LCMS Holdings gets permission to establish CISH
It has been a dream of some for more than 10 years. But on July 9 history was made when LCMS Holdings Limited Vietnam received its investment certificate permitting LCMS to proceed in opening Concordia International School Hanoi (CISH). Firstly, a BIG THANK YOU to all those who have supported this project in fervent prayer and in selflessly given finances over these long years. It has finally happened! Praise the Lord!
The process for establishing an international school in Vietnam has been long and hard. The first meeting was held in January, 2006. Over the next 4+ years feasibility studies were carried out, meetings were held, lawyers were hired, meetings were held, the application was submitted (three times, actually), meetings were held, negotiations ensued, more meetings were held, and on and on it went. It has been tallied that over these four years LCMS personnel interacted with 35 different agencies. But the prayers, diligence, and faithfulness of many paid off this month when the government finally issued the investment certificate.
LCMS has two international schools in Asia already, Hong Kong International School and Concordia International School Shanghai. Both are internationally acclaimed, top-quality institutions. CISH will follow in this way, offering a values-driven, student-centered learning experience that will be like no other offered in Vietnam. This school will make a huge impact not just in the lives of its students, but also in the greater work of LCMS in Vietnam and beyond.
So many have worked to make this happen, but in particular, mention must be made of Rev. Ted Engelbrecht, the pioneer of the work in Vietnam and one of the visionaries for the school. Huge thanks are also due to Dr. Allan Schmidt, who has worked from the beginning as Asia School Developer. Dr. Tu Ngu, our project manager (whose father, Prof. Tu Giay, first asked for a school in Vietnam), has been invaluable in opening the doors for us. Also Steve Winkelman, our Founding Head of School, has been working tirelessly since his arrival in 2009.
CISH will be opening in Fall 2011. Between now and then there remain enormous amounts of work that need to be done. We ask your prayers for those who still involved. Particularly, pray for Steve and the first teachers as they lead this effort. Pray for the various post-licensing steps to be completed. Pray for the process of renting facilities and then finding land in the future. Pray for our first students, that God would bless them through this school. Pray that CISH will serve Vietnam for decades to come!