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India turned out to be an eventful trip for Dan Brooks and Pastor John Ray. Dan had to overcome obstacles of a lost Covid test, last minute flight changes, and Visa paperwork issues before he even arrived in India. The obstacles during this trip were many, but the Lord showed Himself faithful at every turn.

Sheen Russel hosted CampsAbroad for the third time in over 15 years. His priority for this trip was to train young staff. Covid had an immense impact on the church Sheen leads—Interstate Bible Church. Many of the previously trained staff and counselors were scattered during Covid so new counselors needed to be trained. We prayed they would catch the burden and vision for Christian camping ministry and realize the impact it can have on the local church.

Pastor Ray and Dan were privileged to be in India for Easter and had a sweet time of celebrating the Resurrection with fellow believers. After the morning service, they drove to see property that Brother Sheen hopes to purchase and use for the church and camp in the future. Two small parcels have been purchased, but there is more to be purchased. Doc Hay’s vision for establishing The Wilds has inspired Brother Sheen to move forward with a similar vision for India.

Interestingly, the state where the camp was held (Kerala), enjoys more religious freedom than other states in India because their primary political party is Communist. They can generally enjoy the freedom to worship without persecution. The three main religious groups—Hindu, Muslim, and Christian—often conflict. Sunday evening before camp, pastors began cancelling their groups because of religious fighting between local Hindus and Muslims. Safety was a concern for any who were traveling to camp. Many of the pastors chose to reschedule for a later camp. Because of the unrest and the last-minute changes, the camp had fewer campers than originally expected. Fifty-five of God’s appointed campers came to this first of four camps for the year. Each counselor had four or five campers, creating an ideal ratio for individual interaction.

The campers arrived and jumped right into the camp activities. The campers were very attentive in the services, but the small group discussions led by the first-time counselors were the high point of the camp. Pastor Ray preached a gospel message and many campers responded. In a morning meeting, counselors spoke of 12 professions of faith, and several more had plans for follow-up conversations with campers.

During one of the final services, Brother Sheen asked all of those who had received Christ to come to the stage. Without a moment’s hesitation, 24 new converts filled the stage. Everyone was surprised at the number. Brother Sheen was overcome with joy! In addition to those who put their faith in Christ following a service, counselors had eagerly shared the Gospel with 12 of those new converts during breaks in the schedule!

After camp, we spoke with staff members who were looking forward to their second camp in a few short weeks. The counselors were tired but excited to know they have the opportunity to participate in camp again. For the next camp, the number of campers is expected to double. The obstacles that limited the numbers for this first camp enabled the staff to learn and exercise their new skills so they would be ready for the camps to come.

Thank you for your continued prayers for CampsAbroad and the spread of the Gospel to teens across the globe.

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