Alumni use their talents to advance Thai school

“I believe in what God is doing here,” wrote Brent Pennington (’93) when we first began corresponding with each other in March of last year.

Work had begun on a new campus for the young K-12 educational institution he and three other Abilene Christian University alumni lead, and they were waiting on official word from the Thailand government on the former missions effort becoming an official international Christian school.

Dr. Troy (’98) and Tanya (Morris ’97) Stuart and Julie (Griggs ’94) and Brent Pennington (’93)

The four – Brent and his wife, Julie (Griggs ’94) and Dr. Troy (’98) and Tanya (Morris ’97) Stuart – now oversee a dramatically improved physical plant for Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) in northern Thailand. The school, whose mission is to “serve the servant,” educates the children of many humanitarian aid workers, doctors, lawyers, professors, Christian missionaries and Buddhist monks. The two couples put their academic preparation from ACU to work each day in a fulfilling vocational ministry that makes a real difference in the world.

A room in the school’s new main building was named for Julie’s parents, Dr. Jack (’64) and Ann (Faubus ’65) Griggs, who were surprised on their visit July 28, 2011, with the special dedication ceremony. “The room is dedicated with the idea of honoring Jack and Ann’s heart for teaching and making a commitment to use that room for teaching well into the future,” Brent said.

The Penningtons and Stuarts would like to talk with ACU alumni educators, including retirees, who have an interest in serving as a missionary/teacher at CRICS on a one- or two-year basis.

“Parents regularly tell us they wouldn’t be able to do what God has called them to do in this area if the school wasn’t here providing a way for their children’s education,” Julie said.

Contact Brent at for more information, and read “House of the Rising Son” in the Winter 2012 issue of ACU Today. Deana (Hamby ’94) Nall is the writer and images are by Adam Ferguson, award-winning photographer of the VII Photo Agency:

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