Download PDF: [Prayer for Berlin – October 2015]
Good News: University for Refugees
Many refugees currently coming to Germany are well-educated, but they often lack the documents they need to be recognized as in need of protection, or they lack the language skills they need in order to be able to attend the university here. Two Berliners have founded Kiron University. The first 1000 refugees will begin their studies there in October. Kiron works together with renowned universities worldwide.
The program begins with two years of general studies, after which students can switch to regular universities to finish their degrees. A full year of study at Kiron costs only 400 Euros per person. The costs are being covered through crowdfunding. Source: https://kiron.university
- Thank God for this project that fills a large need
- Pray for enough sponsors which will enable all those refugees who want to attend the university to do so
- Pray that further creative projects can be developed
Praying Creatively: BVG-Prayer
Many of us wish we had more time for prayer – but quiet hours are rare. One way to pray more is to integrate small prayer routines in everyday life – as Jews do, who say prayers during cooking, visits to the bathroom, while drinking wine, traveling, etc.
One idea: BVG Prayer. Whenever you take a public transport, you can pray for a short or long time for three things: [note from translator: BVG stands for Berlin’s public transportation system, and the following words in German begin with BVG]
– Protection: Pray for protection in our city from terrorist attacks, accidents, and violence.
– Supply: Let God show you a person in your vicinity and pray that God provides for his physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and that he finds redemption.
– God’s glory: Pray that the glory of God is visible in our city in all its power, greatness and glory.
BER Construction Pause
More and more shoddy work and corruption or enrichment processes of individual employees or companies are coming to light. Recently it was learned that the company Imtech has filed for bankruptcy.
And now on September 19, a pause in construction was ordered for the main hall of the Terminal because of structural statics problems. The smoke extraction fans hanging from the ceiling are heavier than those that had been approved. The Berlin Airport’s CEO Karsten Mühlenfeld anticipates further problems at the new BER Airport.
„I’m sure that we will continue to encounter problems with things from the past, which at first glance seem absolutely incomprehensible,“ he said. „We need to bring the mistakes of the past to light.“ He spoke about construction and planning errors as well as about personal mistakes made by individuals. The function of the „Module Leader passenger terminal“ will be taken over by Frank Röbbelen, previously in charge of planning and contract management. Following a supervisory board meeting, it appears that the problems in the main hall may soon be remedied. It will be hard to keep the opening date in the fall of 2017, but following a meeting of the control entity on September 25, the Governing Mayor Michael Müller thinks that it may still be possible.
- Pray that God will continue to bring things to light
- Pray that Mr. Mühlenfeld, the airport CEO, will be successful in dealing with old problems
- Pray for good construction progress
Refugees who are minors
In 2015, already 1,500 underage unescorted refugees have arrived in Berlin, mostly young men. Young refugees (under 18) are under special protection. They receive better care, can immediately visit language courses, and do not need to apply for asylum immediately in order to remain here. Currently they are also not being re-located to other states. There is a special facility in Berlin-Steglitz for these refugees. The first task is to verify their age. The aim is that they do not stay there long, but can soon be placed in foster families or refugee centres. Thus, foster families are now urgently needed.
The youth welfare office Steglitz is responsible for all underage refugees – but their staff are completely overwhelmed. There are not enough social workers. By law, the young people must also be given a legal guardian, but again, these must be found and trained. Just as in other cases at the moment, certain problems resulting from the skyrocketing numbers of refugees can only be solved with the help of volunteers. A new law is designed to relieve the situation and spread the underage refugees throughout the entire country. The Federal Minister responsible, Manuela Schwesig, has now introduced this law. The Bundestag will make a ruling soon.
- Pray that new ways can be found to help this particular group of refugees
- Pray that volunteers can provide relief for the youth welfare office in Steglitz
- Pray for blessing and that a new outlook can be found for the refugees so that they can have a new future here
Wave of Refugees
Events nationwide continue to be overwhelming, and refugees continue to come to Berlin. According to the social administration, around 20,000 had come to Berlin this year already by the beginning of September. Because the Berlin administration can hardly handle this huge rush, the Senate took unusual measures. Former police chief Dieter Glietsch came out of retirement to become a refugee coordinator, together with Social Secretary Dirk Gerstle. Glietsch is attributed with the calming-down of May 1st with his “dual strategy” and the “concept of the outstretched hand”.
As of September 23, it is estimated that up to 50,000 refugees will arrive in Berlin by the end of the year. The Berlin administration does not even dare to estimate what will happen next year, since the numbers have recently risen so drastically. More retirees are being asked to help. Officials from other administrations are being seconded to this office. Even German soldiers are assisting in the registration of the refugees. New coordination centres have been set up. Administrative procedures have been simplified.
Nevertheless, massive accommodation problems remain. Sports halls, administrative buildings, and barracks were and are being reclassified or converted at short notice for the initial reception of refugees. On the other hand there is an abundance of voluntary helpers. The media is constantly reporting about the impressive projects of volunteers. But the situation needs continued intense prayer, so that the extremely positive mood of the population does not turn around.
- Thank God for the huge numbers of volunteers who are willing to help
- Pray for divine favour, open doors, and success for Dieter Glietsch
- Pray that Berliners will not lose sight of the opportunities to serve the arriving refugees because of stress
- Pray for a continued welcoming culture and rapid integration of those who will stay here
Keeping On: Protection
From October 7-10, the Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu, will be in Berlin for government talks. Security will once again be on high alert. The fact that it is important to continue to pray for God’s protection is shown by the incident involving Islamic right-wing Rafik Y., a convicted felon who removed his electronic ankle monitor and was subsequently shot during an assault on a female police officer.
On September 22 there was a raid on a mosque in Tempelhof which had been under observation by German intelligence. Salafists attend that mosque. The attempt by Salafists to recruit refugees is also being closely watched.
- Thank God for His protection up until now
- Pray that attacks can be prevented in advance
- Pray for God’s help for all those officials who help to protect our city
Commemoration October 3
We will thank God and celebrate the miracle that happened 25 years ago. We will be praying for the refugee problems of today and will be relating the stories of those who escaped from former East Germany to the stories of those who are currently coming as refugees.
Thomas Grumbkow, whose escape attempt in 1982 failed at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, will speak at 3pm in an ecumenical devotional held on the site of the Berlin Wall (Chapel of Reconciliation, Bernauer Strasse, Mitte). A couple who fled from Libya and Iran to Germany, will also be interviewed. The event will be followed by a procession along the site of the commemoration of the Wall to the Christus-Kirche n the Anklamer Str. 31, Mitte. Representative from various refugee projects will have an opportunity to speak with one another beginning at 5pm. The event ends with fellowship with drinks and snacks in the courtyard.
- Oct 3, 3pm: Thanking, celebrating, and praying -see above
- Oct 4., 6pm, Prayer for City Politicians in front of the Rotes Rathaus
- Oct 19, 6:30 pm, Centre of the Berliner Stadtmission, Lehrter Str. 68, 10557 Berlin: Prayer Service for Berlin’s prisons.