Behind the scenes of our tour – 1 of 4

You might have, or might not have, noticed that I’ve been offline with the blog for a few weeks. After 11 zoos in 15 days, and a week of teaching at a conference, it’s good to be back! I’d like to do a brain-dump of some thoughts for four days. An online friend of mine, Griffin Stewart, asked me to share a few thoughts on how this whole past year of 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks actually worked out. And why not get this to you while I’m still gaining my energy back and the thoughts are fresh!

We’re actually not finished quite yet! The 52nd zoo is tomorrow, a party with 200+ friends that have sent in RSVPs and are joining us here in Columbus, OH. One thing that I’ve learned this year is that online friends are not wackos! Sure, there have been some bad stories of people meeting offline after meeting online. There’s no getting around that. But our whole family would agree that everyone we met during this whole tour, and will be meeting tomorrow at the party, have each been a tremendous blessing.

We stayed with 31 different families for a total of 44 different nights, 17 of those being families we had never met in person before. To be honest, it made me really think of how Jesus operated while He was on earth. He didn’t have a house, but that wasn’t the priority for Him. He wasn’t focused on where He put His head down. That’s sort of how I felt this year. It could have been a rock or a large comfortable bed. We put the message out there, and God opened the doors – literally.

The point is, it would have been entirely impossible to stay in a hotel for every zoo. To say we wanted to go on this adventure and ask God to provide 52 hotels wasn’t the choice we made. God doesn’t just want to be a part of our life when all He has to provide is money. He’ll sometimes find joy in taking us to the edge where we don’t have a plan. That’s when there’s no other option but for Him to show up! Over the next few days, I hope to glorify Him through these posts. And thank our new – and old- friends for providing ways for us to only spend 7 nights in a hotel! See some of you in the morning for the PARTY!!!

PRAYING that God will receive all of the glory tomorrow, and through whatever happens as a result of this tour. PRAISING God for making the impossible possible!

  1. Gabe! So excited for you and your family to have experienced such an amazing journey together. Love the creative and adventurous money saving way you got lodging by trusting in God and the generosity of others. Thanks so much for sharing how you did it! Love the corelation to the travels of Jesus. Very cool perspective. Looking foreward to the other four parts of the post!

  2. Claudia

    I know that you, Marla and the girls have had a fabulous time on the 52 zoo adventure. From the beginning, I have felt that it has been more about the people God has allowed you to meet…not just the zoos. Sure wish I could be at the Columbus party but about 1000 miles separate me.

  3. So cool. Love your reflections on how Jesus lived without a home. Thank you for humbling your family to spread HIS good Word!

  4. Good post, though I like to think that Jesus actually did have a house. If I am correct, then the story of the paralytic in Mark 2 takes on a whole new significance to me.

  5. Scott – Matthew 8:20 might offer a direct perspective on where the Son of Man slept and if He had a home for life. Sure, he could have had a temporary place at one time or another. But most of His life on earth wasn’t spent in one city or another.

    There are countless stories of Him staying with people. We can assume all we want about the period between childhood and the years of His ministry.

    Either way, we do know that this lifestyle was common to Him while on earth. There’s no getting around that.

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