Zach lives in the coastal town of Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica, where God has given him relationships with neighbors, teens, and other local ministries to engage in Gospel proclamation. He is currently working 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 intentionally sharing the message of the Gospel. Zach and his ministry partners currently offer English classes, tutoring resources, and other educational activities as well as worship opportunities primarily aimed at high school students.
Zach previously served in Costa Rica with the organization Seeds of Hope. After moving to Esterillos Oeste in September of 2018, Zach served 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.
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 has 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 with her husband in Asia, 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 in St. Louis, MO where she is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree.
Zach graduated from Concordia Nebraska in May of 2018 with degrees in world and intercultural studies and mathematics, having also studied computer science and Spanish. During these 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 playing soccer, reading, hiking, learning, and traveling.
Pray for Zach this year as he continues to learn and serve in a different culture and in a new ministry setting. Pray for doors to be opened, relationships to be built, the Gospel to be shared, and God to be glorified!