Southside Community programs are growing as connections in the community and nearby villages expand, and families realize the positive opportunities those programs provide. Wednesday evenings and special events have outgrown our facilities and are forcing us to limit attendance or invitations to some activities. Church services and classes are at times at a crowded level and with challenging downstairs restroom access for the elderly and for those with limited mobility. Noise levels are uncomfortable and we find some of our friends discouraged in this setting. While we are thankful for the noise, the standing-room only crowds at special events, the busy hallways and eager meal lines, we believe that it is time to look at “growing” our facilities as well as the number of attendees.
At Far North Christian School students are enjoying an atmosphere of academic excellence and enthusiasm. Teachers continue to provide outstanding classroom instruction and leadership while they serve sacrificially with minimal pay and benefits. A new philosophy and instructional method is being used with wonderful success in a one-room-schoolhouse approach that allows for independent study for those who thrive in a self-teaching environment. Our traditional classrooms and methods continue as well but we have found that the alternative option is an answer for some who are not performing well or are not adequately challenged in a traditional setting.
Continued progress is obvious and the development of facilities and campus structures are a necessary part of that progression. We are doing our best to prioritize and fit into current facilities but the community outreach programs are quickly outgrowing current accommodations. During the extreme cold of winter our students and community youth have nowhere to play, exercise, or assemble without being crowded. We do not have a facility on the school grounds that will adequately handle a graduation, drama production, or other large assembly. We believe it is time to move forward.
In moving forward we must maintain current operations, promote development, build adequate facilities, and plan ahead for long-term sustainability. We are currently well into the first stage of that plan and have completed much of the following:
- To insure that a management, maintenance, and financial, strategy is in place for all existing properties and ministry activities.
- To continue to produce accurate and up-to-date financial accounting for all ministries and accounts within the organization and with its cooperating partners . This information is currently available for board of directors and donor review, and includes all relevant information to demonstrate accountability.
- To complete a long-term income source for Far North Christian School from the rental of newly constructed single family residential units. There are several units completed and rented under Far North Cabins LLC. Funds are being returned to this project for further construction. The current plan is for up to 14 units to be completed and rented. Proceeds from rentals, when construction is complete and expenses are met, will support Far North Christian School. This project will overlap further phases of development.
A second stage of development progress is ready to commence and will include the following goals:
- To encourage and facilitate donations for construction of a multi-purpose building and further development of Southside Community Campus. A proposed site is currently available for construction of this much needed building.
- To identify program and staffing needs for the expansion of school and church and community programs upon completion of a multi-purpose facility.
The chapel and school programs have always met financial needs from within and have not, as an organization, solicited funds. Employees are paid either hourly or salaried and have not been authorized to solicit funds as “missionaries”. The ministries have been blessed by numerous volunteers who have served faithfully in many areas.
Our early leaders worked as “tentmakers” in the local economy and supported the ministry as part of their service and sacrifice. This continues today as church supporters give generously to see the ministry move forward and volunteers and paid help work for far less than market wage in many cases.
As with every faith-based ministry and community service, there have been and will be financial challenges. With faithful stewardship and God’s leading we have been able to meet every obligation and also save for future opportunities.
As we embark on an effort to construct an adequate facility for school, church, and community use, we will open this ministry investment opportunity to friends, family, school alumni and all who can see the tremendous benefit of this needed building.