PDF-Download: Prayer for Berlin – March 2008
Good News: TransForum
«God’s Heart for our Cities» was the motto for the TransForum conference from February 21-23. God’s heart for our cities was really apparent in many reports: God’s love for people of different cultures, ethnic groups, leaders in society, those on the fringe of society, Moslems and prostitutes. It was shown by Christians from Berlin or Frankfurt, Nuremberg or Chemnitz, who are positively and visibly influencing their cities through prayer, practical help and by sharing the gospel.
The over 200 participants received lots of input and were introduced to encouraging models through lectures, workshops and seminars as well as through times of prayer. In addition, many had experiences of inner healing. The participants from Berlin and the other Germans were encouraged by those from Boston and Manchester who shared about the long-term effective change processes in their cities. It became clear to many participants how vast the potential and opportunities are to reach their communities with the power of the love of God, in «word, deed, and miracles» (the title of one of the lectures).
- Thank God that He surpassed our expectations for the TransForum Conference
- Pray that the impulses will continue to impact the participants, resulting in multiplication and practical implementation
Youth and Alcohol abuse
«Two drunken girls, 14 and 15 years old, were noticed in a U-Bahn station. They had drunk two bottles of vodka. The 14 yr. old was taken to the hospital. She had a blood alcohol level of 1.8 milliliters. The following day, a 14 yr. old boy with a blood alcohol level of 1.89 milliliters who went on the rampage was taken into cus-tody.»
These are only two of many cases reported during the second week of January, 2008. From April to December, 2007, 663 drunken children and youth were taken into custody – among those is an increasing number of chil-dren as young as 11. Statistics are being kept since January 1, 2008. Recently two Berlin youth died as a result of alcohol abuse. It seems to be a new trend: Consumption of alcohol is a way of proving yourself to your peers.
Alcohol does more damage to the body of a developing child than it does to an adult – but politicians are re-sponding only slowly and cautiously. However, Stuttgart is now the first city to ban the sale of alcohol at night. It is not clear yet whether this will be an effective measure. [Information from «Berliner Zeitung», Jan. 20, 2008]
- Pray for effective methods to keep youth from having access to alcohol
- Pray for effective education for youth about the consequences of alcohol abuse through the media who are interested in youth
- Pray that youth who are experiencing peer pressure to prove themselves will remain strong
- Pray for positive role models and prevention through Christian youth work
Construction of large brothel has been stopped
In November, 2007, we prayed that the project to open a large brothel in a building on the corner of Potsdamer /Kurfürstenstraße in Schöneberg would fail. There was much opposition among the residents in the area, which even was reported about on TV. The District Office has now refused to issue a permit for the renovation of the building. The owner of the building, Sven H. (51) stated yesterday: »The project is at a standstill.« He said that those wanting to rent the building for this purpose plan to seek legal advice.
In March, the rooms for a Christian Café near the Kurfürstenstraße will be dedicated. This café will seek to reach out to prostitutes already working in the area. The rooms are currently being renovated. The «Prayer newsletter for the Kurfürstenstraße» can be obtained (German only) at email@example.com.
- Thank God for the refusal to issue a renovation permit and pray that the courts will also deny the renovation for this purpose.
- Pray for Christian groups who are ministering to prostitutes
- Pray that good relationships of trust can be built, so that these women can be helped and meet Jesus
Knowledge establishes the Future
In November, 2007, we prayed that the Senator of Education, Mr. Zöllner, would endorse measures to unburden grade schools. New Berlin educational laws have caused many problems in the first and second grades, leading to discontent among teachers, children and parents. Now, the first amendments have been agreed upon: The combined instruction of first and second graders in a single class can now be deferred in certain circumstances. In addition, teachers are getting help through additional personnel (kindergarten teachers), and the way the num-ber of teachers required per school is being set is being handled differently. These measures are helping to some degree, but further measures will be necessary to help long-term. This is especially necessary in the case of so-cially disadvantaged children.
Many cutbacks in funding for universities took place in recent years. The number of students declined, but now the Senator has a master plan called «Wissen schafft Berlins Zukunft» (Knowledge establishes Berlin’s Future) for higher education. He plans to provide an additional 58 million Euros for Berlin’s Institutions for Higher Learning by the year 2011, leading to higher enrollment, especially at the universities of applied sciences.
- Thank God for the first effective measures of the Senator for Education, which will provide for a bet-ter educational environment in Berlin
- Pray for God’s help and blessing for all who teach and learn in our city
- Pray for new initiatives which will enable immigrant children to get a better education
Creative forms of missions
It seems to be a new trend: Christians in Berlin are reaching out in various ways to people who don’t know Jesus yet. Social work and outreaches, creative events, and working together on projects with various secular organizations. Here are some of these new initiatives:
1. Experimental worship services
This interdenominational initiative invites young people interested in important life-questions through personal contacts and over the internet to join in putting together a worship service using their own ideas.
The project begins in March. Information can be found at: www.gottesdienstexperiment.de
2. Higher Education
Berlin has 26 universities and institutions of higher education with a total of more than 130,000 students. From March 11-19, Campus für Christus will be sponsoring a project entitled Campus Meets Berlin. Students from all over Germany – from Hamburg to Munich and Freiburg – will be coming together in Berlin. In addition, a group of Americans who want to broaden their horizons will be joining them. The goal is to reach out to students in Berlin and share the gospel in various ways with them.
3. «Summer2go» and «Verliebt in Berlin» (In love with Berlin)
In the summer in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Ruhr area, evangelistic events will be taking place in parks and town squares. Several churches and youth movements from Berlin will be helping. Among others, there is a summer event sponsored by »Youth with a Mission« from July 15-25 in Berlin, and a tour through Germany from July 25-August 10.
Vineyard churches are holding a ten-week evangelistic project in Berlin to reach people with the love of God.
More information about the planning can be found at: www.summer2go.de and www.love-berlin.org
- Thank God for new, creative evangelistic and charitable initiatives
- Pray for the planning and that many contacts can be made with seekers in the target groups
- Pray for spiritual authority for the proclamation of the gospel and for discussions with people
- Pray for clear decisions to follow Jesus
- Prayer during Lent for Justice and Against Poverty: until March 19 Wednesdays at 7:00am, Christus-Treff, Isingstr.5-6, 12435 Berlin Treptow, Micha-Gruppe Berlin, www.christus-treff-berlin.de
- Probably on May 1st at 11:00am (Ascension Day) Open Air Prayer Service on the Mariannenplatz in Kreuzberg for peace in the city
- Pentecost Monday, May 12, Apostel-Johannes-Gemeinde, Märkisches Viertel: 10:00am Ecumenical Service, 2:00pm Prayer for Spiritual Renewal with a group of children and adults from southern India www.cifi.de/tournee