Summer holidays have begun. Therefore, this prayer mail is for both July and August. We wish all of our prayer partners a relaxing summer. Isn’t it wonderful that God never goes on holiday?
Warm greetings from the editorial staff

Good News: Crime rate is decreasing

Logo GruenIn the last ten years, the number of crimes committed in Berlin fell by 12.5%. However, crimes committed by left-wing extremists, internet tricksters, and foreigners remain frequent. When presenting the police statistics (PKS) for 2009, Police President Dieter Glietsch declared that Berlin is no longer the capital of crime. The comparison of statistics over the last ten years shows that crime has gone down by 12.5 percent. During this period of time, robbery declined by nearly 30 percent, car theft by 34 percent. Distinct increases occurred in internet crime, which was first added to the statistics in 2005. Since then, internet crime has increased by 150 percent. Nearly 50 percent of all crimes committed in Berlin are solved, which puts Berlin in first place among city states. (Der Tagesspiegel 20.04.2010)

Good News – Brothel banned

The administrative court has decided that the controversial brothel in the Kurfürstenstraße in Berlin-Schöneberg may not be built. The reason: A new establishment in an area which is already characterized by the red-light district would violate the “consideration” ruling. According to the judges, such a brothel would be permissible in principle, but a further brothel in the area could not be justified. In the area around the Kurfürstenstraße, street prostitution is already prominent. An additional brothel would cause a decline in the attractiveness of the area. The plaintiff can appeal to the Higher Administrative Court.
Prayer:
  • Thank God for the decision of the court. We have repeatedly asked for prayer concerning this decision
  • Pray that the decision will be upheld and that prostitution will decline in this area
  • Thank God for all the Christians such as “Neustart e.V.” who are ministering to prostitutes

Holidays and Summer Recess

Summer is traditionally the time when families go on holidays together. This is often an opportunity to make good family memories and strengthen family ties. On the other hand, it is also often a time during which tensions and unsolved conflicts which have been brewing for some time come to a head.
For many singles, summer is often not an easy time. They need good alternatives or the right person to go on holiday with if they don’t want to go alone. In addition, summer is often hard for the unemployed and socially deprived when they see others going on holiday but are unable to go themselves.
Prayer:
  • Pray for nice relaxing holidays with good interaction for families, couples, and friends who go on holiday together
  • Pray that those who are worn out and tired, especially those who carry leadership responsibilities, can relax and renew their energy
  • Pray for good, fun alternatives for those who cannot go on holiday

Summer Outreaches

Various groups will be conducting creative and humanitarian outreaches in the city. They want to talk to people about Jesus, serve them, and pray for them. Outreaches called “Summer2go” have been organized in Berlin and will also take place in various other cities. In Berlin and in other cities, training for (not only) young people in creative evangelism has been taking place. Their vision is to mobilize, encourage and train Christians in evangelism. Monthly meetings for teaching, sharing, and the gathering of ideas, for instance for nursing homes, hospitals, internet or street evangelism, will take place. More information can be found at: http://www.nolimit.eu
Prayer:
  • Pray that God will initiate interaction with people who are open
  • Pray that the organizers will be able to pick the best forms of evangelism
  • Pray that God Himself will prepare and touch hearts and draw people to Himself

On a personal note: Finances for Together for Berlin (Gemeinsam für Berlin)

Extra donations at the end of the year closed the financial gap temporarily, and the ministry was therefore able to continue. Even though much of Together for Berlin’s ministry is done by volunteers, there are nevertheless operating costs for the office, organisation and the 2.5 employees. The current income level however does not cover the monthly costs. For this reason, Together for Berlin is dependant on special donations and financial miracles—especially during the summer.
Prayer:
  • Thank God for all the financial support up till now and for all the large and small miracles
  • Pray that God will provide for our needs during the summer and beyond
  • Pray for new financial partners- individuals, churches, and organisations

Threats to homeland security

On the fringes of the last demonstration against the austerity plans of the federal government, an explosive device was thrown at a police officer resulting in severe injury. Most probably political extremists are attempting to use the developing protest movement for their own aims. “The threshold to violence against governmental facilities and representatives has been lowered”, the Minister of the Interior reported. The perpetrators have not been caught.
Though the number of left-wing extremists has stayed constant, the new report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution shows an increase of aggression among left-wing extremists. There are approximately 1,100 left-wing extremists in Berlin. Since we began praying, the number of cars set on fire this year has decreased considerably. In 2009, 170 cars were set on fire out of political motives. This year there have been “only” 16.
An additional threat to homeland security is the influence of the Islamic movement called “Salafism” through its radical preaching among youth. Salafisten consider not only Jews and Christians to be unbelievers, but also Moslems who do not share their radical views. They are not in favour of any concepts of integration and forbid contact to “unbelievers”. In Berlin, the preachers of the Al-Nur-Mosque in Neukölln belong to this Islamic sect. The Minister of the Interior is looking for ways to prevent radicalisation among young Moslems.
The threat of right-wing extremists is decreasing in Berlin. According to the assessment of the Office of the Protection of the Constitution, the right-wing extremist political parties are nearing their end. Nevertheless, they are re-organizing themselves into new groups, such as the so-called Kameradschaften.
Prayer:
  • Pray for successful measures against the threat to security through extremists
  • Pray for protection and blessing for police who just often face dangerous situations
  • Pray that plans for attacks by extremists groups will be discovered before they can be carried out

Projects of Hope: Blu:boks

In this project, professionals in the areas of theatre, music, dance, and film work with youth in Lichtenberg for nine months to create a professional stage production. The project aims to develop and increase self-confidence among the youth. Through this production and other activities, they are making a noticeable difference in the biographies of the 54 children and youth who have participated up till now. 2.5 full-time employees, 9 temporary employees and 14 volunteers work passionately with the project. They develop young personalities and give them courage and hope. The goal is to give them a perspective for their life. The project was developed by Christians and imparts Christian values to young people from socially deprived backgrounds.
Prayer:
  • Pray for broad support of the project, including financial support
  • Pray that this initiative will have a positive impact on the lives of many youth
  • Thank God for all those who work with the project

Dates

  • Aug. 11- Sept 9: 30 Days of Prayer for the Islamic World, an initiative of the Evangelical Alliance in German-speaking areas. Prayer brochures are available in the office of Together for Berlin.
  • October 3, 5-8 pm, Herz-Jesu-Gemeinde, Fehrbelliner Str. 99, 10571 Berlin: Giving Thanks-Celebrating- Praying – Ecumenical and intercultural Worship Service to celebrate 20 years of German Unity, followed by time for interaction and refreshments, sponsored by Together for Berlin and the Berlin Ecumenical Committee