×

  • 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.

The Holy Spirit is our Helper

This has been a difficult week for us as a school. It is hard to say goodbye to a good friend, especially when that friend is only a teenager. We want to thank you all for your outpouring of support for the Nangu family, for Mongameli’s friends, and for all of us in the ICSV community. Yesterday we celebrated Mongameli’s life at a memorial service hosted by the UN. The St. Francis of Assisi Church was packed with supporters from the UN, the South African Embassy, and from the school. The message throughout the service was one of hope, and we were able to reminisce about the fun times that we’ve had with Mongameli. The family has now traveled to South Africa for the formal funeral and burial. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers during the difficult days ahead.

Words cannot express how touched we have been by the way that you all have responded to this tragedy. This Sunday is a traditional Christian holiday that commemorates the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ disciples. The Holy Spirit is part of the trinity, along with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is our helper and intercessor. He helps us when we don’t even know what or how to pray. I have needed the Holy Spirit’s power during these last few weeks when words have failed me and I just didn’t know the best way to express my feelings to God. How appropriate that we are reminded of the Holy Spirit’s ministry to us as he comforts and counsels us in our time of need. Surely, our God loves and cares for us.

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

Our Story for His Glory

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia. I walked down Nevskiy Prospekt and stood awestruck in the galleries of the Hermitage. I gasped at the magnificence of the Church of the Spilled Blood, and marvelled at the history one could see on almost every corner. What an amazing place! I can say this not just because of the beauty of the city, but because of a little Christian school that is a light on a hill, bringing hope and joy to their students and their families.

During the week of the accreditation visit, the four members of the ACSI team were able to speak with members of the faculty, staff, students, school board, and parents. It became evident that they love their school. It is a family, a community where they value each other as individuals while celebrating their differences. They have seen God work through challenges that appeared to be unsurmountable, and today have a stronger faith that God has a purpose for their school and that He will be the one to accomplish great things.

Does this sound like the story of ICSV? Over the years God has steered us around many hurdles as we have relied on Him to protect and defend the school. We are a community that rejoices with each other even in the small things, and we weep with each other when our hearts are broken. As I look back at my time in Russia, the words of the Board Chair keep ringing in my mind. He said, “IT IS OUR STORY FOR HIS GLORY.” God is working in Christian schools all over the globe by writing a story that demonstrates His faithfulness and His care for the nations of the world. At ICSV, we can also say that “IT IS OUR STORY FOR HIS GLORY.”

I encourage you to ponder these words. What have you seen and experienced at ICSV and in your own life that is a demonstration of OUR STORY that God has been using for HIS GLORY? How might God be using the difficult weeks that we have experienced together as community that will ultimately be used for HIS GLORY? During this time of introspection and thinking about the big issues in life, I pray that you will find comfort in the words of Fanny Crosby’s hymn “Blessed Assurance.”

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long.

THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG
PRAISING OUR SAVIOR ALL THE DAY LONG.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director

With Heartfelt Thanks and Appreciation

This week we have experienced the best of community. As a community, we care about each other, have a feeling of belonging, and are committed to each other. We desire for fellowship where we can be transparent, generous, and compassionate. We have the opportunity to serve others and to be ambassadors of God’s love. God intended for us to live in community.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome he told them to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” This week we have cried and prayed together as a staff. We have watched our students support and comfort each other. We have received an outpouring of appreciation and recognition from our parents. Truly we are blessed to be part of this loving community.

Please continue to pray for the Nangu family and for our staff, students, and families during this difficult time. May “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding… guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

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

Off to Russia!

Tomorrow I will be boarding a plane that will take me to St. Petersburg. I am thrilled with the opportunity to see this beautiful city, but I am also humbled that I will be working with a team of experienced educators to observe how the Christian school there has met the requirements for ACSI accreditation. ICSV went through this same process many years ago, and one year ago in March we completed our re-accreditation. Obtaining accreditation or reaccreditation is a huge accomplishment because it places the stamp of approval on the school, stating that it is fulfilling its mission by providing a quality educational program.

So what will I be doing next week? The accreditation team will meet with members of the different constituents of the school: students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and board members. They will share what they believe the school does well and areas where there is room for improvement. We will visit every teacher’s classroom and pour over all of their documentation, asking questions for clarification. It’s quite a comprehensive process.

All during the week, we will enjoy learning about what God is doing at their school. I’m sure we will be blessed with stories of His faithfulness as they have provided a quality education in a caring Christian environment. ACSI schools are our sister schools. Going on an accreditation visit like this reminds us that there are others around the world that are also in the process of educating future leaders. I’m sure my time will be rewarding and encouraging.

Would you please pray for our visit to St. Petersburg? We will need God’s discernment so that we can interpret during a very short time what we see. We will also want to bring encouragement to the community there. Please pray for safety in travels, as two of us will be coming from the US and two from Europe. Most of all, please pray that God will be honored in all that is said and done. To God be the Glory!

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

Giver of Life, Creator of All that is Lovely

The day began with several hundred people singing “Amazing Grace” to the accompaniment of a majesty pipe organ. Chills ran down my spine, and tears came to my eyes. Could this even be just a small glimpse of what it will be like in Heaven when we sing “Holy, holy, holy” to God, our Creator?

On Sunday, the ACSI Honor Choir and Orchestra presented a most incredible concert to two appreciative audiences. These talented musicians from Christian schools throughout Europe had come together after preparing with their own music teachers for this annual event. As I looked into the eyes of these young people, my prayer was that they would see that they are not alone in this world with their desires and dreams, with their struggles and successes. Students just like them with a love of music are learning and growing. Students like them are expressing their faith in Jesus Christ through music all over the world.

As the orchestra set up, I saw myself as a 14 year old carrying in my cello for my last concert. As I picked out the alto part in the vocal numbers, it was hard to keep from joining in. What amazing memories these students will take with them, for no matter how many years go by, these special times will be the ones that they remember for life.

When the choir concert began, the director asked us not to clap in between numbers, for it had been composed as a time of praise to God. The first words out of the singers’ mouths were “Giver of life, creator of all that is lovely.” What an acknowledgement that it is God who has given us the very breath that we breathe. Each day that we awake is a gift from Him. This very God that created everything also gave us the gift of music and art and literature and architecture and nature. Everything that we enjoy that is lovely comes from this loving, almighty God.

When I wrote to thank the two directors for all that did for the weekend, they responded with the following comments:

“Our time in Vienna and at ICSV was truly memorable. The students and staff were great to work with, and the preparation work and on-site coordination done by Libbie Albaugh and Ada Wiisanen was outstanding. It was one of the most successful and rewarding ACSI Honor Choir events I have been a part of…In every way, this one measured up equal to or beyond all of those. Kudos to all of you for your hospitality, use of your facilities, and staff support. Not only was it a great musical and logistical experience, but a deeply spiritual one as well.”

“It was indeed my pleasure to participate in this year’s ASCI Honors Music Festival! The students were a joy to work with, and I was absolutely delighted with the results. I agree with you that the concerts were God-honoring and worshipful. I will carry many, many special memories from these days into the future. Libbie did a remarkable job in coordinating the event, and Ada was an invaluable help to her and to all of us. The ICSV staff and parents were fantastic – friendly, helpful, encouraging. God has blessed you with a very special community there!”

Well done, staff and students! Thank you for being such great representatives of both ICSV and of the Almighty God.

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

Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Have you ever felt like God has simply abandoned you? Maybe you were going through a really hard time or facing a devastating illness. Did you feel all alone? When you sit back and look at the natural disasters, the wars, and the suffering of innocent children, do you ever question why God allows these things to happen? I must admit, that we all seek answers at times, especially when it comes to the hard questions in life. The Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament, give us just one thing to say when confronted with the misery of this real world: Jesus.

I’ve been watching a video series about the Gospels in which Dr. Jono Linebaugh from Knox Theological Seminary explains it this way:

The name “Jesus” contains a story of a real human life that includes the pain of childbirth, the death of friends and loved ones, tears, and real suffering. The suffering that Jesus bore was physical, as He was beaten, had a crown of thorns placed on His head, was pierced with a spear, and as he experienced suffocation. It also included massive emotional suffering, as was described when Jesus prayed right before He was betrayed that if it were at all possible, could God find a different way to save mankind. Jesus also ultimately experienced the most profound spiritual suffering that anyone has ever experienced when He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

We may say something like that in moments of doubt. We may even feel like that. The difference is that Jesus was forsaken by God. When all the sins of the world were transferred to Him as He died on the cross, the righteous God could not even look upon His Son. He had to turn His back to Him. God’s plan was that Jesus would experience that reality so that we never would or should or even could. When bad things happen on this earth, God has not forsaken us. He is right there in the middle of it, comforting us.

For right now, the world is still experiencing the consequences of sin; but God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth. The Apostle John describes it like this: “’Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” (Revelation 21:3-4)

This is the wonderful hope of those who believe.  As we celebrate this Easter season, remember that God gave His One and Only Son to die in our place so that we might never have to experience separation from Him again.

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