Today is the first day of school, which brings in much we call “new.” New students. New teachers. A new covering for the volleyball court. New hopes. New ideas. New students leaders.
One of the best parts of CRICS is the passion for student leaders. Students have many opportunities to learn leadership through trial and error, under the guidance of adult mentors. Students make the decisions, and students execute the ideas. Every year each Senior is asked to create and implement their own “Senior Project” that will benefit or aid the community in some way. That senior must instruct and lead a volunteer group of peers to carry out the plan. It is always amazing to see what God does through these young leaders.
As we launch into a new year, take a moment to reflect on last year’s great leadership. Who knows what God will do this year?
Below are articles written by two of last year’s seniors about their Senior Projects.
Written by S. Coats:
“As a senior I was given the opportunity of planning and leading a group of lower classmen in a service project.
My peers and I went to Ban Pa Kha, a Karen village two and half hours from Chiang Rai City. At Ban Pa Kha, we helped gather hay for roofing to construct a building to host 1,000 Karen Christians from the surrounding Karen villages in the entire province. The purpose of this annual gathering, that the local Karen have, is to hold meetings to discuss politics among their regional tribe and to worship God as a united group.
Helping others in need is incredibly important to me, because I feel that is a major calling I have in this world. My aim was to help reduce the cost of labor by providing free labor and to exemplify that the Body of Christ is there to support, bless, and aid its members.
We were well greeted as we arrived at the village. The Karen are very hospitable people. As we prepared to go to their fields to start our day of service, I watched happily as my classmates willingly and happily did their tasks. Later that day I became ill and had to rest. I was forced to trust in my workers to do their service well. I began to question if my peers had worked enough to actually be helpful to the villagers. However, my father, informed me, on the drive back home, that the host had said how encouraged he was that outsiders were willing to come to his small village to aid them in their project. He said how encouraged his villag was and this in turn blessed me and I know we had done well. The rest of the ride home, I fell asleep tired but happy.”
Written by S. Yang:
We, the seniors, were assigned to lead our own, individual service projects. My Bible teacher, Greg Hortman assigned the project so that we could lead better in the future. The objective of my project was to teach quality lessons with games and dramas added. My senior project was to bring the message of “education is fun” across to the children of Huai Khum Village. By interacting with the children via games, dramas, and English lessons, I hoped to spark interest to learn in the village children. At the end of the day, I saw two students from the village who would not leave, because they wanted to spend more time with us–this brought joy and comforting warmth to me. I realize that my project’s effect may not be immediate, but I also know that, in the long run, the children will be blessed because education is indeed important.
Having fun and fruitful experiences of education is especially important for the children from Haui Khum Village, because most of their educational experiences have not been fun. One of the difficulties with their schooling is distance. With their school situating around five kilometers of their homes, the children have to trek an hour each day just to go to school. And when the schooling is not fun, the village children will have no desire to learn more, and usually they do not. Therefore, their education stops when they are around thirteen or fourteen. Barely receiving an education, children from Huai Khum Village either get married early or go to work in construction sites, leading hard lives with little or no salaries.
The reason why I chose Huai Khum Resort as the site for my senior project is because this place is my home. My dad built it after moving here from Taiwan. I was there with him when the land was still a swamp twelve years ago. I was only six then. I am now, and before I left for college, I had lived in Thailand for nine years. I wanted to help my community by teaching English–trying to bring the importance of Education to the children and community.