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For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

Zach lives on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the town of Parrita, where God has given him relationships with neighbors, teens, and other local ministries to engage in Gospel proclamation. He works with LightHouse Transformation Ministries, an organization that offers educational opportunities to teens and their communities in the Parrita area with the goal of cultivating meaningful relationships, developing leaders, facilitating social progress, and proclaiming the message of the Gospel. Zach and his ministry partners currently work on a volunteer basis in the local public high school of Parrita, where they offer English classes and other fun educational activities in addition to connecting intentionally with teens outside of school.

Zach moved down to Costa Rica in September of 2018 and spent the next five years living in the beach town of Esterillos Oeste. He served for one year as a teacher at the Seeds of Hope clubhouse in Parrita, working with youth from at-risk communities. Through education and relationships, this program sought to share the hope of the Gospel message and prevent human trafficking in these communities. Zach served in this capacity until June of 2019. Following this, Zach and his partners set to work forming LightHouse as a registered non-profit in order to continue working with youth in the community of Parrita.

Zach grew up in Dubuque, Iowa with his parents, Jon and Ruth, and older sisters, Megan and Emily. The Barz household has always been a tight-knit, Christ-centered family environment that God used to grow and strengthen Zach’s faith while developing in him a desire to share God’s love with others. His oldest sister Emily also served previously as a missionary with MCN in Asia with her husband, Jacob, and after moving back to the States she continues to serve with MCN in recruitment and resource development. Zach’s sister Megan lives with her husband, Seth, in St. Louis where she works as a social worker.

Zach graduated from Concordia Nebraska in May of 2018 with degrees in world and intercultural studies and mathematics (and minors in computer science and Spanish).  During his college years, he was presented with various opportunities to serve, learn, and grow in cross-cultural settings. Starting with the first of several trips to Guatemala, God began to develop in Zach a passion for other cultures and a heart for Latin America. Other formative experiences for him include a summer spent as a camp counselor at Camp Perkins, Idaho and a summer internship facilitating short-term mission trips in Webster Springs, West Virginia.

In his free time, Zach enjoys reading, photography, playing almost any type of sport, drinking coffee, and traveling.

Pray for Zach this year as he continues to learn and grow in service and leadership. Pray for doors to be opened, relationships to be built, the Gospel to be shared, and God to be glorified!

Any funds raised that exceed Mission Partner’s Total Cost of Missionary Service may be used to further support Mission Partner in missional activities, or Mission Partner may donate, after consultation with the Executive Director, any excess funds to one or more Mission Partners who are in good standing with MCN or to MCN’s General Fund. The purpose for this is that any funds raised are to support missional activities throughout the world.


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