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Arriving in Cochin, India, brought a wave of nostalgia for Matt Collier. This church is where the very first
official CampsAbroad trip took place in 2001. A lot has changed since helping Brother Matthew and
Sarah Thomas start a youth camp for the fledgling churches they had recently planted. They have both
finished their earthly races and are now in the presence of Jesus. They leave behind a legacy of 17
healthy churches planted in the surrounding areas.

Their work is being carried on by Santhosh and Sophie George – their daughter and son-in-law. The
camp that began in 2001 continued for many years, reaching many young people for the Lord. Sadly, the
camp was discontinued in 2015 as Sophie turned her focus to caring for her ailing father. After he
passed away, they were preparing to resume camp – and then Covid shut down India (and most of the
world!) for two years.

This was the first youth camp being held by this group of churches in almost eight years! They are ready
to introduce the benefits of camping to a new generation of young people. To help with this relaunch,
the Georges invited CampsAbroad to return and hold a training for the many new counselors as well as
to participate in the camp itself.

Around 24 people of all ages and backgrounds, some of them pastors from local churches, participated
in counselor training. They were excited about camp! It will take some time to reestablish the practice of
camping among the churches, but CampsAbroad is grateful to play a small part in relaunch of this camp.

The 130 campers enjoyed their week of camp. The tradition of a camp-wide water balloon fight that
began many years prior was continued during this week of camp, and the campers absolutely loved it.
The chaos was electric, and it was confirmed that some traditions at this camp in India should always
remain. None of these campers had ever been to a camp like this before, and they loved every minute.
They enthusiastically participated in every game, song, and service. About fifteen campers professed to
have received Christ at some point during the week.

Santhosh and Sophie George are deeply passionate about camp and they worked diligently to run a
camp that is deep in biblical philosophy and excellence. Pray for this group as they continue the work
that was started by Brother Matthew and Sarah Thomas many years ago.

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