Download PDF: November 2008

Good News: Christians took part in the „Festival of Religions“

In October, the Lukas Church took part in the Festival of Religions in Berlin-Schöneberg. The Festival, which was supported by the local district management, was intended to create interaction between religions and cultures in the district. It was organized by various church and mosque fellowships. The Lukas church presented projects that they are involved in, for instance the ministry „Neustart“ (New Beginning) among prostitutes, the Christian Volunteer Agency from Together for Berlin and also the housing groups for men in Neukölln.

Church members fearlessly took part in the „competition of religions“ and „made a difference“ through their presence. Taking part paid off, and their prayers were answered. The children really enjoyed the „play street“ which the church had organized. There were good conversations at the booths. The network between churches in the district was strengthened. Musicians clearly and professionally communicated the Christian message on the stage. The district management thanked the church for its involvement and said that the professionalism of the Lukas Church had enriched the festival.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the positive feedback and for the further strengthening of relationships
  • Pray for an increased involvement of Christians and churches in their districts

Good News: One day without drugs

In October, residents of the Hasenheide (a park in the Kreuzberg district) protested with an art event against illegal drug trafficking in the Hasenheide. „Hip Hop instead of Heroin“ was written on the sidewalks, or „No Buyers. No Deal“. With such bold sayings, the residents wanted to express that this area is to be a safe area for them and their children. Drugs have no place here. They were successful. For at least one day, no drug dealers were in sight.

Of course, a long-term change will need more than just one-day events. But the creative art protest showed: Events carried out by residents can make a difference. [Source: Der Tagesspiegel].

Prayer

  • Thank God for this event and pray that it can serve as an example for others
  • Pray that those organizing the drug traffic will be caught and that drug traffic here and elsewhere in Berlin will be reduced

The Impact of the financial crisis

In the last years, Berlin’s economy has grown considerably. In 2008, economic growth in Berlin reached the national level for the first time since 1994. During the first six months, economic performance in the capital city was 2.5% higher than in the same time period the previous year, which is slightly higher than the national average of 2.4%. Just one year ago, Berlin’s economic growth rate of 1.0% for the first six months was the lowest of all 16 German states. In 2008, Berlin climbed to number seven. Berlin profited from the good building sector and a young, but productive industry. Growth in industry in the first six months was 7.5%. As a result of the financial crisis, however, the upsurge in Berlin will certainly not continue at that rate. Industrial contracts have already declined in the last two months.

Because every second Euro in Berlin is earned through exports to other European countries, we must assume that this rate will decline even further.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the positive development of the first six months of the year
  • Pray that companies based in Berlin will operate wisely economically so that they will be able to overcome any possible difficulties
  • Pray that the Senator of Economics will have wisdom in developing and strengthening existing industries and attracting new ones

Impulses from construction of the new airport

More than 1700 companies have settled in Berlin’s outlying district Schönefeld (Brandenburg) since the decision to build a new airport was made. More than 40,000 new jobs will be created from 2011 on, some of which are already available through the planning and preparation stages. Next to the airport, an Airport-City will be developed, where, according to plans, up to 10,000 people will live and work.

Approximately 80% of the contracts with a volume of 1 billion Euros will be given to companies in Berlin and Brandenburg, which will give positive impulses to the economy. In addition, new housing areas will be built around Schönefeld for people who will work there.

Prayer:

  • Pray for good, corruption-free planning and execution of the construction of the airport
  • Pray for successful planning for housing and working in and around Schönefeld
  • Pray that unemployment will decline and that the Berlin economy will be strengthened through the construction of the airport

Public Transportation

In recent years, there have been many reports of attacks on drivers and buses of the BVG (Berlin’s public transportation system). The number of such incidents is once again increasing. It seems as though even the smallest irritation can result in such an attack. For instance, a bus driver on Line M 85 was punched in the face in the Steglizter Schlossstraße. The 25-year old had asked a passenger who was travelling on the bus with an invalid ticket to get a new ticket. The unidentified person punched the driver in the face and fled. Drivers are sometimes threatened, spat upon or assaulted with knives. The BVG has not yet been able to find a good concept to protect their drivers. Buses, the S-Bahn, and the U-Bahn are also targets of destruction-windows get smashed and seats are ripped open, resulting in huge costs for repairs.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for all the people working at BVG
  • Pray for protection from attacks and a new concept on how to protect drivers
  • Pray that the attacks would cease

Semester begins at institutions of higher education

Fall term began the middle of October. Many of the approximately 134,000 students who are attending universities in Berlin come from other states around Germany. At present, about half of those beginning their studies do not come from Berlin or Brandenburg. Berlin has 16,800 international students. Students who arrive in Berlin can easily get lonely in the city. Christian groups and other groups offer opportunities for getting acquainted and for fellowship.

Students are not only an intellectual and cultural factor, but also an important economical factor for the city. They also create future jobs. For instance, companies founded by graduates of the Technical University in Berlin in recent years have created 6,200 jobs in the city.

Prayer:

  • Pray that students will be open to the gospel
  • Pray that they will be able to develop their gifts and that they will enjoy their studies
  • Pray that international students will find friends here

Keeping On

It is important to continue to pray for an inner renewal of the Berlin CDU. Healthy parties are – regardless of personal political preferences – a prerequisite for a well-functioning political system. The suggestion made by the CDU at the state level to elect Frank Henkel as the new party head and Monika Grütters as „the substitute in high position“ created resentment about the procedure among some at the grass roots level. Pray that the party will put their inner differences aside and be able to work more intensively on matters at hand.

Finances for Together for Berlin

This prayer newsletter is part of the multifaceted work of the city network of Together for Berlin. Two fulltime staff, two part-time staff, 9 various forums, worship services, publications and many other things are all financed solely by donations.

We have an acute need for a 30% increase in monthly donations. Project descriptions for some areas of ministry for targeted funding can be requested at: info@gfberlin.de.

Please pray with us:

  • for the finances of the „mother organisation“ of „Prayer for Berlin“
  • for strategic contacts from the reception for people in positions of responsibility in society on Nov. 26, 2008

Dates

  • Last-minute: „Prayer for the District“, Saturday, November 1, 2008, 10am-4pm, FEG Friedrichshain, Oderstr.27. Registration: Tel. 29000829 or rolf.cyrus@feg.de
  • Nov. 16, 2008 Worldwide Day of Prayer of the Evangelical Alliance for Persecuted Christians – Churches are being called upon to stand up for persecuted Christians. Good material can be found at: http://www.ead.de/idop