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Summer 2012 Update

June 19, 2012

What’s up in the ‘Zoo?

Kara and I just returned from spending a week at Midwest Bible Camp in Brighton, IA.  What an amazing week!  This camp is my happy place.  You know in Empire Strikes Back when Luke gets all jacked up on Hoth and they put him in a Bacta tank in his underwear and utility belt to heal him?  ImageMWBC is my bacta tank.  I get all messed up in the world and being immersed in Senior Week heals me.  I sometimes make my walk with Christ about intellect.  I forget that the kingdom of God is marked by power.  The love at this week is unbelievable power and it made me know the blessing I have to be in the kingdom.

This year there was around 60 campers aged 15-18.  That theme was “What Really Matters?”  Kara and I went as teachers.  We co-taught a class on relationships entitled “Love is a Battlefield”.  Yes, I did sing the song.  ImageThe focus of the class was to see the devastated landscape of people broken by bad relationships in our world and then to learn to make our relationships intentional in Christ.  We focused on sharing that we should not try to live a life (including who we date/marriage) and then make God a part of it.  Instead, we should make God our life and our dating/marriage as a tool to help that.  It seemed that a class like this was very needed.  Great times!  We connected with people in ways that are sure to last for some time.  

Thanks so much to all of you who support us and let us go do this work.  It blew my spiritual mind!

Other happenings in the ‘Zoo

Monday Night Dinners have been solid.  We continue to have an open dinner for the neighborhood in East Main and have now had several people stop in and eat with us.  There is a consensus among us that we are building toward something special!

Saturday Night Dinners are back in full swing and, like before, have become a place where lots of new people seem to turn up.  I can’t wait to bring some of the wonderful content of camp this year to our table.  I’m super thankful to everyone who plays a part in making that night special.

We have some bible studies going and are, in general, always being given things to do to simply help people out.  I’m proud of the willingness of nearly everyone associated with Zoo Ministries to be a servant and help people out who are in need.

Individually, we’ve all been busy.  There is a lot of transition in our lives here.  It’s amazing to see how God has answered the many desperate prayers we brought to him a year and a half ago.  It seems like everyone is in a new and better job, dating, married, or spiritually farther along.  Please pray for Daren as he and Danielle, his new wife, are traveling to Africa to lead a youth mission trip to Zambia where Active Water works.  Please also continue to pray for Kara’s pregnancy!  We’ve got about 3 months left until baby is in our arms.  

We can’t do this thing we are doing without you, so thank you!  I’ve been smitten by the beauty of Christ’s body in full action and it’s been wonderful to be a part of a ministry that restores mobility to parts of the body that have been stagnant and atrophied.  This work you’ve taken a part in is reminiscent of what Paul talks about in Ephesians 4 when he talks about the many parts of the body such as teachers, evangelists, etc .. being held and knit together – the muscles, the sinews – by love.  We in many ways are a ministry of sinews and muscles so that the other parts of the body can not just operate, but do so with power.  Love to all!


Zoo Ministries is a community of young adults who have chosen to live out the life of Christ in their greater community.  We focus on the practical aspects of what it means to be devoted to one another in Christ while living in a world that more and more feeds self absorption.  The focus of our community is to share the love of Christ with each other and with the world around us.  This blog updates and explains this ministry as well as being a spot to share thoughts, generally on spirituality, about the events of the day.  We hope it provides something good for you!

Here is our house motto:

“We are a community of Christ-followers who believe in living a life of love. That loves drives us to comfort the hurting, serve the needy, befriend the lonely, accept the rejected, and challenge the status quo. We understand that love is risky, and we are compelled by Christ to take that risk. If people needs a place to belong, they can belong with us.”

We currently function partly of donations (we have a 2 year plan to cut the need for donations down significantly and, actually, be able to start funding other things).  If you want to contribute financially to help this develop, go to  or send check payable to East Main Church of Christ with my name in the memo line to East Main Church of Christ 2528 East Main St. Kalamazoo, MI 49048 .  If you don’t care about tax write offs you can send it to me at Todd Tipton 5727 West Q Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49009.  We are always looking for roommates and helpers so contact us if you want to move here and be a part of this!

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