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An Act of Grace

An Act of Grace

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Last week’s news included a knife attack in Paris, 20 deaths in Iraqi protests, unrest in Hong Kong, hurricanes in the Atlantic, a shooting at a retirement community, and the list goes on. But one news story really caught my attention. In the US, there have been a number of police shootings that have involved white policemen and black individuals. This week there was an article about an off-duty cop, Amber Guyger, who had just finished a double shift, when she entered her apartment building on the wrong floor. She went to the apartment directly above her own where a black man, Botham Jean, was seated watching TV. She mistook him for an intruder in her apartment and proceeded to shoot him. It was really his own apartment.  This week she was sentenced to ten years in jail for murder.

What was so astonishing about the case was that the man’s 18-year old brother, Brandt Jean, told the court that despite what his family had lost, if Guyger was truly sorry for what she had done, then he forgave her. He also said that his main desire was not that she serve time in prison, but that she give her life to Christ. Not only did he speak these amazing words, but he then asked to give her a hug, during which time Amber wept at the thought that he would forgive her. You see, Brandt Jean is a Christian, so he  understands what forgiveness and grace are all about. And he doesn’t just understand it. He walked it out in this very visible example of forgiveness and grace. 

Not everyone was inspired by Jean’s actions. Many felt that Guyger did not get what she deserved, which could have been many more years in prison. They also felt that society is wrongfully using the willingness of the black community to forgive. In a way, I can understand their reactions, for it is very hard to get past what is viewed as an unfair consequence for a wrong that has been committed. I’m not saying that she didn’t deserve jail time and that she deserved grace and mercy. That’s why grace is defined as getting what we DON’T deserve, and mercy is not getting what we DO deserve. In this case, Brandt Jean offered forgiveness to his brother’s killer – something that she DOESN’T deserve. He also showed mercy by not wanting retaliation against her by desiring a super long jail sentence, which could be what she did deserve.

For me, this was a very profound example of how we have been forgiven by God who could just as easily have sentenced us to death for our sinful acts. Instead, he treated us with mercy and grace. I am super impressed that this 18-year old could have such a powerful understanding of these deep concepts. May we learn from this simple, yet rather difficult, act of compassion during a most horrific time in their lives.

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

(Click here to see a video of Brandt’s statement)

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German Teacher (Part-time)

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ICSV is currently seeking a qualified part-time German teacher to begin on December 15, 2019, with the possibility of an earlier start date.

The primary responsibility of the teacher is to carry out professional duties within assigned classes. He/She will be in charge of day-to-day work and management of the class and the safety and welfare of the students, while promoting the aims and objectives of the school.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in German (Master’s preferred)
  • Current ACSI certificate with coursework in education
  • Overseas/Cross-cultural experience preferred\
  • Prior classroom teaching experience preferred

Spiritual Qualifications

  • Personal relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Committed to support ICSV’s Christian mission and faith-based education
  • Willing to honor and uphold all standards outlined in the Faculty Handbook
  • Able to sign the ICSV Statement of Faith
  • Active member of a church that supports the school’s Statement of Faith

Key Competencies

  • Love of students and learning
  • Interpersonal and social skills
  • Intercultural competence
  • Self-motivation and reliability
  • Strong instructional skill and expertise with current teaching practice

If you are passionate about Christ and working with children and adolescents excites you, we would love to get to know you.

Please forward an up-to-date copy of your CV to Samantha Ozaeta at recruiting@icsv.at.

This is an exciting time to join ICSV!

That’s the Point!

That’s the Point!

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One day I noticed a post from a friend on Facebook. It was the picture that you see above – “Actually, He will give you more than you can handle.” The first comment about it was “My mother always told me that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle.” So which is it?

Without even knowing it, we interpret what we see and learn through our own cultural lens. In the United States, and especially in the northeast where I grew up, independence and self-sufficiency are qualities that are valued. So, when we read a verse like John 15:5 that says, “apart from me you can do nothing,” we tend to manipulate it to fit with what we already believe. We change it to be a half-truth. It’s kind of like, “God helps those who help themselves.” Did you think that this is in the Bible? No, it isn’t. Again, this is the very opposite of what the Bible says. In Romans 5:8, the Apostle Paul reminds us that it was “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Not while we were doing our best or helping ourselves. This is the ultimate example of God’s undeserved love and grace.

So, what about God giving us more than we can handle? If that is true, it sure doesn’t sound fair. Again, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth saying, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” Paul says that his troubles were so extreme and far beyond our ability to endure, that he thought he would die. This isn’t a man saying, “I’ve got this.” This is someone who couldn’t do what he was being called to do alone. But Paul knew that God was with him and that God who was able to raise Jesus Christ from the dead was in control of the situation. Paul may not have understood or even liked everything that was happening to him, but he had faith in God who has a perfect plan.

So, does God give us more than we can handle? He sure does! Why? So that His power can be seen at work in us and to grow us to become more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Again, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth telling them that He begged God to take away what he calls “a thorn in my flesh” and God responded with “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Trusting God isn’t easy. But the more we get to know Him, the more we can trust Him, realizing that He has the ultimate good in mind. So even if we don’t always understand the circumstances of our lives, we can place our trust in the Almighty, Sovereign God who loves us more than we could ever imagine. That’s the point!

Because of His Faithfulness,

Sharon Brobst, Director

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