chaplain cristina outdoor
Donate Donate

“Sawadee Ka”. I am a first-grade teacher at the Chiang Rai International Christian School in northern Thailand. I began volunteer teaching here in August 2012.
My journey begins at the young age of 6, when I decided to become a teacher. Never did I dream that I would end up in Southeast Asia. I grew up in Ohio, and never wanted to leave the continental United States. However, God had other plans.
I grew up in the church, but officially gave my life to Christ in college during a Baptist Campus Ministries Retreat. After graduating, I became a substitute teacher and eventually a tutor at the Sylvan Learning Center. In 2008, several people at my church started talking about going on a short-term mission trip out of country. I hesitated on this for two reasons. First, I did not want to leave the country and second, what good would I be on such a trip. The next summer, I attended a mission conference with several others. I remember sitting in an auditorium and hearing God say, “This mission trip will happen, and you will be going.”
So, in 2010, thirteen of us headed off to Nicaragua to help build a preschool. During one of our nightly sessions, God shredded my heart, and put it back together in an extraordinary way. I could hear Him say, “Yes, you gave your life to me, and call yourself a Christian. Now show me what that means.” At that point, I became a prayer warrior and started participating in activities that I now know were stepping stones towards my life in Thailand.
Two years later, I attended a Women’s Retreat and heard a missionary speak of the need for volunteer teachers. She asked if I had ever considered teaching at an International School. God would not allow that question to leave my mind. After much consideration, I sent in my application, expecting to be turned down because I had never taught in my own classroom. However, a few weeks later, I received an e-mail asking me to start that fall. I took a leap of faith, came to Thailand, and fell in love with the country, its people and my Christian community. God is so good!

Take a look and learn how some of our students feel about our school, CRICS!