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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.

Looking Back at the Year

This year, we have focused on growing in grit and grace. Our students have demonstrated these two qualities in numerous ways this year. Our athletes have played to win by showing perseverance and tenacity. Our musicians performed for us at several concerts, blessing us with God’s gift of creativity brought to fruition after many hours of practice. Our actors graced the stage with the combined performance of “Oliver,” showing how our high school students can serve as leaders and examples for our elementary students. Our high school leaders represented us well at the Student Leadership Conference and in our newly-organized Student Government. Our students served others on the Romania outreach trip this year, as ICSV community members donated items, demonstrating grace to those in need. Our scholars completed their two-year IB program after hours of studying, and our elementary students were recognized for working hard and showing grit as they reached for their personal MAP growth goals. Overall, I think I can say that our staff and students simply finished well.

One of the biggest achievements this year was the final purchase of the land next to our current campus. After two years of demonstrating grit, God showed favor on ICSV, providing us with this amazing gift of grace. We are truly thankful for how God has demonstrated His ongoing provision at ICSV.

Now, as the 2018-2019 school year comes to a close, we remember our graduates who have been accepted to universities in Austria, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the US, and as far away as Thailand. We have enjoyed having students from over 60 countries, up from 50 just a few years ago, and we celebrated the 300 enrolled students that God brought to our open doors. What an exciting year!

Once again, it has been my pleasure serving as the director of ICSV. Thank you for the confidence that you have placed in me and our awesome team of teachers. It is truly our privilege to partner with you in the education of your children. Enjoy the last week of school – with the field trips and final exams, and the eighth-grade celebration. And don’t forget to join us on Thursday, June 13, for graduation. What an exciting way to end the year!

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

Curiosity, Part 2

This past weekend, I watched a TV show called “Nova,” a popular science series. It was about inventions leading up to the smartphone. What stood out to me was that each story told of how the person who invented something did so because of a hardship or tragic event in his or her life. For example, it started with the story of Samuel Morse, a painter and amateur inventor, who was working in Washington DC, when his beloved wife, who was living in New England, died during childbirth. He received a letter three days after she died, and then had to travel for three days to get to her. By then, she was already buried. He started wondering if there was a way to send messages more quickly, so he developed a system of dots and dashes that could be sent using the telegraph. This idea grew out of his grief over the death of his wife.

Another invention that was featured on the show was that of spread spectrum technology. Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian-American film actress, was born into a Jewish family in 1914. She married a man who had close ties to Mussolini and Hitler. She decided to leave him, fleeing to the US. During WWII, she learned that the Allies were losing the war on the seas to the Nazis because their radio-controlled torpedoes were easily jammed, sending them off course. Working with the man who invented the player-piano, she developed a device that could create a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. Although the US Navy didn’t use this new invention until years later, Lamarr worked to create a new navigation system because she wanted to find a way to protect the Jewish people and her homeland of Austria from the Nazis.

As I thought about how going through a time of need or even tragedy prompted these inventors to take the time to work toward a solution to their problem, I was reminded that this is the exact way that God uses difficulties in our own lives. When one becomes a Christian, this does not mean that life all of a sudden becomes easy. In fact, the Bible tells us to expect trials and suffering. A couple of verses reinforce this very idea, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3); “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings” (I Peter 4); “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8).

When we go through difficult times, we are drawn to God as our source of strength. Just as Lamarr and Morse used their times of grief to want to find an answer, so we, too, can use our times of struggle to look to God for answers. He has promised us that “for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8). God has a purpose for everything that happens during our lives. He uses trials to teach us patience, so that we will become more and more like Him.

I’m sure glad that He is in control and that He knows exactly what I need, when I need it. This weekend, I encourage you to think about what God might be trying to teach you, whether you are going through a difficult time or a time of relative peace. Remember, God is working in us “to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2).

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

I Wonder?

This year in elementary chapel we have been going through seven intellectual virtues that describe what it means to have intellectual character. The school setting is the perfect place to define, explain, and then acknowledge when our students exhibit these qualities. So far we have covered courage, carefulness, tenacity, fair-mindedness, honesty, and humility. Our last characteristic is curiosity.

I volunteered to speak about this one, for I was a very curious child. When I first encountered a classmate who couldn’t speak English, I was intrigued, for I couldn’t figure out why his name was spelled with a J (José) when it was pronounced like an H. When I learned that not all number systems are created using Base Ten, I went out and created my own number system. When I was in sixth grade, we had a separate science teacher for the first time. He had us collect little bottles and regular household ingredients to make a sort of homemade chemistry set. We then set about mixing certain ones together to see what would happen. I loved making different colors or setting off a chemical reaction that gave off smoke. Why did these thing happen?

Maybe you demonstrated this quality or have a child that drives you nuts with all of his “why” questions. Curiosity can be defined as inquisitiveness. It’s the desire to learn about things by asking questions. It includes investigating and exploring in order to find answers. Scientists tend to be naturally curious, for they want an explanation for things and wonder what would happen if something changed. Without curiosity, we wouldn’t even have the field of science. Many people think that many of the early scientists didn’t believe in God, but were looking for an explanation for things in the natural world. My understanding is that there were many Christians who took to the study of science because they wanted to better understand God’s creation.

There is a US TV show called The Big Bang Theory that is about a group of physicists and an engineer who are brilliant academically but lack in social understanding. One of the main characters, Sheldon, is a self-proclaimed atheist. There is a spin-off show that shows Sheldon growing up. In one episode, a young girl dies, and Sheldon’s mother, who is a strong Christian, finds herself questioning God and why this could happen. She is sitting outside on the front porch looking up at the stars wondering if there really is a loving God out there, when her young son interrupts her thoughts. He turns to logic to help her with this crisis of faith. He asks her, “Did you know that if gravity were slightly more powerful that the universe would collapse into a ball? And if gravity were slightly less powerful, then the universe would fly apart, and there would be no stars or planets? It’s just that gravity is precisely as strong as it needs to be. And if the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the strong force wasn’t 1%, life wouldn’t even exist? What are the odds of that happening all by itself?” His mother explains that she didn’t need logic for what she was struggling with. Her problem was in her heart, not her head. Sheldon replies with “There are five billion people on this planet, and you’re the perfect mom for me. What are the odds of that?” His mother finally got it. Nothing in life happens by chance. It is all orchestrated by a Sovereign God who loves and cares for us.

I am so glad that God created us as curious people. Without curiosity, we wouldn’t have any of the inventions that we have today like the telephone, the computer, vaccinations, or even eyeglasses. Man wouldn’t have invented the printing press that brought the Word of God to everyone in his or her own language. Curiosity – I encourage you to keep searching for mystery and asking those tough questions, not being satisfied with easy answers. And I especially encourage you to never lose the innocent curiosity that we had as children that brings about such joy when we discover a new truth about God and His creation. Have a great weekend exploring!

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

New Building Ideas

New Building Ideas

After we announced the purchase of the new property to the school community, the first thing that I did was to go to the students to hear their ideas about what we should try to include in the project. I was super impressed with the practicality of their responses.

The Middle School students asked for a bigger field and a gym with showers. They asked if we could separate the elementary and secondary students, with a bigger play area for secondary. They wanted larger art and music rooms and a larger nurse’s office. They requested a parking lot so you parents aren’t all congested out on the street when picking them up. Outside they’d love a swimming pool and a track.

The High School students’ comments were similar. They asked for a gym and more classrooms, with a stage that could be in the gym or in an auditorium. They requested changing rooms backstage and a nicer weight room. They advocated for more science labs and an outdoor eating area. And don’t forget the pool! When I asked if we could do either a soccer field or a pool, they unanimously opted for the soccer field.

The next meeting was with the school board, administration, and parents. Their comments were also very similar. The first request was for a nice library. One parent mentioned the acoustics in the drama space, and another asked for an industrial kitchen. A drop-off area was brought up with an area for green space. We talked about the potential of expanding our kindergarten offerings to younger children. There were several younger children there. They liked the idea of a garden where they could grow vegetables and a pool!

One parent asked about the school’s plans for increasing tuition. We assured her that the school board has a policy for the percentage that tuition can increase each year. I mentioned that we are planning on the increase in enrollment to help cover the additional costs and that our Tuition Waiver Fund would continue to help families who demonstrate financial need to be able to send their kids to ICSV. The school wants to grow so that it can educate more students in the same caring environment that we enjoy today.

If you were unable to attend the parent meeting, please feel free to send your ideas to the school at office@icsv.at. If you have a background in designing schools or have seen a school that you think we should look at, be sure to contact us. We are in the very early stage of planning what we want, so there is plenty of room to throw out those big dream ideas at this point. Enjoy the journey with us as we watch what God is able to do here in Vienna!

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

What an Exciting Time to be Part of the ICSV Community!

What an Exciting Time to be Part of the ICSV Community!

ICSV is excited to announce that the school has purchased the 5736 square meter property immediately adjacent to our current campus. This land purchase has been in process for two years, and we are delighted that plans to expand the campus can now begin.

Let me tell you how this all came about. In May of 2017, two businessmen asked to meet with me. They turned out to be land developers who were interested in purchasing our current property. Their plan was to buy all the property on this side of Wagramer Strasse in order to build apartments and office space. I learned from them that the property next door to ours, where Sixt and Lucky Car have buildings, was going up for private auction. I knew that the school had tried a number of times to purchase this property, so when they said it was going up for sale, I replied with, “We don’t want to sell our school. We want to buy that property!” 

The odds of outbidding a development company were not in our favor; however, we spoke with numerous banks, consulted with several developers, etc. and the School Board placed our bid for the property. The whole process was covered with much prayer, asking God to show favor on ICSV and to make our dream become a reality. In the end, the School Board submitted a proposal that was approved and chosen. God was indeed at work! For the last two years, we have been working to complete the purchase, and today we can say that ICSV owns both the 175 and now 177 Wagramer Strasse properties!

As part of the school’s strategic vision for the future, the plan is to build a school that will accommodate 500 to 600 students. The project will include a gymnasium/auditorium, state-of-the-art science labs, a fine arts wing, learning commons, classrooms, cafeteria, and more. We are even looking at the possibility of putting a playing field on the roof! The campus expansion will ensure that ICSV can continue to provide a high-quality, individualized, Christian education to an increasing number of students that will be able to impact the nations of the world. 

We would like to invite you to a parent meeting on Thursday, May 16, at 6:00 pm to meet with members of the School Board and administration to brainstorm ideas, to make suggestions, and to ask questions about the building project. Students will also be given an opportunity to be involved in the planning process. Today we give thanks to our Almighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. I can’t wait to see how God goes before us over the next few years to make our new school a reality. This really is an exciting time to be part of the ICSV community!

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

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to trust God even during the hard times. Yesterday I shared with the staff the story behind the old hymn ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. This hymn was written by a lady named Lousia M. R. Stead back in the 1800s. Some of the words to the song are as follows:

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise, just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!

C. Michale Hawn writes this about what led to Mrs. Stead writing this hymn:

“When [their] child was four years of age, the family decided one day to enjoy the sunny beach at Long Island Sound, New York. While eating their picnic lunch, they suddenly heard cries of help and spotted a drowning boy in the sea. Mr. Stead charged into the water. As often happens, however, the struggling boy pulled his rescuer under water with him, and both drowned before the terrified eyes of wife and daughter. Out of her ‘why?’ struggle with God during the ensuring days glowed these meaningful words from the soul of Louisa Stead.” 

In the hymn, Mrs. Stead acknowledged that the only way to get through this tragedy was to cling to God’s promises. She reminded us that she could trust God even in the hard times because He had proven Himself faithful so many times before. And in the end she prayed for even more grace to be able trust God in the future.

This week marks the anniversary of the school’s tremendous loss of one of our beloved students, Mongameli. It is at times like these that we are reminded of God’s promises and that we must  trust Him as the Almighty God who loves us more than we could ever imagine. This morning at our staff devotion time, Ms. Madu defined trust as “surrendering the outcome that you feel is the only good outcome that a good God should write.” Isn’t it amazing that we often think we know what is best for us, even more so than God? As a kid I memorized Proverbs 3:5 and 6 that say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” This week when I was pondering trust, I saw that this verse can also be translated into English as “in all your ways submit to Him.” I must admit that I don’t like that version as much. Submitting our own will, even to God, just isn’t exactly what we want to do. That’s probably why we find it so hard to trust Him sometimes.

I encourage you to spend some time going through the Bible to see how many verses you can find that talk about trusting God. It’s a great study that helps us to take our eyes off our circumstances and focus them on the Sovereign God.

A huge thanks to all who planned and attended the picnic and soccer game that were held in Mongameli’s memory on Wednesday. The high school team won the King Nangu Trophy, which the Nangu family will hold onto for us until next year when there will be a rematch. Thank you, Ms. Gerdes, for caring for our school community by ensuring that we support each other as we continue to grieve our great loss. Please keep the Nangu family in your prayers.

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