Sunday, August 27, 2017

Stand United. One Mission. One Message

August 23rd was the first day of school at ICSV for the 2017-2018 school year.  We welcomed many new faces this year including several new staff members.  We are excited about our theme this year:  Stand United. One Mission. One Message.   We hope the excerpt below from our weekly newsletter will give you peek into our first week of school!  
A New Theme for 2017-2018!

Welcome back! It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year at ICSV. We had a great turnout at the New Family Orientation on Tuesday. At least 150 parents and students were here, and that doesn’t include all of our staff and faculty who were available to greet everyone. Our secondary student ambassadors did a wonderful job of making the new students feel welcomed at our school.

This year our theme is Stand United. One Mission. One Message. The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Philippi: “Stand united, singular in vision [with] one Message, the good news.” As we continue to grow in size, it becomes more important that we make it a priority to maintain our unity as a community with a shared mission and message. What is our mission? As a school, we promise to do our best to provide “high quality, individualized education, equipping students with Christian character to impact the nations of the world.” We also emphasize respect and esteem for others and want every student to be “valued and empowered with truth and knowledge for life.”

Our message is Christ. No more. No less. All those who believe in Him have their sins forgiven and have a restored relationship with God. Before Christ came and gave His life for us, this good news was not available to everyone. The Apostle Paul explains it this way: “The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.” No matter what your cultural or religious background, YOU ARE WELCOME HERE! We will love and respect you because you are a wonderful creation of our Heavenly Father. Your students will be valued and appreciated. That is our Mission and Message in a nutshell.

During our opening assemblies on Wednesday, I challenged the students to go out of their way to make the new students feel welcomed. I encouraged them to truly value and love their teachers and classmates, with a love that puts others first. And I asked them to keep unity at the forefront of what they do here, whether in the classroom, on the stage, or on the athletic field. 

This year, we choose to stand united. God takes great pleasure when He sees His children supporting each other in community. My prayer for this school year is that we will remain focused on our school’s mission and that we would demonstrate God’s love to each other as we walk out our message of love and acceptance. We are truly excited that you are here!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.
Director
It’s not too late to contribute to the Cool the School fundraiser. Just this month, over €2600 have come in toward our goal, and we are waiting for two additional gifts to come in from churches. Our total is now at €18.935. This still leaves us with a deficit of €21.065. I am confident that our school families and friends can come together to raise this needed amount. If you have been planning to contribute, but have just not done so, now is the time! Every gift, no matter how large or small, is helpful!

To make a donation by bank transfer: 
Account Holder: Hilfsverein der Internationalen Christlichen Schulen
Bank Name: Bankhaus Krentschker 
IBAN: AT41 1952 0018 0009 3849 
BIC/Swift: KRECAT2GXXX

Send your check to: 
RCE International PO Box 4528 Wheaton, IL 60189 
Please indicate ICSV “Cool the School” Project–02157

Credit Card payment:

We currently have air-conditioning working on the third floor, in a couple of other classrooms, and in the secondary office. We are waiting for another part to arrive in order to hook up the majority of the classrooms. This delay has increased the cost of the entire project, so your gift today is very much needed. Please continue to pray that the air-conditioning will be installed very soon so that the staff and students can benefit from the cooler air in the near future.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this essential improvement to our school facility! Your investment into the lives of our students is so very much appreciated. 
Meet the New Staff!
We will be introducing several of our new staff each week in the Eagle. This week, meet David Vundi, Joel and Lee Ann Alba, and Lydia Phoenix.
David Vundi is our new secondary math teacher. He has 20 years of experience in teaching mathematics, physics and Bible, including two years at the university level. He is a dedicated person with a family of four and enjoys reading. The knowledge and perspective that his reading gives has strengthened his teaching skills and presentation abilities. He has also completed a Masters of Philosophy in Math and loves being with children and helping them learn the value of life, the most precious asset one has. His family will be joining here in Vienna shortly.

Mabuhay! Joel Alba hails from the Philippines, the Pearl of the Orient. He teaches secondary social studies. Joel likes climbing mountains, swimming in beaches and doing any outdoor adventure. He has a degree in Theology and Education and has taught in several different international schools. His wife, Lee Ann, also joins us as an aide in the elementary school. The opportunity for them to serve at ICSV is indeed a testament that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. An awesome school-year awaits us all! Soli Deo Gloria!
Some of you may remember Lydia Phoenix as she was the student teacher in Ms. Sipos' third grade class last fall. She loved being a part of our school's community, and she is thrilled to be returning as the second grade teacher this year! Since leaving Vienna, she graduated from Wheaton College and moved to Florida, where she worked at a private, Christian school. She is originally from New Hampshire and will always consider that home. When she is not teaching, she enjoys doing almost any outdoor activity, especially those involving mountains, as she is an avid hiker and backpacker. She has always dreamed of doing a backpacking trek through the Alps, so now that she is back in Austria, she hopes to make that dream a reality.


Faces Seen on the First Day of School!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Returning to Vienna


Lydia and I are now back in Vienna, Ada returned a week ago, and I have a few observations:
  1. First, air conditioning is nice.  That statement speaks for itself but we don't have air conditioning in our apartment in Vienna. Bummer.  It is not needed here for nine  out of 12 months but it was in the 90's in our apartment yesterday.  There is no good way to look at sitting in your apartment and sweating.  Just saying.
  2. Good byes don't get any easier.  As I will mention below I don't really enjoy international air travel.  To be fair, this probably has a lot to do with it.  Leaving Vienna to go to the states is difficult because we are leaving our Vienna family whom we love.  Leaving to come back seems to get harder every year.  Without question the most difficult part of our jobs here is being away from family, especially during the holidays. I don't expect that to ever get easier.
  3. International air travel seems to get less and less enjoyable.  We go to a lot of trouble to get the lowest cost airfare when we travel.  This usually means extra connections and time spent in airports.  Security in airports has increased considerably. Don't get me wrong, security is good. I like planes, especially the one I'm on, to stay in the air while it should be there.  Further, not to state the obvious, it is good not to have terrorist attacks at airports.  That said, it has become almost painful to move around international airports.  That, coupled with airlines fighting to make ends meet, makes for crowded airports and planes with long lines and grumpy people.
  4. Sometimes people shine through traveling challenges.  Lydia and I had a delay getting to Atlanta from Jacksonville.  The people with Delta in Jax did all they could do to help us make our connecting flight in Atlanta and with a good run through the airport in Atlanta we made our flight with about a minute to spare.  Yes we were praying.
  5. The airport in Paris, Charles de Gaulle, is often mentioned as one of the worst airports in the world.  Our experiences have been mixed and it definitely has its problems.  Still, as a continuation of people shining, two Air France employees went out of their way to help resolve a ticketing problem with our flight to Vienna.  This was well appreciated as we were tired and needed help or Lydia and I wouldn't be making it to Vienna that night.  We made it due to their assistance and slept in our beds that night.  Yes, as before, we were praying.  
  6. After living out of a suitcase for 5 weeks it is nice to sleep in your own bed.
It is good to be back.  Each year I wonder what God will do here and each year I am amazed by what He did do in the previous year.  God is good and I believe, with anticipation, that He will continue to do Great things in Vienna.  May God smile on each of you in the coming year and bless you and yours.

Bill

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Pilgrims' Process
http://pilgrimsprocess.blog/david/meet-david-bunce/
David is one of the pastors at our church. He does a very good job describing the church we attend and discussing his heart for ministry.
David is a Baptist pastor and missionary in Vienna, Austria. Originally from the UK, he now works with Projekt:Gemeinde (Project:Church) as well as being involved in the year-out bible and mission school Project:Vienna and the Austrian Baptist Union’s home mission.