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  • International Christian School of Vienna is currently closed and our Distance Learning has started in all grade levels.
    We plan to reopen on Tuesday, April 14.
    If you have any questions and/or concerns please email office@icsv.at.

End-of-Year Activities

End-of-Year Activities

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This has been such a special week! With the loosened restrictions, we have been able to plan some end-of-year activities for the students so that they’d have time to just hang out with each other and their teachers. The seniors enjoyed their first Coffeehaus of the year with outdoor volleyball and basketball games. On Wednesday, the eighth graders were honored for their hard work prior to entering high school next year. These 27 students come from 18 different countries! This evening, the seniors will attend a banquet where they can get dressed up and enjoy a program to honor them. This class missed out on having a prom during both of their final years of school, so this is a chance for them to have a similar experience. We are pleased to be able to hold graduation in person next week, even though we must limit the size of the audience.

Other classes have been able to go on a field trip or head over to the park for some time outdoors enjoying their classmates. We are truly thankful to be able to end the year on such a positive note!

On Monday, members of the school board acknowledged staff members who have met different milestones of service and those who will be leaving at the end of the school year. The following have completed five years of service to the school: Ben and Sarah Hummel, Nathalie Mayer, Michaela Meyer, Devan Kvick, Cristian Pana, and Edson Dorneles de Andrade. Celebrating ten years of service are Herminigildo Sanchez, Dr. Katharina Werner, Emilia Baldovska, and Tracy Harvey. Brian Reynolds has been at ICSV for 15 years, and Barbara Dax has dedicated 20 years to the school. We are blessed to have such an amazing staff that desires to have an impact in the lives of the students.

We are sad to see the following staff members leave: Josephine Maples, Trent Lunberry, Katie Mathews, Stefanie Wegiel, Tracy Harvey, Shawn and Cameron Crane, Nathalie Mayer, Lori and Russell Rohleder, and Sarah and Ben Hummel. God is calling them to new areas of ministry, so we send them off with God’s blessing.

Once again, God has proven Himself faithful by providing us with qualified staff to fill the openings. New support staff include Brenda Wildman in Admissions, Gabriella Cirt as Registrar, Rebecca Johnstone in the Elementary Office, and Beneamin Mereuta as Facilities and IT Coordinator. New teachers include Joan Conley, Primary; Danique De Jong and Leigh Swanson, Elementary; Luke Swanson, SIPPS; Elizabeth Doebel and Evan Miller, Middle School; Melvin Perdue as Learning Support and Athletic Director; Samantha Gutheil as Guidance Counselor; and Paula Newell as our new Secondary Principal. Please pray for these individuals and their families as they make the transition to a new ministry this summer.

Janet Hocker has served ICSV for 16 years, after having taught at the International Christian Academy in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa and then at the Academia Cristiana Internacional de Caracas, Venezuela. Ms. Hocker has spent her life teaching children in an international setting. She will officially retire this September. In thinking back on her time at ICSV, she shared the following: “This is truly an international school in all its aspects. Explaining Christ and His gift of salvation to students with no previous background in Christianity has been one of my favorite parts of teaching at this school. God is using [ICSV] to touch the world one student, one family at a time.” Thank you, Janet, for a job well done.

As this is our final Eagle of the year, I want to wish you all a most relaxing summer vacation. We hope to see you all back on August 25 for our first day of the 2021-2022 school year! I leave you with the words of the psalmist David:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me  in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon C. Brobst, Director

A Life Well Lived

A Life Well Lived

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This past weekend, I received a message that Jerry Jacoby had passed away. If you’ve been at ICSV for a while, you’ve had the privilege of getting to know Jerry. He and his wife, Michaela, have been the Elementary School Spiritual Emphasis Week (SEW) speakers for 13 years! In fact, they were scheduled to come this year, but because of the Covid restrictions, their visit was postponed to next year.

Let me tell you a little bit about Jerry. He and Michaela have been motivational speakers, traveling around the world, bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to children everywhere. He was a proficient musician who started out as a school music/band teacher. He found his niche when he started to perform his own songs for the children. Every song had a good message to teach the children about God as Creator and Savior. Jerry used his many gifts to show people God’s love, connecting personally with each one.  You can check out some of his videos at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM0V3sPkmlG226KyNicHfwg. I’m sure that your children will want to sing along with them. One of the quotes on Jerry’s website was, “I eat oatmeal every morning — I hope to still be singing for kids when I’m 100!” It seems that God had other plans for Jerry.

One of my fondest memories of Jerry was when the elementary teachers all got together at Ms. Harvey’s house when they were here for SEW a few years ago. He comes from a Scandinavian background, as do I, so he was able to play and sing numerous Swedish songs with me. We sang all kinds of hymns, choruses, songs from The Sound of Music, etc. I could have stayed there singing and laughing all night! I also remember when my husband purchased a CD from Jerry to give to our granddaughter. When he learned why we were buying one, he gave us a copy of every one that he had! He was generous like that. Jerry brought joy through his quirky personality and his crazy jokes. Most importantly, he spread God’s love to us all because his desire was that everyone would come to receive God’s free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

Although we will miss him, we can be assured that Jerry is now in Heaven, in the very presence of God. I’m sure that when he passed away, he heard those words that we all long to hear, “Well done, my faithful servant.” In Jerry’s memory, ICSV has donated a small grove of three trees to be planted in the school’s name. The Jacobys loved ICSV. Please be praying for his wife of over 40 years, Michaela, and the rest of his family, as they will greatly miss him. We’ll all miss him.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

To read more about the life of Jerry Jacoby, check out this link: https://www.hamptonfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/Jerry-Jacoby?obId=21238354&fbclid=IwAR30-9r11L0fSRzY9SxY7sGBTIsxcXCPWSNHyPenub0Jgf5ftwThJ9XJaRI#/celebrationWall

End-of-Year Activities

Languishing

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“Languishing is neither feeling good nor sad. It’s feeling really nothing.” For the last couple of months, the only way that I could describe an overall feeling that I sensed from those around me was “weariness,” and then I read an article by Robin Young and Serena McMahon, May 4, 2021, called “Living, but not Flourishing: The Pandemic-Fueled Feeling Known as ‘Languishing.’” The article included this definition by Corey Keyes. For those of you who are familiar with the comic strip “Peanuts,” I’ll quote the famous young psychiatrist, Lucy, when she would have a revelation and say, “That’s it!”

The article explained that there are numerous terms for this overall feeling of weariness when people just go through the motions of life. Writer, Sarah Ahmed, said that “languishing is essentially described as a feeling of emptiness, numb, feeling stuck, feeling as though we have no motivation, no ability to focus, tasks take longer…” Does any of this sound like something you are experiencing? If so, Ahmed’s advice is the following: “You don’t have to thrive right now. Surviving is okay. Share your feelings. Take one day at a time. Remember that languishing during a pandemic is normal. You’re not losing it. It’s reasonable to feel confused and anxious right now. Go outdoors; set a schedule to allow for breaks. Remember, too, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The more that I researched this topic, the more that I found. There is actually a really old term for languishing called “acedia.” This term comes from a monk who lived in the fifth century. The monks chose a life of isolation and solitude. The pandemic and governmental responses to it have created social conditions that approximate those of the desert monks. Social distancing has limited physical contact. Lockdowns have constricted physical space and movement. Working from home has upset routines and habits.

The American Psychological Association admits that people with faith can find peace during a pandemic. Researchers and clinicians now see religious belief as an important way to cope. Faith gives us hope; we know that God will use trying times to bring us closer to Him and to make us more like His Son. I can’t say that I’ve been happy about everything that has happened over the last year plus, but I do know that God has promised to be my strength, joy, and peace in difficult times.

I encourage you to take advantage of this time of loosening regulations to get out and spend time with the people that you love. Reconnect. Allow others to encourage you and support you. Share what you are feeling with others and allow them to speak into your life. Community is important. I am so thankful to be a part of the ICSV community. We are cheering you and your children on to finish the year well. And remember, whatever you are feeling, it is normal!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

End-of-Year Activities

Weakness

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I wrote this article three months ago but haven’t had the guts to share it with you. I think that maybe now is the time. I’ll reword it a bit so it makes sense today.

I had a really hard week back in February right before Energy Break. It was because I struggle with some weird things that others may have a hard time understanding. Why am I telling you this? For one thing, I want you to understand that it is normal for a Christian to have trouble with things. Secondly, the topic came up in a Bible study that I attend about people thinking that Christians are hypocrites because we always try to make it look like we never question or struggle with anything. Well, I want you all to know that this isn’t true. Sometimes I struggle.

The whole Covid-19 testing and mask thing is really hard for me. I have always had a problem with anything touching my face. I can’t put my face under water or even have water splash in my face in the shower. As a kid, my mother wanted me to wear a little Easter hat, but it had elastic that went under my chin. Freak out – I couldn’t stand it! She had to cut it off. I also have trouble with anything in my mouth, so going to the dentist is a nightmare. I’ve been told that I have the quickest gag reflex of anyone they’ve ever seen. I struggle with fabric. I once had to make a whole new jacket for a field trip because the jackets they gave us were made of nylon/polyester. I couldn’t bear to have it touch my skin. My maid of honor had to line my wedding dress with soft material wherever the lace touched me. Well, you can probably see where this is going. 

I have a real problem with the Covid precautions. I have had to modify and make my own masks in order to be compliant. But when they came out with the polyester, tight-fitting FFP-2 masks, I just couldn’t wear them. I was blessed when one of the teachers shared a different style of the FFP2 mask with me that I can actually wear as long as I adjust the straps and wash it to make it softer. To be involved each morning, I enjoy collecting the tickets that show a negative result from the elementary kids three times a week. They are my heroes! They’re superstars! They’re taking this all in stride, for which I’m amazed. 

God has been using this time of Covid precautions to teach me to rely on Him. The Apostle Paul is considered a super strong Christian, and yet he shared with the church in Corinth (2 Corinthians 12: 9 and 10) that he had what he called “a thorn in the flesh.” He pleaded with God to take it away from him, but each time, God just reminded him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul’s response was: 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. 

Thank you for your support during this crazy Covid time. If you think that we don’t understand what you have been going through, think again. We are right there in it with you, praying for you each and every day. Please pray for us, as well. I believe that we have made it through the worst of it. 

I wish you a most lovely and restful long weekend. Maybe you can even go out someplace special this weekend! We’ll see you again on the 25th.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

 

End-of-Year Activities

Grit & Grace

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A couple of years ago, our school theme was Grow in Grit and Grace. Looking back on this year, I think that would have been an appropriate theme right now. We have had to demonstrate our courage and resolve to keep a positive attitude and to continue to work hard amidst the numerous challenges that have thrown at us.

On the other hand, we have also had an amazing opportunity to grow in grace. Everyone handles pressures in different ways, but the more tired we get, the more short-tempered or grumpy we may become. I’m sure you can relate that being confined together for extended periods of time, even with the people that we love the most, can make it more and more difficult to extend grace to each other. Remember that grace means to show kindness to others even when they don’t deserve it. Just as God has shown grace to us, we are asked to show grace to each other.

I was looking online, when I came across a site called “Nine Ways to Extend Grace to Others,” by Dawn Klinge. I would like to share her thoughts with you today about how to show others grace.

  1. Words: Be kind and gentle in what you say and how you say it.
  2. Look for Needs and Opportunities: Simple everyday kindnesses and actions can bring joy to others.
  3. Let it Go: Respond to others with grace, even if they have been rude or have been harsh to you.
  4. Be There: Sometimes, all you need to do is be there for someone. This shows them how much you care.
  5. Forgive: When someone asks you to forgive them, do so quickly and without correction. Remember that you will most likely need to be forgiven, too.
  6. Learn to Ask for Forgiveness: Be quick to apologize when you make a mistake or have wronged someone.
  7. Watch the Way You Speak: Be careful how you express what you want to say. Watch your tone.
  8. Gratitude: Say “thank you” as often as possible. Let people know how much you appreciate them.
  9. Take an Interest in Others: Learn about others. Ask them questions. Listen to them. The more you look to the needs of others, the less you will think about yourself.

I hope that these simple reminders will help as we finish out this unique school year. We can be thankful for the opportunity to extend grace to others, just as God has shown His grace toward us.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director