Wednesday 1 April 2020

An ICS Update from Ron Kuipers

Dear Friends,

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has suddenly, and perhaps, permanently altered our everyday reality. For example, I am writing this letter as I work from my home, and am not sure when I will be able to return to the office. Like many other organizations, the ICS campus has effectively closed for the time being, so that we can follow instructions from public health officials to practice social distancing.

As you no doubt experienced, this situation has been evolving rapidly, and in the middle of a busy semester we at ICS have had to react suddenly and rapidly to this emerging health crisis by adopting measures like suspending in-person seminars and replacing them with remote-access delivery modes like video teleconferencing. Our faculty and staff are also figuring out how best to continue to work together during this time of social isolation.

While it hasn’t been easy, I am very proud of the resilience and flexibility the ICS community has demonstrated during this difficult time. Classes have continued with minimal disruption, and administrative staff have remained diligent in the performance of their assigned duties. While we miss each other’s company and the camaraderie we enjoy working in the same space together, we remain in good spirits as we continue to pursue the mission in Christian higher education that our Lord has entrusted to us.

In the days ahead, ICS leadership will be tasked with making many difficult decisions, and so we ask that you, the support community that undergirds ICS, pray for us. Pray that God’s wisdom will bless our deliberations, and that we may rise to the challenge of this moment with a spirit of innovation and creativity that enables us to recognize new possibilities for advancing God’s Kingdom that is ever in our midst.

Over these past weeks we have seen the impact that both the stress of uncertainty and the loss of social connections can have on us, and on the people we love, but we’ve also seen the power of community. Our staying physically apart for this moment in time is simultaneously an incredible act of social solidarity and an expression of love for the vulnerable. This fact alone gives me hope that together we will continue to bear each other’s burdens in the challenging days ahead.

As a supporter of ICS, I finally want to thank you for the continued trust you place in us, and it is my prayer that we continue to earn your trust through the difficult period we are only now just entering. So much remains unknown, and this creates anxiety. The only balm for this anxiety is trust. Through the trust we place in our Maker that even now he is leading us on the way we should go, and the trust we place in each other as we together strive to discern that direction, we gain the confidence to proceed step by step to build a strong bridge to a new reality.
I wish you all blessing, health, and peace. Be well, my friends!

Important Notice: During the next few months, our communications via regular mail will be severely limited due to the social-distancing policies in place across Canada. Given this reality, we ask that you help us get this communication, and others to follow, into the hands of those ICS supporters in your immediate community who rely on regular mail to get information from us. As you are able and comfortable, please share ICS email communications with them, and encourage them to send us along any email addresses at which we can contact them.

To our faithful donors: If you have recently mailed in a donation and have not received a response from us, please don’t worry! We are temporarily unable to access incoming mail due to the lockdown at the university buildings but are working to resolve this situation as soon as possible–all the while protecting the health and safety of our staff. We deeply apologize for this inconvenience and ask for your continued prayers as we devise a contingency plan for mail-in donations.

In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation, the best way to do this is to go to our “Donate” page on the ICS website and make a donation online through CanadaHelps. If you’re in the U.S., you can similarly make an online donation through the Friends of ICS website.

Thank you so much for your continued support!