A Gift for Future CRICS Families: Letter from our Superintendent

Dear CRICS Friend/Family, 

Please take a moment to watch our short video providing context to this letter.

The first weeks of school always bring some tension. The joyful connection with dear friends is quickly matched by the immediate concerns of “Am I okay?” or “How will others see me?” As I look at the new students, I feel deep empathy for all the emotions flying around the classrooms and hallways. In truth, I have many of those same emotions too. I am thankful to be learning that Jesus is present with each one of us in our emotions.

Of course, the tension of opening the school this year feels a bit higher. Honestly, just weeks ago I could not say for sure that we would be starting school face to face. However, by God’s help, the Covid19 concerns have stayed low enough in our area to allow for a great start.  

Now, in truth, we have not stayed completely above the Covid19 challenges (as I am sure you have not).  Our student population is a little lower this year (180 students), down ten from last year.  Exiting families during the summer months combined with a more challenging path for entering Thailand has not helped our missionary student numbers.  Local Thai families are reeling from no tourism and a stalled economy  This slump has been steady for over a year.  

But now we look forward to a hopeful 2021-22 school year.  The CRICS Board is also looking forward and considering a significant step for the future families of CRICS! Last year as properties around CRICS moved into high-speed housing development, the CRICS Board recognized an urgency for more land. While we have not previously been able to afford the large section of land connected to our property, now a smaller section that is both affordable and of adequate size for real future campus growth possibilities has been made available for purchase.  The CRICS Board saw this opportunity as a gift we might give our future CRICS families.  While CRICS has no immediate plans for the development of this 3 rai of land (over an acre), the housing development in progress all around our school affirms the wisdom of conserving this opportunity for our future CRICS families.  

Last year, with agreement from the CRICS Board and the school leadership team, CRICS made a deposit for the land. Having developed our savings over the past five years, CRICS moved on a strategy for purchasing the land during the next three to five years through savings and income from capital fees.  Now, with the downturn in the Thailand economy and the lower student numbers, some of the financial buffer within our plan is presently not available.  

In light of all this, we are asking some good friends of CRICS to consider a financial gift or a non-interest loan that might help CRICS to avoid pursuing a loan from a bank, with all the fees and interest costs.  Presently, a gift of 3.5 million baht (or $100,000 U.S.) would allow CRICS to complete the purchase of the land with no challenge to our present operating expenses or emergency savings. This amount combined with CRICS’s present available funds will allow the school to make the complete payment of 8,670,000 baht in October.   Please know that regardless of any present circumstances, both the CRICS Board and the Education Leadership Team remain committed to faithfully continuing the present high quality of academic and school community programs.  

We would welcome any amount of a gift that might help CRICS accomplish our goal of providing for our future CRICS families. 

Information about financial gifts can be found on our support-through-giving web page.  

If you would consider a non-interest 3-5 year loan, please contact [email protected].

เวอร์ชั่นภาษาไทย

한국어 버전

Sincerely, 

Brent Pennington
Superintendent
Chiang Rai International Christian School 

Parrish Wessels
Chair of Governing Board
Chiang Rai International Christian School

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