Download as PDF: June 2018

Good News: Student tickets cheaper

Students will have to pay less or no more for traveling by train and bus from 1 August. The price of the student ticket is dropping from 29,50€ to 21,80€ when buying with cash. With a subscription, the fee is reduced from 22,92€ to 17€. The sibling card is discontinued. If you are eligible for the Berlin Pass, you travel free. The state is offsetting the lower revenue of transport companies.

Thank God for this favourable measure for children

 

Violence in Schools – new Numbers

According to a recent statistic, the number of crimes committed in Berlin schools – in particular personal injuries – has risen by a total of more than 10 percent over the past four years. However, the number of thefts declined significantly. Up to 30 offenses per year are registered per school. The highest level is in the Mitte district (including Wedding and Moabit), followed by Reinickendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Lichtenberg and Neukölln. The violence is begun by pupils, parents, but also strangers. In recent years, the erection of fences around one of the schools and the use of security guards have caused a significant reduction in crime. However, in addition to the officially reported crimes, there is also a high number of unreported cases in schools such as bullying. In addition to physical violence, many students are also exposed to psychological violence. There are prayer initiatives in other cities in Germany and also internationally, where churches each „adopt“ a school nearby and pray for them on a regular basis.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection of students from physical, mental and other forms of violence
  • Pray that many would pray for God’s peace in schools
  • Pray that politicians, police and school superintendents find good solutions to the problems of the schools

 

New Commission for the Future: “City of Health BERLIN 2030”

In the region’s healthcare sector, 370,000 employees generate 25 billion euros in annual sales. Berlin is to be developed into the leading health care location in Europe, starting with the Charité, Europe’s largest university hospital, and Vivantes, Germany’s largest municipal hospital group. Pharmaceutical companies and medical technology manufacturers are increasingly settling in and around Berlin. The Governing Mayor Müller said in an interview (Tagesspiegel 5/16): „The health industry is great for Berlin. … We are increasingly perceived as a city of science and research and as a congress city in the middle of Europe. … Science is incredibly important to our start-up scene. University spin-offs have created 20,000 new jobs in Berlin.” Müller expects Berlin to become the „Silicon Valley of Health” in the future.

In order to accelerate this development, the Senate set up the Commission for the Future „City of Health BERLIN 2030“ in May. It will develop concrete proposals. The commission members are all proven experts who do not come from Berlin – apparently the view from outside is welcome. Chairman of the eleven-member panel is the health expert and SPD politician Karl Lauterbach. The eleven members of the commission – including health insurance experts, university researchers and nursing experts – are to determine which research and care priorities are meaningful and how universities, hospitals and companies can network better with one another. (Source: Tagesspiegel 5/14)

Prayer:

  • Thank God that Berlin continues to develop in the direction of its potential
  • Pray for a fast start and creative work of the Commission for the Future
  • Pray that Berlin becomes a „city of health“ in the medical, social and spiritual sense

 

Dissatisfaction with the Senate Policy

According to a survey by Abendschau and Berliner Morgenpost – BerlinTREND May 2018 – Berliners are not really satisfied with the work of the mayor and senate. If elected on Sunday, Die Linke would be the strongest party. With 21 percent, the largest opposition party CDU is just behind the Linke, the SPD follows with 18 percent. That is the worst percentage for the SPD ever recorded in BerlinTREND. In two and a half weeks, Michael Müller wants to be re-elected as SPD chairman for the federal state of Berlin. Müller is recognized in the party, though not without controversy, but only 36 percent of the population is satisfied with his work. The deputies of the mayor, Klaus Lederer (Die Linke) and Ramona Pop (Greens), can increase their approval ratings. However, about half of the respondents stated that they either did not know them or could not assess their work. When asked about the management of city growth, the respondents expressed massive doubts as to whether this Senate and its authorities are up to it. Only 16 percent are satisfied, 81 percent are dissatisfied.

Prayer:

  • Pray for new strength and confidence for all those responsible in the Berlin Senate and for more support among the population
  • Pray for wisdom and creativity in solving the pending problems
  • Pray for insight on where to leave old ways or where mistakes need to be corrected

 

Prayer for Muslims during Ramadan

Since 15 May many Muslim residents also here in Berlin are fasting. This is a special challenge at this time of the year, as the day is very long and therefore also the time during which you can neither eat nor drink. It is also unusually hot. There are always problems in schools because children also fast and sometimes physically reach their limits. In addition, the fact that it is not possible to eat until 9:15 pm at the earliest results in not only the children being tired. Despite these challenges, for many Muslims this time is a very important one. Many feel closer to God and expect him to be actively involved in their lives – one more reason to pray during this time especially for Muslim neighbours and acquaintances. A daily prayer guide for the Muslim world is available until 14 June at https://30tagegebet.de. This year, for example, on May 29, there was prayer especially for the approximately 10,000 Chechens in Berlin.

Prayer:

  • Pray that Christians in Berlin build relationships with Muslim neighbours
  • Pray that the time of Ramadan does not cause even more conflicts in schools
  • Pray that the Chechens in the city would encounter Jesus Christ

 

New Police Chief

Since 10 April Barbara Slowik is the first female Chief of Police in Berlin. Her predecessor Klaus Kandt had previously been dismissed by the Interior Senator, because future-oriented cooperation could no longer be expected. Ms. Slowik was born in Berlin and worked as a lawyer in the Senate Department for the Interior, then in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and has made a name for herself as a specialist in counter-terrorism. Previously, she was responsible for personnel and top-level managers. She set up a program to de-radicalize young Muslims and set up the Joint Extremism and Terrorism Defense Center at both the federal and state levels. All this sounds like a lot of competence, although the job at the head of this large Berlin public authority is a new field for her. People are expecting her to make a fresh start after the many scandals of the past. She says her leadership style is „very cooperative, direct and pragmatic.” She talks about new ways of attracting young trainees and reducing bureaucracy, but also about standards such as monitoring potential terrorists. If crime and extremism are global, the fight against crime must be networked globally. The nearly violence-free 1 May was a first success also for the new police president.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the new police chief can make the best use of her skills and effectively implement her plans
  • Pray for trust from residents, politicians and the police staff

 

Keeping On: Day-Care Places and Personnel

Unfortunately, there is little progress here. Last Saturday there was a demo for more day-care places organized by parents‘ initiatives with 3,000 people. There are theoretically enough places, but often too far away. In addition, there is a massive shortage of personnel. The Senate has taken into consideration the poor pay and now desires to raise the salaries of the personnel. The situation needs our prayer.

 

„Ick brauch keen Hawaii“ is looking for prayer support

Once again this year, the youth festival will take place from 4-8 July. The organizer is the YMCA in cooperation with Berlin-United, Together for Berlin, the SMD and volunteers from about 30 churches. It will start daily at 2pm. There will be an attractive youth and family program in the afternoon with sports, music and art. In the evening there will be an evangelistic worship service. – Prayer should take place during the entire time. We are still looking for prayer support from churches. If interested, please contact meyer-hoff@gfberlin.de

 

Dates:

13 June, 6pm: Prayer for the City Rotes Rathaus

4–8 July „Ick brauch keen Hawaii“ – see article above.

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