Download PDF: [Prayer for Berlin – October 2010]
Good News: Boom in tourism
Visitors from all over the world have once again created an upswing in Berlin. According to the Department of Statistics in September, the German capital reached its highest numbers of tourists since statistics have been recorded. Nearly 2 million overnight stays were recorded during the month of May, 2010, which is an increase of 11.1% compared to May of 2009. Berlin is an increasingly popular place for tourists from Sweden (23.8% increase), from France (21.9% increase) and Great Britain (15.8% increase). There were also more tourists from the USA (11.4% increase).
The director of Berlin-Marketing reported, “The numbers in the Berlin tourism sector have grown continually over the last 15 months, in spite of the economic crisis and the volcanic ash cloud.” This shows how strong the magnetic pull of the German capital city is. Because of its mixture of adrenaline, chill-out, and sophisticated culture, Berlin is now in third place behind London and Paris on the list of Europe’s most popular cities. (Source: Berliner Zeitung)
- Thank God for this interest in Berlin and the positive impact on the economy
- Pray that Berlin will increasingly discover its spiritual potential and use it for the good of the nation
No end in sight for school reforms
The new school year in Berlin began with numerous changes in the school system. These reforms have meant hard work for all those involved. The 11th and 12th grades were combined into one grade at the beginning of the school year, so that they can do their “Abitur” (German graduation certificate) together in 2012, because Berlin has also changed its system to Abitur after 12 grades (formerly after 13 grades). Many younger students now in the upper classes have five more hours of school per week, making a total of 33 hours! Because of the combining of these two grades, teachers must now correct twice as many tests.
Secondary schools starting with grade 7 have been created out of what was formerly separate comprehensive schools (Gesamtschulen), secondary general schools (Hauptschulen) and intermediate secondary schools (Realschulen). Students in these new secondary schools can continue to do their Abitur after 13 grades. As a result, teachers now have students with an extremely broad spectrum of academic levels in one classroom. Proponents of the model argue that the slower pace of learning will help weaker students. However, no one knows whether or not this will be successful.
Primary schools were already reformed several years ago. Mixed-age groups in the early years were instituted. Now, the results are showing that students are not learning more, but rather less than before the reforms. As a result, the next reforms are on the horizon. A large portion of Berlin’s special schools for handicapped children (Sonderschulen) is due to be closed over the next years. Students with special needs are to go to the regular schools. These changes are to be in place by 2014/15. As a result, the primary and secondary schools that are to absorb these students are faced with further difficult challenges.
In addition to all these problems, there is the problem of too few teachers. Young teachers are often being recruited by other states because of better conditions being offered.
- Pray for much support for all those who must institute these reforms in their schools
- Pray for a loving atmosphere in the classroom
- Pray that politicians will take measures that will ensure that Berlin can retain its teachers
Berlin soon to be Eco-capital?
According to the vision of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HK), Berlin should become a world leader in so-called Green Economy. Berlin has the possibility of taking the lead in the development of new technologies for the fight against global warming, for maintaining clean air, for water pollution control or the re-processing of waste. Already in 2009, 42,000 people were working in the area of environmental economics in Berlin. The goal is to more than double that number to 100,000 by 2020. In order to make this happen, the political framework must be improved, and the location marketing must be optimized.
- Pray for wisdom for good marketing, so that these opportunities for the city can be strengthened in all areas
- Pray that many new jobs can be created through the development of new technologies
- Thank God for the innovative power of Berlin companies
Project of hope: Akebulan-Kinder
People of various cultures come together in the church Akebulan-Globale Mission e.V. in Berlin-Borsigwalde. The pastor is from Ghana. His wife is German. They help children and youth in the church and outside the church (mostly Africans) to find their place between the cultures and in society.
The project helps in the area of schooling (homework tutoring), vocational training (orientation), and leisure activities (regular meetings and activities). The children’s parents get help in dealing with issues concerning child-raising. This is a practical way to help integration in our city—born out of God’s love! http://www.akebulan-gm.org
- Pray that financing can be obtained through federal and European Union sources
- Pray that this example of integration and reconciliation will spread
- Pray that children from immigrant families will feel at home here and will be able to find a good path for their lives and a place in society
- Pray that successful models of social interaction will tone down the heated debate about integration to an objective level
Together Against Poverty – promotion week sponsored by the Micha-Initiative from October 10-17th
In September, the UN Summit addressed the issue of world poverty. It became clear that the goal set ten years ago of eight “Millennium Goals” to cut poverty and underdevelopment by half is still very far away. Some success has been seen in some areas, but because of the economic crisis the task has just grown larger.
The Micha-Intiative of the Evangelical Alliance has made the following appeal to churches and prayer partners in Berlin and all of Germany: 10/10/2010: Because it is not yet to late for the realisation of the Millennium Goals, take part and make a stand for the poor of this world in your church! Make your thumbprint and pray with Christians worldwide. Inform each other and pray with others during one of our events!
The Berlin Micha-Group, a forum of Together for Berlin, invites you to attend the following events:
- Sunday, Oct. 10, Micha-Impulses in worship services in various Berlin churches. 7pm: inter-church praise and prayer service to kick-off a 24-7 prayer week in the Christus Treff Treptow, Isingstr. 5-6.
- Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7:30pm film about the Millennium Goals called »Mission 2015« followed by a discussion led by a ZDF producer, Café Klaus Abendbrot, Friedrichshain, Rigaer Str. 86
- Freiday, Oct. 15, 7:30 pm speech and discussion with Bill Clark from »International Justice Mission«, Salvation Army (Heilsarmee), Kastanienallee 71, 10435 Berlin
- Oct. 10-17: Nonstop-Week of Prayer (24-7 style) in various prayer rooms in the city: http://woche41.24-7prayer.de
Further information about events in Berlin: http://michaberlin.blogspot.com
Information about the national campaign http://www.micha-2010.de
All thumbprints will be presented by the national committee of the Micha-Intitative to politicians of the German Parliament in November.
- Pray for a growing understanding on the part of prayer partners and churches that we have a global responsibility and that there is a need for prayer about these issues
- Pray that God would graciously answer the prayers of this worldwide prayer initiative
- Pray the politicians would be engaged in these issues and for successful strategies on the part of the community of states
Danger of Terrorism – keeping on
In September, the police arrested three reputed Islamic terrorists from Berlin in Turkey. They had been attending Taliban training camps. There was already one warrant for arrest for one of the three men, but it had been rescinded after special conditions were imposed. According to security officials, 40 young people from Germany attended terror training camps in Afghanistan in 2009.
Let us continue to pray for protection from terrorist attacks.
- October 3, 7-8pm , Herz-Jesu-Gemeinde, Fehrbelliner Str. 99, 10571 Berlin: Thanksgiving-Celebration-Prayer – Ecumenical and Intercultural Worship Service on the Occasion of 20 years Since the Fall of the Wall Reception and light refreshments will follow
- October 10-17 Micha-Prayer and Week of Events – Events are described above