Off to Russia!

Tomorrow I will be boarding a plane that will take me to St. Petersburg. I am thrilled with the opportunity to see this beautiful city, but I am also humbled that I will be working with a team of experienced educators to observe how the Christian school there has met the requirements for ACSI accreditation. ICSV went through this same process many years ago, and one year ago in March we completed our re-accreditation. Obtaining accreditation or reaccreditation is a huge accomplishment because it places the stamp of approval on the school, stating that it is fulfilling its mission by providing a quality educational program.

So what will I be doing next week? The accreditation team will meet with members of the different constituents of the school: students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and board members. They will share what they believe the school does well and areas where there is room for improvement. We will visit every teacher’s classroom and pour over all of their documentation, asking questions for clarification. It’s quite a comprehensive process.

All during the week, we will enjoy learning about what God is doing at their school. I’m sure we will be blessed with stories of His faithfulness as they have provided a quality education in a caring Christian environment. ACSI schools are our sister schools. Going on an accreditation visit like this reminds us that there are others around the world that are also in the process of educating future leaders. I’m sure my time will be rewarding and encouraging.

Would you please pray for our visit to St. Petersburg? We will need God’s discernment so that we can interpret during a very short time what we see. We will also want to bring encouragement to the community there. Please pray for safety in travels, as two of us will be coming from the US and two from Europe. Most of all, please pray that God will be honored in all that is said and done. To God be the Glory!

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

Giver of Life, Creator of All that is Lovely

The day began with several hundred people singing “Amazing Grace” to the accompaniment of a majesty pipe organ. Chills ran down my spine, and tears came to my eyes. Could this even be just a small glimpse of what it will be like in Heaven when we sing “Holy, holy, holy” to God, our Creator?

On Sunday, the ACSI Honor Choir and Orchestra presented a most incredible concert to two appreciative audiences. These talented musicians from Christian schools throughout Europe had come together after preparing with their own music teachers for this annual event. As I looked into the eyes of these young people, my prayer was that they would see that they are not alone in this world with their desires and dreams, with their struggles and successes. Students just like them with a love of music are learning and growing. Students like them are expressing their faith in Jesus Christ through music all over the world.

As the orchestra set up, I saw myself as a 14 year old carrying in my cello for my last concert. As I picked out the alto part in the vocal numbers, it was hard to keep from joining in. What amazing memories these students will take with them, for no matter how many years go by, these special times will be the ones that they remember for life.

When the choir concert began, the director asked us not to clap in between numbers, for it had been composed as a time of praise to God. The first words out of the singers’ mouths were “Giver of life, creator of all that is lovely.” What an acknowledgement that it is God who has given us the very breath that we breathe. Each day that we awake is a gift from Him. This very God that created everything also gave us the gift of music and art and literature and architecture and nature. Everything that we enjoy that is lovely comes from this loving, almighty God.

When I wrote to thank the two directors for all that did for the weekend, they responded with the following comments:

“Our time in Vienna and at ICSV was truly memorable. The students and staff were great to work with, and the preparation work and on-site coordination done by Libbie Albaugh and Ada Wiisanen was outstanding. It was one of the most successful and rewarding ACSI Honor Choir events I have been a part of…In every way, this one measured up equal to or beyond all of those. Kudos to all of you for your hospitality, use of your facilities, and staff support. Not only was it a great musical and logistical experience, but a deeply spiritual one as well.”

“It was indeed my pleasure to participate in this year’s ASCI Honors Music Festival! The students were a joy to work with, and I was absolutely delighted with the results. I agree with you that the concerts were God-honoring and worshipful. I will carry many, many special memories from these days into the future. Libbie did a remarkable job in coordinating the event, and Ada was an invaluable help to her and to all of us. The ICSV staff and parents were fantastic – friendly, helpful, encouraging. God has blessed you with a very special community there!”

Well done, staff and students! Thank you for being such great representatives of both ICSV and of the Almighty God.

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