Georgia

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After a few years of Covid tests and numerous restrictions, travel to Georgia was a pleasant reprieve. No pre-flight Covid tests, no travel visa – just hop on a plane and go! It was reminiscent of the “good old days” of travel!

The language in Georgia is ranked as one of the most difficult to learn. Our host, Micah Tuttle, and his family have worked incredibly hard to master the language, and the results are amazing. The relationships and bonds they have with the church members and neighbors are impressive. Cody Hancock, a friend of CampsAbroad, joined this trip. A few phrases he learned in Georgian were quite impressive!  

Training began with 10 young adults from 3 different churches. They have all been a part of camps in the past, but they were new to the structure and approach that CampsAbroad taught. In the past, counselors were viewed as a babysitter, so this new role came with a learning curve. The counselors gave excited attention to all the new concepts that were taught.

Camp took place on 2 acres of land tucked away in a mountainous area that is very reminiscent of The Wilds. Three buildings and tents for sleeping made for a fantastic set up for the week.

The food was graciously provided by the ladies of the church. Every meal felt like grandma had cooked dinner; the food was amazing! These ladies enabled the camp to come in hundreds of dollars under budget on food costs. Their contribution was important and enjoyed by all.

Throughout the week, the counselors slowly grew in their understanding and ability to use questions to open doors to share the Gospel. After a message about being bold with the Gospel, they were some of the first to raise their hands representing their desire to change. All the believing teens raised their hands that evening, and the desire was repeated throughout the week.

So many new things were introduced to these teens! There were many “firsts” for this camp—group games; regular preaching sessions; having a theme for morning chapel; and afternoon hike. Tent inspection was another first. Micah made it fun, and by the end of the week some of the cabins even had decorations! One tent of teen boys left flowers and a funny note for the inspectors. The campers embraced the new activities and seemed to enjoy them. They seemed to really appreciate the new schedule that was introduced—even teen guys made it a point to thank the staff for the schedule!

Many of these teens had never opened a Bible before. Since Georgia is considered a “religious” country, this came as quite the surprise since many of these teens came from nominal Greek Orthodox churches. The priests tell them they should not read their Bible but should instead listen to the priests’ teaching.

Two young ladies approached Dan after the campfire testimony time. They thanked him for the week. Throughout that conversation, Dan encouraged them to continue to read and study their Bible. Both expressed that they had the desire, but they did not know how. Micah has already started to arrange a future Bible study to aid these teens in their learning and understanding of Scripture.

The Gospel was clear, and the teens received it well. But since it was so new to them, they were not yet ready to accept. One young lady did accept the Gospel. She told her small group that a great burden had been lifted and floated away. Believers smiled with understanding, and the unbelievers were pleasant, yet confused.

One profession. Many asking for follow-up Bible studies. Amen! The great response to a first exposure to a camp with a purpose was priceless.

Please continue to pray for Micah as he tries to make these many Bible studies happen.  Let’s pray together that several more will come to Christ in the near future.


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