We All Have a Worldview

While driving through the countryside in the Czech Republic, my husband and I came upon a town called Smrk. We both took one look at it and thought, “something is wrong here.” Even the GPS didn’t call the town by name. She said S.M.R.K. What was wrong? There were no vowels in the word, so how could we pronounce it?

This is just a very small example that shows that we all have a worldview. As a native English speaker, I naturally look at words from that point of view. I read from left to right. I tend to put the emphasis on the second syllable. I know when a vowel should be “long” and when it is “short.” But I have nothing in my bag of tricks for when a word has no vowel at all. What do I even do with that?

A worldview is basically the framework that we use to make sense out of life, and it affects how we interpret the events in our lives. Some people say it is like an invisible pair of glasses through which we view all of life. We may not know it is there, but it affects everything that we say and do. Basically, our worldview answers the “why” questions in life. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there sickness and disease in the world? Questions like that.

At ICSV we teach from a biblical worldview. What does that mean? We interpret all of our experiences from the standpoint that there is a God who is the Creator of the world. That is where it all starts. God the Creator is a personal God who made people in His image, and so everyone has value and should be treated with respect. And yet people sinned against God, bringing death into their lives. Because of this, our perfect relationship with God was broken, and so we now experience suffering and sickness. But we also believe in redemption and restoration. God made a way for people to be forgiven and to have their fellowship with Him restored. By holding to this worldview, we have the promise that God has a plan and is control. We live with hope and purpose.

My biblical worldview is not something that comes into focus just on Sundays when I go to church. It is with me all the time. Just like when I looked at that road sign in the Czech Republic. I automatically interpreted it with my built-in set of glasses. The next time you are in a situation that seems unfamiliar and causes you to do a double-take, think about why that is. What is your built-in worldview through which you are interpreting the world? That’s a pretty deep question, when you get down to it. But it is a question that we all need to answer.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director

Black and Gold Everywhere!

When I arrived at school on Monday morning I noticed the beautiful new yellow flowers in the planter on the school steps. I still don’t know who put them there. But that was just the beginning. I opened my office door to a room filled with balloons and paper lanterns. Then a huge sign that said “Happy BROBST-Day” arrived with well wishes from staff and students all over it! Cards showed up in my mailbox, people delivered flowers and gifts, and entire classes of smiling children sang for me. Somehow word had gotten out to staff and students alike to wear black and gold, so the whole school was united in its message. Hanging from the ceiling were two huge gold balloons in the shape of 60. You guessed it – I celebrated my sixtieth birthday surrounded by love and encouragement. My day couldn’t have been more special!

I want to thank you all so much for being such an amazing community. My husband and I can’t believe that we are already in our fourth year at ICSV. The time has gone by quickly. ICSV has proven to be a very special place where we stand united, seek to glorify God and serve others, and desire to grow in grace as we grow closer to each other and to the Lord.

What could have been a sad day for me being so far away from my family and friends in the States turned into one of the most memorable days of my life. I can’t even explain how overwhelmed I became as people stopped by to wish me well. Thank you, all, from the bottom of my heart. Yes, I’m getting older. On some days I really feel it (my left knee yells at me every time I climb stairs). But my prayer continues to be that of the psalmist, King David, “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come.” (Psalm 71:18) As long as I am able, I desire to proclaim the Good News of salvation until Jesus returns or God calls me home to be with Him.

After everything that happened on Monday, maybe turning 60 isn’t that bad after all. Thanks for everything.

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

Just a Clean Bathroom!

Every year the United Nations Women’s Guild awards funds to numerous charity projects throughout the world. They receive over 1000 applications and are able to help about 25 to 30 organizations with their requests. They have an awards ceremony where they update the audience with the projects that were completed during the previous year and announce the names of the current recipients. Representatives from the different organizations that are able to come receive a certificate in front of the audience.

This year as the different projects were being announced I noticed that a good number of them were for something that we take for granted. The children are in need of bathrooms! Over and over again, the need to build sanitary toilet facilities came up. As I sat there listening to the needs from around the world, I must admit that I teared up. They weren’t asking for toys or computers or TV sets. They were asking to replace a hole in the ground with a toilet. In my mind, this simple request is not a want, but a need. How can there still be children who don’t have their basic needs met? They don’t have enough food, or they can’t afford a basic education. They don’t have clean drinking water, and they don’t have a clean place to go to the bathroom.

While watching a recent US game show, 100 people were interviewed and asked “how much do you give each year to charity?” The most frequent answer was nothing! How can that be? How can so many of us sit in our comfortable homes, with adequate food, heat, and clothing when there are so many who are in need? The Bible tells us that “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give,” and that “God loves a cheerful giver.” One of Mother Teresa’s favorite texts was something that Jesus taught and was cited by Matthew: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Jesus cared about the needs of the poor and reminded His disciples that when we give to meet the needs of others, we are really giving to God.

Last week’s charity event was another reminder to be thankful for the abundance that God has given to me and that I need to be more generous in my giving to others. As long as there is a child that still needs a clean bathroom, there is always more that I can do.

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