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Vienna Christian Fellowship Celebrates 23 Years

On Sunday, October 9, my husband and I had the privilege of attending the anniversary celebration at VCF, a church that meets in the school building on Sundays. I didn’t realize that they have been working with ICSV since before the school moved to the Wagramer Strasse location! What a long, wonderful partnership!

Several things stood out to me about the service. One was how much the church celebrates its young people. They were included in the program and were involved in numerous ways. I was especially moved as numerous teenagers came over to the pastor prior to leaving in order to show their respect and to receive his blessing.

Another aspect of the program that I found encouraging was that representatives from other Filipino churches from Austria and Italy were there to bring greetings and to show their support. VCF has reached out beyond Vienna to help establish new congregations. A church with a mission-minded view is a thriving church.

A third component of the day that touched me was the overall joy and spirit exhibited throughout the program. Everyone sang with gusto, including the youth. They demonstrated a true joy in just being in fellowship with each other. This atmosphere began with the brightly decorated room to the partaking of food after the service. I don’t know if you remember the “Ee-Taow!” YouTube clip that I shared with you a few weeks ago. Well, I showed it to the congregation as an example of the joy that we should exhibit if we really understand that our sins have been forgiven and that Christ came to be our sin-bearer. When the Mouk tribes people began to cheer and dance, the VCF congregation also cheered. As I looked out into the audience, there were those who were also shedding tears of joy. I was encouraged and blessed to have been a part of the church’s anniversary celebration.

I don’t think I ever told you that a group of parishioners from VCF were at the school one day in August right before we were to start the new school year. The school staff were all very tired as we prepared to receive the students. When I arrived that day the church people were cleaning the school! They had volunteered their time on a public holiday because they “wanted to get the school ready for the children.”

ICSV is fortunate to have such a loving and caring church share the building that God has blessed us with. My prayer would be that their joyful attitudes and desire to serve others would be an encouragement to us all.

I wish you a wonderful fall break! We look forward to seeing the students back on Wednesday, November 2.

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director

Our Fiber Optic Line is Here!

On Wednesday, October 12, our fiber optic Internet line was plugged in! We are so excited to have this expanded internet ability! As part of our summer technology initiative we contracted with A1 to install a fiber optic line that would greatly increase the bandwidth available to our students and staff. We have been “patiently” waiting for them to complete the installation. First, we saw them digging up our sidewalks to install the conduit in which they would thread the fiber optic line. Then we had to wait for them to connect the line to the school and then to A1. Finally, they needed to turn on the switch, which is what happened on Wednesday!My husband, Greg, teaches the computer classes here, and so he is super excited that we can now connect without having a long wait time or else having the system go down on us. Our two tech guys, Alex and Stefan, said that we will plan a time for everyone to log onto their computers and devices at the same time to see if we reach capacity. From the looks of things so far, it appears that we are in great shape for our current needs. They also inform me that there is room for future growth, should we move to a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or a One-to-One Program in the future.

Thank you so much for praying with us for this need.

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director

The United Nations Women’s Guild Charity Award Ceremony

This week I was privileged to be invited to the UN Women’s Guild Charity Awards. Each year, the organization receives grant requests from all over the world for projects that benefit children. This year, they raised enough to donate over 257.000 euros that will help over 18.000 children worldwide. In attendance were members of the UN Women’s Guild, representatives of non-profit organizations that were there to receive their awards, and members of the greater-Vienna community.
There were two wonderful musical performances for our enjoyment. First, the Young Master Ensemble that is made up of musicians between the ages of 14 and 18 who attend either the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna or the Johann Sebastian Back Music School, played several amazing numbers that demonstrated outstanding musical skill. The event concluded with Mr. Ramon Vargas, a former ICSV parent and a world-renowned Mexican tenor, singing two operatic numbers. He received a standing ovation after he was done.
Interspersed throughout the program were videos showing the children that would be benefiting from the grants. I found myself caught between watching children with dire physical needs during one moment and then being carried away with the beautiful strings of a Haydn overture during another. The video so vividly demonstrated the result of sin in the world, while the music highlighted God’s amazing gift of creativity to human beings.
I was reminded of this year’s theme at ICSV: Glorify God; Serve Others. That was what was happening there today. As I listened to the beautiful music, I was able to praise God for His gift of music and for the talents that He has bestowed on these young people. I was also there to celebrate with those that work to help alleviate poverty, illness, lack of education, etc. in the lives of the children in need. They have dedicated themselves to serving “the least of these.”
At one point during the program, the president of UNWG, Mrs. Marina Radchenkova, asked us to all join hands in support of what was taking place. Their motto is “Joining hands to help children.” Here were people from all around the globe, many wearing their national clothing, joining together to serve children. It was such a privilege to be there to celebrate the funds that were raised to meet the many needs and to be uplifted with the beautiful music. This was a very inspiring event that takes place each year here in Vienna.
Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director

Wiener Wiesen Fest

On Saturday evening, my husband and I ventured out to see what all the excitement was about at the Prater. We had never experienced a Wiener Wiesn-Fest before. While we did enjoy a big pretzel and a Käsekrainer as we walked home through the park, what we appreciated the most was people watching. For someone not from Austria, it was so special to see everyone dressed up in their native garb. From little children right up to the elderly patrons, we saw those wearing their special dirndl or their lederhosen and gingham shirts.

Having pride in one’s cultural and national identity is a great thing. Passing down special customs to one’s children and telling them stories of what it was like years ago are both a privilege and a responsibility for those of us who are parents. Many Americans don’t have a direct tie to their distant past; however, my family was a little different. Both of my mother’s parents came to the US from Sweden, and we have kept in touch with our Swedish cousins over the years. We visit each other often, and now my own children are carrying on this important connection. If you visited our apartment, you’d see Swedish wall hangings throughout the rooms. I love celebrating my Swedish ancestry.

One of the things that is so special about ICSV is the cultural diversity that each family brings to our school. I often see children who are wearing clothing that is unique to their passport country. Even more than that, I see them shining brightly as examples of God’s creativity. When God created us, He didn’t make us all alike, and I am so thankful for the differences.

Let’s celebrate today God’s amazing creation and the wonderful, diverse school that we enjoy!

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director