Impacting the Nations of the World
One area of our mission statement that we probably don’t speak as much about is our desire to impact the nations of the world. This year we have 65 different passport countries represented in our student body and staff members coming from 15 different countries. We believe that God brings the nations of the world to us, so that when students leave ICSV, they can take what they have learned here back to their home countries.
In addition, ICSV has consistently partnered with different outreach groups that work with refugees and others in need. This past year, our elementary students collected gloves and mittens to donate to the Oasis ministry, a refugee ministry here in Vienna. We have taken a group of staff and students to an orphanage in Romania for years, always bringing gifts of clothing or extra funds to buy firewood, etc. Individual students also have the opportunity to choose non-profit organizations, like Mary’s Meals, for which they’d like to raise funds.
Other ways that ICSV has gotten involved is by making it possible for staff members to go to different countries to use their knowledge and experience to help less experienced educators. I personally have travelled to Kigali, Rwanda; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Tirana, Albania to either serve or lead an ACSI accreditation team or to train young leaders. This year I will be conducting a virtual visit to a school in Spain to lead them through their re-accreditation.
Staff members are also involved in different outreach opportunities through their churches or on their own. This past Sunday we were able to visit a friendly gathering held in Farsi and English. We worshiped in these languages, plus German and Spanish. Those who gathered to worship were overflowing praise to God. What a joy it was for me, as a former language teacher, to be singing in languages that I am just learning, that I have known for years, and that I was just introduced to.
In our last all-staff meeting, I shared the story of seven falsely imprisoned Christians who have been separated from their families and who are in need of encouragement. I was able to write to each one to entreat them to stand strong in their faith and to let them know that they have not been forgotten. As a staff, we then prayed for each one.
This year’s theme is “overflow.” We are encouraging our students and staff to be open to where God might be leading them to get involved. We can then come forward with ideas for how we can share of our own abundance with those in need. Next week would have been our secondary class trips, each of which have some sort of service opportunity included in them. During this time of COVID, we may need to be more creative in how we meet people’s needs, but it can still be done. May ICSV truly be a light on a hill that is reaching out to the nations right here in Vienna and beyond.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director