With it being #GivingTuesday, Míša & I would like to share our story of what’s going on in Prague, as we serve there. My good friend, co-worker and now pastor, Marek Tyl, has some kind words to share about us and our work in Prague! Check it out! Wanna learn about giving needs? CLICK HERE! Wanna give straight away? CLICK HERE! Thank you in advance..!
Hello from Prague. We hope and pray this email finds you doing well. We wanted to reach out to you today the day before 2017’s #GivingTuesday. Tomorrow throughout the day we will share stories on different social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you are following us at @zachharrod and @misaharrod so you can learn and hear more about our story and the story that God has written for Prague!
With that said, #GivingTuesday is tomorrow and we would like to ask that you pray for us, as this year closes we have some significant needs. Here’s a list of some of our needs, as we close out the year.
- Roughly $1500/monthly support – this is key for us, as from our monthly giving we receive our salary, insurance, benefits and etc. This is what allows us to be in Prague.
- In February Zach will travel to the States with three coaches (Kuba, Miloš and Lukáš) for a coach’s trip, to not only grow in our football knowledge, but also to give Zach a chance to speed significant time with these coaches. Each coach is providing $500 for the trip and we are raising the funds for the rest. The trip costs roughly $6000.
- One-time support for events that we have every month. Last week we hosted, with our friends from our Missional Community (MC), Thanksgiving for around 40 people. On average we need about $500/month for these types of events, so that we can be generous. We have learned that when we are generous our Christian and even not-yet Christian friends become more and more generous.
- Upsizing our car – We are looking for a wise and economic way to upsize our car, as our family is already too big for the smaller car we have. Upsizing will also allow Zach to haul around more players and more equipment.
- Junior Jerseys – We’ve been working hard for two years to raise funds for new junior jerseys. So far we have raised $6000, we are still working on the last $3000. If you would like to help with this, you can take advantage of our non-profit, Interception Foundation.
A couple weeks ago we had a moment to finally check our account with our organization, TEAM, and we discovered that in the midst of life and, largely, people retiring, our monthly support has taken a dip that very soon will affect us. We put this short video together to share with friends who have not been supporting us financially, in hopes that God would use it to stir their hearts to be part of His story for Prague and Czech.
Thank you for being you. Thank you for taking the time to open this and read this. We are thankful for you. If you live in or around Lake Geneva or Oshkosh, we will be having two OPEN HOUSES – November 30th from 6pm-8pm at Simple Cafe in Lake Geneva and December 4th from 5pm-8pm at RiverValley Church in Oshkosh. Please come out and see us, and feel free to bring a friend or 10!
With that said, thank you for taking the time to read and watch the videos here. Please let us know if you have any questions or want to help. THANK YOU!
Míša, Zach & Ollie
For some 2016 was rough, for some 2016 was full of blessings. For us, the Harrodovi, it was a mixed bag of ups and downs, but last night when Míša and I and I were catching up with a good friend, and long-time supporter, here in Oshkosh, we realized that in the midst of the tough things of 2016, we have so many things to be thankful for! Míša turned to me, hit me on the shoulder and said, “You know God has been good to us this year!”
See in the midst of a difficult fall, much more difficult than we could ever imagine, we lost track of all the cool things God has done in, around and through us in 2016. As we had this moment of clarity, we were humbled to think about what God has done and now we are thankful for the change in perspective. No matter how hard your 2016 has been, I encourage you to take a step back and look at things from a different angle, you might be surprised by what you see!
With that said, 2016 is almost behind us and 2017 is bursting with potential. Míša and I have obvious reasons to look ahead to 2017, as we are anxiously waiting to meet our first little Czech-American Harrod, but beyond this we are anxious to see what can happen in other areas of our life, work and ministry in Prague – church, missional communities, the Prague Lions, anti-human trafficking and more!
With that said, we are gearing up for 2017 in big ways, we have been in the States since December 2nd connecting with so many new amazing people and also getting re-connect with many friends who have been part of our lives for some time. We are still trusting God to help us get off to a great start in 2017, so that we will be fully funded. We have been working on getting our monthly support shored up, so we can feed our little, future Harrod, but also continue to love and be generous to many in Prague. Beyond monthly support, we are of course also hoping to see one-time gifts going into 2017, so that we can earmark those gifts for practical things within our church, missional community, the Prague Lions and Míša’s work in anti-human trafficking.
Before the calendar turns to 2017, would you consider joining our monthly team and/or giving a one-time gift to take advantage of another tax write-off for 2016? Click below to give.
While we have been in the States we have been sharing a few short videos from friends in Prague, so you can hear how you are blessing many in Prague through us! Check them out below! Thank you for being you and we wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I have been a “full-time missionary” for close to 14 years, which is absolutely crazy to consider! Fourteen years is a long time. It makes me feel a bit old as I type it and ponder those 14 years, close to 12 of them have been spent in Prague, the other two spent in Xenia, OH.
As I ponder those 14 years there are so many things to be thankful for and stop and praise God for. That is not a small amount of time and I can’t begin to imagine how many prayers have been prayed, how many dollars have been given and how much people, maybe including you, have sacrificed to be part of what God has, is and will be doing in Prague, Czech, Europe and beyond! I am moved to shout and sing out loud THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN PART OF THIS AND WHO WILL BE PART OF THIS!
As we have been in Washington DC this week, we have been very blessed. We have seen God’s generosity through many people here. It’s moving and I’m speechless as I think about it all. In the midst of this all, something that I have been carrying around for 14 or so years stood out to me. Somewhere in the midst of this “career” of mine and the support raising I, and we, have done for all these years I started carrying around a “I am a burden” mindset.
What do I mean by “I am a burden” mindset? That’s a good question that I’m still trying to unpack, but somewhere in those 14 years, while I would write people, call people and try to create avenues to see the support we need raised, I started to believe that as missionaries that need to raise support, that we are not a blessing to people, but a burden to them. That when they see my name in their inbox or in their caller ID, they say something like, “Oh it’s that Zach guy again, he needs money.” This might be true, but I don’t believe it is the overwhelming response of people. However, in the midst of interactions, some how, some way I started to believe this.
Then God brought us here to DC and Míša and I have had this blown up this week. We have had people remind us that we are a blessing and not a burden. It has been freeing for us. It also has helped us to see that we aren’t trying to “sell” ourselves or what we do, but we are honestly giving people an opportunity to be part of what God is doing to woo people to Himself through our presence and work in Prague and beyond.
We are excited to see how God will surprise us the rest of our trip and we are actually slightly giddy with anticipation to see how He will show up. Of course, we will have those “burden moments,” but in those moments we will preach these words to ourselves: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15) Once again, THANK YOU to all of you who have been part of this crazy adventure in some way! You are all amazing. Please pray for us, as we are trusting God to once again show up and bless us, so that we can be a blessing to people in Prague! If you would like to be part of it, please CLICK HERE to help. THANK YOU!
I can’t believe my last full week is almost here! Where has the last 6 months gone? It’s amazing how quick life goes by and in the midst of it you have no idea that it is actually moving that fast! (CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW)
With that said, I am, rather we are, excited that I will get back to Prague and jump into life, ministry with the football team and the church but moreover we are excited about the our BIG DAY JUNE 28th! Even though we are so excited, we we are still trusting God to show up in some big ways. As I have wrote recently here on my blog, the process of raising support, or ministry partner development, has been tough. There have been so many cool things happen, so many people excited about what we are doing and excited about us BUT there have been the days where we have prayed and talked about this all and wondered “What God is doing,” and “Where and how are going to see what we need to raise come in.”
In our praying and pondering this idea came to us, that is an idea to share all over the internet about our ministry, about Prague, about Czech and more. So in my last 8 full days in America we are doing, and going for, #800in8. Our goal is to create awareness, energy and opportunities for people to join us and help us reach our minimal goal for monthly support.
So in this video I talk about what the next few days will look like and what we are hoping to share with you all. You can find us on social media here:
We will be sharing both specific and general information through the many portals of technology with as many people as possible, so that we might increase our chances of getting #800in8. Our hope is that people will respond by GIVING, INCREASING and SHARING all of, or any of the information we share. Then as people give and help us meet those needs we hope to share praises with you all as people respond!
We have a need and we are trying to be creative and faith-filled in seeing God help those needs get met.
Thank you in advance. You’re all rockstars in our book! Ready. Set. GO. #800in8
A RALLY CAP is a baseball cap worn inside-out and backwards or in some other unconventional manner by players and/or fans to will a team to a come-from-behind victory late in a game. (wiki)
1. To call together for a common purpose; assemble
2. To reassemble and restore to order
3. To rouse or revive from inactivity or decline
A little more than two weeks out from my return to Prague! My 6 months of “home assignment” and my time associated with the wonderful treaty, that strikes fear in the hearts of men and women alike (known as “TOTALIZATION“) is all nearly behind me. Yeah TOTALIZATION is kind of a big and scary word, to say that every 5 years I have to be out the country for 6 months because of tax and social security purposes.
All that being said, my time is nearly behind me and we’re, Míša and I, are still needed and trusting God to show up in some big ways in the next 2 plus weeks. So we are in RALLY CAP MODE!
It takes me back to my little league days when I played for the Genoa City Mets, yea the Mets of all teams. We weren’t very good and therefore we perfected the art of the “Rally Cap” and to be honest, I’m a Cubs fan, so that is a bit more common, because that is often times all us Cubs fans have! I know it’s sad, pray for me.
Here’s the deal. We are still $800 out from our minimal monthly goal, so that Míša and I can serve together with TEAM. Would you help us meet that goal?
As I wrote in our 13% post, reaching our goal and even surpassing our goal is very, very, very doable, but we need help from you and we need God to show up in a big way! I’m (Zach) still trying to fill my schedule and get in front of as many people as possible, because that gives us the best chances of meeting our goals.
With that said, would you consider turning your hat inside out and backwards and helping will us to a come-from-behind victory late in a game, before my plane takes off April 30th? Here are a few ways you can help…
- If you are a monthly partner, would you consider doing even a modest increase of $20/month? As I wrote in the 13% post, “Even if 20 of our monthly ministry partners increase $20/month, we would be even closer to that 100%!”
- Are you one of the people that Míša and I were blessed to have the opportunity to meet and be with during the last few months? You can join our team right now, by partnering with us to reach this monthly goal! CLICK HERE
- One of our biggest needs is actually getting in front of more people, through any means possible. Would you consider forwarding, or passing on, this post and/or our website to people that might be interested in partnering with Míša and I to make a difference in Prague, Czech, Europe and beyond? Or if there is a chance would you consider even trying to host coffee, dinner and/or dessert for interested people before I leave on the 30th?
WE CAN DO THIS! THROW ON YOUR RALLY CAP AND JOIN MÍŠA AND I STARTING LIFE AND MINISTRY TOGETHER AT FULL SUPPORT!
There have been many things that I’ve learned about myself, our culture of today, communication and God over the last 5 months of being in the States and doing this thing called “support raising” or “ministry partner development.” It has been a bit of a journey, some of those days were up days and some of those days were down days. Through it all, I can see that this has brought my lovely fiancée, Míša, and I closer together and moreover it has deepened our trust in God and confirmed our calling as a couple and our callings individually. Which is HUGE!
I’ll be honest it’s been a challenge. I don’t want to get into the depths of this and/or attempt to drown myself in my own “pool of self-pity,” so we’ll keep it at that – it’s been a challenge.
Recently I had a moment of clarity, as I pondered a few things — why it’s so much harder this time around, why so few people respond to the many forms of communication we have and so on. As I pondered I had a real moment with God and it got me praying. In my moment of clarity I realized, that I have two options, if Míša and I are going to hit 100% for our monthly support: 1) PUSH and be pushy or 2) PERSISTENT YET SENSITIVE. I have tried TO get in front of more and more people which means increasing the opportunities.
I’ll be honest I don’t want to be “that” guy. The guy that would be from option one. We’ve all encountered that guy, or girl, they call several times, they don’t take “no” for an answer, there’s an air of arrogance and manipulation and so on. Some days that guy is staring me in the face in every mirror I pass. When I encounter that guy in the mirror, I get a little frustrated and I’d like to punch him in the face because truthfully the line of boldness/confidence and pushiness/arrogance is razor thin.
So what is the alternative?
Well I’m choosing option two. Choosing to be persistent, but also sensitive because after all when I am interacting with someone and giving them the opportunity to partner with Míša and I, I’m not just asking for money, but I’m giving them an opportunity to make a difference with us and, in reality, I’m serving them just as much as they are potentially serving us, by partnering with us.
Some days I’ll fail but I’m choosing to be sensitively persistent; trusting God and even choosing to trust people. Because I don’t want to be “that” guy in the mirror trying to convince anyone by being pushy. I choose to be persistent but sensitive. I choose to serve and not manipulate. I choose to trust knowing that God is good God that will provide and resting in the though that Jesus himself “came not to be served, but to serve.”
trust . hope . provision
That is what lies between Míša and I reaching the “recommended” amount of monthly support that TEAM has set for us. It has been an interesting few months back in the States, trusting God to show up in the midst of this season of life and also provide for us. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my own walk with God and God himself in this process. Which, at times, has been beautiful, then at other times it’s been a mess, but through all of it I’ve seen God show up.
Last weekend I was blessed to take part in a mens retreat (which was life-changing and world-shifting! If you are a man, you need to do it, check it out, CLICK HERE!), and one of the things we talked about was “checking in” with our feelings, communicating how we feel and connecting with others around us. Fifty some men opened up using simple words – Sad, Angry, Scared, Tender, Happy, Excited and/or Tender to describe how we felt. Unlike, most men, I don’t have a problem always vocalizing this (even to a fault, that is why the minute time limit was great for me), but it was powerful opening up and hearing men open up. With that said, I thought it would be cool to “Check In” as I think about the next 40 days and everything that is ahead of me.
Recently I was asked to share what God has been teaching me as of late and I quickly replied with three words – GOD IS FAITHFUL.
There is nothing earth-shattering about this, is there? No. It’s a truth about God that I have seen and known for years, but in the midst of my life over the last couple of years I have forgotten this truth that is, indeed, earth-shattering! See in the midst of betrayal, slander, lies, disappointments, selfishness, people not holding their comments and the like (These are a few of the things that I have struggled through in the past couple years.), we forget that God is faithful. I’m not sure why, but I forget this and some how, some way, God always brings me back. Brings me back to the realization that He is faithful and all he requires of me, is that I am faithful back and He will take care of the rest!
So here is what is still ahead of me! Will I see you? Can you help me connect with more people who love the Czech Republic and want to see hearts and lives changed there!?!? Thank you in advance for all your help!
Update Schedule as of Thursday, January 12, 2012:
- January 12 – 16 – Southern WI/Northern IL
- Friday evening, January 13 – OPEN Support Dessert in the Lake Geneva, WI area. (please pray the snow doesn’t hinder this in any way!) Click HERE for the Facebook invite.
- Sunday, January 15 – The Church of DeKalb – DeKalb, IL – 10:00am – S. 1st Street
- January 17 – 23 – Dallas/Ft. Worth – I have a couple of rock stars setting things up down in DFW, but if you could help I’d love that!
- January 23 – 24 – Southern WI/Northern IL
- January 25 – 27 – TWIN CITIES, MN – as of today (January 12th) I have nothing concrete set up, but if you would like to help, please email me ASAP!
- January 27 – 29 – Southern WI/Northern IL
- Sunday, January 29 – Faith Baptist Church – Delavan, WI – 10:30am – 1500 Creek RD – ALL ARE WELCOME!
Right now my biggest need is to get in front of more people and share with them what God is doing in Prague, Czech and Europe. Anything you can do to connect me with more potential partners is, and would be, HUGE! Here are openings I still have that I can do around Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin:
- Saturday, January 15
- Monday, January 16
- Tuesday, January 17
- Monday, January 23 (i fly into Milwaukee at 4pm though, so might be tough, but we can make something work!)
- Friday, January 27
- Saturday, January 28 (but I’m going to a workshop in the Milwaukee area till around 4 pm)