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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.

What’s the hidden message?

What’s the hidden message?

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What’s the hidden message?

Have you ever been tricked into buying something that you didn’t need? Or did you read something in a book or see something on TV and you weren’t sure if you really believed the message? Well, in practically everything that we see and hear – things like TV shows, movies, books, advertisements, etc. – there is usually an explicit message and an implicit message. The explicit message is easy to see and understand. For example, in an ad for jeans they obviously want us to buy their jeans. Marketing agencies spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out the best way to sell us things. But how do they do that? They might use two really good looking people who are super happy wearing the jeans in a crowd of people. Implicitly they are telling us that if we wear their jeans, we’ll be happy, too. Since we all want to be happy, and probably also good looking and popular, we buy into the message. So even if we don’t have the money or need more clothes, we buy the jeans thinking that we will become like the people in the ad. The ad doesn’t say that outright, but it’s kind of like a hidden message.

Our kids are easily convinced when the message that is presented is hidden like that. Unfortunately, many times these messages concern things that the Bible says are wrong. Sometimes, we are tricked into thinking that they are good because of the way that they are presented. Or we may get so used to seeing them that they don’t bother us anymore.

At ICSV, we believe that even the hidden messages that are found in books, movies, and TV shows are important to address. We want to teach our children to not just accept things as they come, but to really think about them and to determine if they are in line with what the Bible says. Critical thinking is an important skill for all of us to learn and to use on a daily basis.

In the school handbook, we have a Statement of Educational Philosophy. One paragraph says, “The educational process touches every area of life—physical, moral, intellectual, social, and spiritual—by training the student to live skillfully in an increasingly complex world and by preparing the student to grasp and to grow in understanding God’s purpose for his life.” At ICSV, we make sure to teach our kids to not just accept the explicit message that is presented to them, but to be sure to look for the implicit message, as well. There just might be something hiding underneath that requires evaluation.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

Spontaneous Cheers

Spontaneous Cheers

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Spontaneous Cheers

One of my favorite days is Thursday. You see, that’s the day when we have three chapel services. First, I attend the elementary chapel at 9:15. Next is the high school chapel. Middle school is the last one that day. Elementary chapels are probably the most fun, as we sing very interactive songs with motions that could be used in any aerobics class to get the heart pumping! I must admit that I can’t get down to the floor in order to jump up high into the air. That’s just not going to happen.

To start the year, Ms. Fitcher has been sharing about the Old Testament. One week she told the story of Gideon and how God kept having him cut back the size of his army until it was absolutely impossible for his army to win the battle against their enemies. He only had 300 men left, while the Midianites had an army of 120,000. God had him cut the size of his army so that when they were victorious, they would know that it was really God who had won for them.

Ms. Fitcher explained to the children that the soldiers in Gideon’s army were given a trumpet and a torch. They surrounded the Midianite army, which confused them. So the Midianites began to panic and turned on each other. God’s army won! The entire elementary school broke out into a spontaneous cheer and clapping. It was awesome!

Isn’t that the way we should be every day when we see God doing amazing things in our own lives? Why do we become hardened to God’s provision and blessings? Leave it to the little ones to show me what it means to be truly excited when God wins! We sure do serve an incredible God!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

Our Amazing Students

Our Amazing Students

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Our Amazing Students

I just love our students! Over the last week, I have witnessed some of the most heart-warming moments while observing how our students interact with each other and with their parents. Twice a week I have the privilege of collecting the testing tickets in the morning so that our kids can come to school. A number of the younger students arrive with their parents. I get to see how they kiss and hug, wishing each other a good day. Today, I saw a little boy high-five his little brother who is too young for school. Then he and his dad did a double fist pump and a hand flourish – this must be their secret handshake. So sweet. Thank you for entrusting your little ones to us.

Last week when the students were about to leave for their class trips, I saw a high school student step up to help his classmate. One senior had taken an Uber to school and was running late. The bus was already loaded, with the students ready to head out for the class trip. The cost for the Uber driver was higher than expected. A friend came out of the bus, took out his wallet, and paid the driver. The bus could then leave. What generosity and giving to a friend in need!

I would like to take this moment to thank all of you parents for what you are doing to ensure that your children receive a quality education in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. We know that for some of you, it is a monetary sacrifice. For some, it is not convenient to get your kids to school each day, but you willingly do so. You are doing a great job of raising this next generation of world changers. I count it a privilege to just stand back and watch you in action.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

Class Trips

Class Trips

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Class Trips

As I write this, our secondary students are off on their class trips. I am so thankful that the students were able to just get away with their friends and to have fun with their class. It has been so difficult for our kids with all of the Covid restrictions over the last two years. Thankfully, even though case numbers have risen, they are still low enough so that we could make the trips. With all of the added precautions of testing and masks, we are confident that the risk was worth it.

Why do we go on class trips? First of all, they are a great way for the kids to bond together as a class. We plan them early enough in the year so that our new students have the opportunity to get to know their classmates and to become part of the class. Enjoying activities outside the classroom really allows the students to build close friendships that continue when they return to Vienna.

The trips also allow our teachers to get to know the kids better. At ICSV, relationships between staff and students are very important. We want our kids to respect the staff and their peers because of the personal relationships that they have with each other. We truly care about our students and want to get to know them as the unique individuals that God has made them. This type of atmosphere allows us to live together in harmony as a community of acceptance and love. It is a joy to be part of this special place.

I could go on and on about the educational value of the trips. Or I could talk about how students will have the opportunity to serve each other and time to reflect on what God has done for them and where they fit into His plan for their lives. I think I’ll just say that I am super excited that the kids could just have a few days where they can “almost” forget about Covid and just enjoy being kids. We want that for our school this year. Let’s bring a sense of normalcy back to ICSV. And let’s start to THRIVE IN 35!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director

German Classes Again

German Classes Again

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German Classes Again

I started my seventh year of German classes yesterday. You’d think I’d be fluent by now! As soon as I arrived in Vienna, I immediately started to attend classes to learn German. The only German that I knew was from the old sit-com called “Hogan’s Heroes” that was on TV back in the ‘60s. They would use phrases like, “Jawohl, Herr Kommandant” and “verboten.” But that was it. Little by little, I’ve picked up some important vocabulary in order to survive, but I’m still not very good. My best sentence is, “Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut.”

I had easily learned French and Spanish when I was a teenager, but learning German as a middle-aged woman has been way more difficult. I try not to get discouraged. Instead, I keep asking God what He is teaching me through this process. Here are a couple of my thoughts:

God uses difficult situations like this to emphasize our need for Him.

  • I sure get this one. I’m a very independent person. In fact, one of the things that scares me the most about getting older is that I will lose my independence and will have to rely on others. God doesn’t want us to try and do things on our own. He wants us to trust in His strength when our weaknesses show up.
    • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: He said to me, “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.

God wants us to live in community. He knows that we need fellowship with both Him and with other believers.

  • Needing others to help me with all the German that comes across my desk has allowed me to form deeper relationships with my colleagues. We sometimes receive information about Covid regulations every day, and most of the time it includes documents of up to 30 pages long – all in German! Believe me when I say that I must rely on others to help me interpret what we are to do as a school. My colleagues are an encouragement to me, even as they help me with my German.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

So today, as I reflect on the start of another German class, I try to remind myself that God is using this experience to teach me to rely on Him and on others. It keeps me humble, knowing that anything that I accomplish is really God just working in me. What is God using in your life to show you your need for Him? It may be something as simple as learning German that God is using to teach you to rely on Him.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director