pass over the threshold of and that is crazy to me! Thus I look ahead with great anticipation to ’08. What will God bring? What beautiful story has the Divine Playwright written that I will walk into, today, tomorrow, next month, this summer and so on? May God bless our 2008s and may they be a beautiful reflection of Him at work in our lives and the world!
So as I look back and reflect on 2007 and God’s work, I thought it would be fun to do a Year in Review here at zACHhARROD.com, enjoy…
One of my early highlights of 2007 was traveling to Miami for the AIA Super Bowl Breakfast and hoping to watch my Bears pull out an historic victory. Well, we all know what happened with my Bears. I think I’m over it. It was an amazing time in Miami with my roommate, at that time, and my dear friend Kyle Wenig. We had so much fun. I think what was most amazing about it all, was to see the faith of Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy played out. Two class acts for sure.
Every Winter AIA campus movements all over the U.S. have weekend long winter retreats and I was blessed to see what God did last year with our students at Central State. Many of our students came and their lives were touched. I pray that God would continue to work in each of those student’s lives with His power and grace.
A year and a half split between two campuses isn’t a whole lot of time, but I saw God finish my spring at Central State and Wilmington in some strong ways! It was amazing to see what God did in my time in the lives of young men back in Ohio. As I prepared to leave Ohio in the spring, God gave me a glimpse of His work in and through me at these two campuses. I think of my staff team and students back there often, and I pray that God would continue to do His thing in their lives!
My time spent Ohio was one of the best investments, if not the best, I’ve ever made in my life. Moreover, that others have made in my life! I saw God change me and make me more into the man He desires me to be as a spent a great year and a half at the Training Center. The day of commissioning was special for many reasons; 1) my director/trainer, Matt, said some very encouraging words, 2) Andrew Miller, a CSU student, shared how God had used me in his life and 3) I shared this with my family. It was such a great day. A day that marked me moving forward as well!
Spring of 2007 brought two marriages of people that are very dear to me. The first wedding was Andy and Chelsey Garrett’s. Andy and I became great friends in my time in Ohio and I was privileged to stand up in his wedding. The second wedding was Joe and Kate Gabriel’s wedding. Joe became a Christian in college and soon after he met the Lord I began discipling him, or trying to disciple him as I figured it out. Joe is unquestionably one of my dearest friends from college and I’m amazed at the minister, husband and Christ-follower he has become. Two amazing days of celebrating amazing unions before the Lord!
I never thought I would be sad to move from Ohio and the AIA Training Center, but as I drove out on May 3rd I wept at all God had done there and the amazing moments and people I was leaving behind there. That included my great small group from Immanuel Baptist Church and many other dear people! Thank you to each of you back in Ohio! I miss you guys!
As the summer drew near I packed up my 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva (a.k.a. The Red Rocket) and headed out west for two months of refreshment, encouragement and training. On my drive out The Red Rocket reached an important milestone of her “auto-life”, 200,000 miles! It was pretty exciting! Anyway, I spent some great time in California vacationing and raising support with my friends the Roeders. It was fun to get away and I even learned how to surf! From there I spent most of my time in Fort Collins, CO for international training and bi-annual Crusade Staff Conf. The training was great! Crusade does a very good job of preparing their missionaries to thrive long-term overseas. In the process of training I made some great friends, enjoyed the mountains, rolled my ankle pretty bad, had some adventures, was challenged to my inner-core, and left Colorado being grateful for a FULL summer of seeing God show up in ridiculous ways!
This summer marked my Grandfather’s (his gangsta name is “G-Pa”!) 80th Birthday. My family descended upon Wisconsin Dells to celebrate his birthday! It was a blessed time. I have a wonderful family and I’ve missed them since then.
Most of you who frequent zACHhARROD.com know about my not-so-secret love for the Czech Republic and the people of this country. As the summer passed I even kept a countdown here at zACHhARROD.com for my return. I longed to be here, but I had heartfelt goodbyes, packing, support that had to raised, and much more before I stepped on that plane on Sept. 3rd. I don’t have pics from everything that went on in those final weeks, but they were full. Not just full with events, people and etc. but FULL with love, encouragement, and confirmation. As I look back and look on all those who loved on me so well, I see God using them as a great confirmation for my move back to the Czech Republic, Lord-willing, for a very long time. There are so many of you that are part of what God is doing here! Thank you for the goodbyes, the great food, the love and the prayers you sent me with!
September 3rd came and as I lost that day to traveling, September 4th rolled in and big new chapter of my life also rolled in. The last four months have been filled with a newness amongst something I thought I knew. It has been fun and challenging. The new things have been great, and the anticipated things I knew have been great as well. As I sit here and type, I wonder and have a growing anticipation of what God will do here in Prague and the Czech Republic at large this year. So here I am, my home away from home. The place that I long for God to change. The place that I’ve, planted myself for some time. Nearly, all of my worldly possessions are finally here and with that the reality of “BEING HERE” has set in. I’m not here for weeks and months, but, Lord-willing, for years and decades. Wow! That sounds crazy and exciting to me! May God be made much of in this new year through you and me! Thanks for stopping by zACHhARROD.com and being a reader, ministry partner, and/or prayer warrior! May you and I live revolutionary, Christ exalting, Kingdom in breaking lives in 2008!