On Sunday, October 9, my husband and I had the privilege of attending the anniversary celebration at VCF, a church that meets in the school building on Sundays. I didn’t realize that they have been working with ICSV since before the school moved to the Wagramer Strasse location! What a long, wonderful partnership!
Several things stood out to me about the service. One was how much the church celebrates its young people. They were included in the program and were involved in numerous ways. I was especially moved as numerous teenagers came over to the pastor prior to leaving in order to show their respect and to receive his blessing.
Another aspect of the program that I found encouraging was that representatives from other Filipino churches from Austria and Italy were there to bring greetings and to show their support. VCF has reached out beyond Vienna to help establish new congregations. A church with a mission-minded view is a thriving church.
A third component of the day that touched me was the overall joy and spirit exhibited throughout the program. Everyone sang with gusto, including the youth. They demonstrated a true joy in just being in fellowship with each other. This atmosphere began with the brightly decorated room to the partaking of food after the service. I don’t know if you remember the “Ee-Taow!” YouTube clip that I shared with you a few weeks ago. Well, I showed it to the congregation as an example of the joy that we should exhibit if we really understand that our sins have been forgiven and that Christ came to be our sin-bearer. When the Mouk tribes people began to cheer and dance, the VCF congregation also cheered. As I looked out into the audience, there were those who were also shedding tears of joy. I was encouraged and blessed to have been a part of the church’s anniversary celebration.
I don’t think I ever told you that a group of parishioners from VCF were at the school one day in August right before we were to start the new school year. The school staff were all very tired as we prepared to receive the students. When I arrived that day the church people were cleaning the school! They had volunteered their time on a public holiday because they “wanted to get the school ready for the children.”
ICSV is fortunate to have such a loving and caring church share the building that God has blessed us with. My prayer would be that their joyful attitudes and desire to serve others would be an encouragement to us all.
I wish you a wonderful fall break! We look forward to seeing the students back on Wednesday, November 2.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.