Download PDF: [Prayer for Berlin – November 2013]
Good News: Innovative Christian Project c13 opened
The topics of family, education, and health are the focal point in the Christburger Straße 13 in Prenzlauer Berg. On the seven floors of the building, there are flats, a paediatrician’s office, therapists, and a midwife, a family centre, the Bistro „Lieschen Müller“ and a day-care centre. The centre called „ZusammenWachsen“ (Growing Together) encourages togetherness between parents and children. Above all, the family centre is a place for people to meet each other. The meeting area is also a place for town meetings, readings, concerts, conferences, or celebrations.
The centre for living, education, and health is a project of the Christian foundation „Bildung.Werte.Leben“ (Education.Values.Life), which provides support for people. Being good stewards of creation played a role during construction as can be seen in the wooden frame structure of the low-energy building.
Good News: Upcycling in Vogue
Everyone knows about recycling. But what is upcyling? This new trend means making new, more valuable articles out of old ones. It’s like making wine out of water. The Berliner Stadtmission has opened a new store called „Upcycling“ in the Auguststr. 82 in Mitte. Upcycling products made by sheltered workshops for the disabled and by upcycling-designers are sold there. Profits go to the needy.
- Thank God for both creative projects through which Christians are serving others
- Pray that the projects will bring blessing to the city and for commercial success
Refugees on the Oranienplatz
In many ways last month in Berlin, attention was called to the difficult circumstances surrounding refugees. Some refugees who were on a hunger strike were at the Brandenburger Tor. They ended their hunger strike after they were promised that improvements for asylum seekers would be part of the coalition negotiations. For asylum seekers, the so-called residential obligation creates great problems, because it greatly restricts the freedom to travel within Germany and forbids work permits. Being condemned to do nothing often results in mental illness.
Some new refugee housing units have been opened in districts and an increasing number of residents are willing to support the refugees. This is an answer to prayer!
For nearly a year, some refugees have been living in tents on the Oranienplatz in the centre of Kreuzberg. They set up their tents there after the tent camp at the Brandenburg Gate was closed down. The original residents of the tent camp have since moved on. Many people have joined the tent camp, some of whom do not fall under the laws concerning asylum-seekers. Because changes in legal procedures concerning asylum are not the responsibility of the states, Berlin cannot make its own rules. However Berlin can make decisions in a few cases. Not everyone wants to or can accept this. The Senator of the Interior Frank Henkel (CDU) has agreed to support all efforts on the part of the district of Kreuzberg to find other places to live for those in the tent camp before winter. A long search has led to two specific alternatives.
- Thank God that politicians and residents are becoming more and more aware of the hardships of the refugees
- Pray that housing can be found soon for those living in the tent camp
- Pray that the refugees will agree to cooperate with the authorities in spite of all the demands which are necessary
Values Dialogue with Senator Henkel
The Senator of the Interior, Frank Henkel (CDU) has initiated a so-called Values Dialogue, which has so far hardly been noticed by the public.
The reason was the murder of Jonny K., 20 years old, who died last year after having been brutally beaten by six young men on the Alexanderplatz. What needs to change in society so that such brutal acts will not spread? The questions that arose in the mind of the Senator as a result of this case could not be simply answered by „more police“ or „more security cameras“. Frank Henkel wants to talk to relevant sections of the population and encourage them to think about what values we need, or rather which ones have been lost.
He invited representatives of immigrant organisations, and from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian groups to a dialogue about values. He was encouraged to speak to the youth at „eye-level“. As a result, he visited several places, among others the juvenile prison Plötzensee to talk with inmates. For these young people, esteem and respect on the part of their counterpart was very important. Frank Henkel has now decided to emphasize the topic of violence in society and how to deal with it during his period in office.
Since Jonny K.’s death, the police have been at the Alexanderplatz with a „Kontaktmobil“ (contact vehicle). This has been a success. The crew has already had 12,000 conversations and have ordered 250 people to leave the area. The number of assaults has gone down. In addition, there will now be a six-person commando on site. However, the police cannot solve the problems of violence in society by themselves.
- Pray that the values dialogue will lead to solutions about how to deal with brutal violence among youth
- Thank God for the Senator’s interest and his willingness for dialogue
- Pray for protection for all of the people on the Alexanderplatz and that the security concept of the police will be successful
Stone-Throwing on the City Highway
During the last weeks, stones have been continually been thrown from bridges onto the Stadtring (city highway). Thank God there have been no injuries. Up until now, no offenders have been found. Traffic has been endangered, especially through the possibility of resulting accidents.
- Pray that the offenders can soon be found
- Pray for protection from injuries and accidents
Construction Site Berlin
Anyone travelling by bus or car through the city will have noticed–There are currently over 80 large construction sites on Berlin’s streets. In some cases, damages from last winter are still being repaired. In some other areas, new street car lines are being installed (Invalidenstraße) or subways being built (Unter den Linden). In addition many buildings are being built, as has been the case over the last 20 years.
Construction sites mean noise, delays, detours — for many people this means stress. On the other hand construction means economical growth, secure jobs, and development in the city of Berlin.
The airport BER is of course (or unfortunately) still under construction. Following the relocation of the Construction Company manager Amann, Hartmut Mehdorn is now alone in the top position. The position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board must now be re-filled since Prime Minister Platzeck has left. There is talk that Mayor Wowereit will once again assume this position.
- Pray for patience and composure on the part of those affected by construction sites
- Pray for protection from sloppy workmanship and delays
- Pray for the right person for the Chairmanship of the Supervisory Board of the BER airport
New Members of Federal Parliament
The new federal Parliament has been formed and is able to work. However, the government is not yet officially elected, because coalition negotiations are still taking place. These will probably last throughout November. A good suggestion: Maybe some of you who receive this prayer news would like to „adopt“ one of Berlin’s representatives to the federal Parliament to pray for during his/her term in office. There is a list of members of Parliament from each electoral district where you can find your representative: http://tinyurl.com/q3rgznj
- Pray for wisdom and godly inspiration concerning the controversial questions at the coalition negotiations
- Pray for blessing and protection for the Berlin members of the federal Parliament
- Pray that people will pray regularly for the Members of Parliament
- Nov. 9., 2:30-4:30 pm. Day of prayer for persecuted Christians at Evangelische Gemeinschaft Alt-Tempelhof 15. Emphasis this time is on the situation in Syria. The meeting is being organized by the Evangelical Alliance in Berlin.
- Nov. 9., 6:30pm: Contemporary Witnesses – Memorial event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Progrom Night. (Crystal Night). Ernst-Reuter-Saal im Rathaus Reinickendorf, Eichborndamm 215-239, 13437 Berlin, organized by the „Initiative 27. Januar“.
- Nov. 13., 6pm: City Prayer for Politicians in the Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus, Niederkirchnerstraße, Room 320