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Confidence in the Jesus of History

Dear ICSV Families:

We are about to head into our Spring Break, during which time we will celebrate Easter. This is a very special time in the Christian calendar, for it is when we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Last week I had the privilege of attending the ACSI International Christian Educators Conference at Black Forest Academy in Kandern, Germany. Christian educators from sister schools in Europe and Africa joined together for professional development, networking with each other, and spending time in worship. Conferences like this are encouraging, as attendees get to see that they are not alone in the work, but that others around the world are serving the same Almighty God.

One session that I attended was called “Confidence in the Jesus of History.” Dr. John Dickson told us that there is consensus among secular/non-Christian historians that the broad outline of Jesus’ life is true beyond a reasonable doubt. He also confirmed that the early eye-witnesses of Jesus had formally passed down the text from I Corinthians 15:3 through 8, where the Apostle Paul says: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” A portion of this passage is actually a creed that the early Christians had memorized so that they could verbalize what they believed and the key components of the new Christian faith.

Dr. Dickson also told us that the New Testament texts are the most widely copied and well-preserved of all ancient texts. Certain key portions of Scripture have also been verified with historical artifacts, such as the Pool of Bethesda mentioned in John 5: 2-5 and the Pool of Siloam in John 9:1-11. The town of Nazareth has been uncovered, and the earliest Christian church that predates Constantine has the inscription “God Jesus Christ,” speaking to the deity of Christ.

Receiving affirmation from a highly-respected historical scholar that the New Testament text is accurate only affirms our belief that we serve a God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth as full God and full man, who died on the cross as a substitution for the penalty of our sins, so that we might have eternal life.

May we, with the Apostle Paul, rejoice in our salvation, as he said in I Corinthians 15: 57: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Have a most blessed Easter and vacation with your families.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.
Director

ICSV kids love to read!

Dear ICSV Families:

I rarely leave home without a book in my bag. I may have ten minutes on the U-bann to pull it out and be transported to a different world. I may wind up waiting for the next train, so I pull out my book and the time flies by. I love reading biographies that shed light on the lives of famous people. Then when I read books that they have written I can see how their personal experiences had an influence on what they wrote. I also love reading historical fiction because I make friends with the main characters and increase my knowledge of history at the same time.

ICSV kids also love to read. Have you had a chance to see their book reports hanging in the hallways periodically throughout the year? Maybe you were privileged to hear your elementary student practice their oral presentation about a book they had read. Reading to your kids or letting them read to you is one of the greatest joys of being a parent. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”

This week is the book fair. People have been donating to the school books that they have enjoyed and want to share with others. You have the opportunity to now purchase those books for just one euro each! Check out the books that are available this evening during Mr. ICSV and the International Family Fun Night, and then enjoy reading!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.
Director

Bosnia Mission Trip

Dear ICSV Families:

ICSV’s mission statement says that we equip students with Christian character so that they can impact the nations of the world. One opportunity that students have to impact the nations while building character is the chance to participate in service or mission trips during the school breaks. During Energy Break this year, Ms. Porterfield, Ms. Baldovska, and Mr. Wiisanen led a group of seven students to Bosnia for the week. They were able to encourage and support the Summay family that is living in this country of political and economic instability. Here are some reflections on the trip.

Ms. Porterfield:
The Bosnia mission trip was an exercise in flexibility and sacrifice. Our team of seven students and three adults traveled to Zenica, Bosnia, to spend a week in the life of missionaries, Jeff and Beth Summay. The Summays have been ministering in Zenica for 14 years and have fostered a small group of “followers of Jesus” there. Our team’s theme of “Unity” stretched us physically and emotionally as we met with their community, participated in a 48-hour prayer session, went on prayer walks, and soaked up Bosnian culture. Please continue to pray for Jeff and Beth as they establish more relationships with Bosnians and pour into the community there. Pray that more opportunities will be opened to share the gospel.

Ms. Baldovska:
I am very thankful for our trip to Bosnia. God answered our prayers and protected us on the travels and during our time there. I felt privileged to pray for the believers there, as well as for the whole city – Zenica. The spiritual and the economic situations there are not so easy, but I could realize even more how powerful and mighty our God is by meeting people whose lives were changed by Jesus.

Miguel Manago, senior:
Bosnia, for me, was a spiritual struggle rather than a physical one. Upon arrival, I felt that there was a daunting presence and that a lot of people lacked hope. It was difficult for me to sit idly knowing that we could have easily gone to the streets and started evangelizing. However, God had other, greater plans for us as a team and for Bosnia. Although we spent most of our time in the office, Jeff and Beth’s home, or even in the parks praying, God showed me that there is power in prayer and that was going to be our way of reaching out to the community. I was able to make new friends and witness how God changed the lives of so many people and how loving and caring the community is. My week in Bosnia will always be a great experience for me, and I hope that I can one day return to serve again.

Sarah Rhoton, junior:
Bosnia was a culturally enriching experience for me, as I had never been to any predominantly Muslim countries before the trip. It was unusual for me to see mosques spread throughout the city, and hear their prayers several times a day.

Larissa Peter, senior
I learned a lot about myself and the way that I pray while I was in Bosnia, since a lot of the time, praying was all we could do for the people. I was also amazed to see the strength and persistence of others’ faith in such difficult situations. My favorite moments were the times we could praise God together and bond with each other and the people in Zenica. It’s amazing how open Bosnian culture is to strangers. They were so open to preparing meals for us despite the struggles they are used to in their direct surroundings.

A huge thank you goes out to the staff and students who gave up their vacation time to serve the people in Bosnia. They were wonderful representatives of the school and of their Savior.

We will be sending out groups to Kosovo and Romania during our Easter Break. Please be in prayer during the weeks leading up to their trips.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.
Director