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From the Director

I always love attending the three chapel services that we have each week. At the middle school chapel last week, Bible teacher and chaplain, Cristian Pana, spoke about “fact, faith, and feelings.” He reminded us that Christianity is based on facts – of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. He then went on to tell us that our faith is based on these facts, and that our feelings will follow our faith. Middle school is such a time of emotions that his words were a great reminder to the students that even when we can’t trust what we are feeling on any particular day, we can trust God’s promises to us.

In an article by Ney Bailey called “Faith is Not a Feeling,” he defines faith as “taking God at His Word.” In Hebrews 11, the chapter usually known as “Faith’s Hall of Fame,” God lists numerous believers who had demonstrated a deep faith in God. Two of those mentioned that we would recognize are Noah and Abraham. God told Noah to build an ark when the world didn’t even know what rain was. Because of his faith, he and his family were saved from death. Abraham was asked to leave his homeland, not knowing where he was to go. Later, he was asked to offer up his son, Isaac, who was to be the means by which he would become the father of many nations. He obeyed, and God provided a substitute ram.

So what does this mean for me and you? Sometimes our emotions lead us to believe that God doesn’t love us or that He doesn’t care about us. This is so untrue. Sometimes when I feel discouraged, I reflect on all that I have received when I accepted Christ as my Savior. The Bible is full of God’s promises to us. Here is just a partial list of what we gain by becoming a Christian:

• We are forgiven of our sins (Luke 7:48)
• We are given eternal life (John 10:28)
• We are adopted into the family of God as God’s children (Galatians 4:5)
• We receive Heavenly citizenship (Ephesians 2:19)
• We become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
• We are baptized into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13)
• We have peace with God (Philippians 4:7)
• We have a mansion prepared for us in Heaven (John 14:2)

And the one promise that I often cling to when I find myself unhappy with my circumstances is the promise that we are “seated with Christ in Heavenly places.” I encourage you to read Ephesians chapter 2 this weekend. We are reminded here that even while we were sinners, God reached out to us because of His great mercy and love. He extended His grace to us so that we are saved and seated with His own Son, Christ Jesus. So while I may be seated at my desk typing this, I am really seated in the Heavenlies. That is my position in Christ. This sure puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it? I wish you all a most blessed weekend.

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

From the Director

I had a weird dream the other night. I’m not sure if you all know, but my husband and I spent five years with our family serving in Kenya at a huge missionary school called Rift Valley Academy. Well, I dreamt that we had returned there to serve again. After we arrived, I met with the school superintendent (director), and he told me that he needed me to serve hot dogs that Friday evening at a student event. I looked at him and said, “You do realize that I have a doctorate in Education, don’t you?” I was thinking that I hadn’t come all the way to Kenya to serve hot dogs. His reply was, “I know that. But I already have people in the administrative positions. What I need is for someone to serve hot dogs Friday night.” Completely humbled, I replied, “Then I will serve hot dogs. Please let me know what else you need me to do, and I will do it.”

Right after I had this dream I stumbled upon the story of a monk named Brother Lawrence in a website sponsored by Christianity Today. In the article it told of his life during the 1600s in France. At the monastery, Brother Lawrence’s job was to cook and clean. The article said that “for Brother Lawrence, ‘common business,’ no matter how mundane or routine, was the medium of God’s love. The issue was not the sacredness or worldly status of the task but the motivation behind it.” Brother Lawrence is quoted as saying, “Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”

This year our theme has been “Godly Ambition: Glorify God. Serve Others.” What we have tried to emphasize with our students is that we are to use our gifts and talents to bring honor to God and to be of service to others. In other words, “It’s not about me!” Brother Lawrence died at the age of 80 “in relative obscurity and pain and perfect joy.” Do we have the attitude that we are here to serve? Do we have peace with God has called us to do? I pray that the recounting of my dream and this brief story of Brother Lawrence will help you to reflect on these questions. “It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” I have this quote hanging over my desk so that each day I will be reminded that if I am needed to serve hot dogs, then I will serve hot dogs — with joy and peace, knowing that I serve a loving God.

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director

New Vision Statement

The ICSV School Board has adopted a new Vision Statement for the school. ICSV desires to be “an international school of choice where every student is valued and empowered with truth and knowledge for life.” In these 18 words are expressed the school’s vision for the future. What do these phrases really imply?

An international school of choice – ICSV cherishes the fact that the school has become a truly international community. Our students come from 44 different countries, our teaching staff come from ten different countries, and our non-teaching staff members come from five different countries. Our mission is to the entire international community in Vienna.

A school of choice implies that when parents look at ICSV and compare what we offer with the other international schools in Vienna, they choose us because of our quality academic program and the nurturing environment that we provide. ICSV simply desires to be a parent’s number one choice for their children.

Where every student is valued – ICSV views every student as a unique person created in the Image of God. For this reason, every student has value. We celebrate every student’s individual gifts and talents, allowing them to thrive as they experience acceptance and love.

And empowered with truth – At ICSV we develop students’ minds by exposing them to Absolute Truth in a place that allows them to grapple with that truth, encouraging them to become critical thinkers. We send our students out into the world, having been taught the truth of Scripture and how to think and view the world through a uniquely biblical worldview.

And knowledge for life – ICSV students are prepared to face the challenges of this world because of what they have learned by being involved in the ICSV community. We are equipping students with content, skills, and habits of mind that will allow them to live fulfilling lives throughout the nations of the world.

As a whole, our new Vision Statement emphasizes our desire to serve the international community as a school of excellence that parents choose for their children. While here, students develop into independent thinkers, founded in a biblical worldview and ready to face the challenges of their future. It is our privilege to partner with parents as they meet their God-given responsibility to educate their children for His glory.

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director