Badger grad uses football in ministry

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Todd Mishler | July 30, 2014

Zach Harrod's life has centered on his faith and the game of football. He has used his talents and experience in the latter as a tool to spread the former.

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The 1999 Badger High School graduate has spent most of the last 10 years in the Czech Republic. His biggest challenge continues to be that an overwhelming percentage of the European nation's population does not practice religion, and the country remains a relative neophyte when it comes to American football.

However, his resolve never has wavered, and Harrod is optimistic that he and his new bride, Mísha -- they were married June 28 -- can make progress, at least in the immediate future.

Their plan was to honeymoon in Scotland and England, where they will attend a European conference with fellow members of their current ministry, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, or TEAM, which is headquartered in Carol Stream, Illinois. They will return home for the Prague Lions' junior team training camp and season, and then hope to hold a wedding reception in the U.S. in November.

“This fall I want to figure out what our roles look like, focus on discipleship and spiritual development, do occasional preaching, and challenge the paradigm here with members of the team and people in general.

“God calls every Christian to be on mission,” Harrod, 34, added. “This world is hurt and needs healing, and I certainly believe that's only possible if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That's my No. 1 passion.”

It's been that way since the all-conference prep linebacker attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he studied radio/TV film and received a degree in religious studies in 2003. While a four-year letter winner for the Titans, Harrod became involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, and more specifically its sports ministry, Athletes in Action.

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