Dear ICSV Families:
ICSV’s mission statement says that we equip students with Christian character so that they can impact the nations of the world. One opportunity that students have to impact the nations while building character is the chance to participate in service or mission trips during the school breaks. During Energy Break this year, Ms. Porterfield, Ms. Baldovska, and Mr. Wiisanen led a group of seven students to Bosnia for the week. They were able to encourage and support the Summay family that is living in this country of political and economic instability. Here are some reflections on the trip.
The Bosnia mission trip was an exercise in flexibility and sacrifice. Our team of seven students and three adults traveled to Zenica, Bosnia, to spend a week in the life of missionaries, Jeff and Beth Summay. The Summays have been ministering in Zenica for 14 years and have fostered a small group of “followers of Jesus” there. Our team’s theme of “Unity” stretched us physically and emotionally as we met with their community, participated in a 48-hour prayer session, went on prayer walks, and soaked up Bosnian culture. Please continue to pray for Jeff and Beth as they establish more relationships with Bosnians and pour into the community there. Pray that more opportunities will be opened to share the gospel.
I am very thankful for our trip to Bosnia. God answered our prayers and protected us on the travels and during our time there. I felt privileged to pray for the believers there, as well as for the whole city – Zenica. The spiritual and the economic situations there are not so easy, but I could realize even more how powerful and mighty our God is by meeting people whose lives were changed by Jesus.
Miguel Manago, senior:
Bosnia, for me, was a spiritual struggle rather than a physical one. Upon arrival, I felt that there was a daunting presence and that a lot of people lacked hope. It was difficult for me to sit idly knowing that we could have easily gone to the streets and started evangelizing. However, God had other, greater plans for us as a team and for Bosnia. Although we spent most of our time in the office, Jeff and Beth’s home, or even in the parks praying, God showed me that there is power in prayer and that was going to be our way of reaching out to the community. I was able to make new friends and witness how God changed the lives of so many people and how loving and caring the community is. My week in Bosnia will always be a great experience for me, and I hope that I can one day return to serve again.
Sarah Rhoton, junior:
Bosnia was a culturally enriching experience for me, as I had never been to any predominantly Muslim countries before the trip. It was unusual for me to see mosques spread throughout the city, and hear their prayers several times a day.
Larissa Peter, senior
I learned a lot about myself and the way that I pray while I was in Bosnia, since a lot of the time, praying was all we could do for the people. I was also amazed to see the strength and persistence of others’ faith in such difficult situations. My favorite moments were the times we could praise God together and bond with each other and the people in Zenica. It’s amazing how open Bosnian culture is to strangers. They were so open to preparing meals for us despite the struggles they are used to in their direct surroundings.
A huge thank you goes out to the staff and students who gave up their vacation time to serve the people in Bosnia. They were wonderful representatives of the school and of their Savior.
We will be sending out groups to Kosovo and Romania during our Easter Break. Please be in prayer during the weeks leading up to their trips.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.