Prayermails


Download as PDF: September 2018

Good News 1: Hotspot schools

Both preschool teachers and teachers in schools should benefit from the more than 17 million Euros that the Red-Red-Green government earmarked in the 2018/19 dual budget for salary supplements in special schools. According to this, around 2,000 teachers could receive about an additional 300 Euros per month. No such specific sum has been named for preschool teachers, but they can anticipate a salary raise as well.

  • Thank God for this specific measure

Good News 2: 41 Million for Berlin

Previously, the state had to prove that personal assets had been acquired illegally. A year ago this was reversed. Last year, this brought 41.5 million Euros to Berlin, and at the same time, it helped to combat organized crime. This did not even include 77 properties worth 9.3 million Euros possessed by an Arab family clan which were confiscated by the public prosecutor’s office in July. The new Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik announced that criminal parts of Arab clans would continue to be thoroughly investigated. More in the next article!

  • Thank God for the investigative success and the additional funds available to Berlin’s budget

Organized Crime

When the report of the Federal Criminal Office on Organized Crime in Germany was presented, it became clear that Berlin, with 68 cases, occupied second place. This is an increase of about 11% compared to the previous year. In particular, German-Arabian extended families are active in Berlin. It is believed that six clans are active in organized crime, but also Eastern European groups, for example from Bulgaria or Russia. A year ago, the burden of proof was reversed in this area. Thus, in raids in April and July assets of „unclear origin“ were able to be confiscated. These included real estate and luxury cars (see Good News). During the searches weapons and drugs also confiscated. Organized crime refers to systematic offenses (drug and human trafficking, theft and stealing) in combination with attempted influence on politics, administration and justice.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection for the responsible policemen in department 4 of the state criminal police
  • Pray that the machinations and mafia structures will be uncovered and result in court cases
  • Pray for protection of Arab families suffering from clans (protection racket)
  • Pray that young family members will get out of these clans and not pursue a criminal career

 

Meeting Places with Immigrants

In the department „Transformation of Urban Spaces in an International Context“ at the Technical University of Berlin, Prof. Felicitas Hillmann is investigating how the integration of migrants into urban society can succeed and serve the growing city. „Quite often it is the marginal places where there are fewer regulations, more poverty, and therefore more risks and inconveniences in living together, that will be the starting point for such processes of change.“ In Berlin, such low-threshold places that facilitate the exchange between the most diverse people are district offices and public spaces, such as swimming pools, but also museums and libraries have the same potential. Since there is currently a lack of young people in many areas of public life (clubs, political parties and fire departments, etc.), this is where the connection could be made in a very practical way. Then what Hillmann calls „crocheted integration“ happens, but she sees the low amount of affordable housing as a big stumbling block in Berlin.

Prayer:

  • Pray for the creation of these low-threshold places which would foster encounters between diverse people
  • Pray for many encounters between new Berliners with a migration background and old Berliners
  • Pray for the establishment of a social attitude of „together“

 

Christians in the Startup-Scene

Berlin is known as highest-revenue startup scene in Germany. With around 100,000 employees, startups are one of the biggest employers in the city. To further the potential of this scene and to make it a blessing for our city, a new initiative called „Startup.life“ was launched under the umbrella of „Gemeinsam für Berlin“. The goal is to connect Christians within the startup scene in order to discover possible joint activity for the city. The 140 tickets for the first Meetup on Sept. 3 have already all been sold. Among other things, a mentoring program, co-working spaces and city-related projects are planned mid-term (www.startuplife.berlin).

Prayer:

  • Pray that as many Christians as possible in the startup scene are reached through the project and become visible as a community
  • Pray that the project becomes a blessing for the city
  • Pray for the emergence of sustainable work that contributes to a measurable improvement of current deplorable situations in Berlin

City Planning in Berlin

The search for a place to live in Berlin is getting more and more difficult. Families with children, seniors and students are particularly affected. Berlin desperately needs affordable living space. Urban planning should place social demands higher than the profit-oriented interests of investors. „What’s missing is a vision,“ says the Weimar professor of urban planning, Steffen de Rudder.

Prayer:

  • Pray for Building Senator Katrin Lompscher to see and correct mistakes and effectively advance housing construction
  • Pray that urban planning is not ruled by money, but rather that social aspects receive appropriate attention
  • Pray for an inspired vision of life in the future in Berlin with quality of life and human closeness

New Airport Opening?

The opening of the BER was originally planned for 2007 – since then there have been six delays. In light of this background, it is difficult to have confidence in the next planned opening date at the end of October 2020. In June 2018, the Red-Red-Green Senate determined that there would be no more funding from the Senate for the BER, as there is no urgent need for additional funding. A „Plan B“ to the opening of the airport in October 2020 was also rejected. Despite the problems with the sprinkler system, the fire alarm systems with 30,000 smoke detectors, cable systems and smoke ventilation control system, the Senate is holding on to the opening date, since the company Siemens wants to have these problems resolved by December 2018. Critics see the adherence to the planned opening date negatively, for instance SPD traffic expert Jörg Stroedter: „The commitment of FBB that the main terminal can go online in 2020, remains a pure question of faith.“ That’s a good opportunity for faith and prayer!

Prayer:

  • Lord, we believe that nothing is impossible for you: intervene so that the BER can be opened as planned!
  • Pray that the executing companies can solve all problems on schedule
  • Pray that the available funds are sufficient and used responsibly and purposefully
  • Pray for thorough and conscientious execution of all work, so that the building inspection control can quickly grant approval

Slow Internet

A survey by the Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) shows that every third Berlin company needs faster internet than it currently has available. The internet is simply too slow. If Berlin does not master the lame internet, the economic development of the city is in jeopardy.

Prayer:

  • Pray that Economics Senator Ramona Pop will set the right course
  • Pray for wise economic development in the city which will secure the livelihood for many

 

Keeping On:  Extremism

According to Homeland Security, extremist groups in Berlin are continuing to increase. The „Tagesspiegel“ citing the as yet un-published Annual Report 2017 reports that the numbers rose again: Salafists by 12%, so-called Reich Citizens 25%, supporters of the left-wing organization „Red Help“ 11%. An ongoing concern!

 

Dates

  • Prayer for City Politicians: September 12, 6pm in front of the Rote Rathaus
  • March for Life: September 22, 1:00-5:30pm start is at the Reichstag and ends with a worship service

 

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Download as PDF: July/August 18

Good news: Synagogue Fraenkelufer

The synagogue on Fraenkelufer was badly damaged during the pogroms in 1938. After a demolition in the 50s, there was only the side wing left, where the local synagogue community currently accommodates all their activities. SPD parliamentary leader Raed Saleh (of Muslim origin!) has won well-known and influential supporters for a planned reconstruction. A multi-purpose community centre is planned.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for active Jewish life in Berlin and for the broad support for the construction project

500 Teachers will be missing next school year

Dramatic forecast for the school year 2018/19: There are an additional 7,000 students; 3,000 teachers are needed. But the market is empty. According to education senator Sandra Scheeres, SPD, 500 to 600 teachers will be missing after the summer holidays in the Berlin schools. The training capacity of the Berlin Universities for new teachers has been doubled to 2,000 graduating students per year, but the big first momentum comes in two years. So far, Berlin has relied mainly on the recruitment of transfers from other professions. Other measures: Retrieve teachers from retirement, increase salaries, postpone retirement, volunteer to teach for more hours, employ less qualified teaching assistants, send student teachers to elementary schools. The already poor education standard at Berlin schools will be additionally burdened by the lack of staff.

Prayer:

  • Pray for a rapid and effective increase of educational staff
  • Pray that the negative consequences for students will be limited

Children in Traffic – Fatal Accidents

On June 12, a 13-year-old girl in Rummelsburg was hit by a tram and died; on June 13, in Spandau an 8-year-old boy died when a truck turned right and overlooked him. In 2017 there were a total of 917 accidents involving children, 157 children were seriously injured and one child died. Such news affects us deeply, and people ask why and look for ways to prevent such accidents from occurring. About 64 percent of the accidents involving were caused by their own behavior. Thus the children’s traffic education plays an important role. As a preventative measure, the transportation industry has begun to drive lorries to schools to show the pupils how limited the driver’s view is. Turning assistance (camera and sensor monitoring) for the vehicles are being developed and already installed, but this technique is not mature. The installation is not yet mandatory and is too expensive for many trucking companies.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection for all children in the traffic on the streets
  • Pray for comfort for the parents of victims and the accident drivers
  • Pray for effective remedies (mirrors, traffic light phases, street signs, traffic flow)

Expansion of Administration and Housing Construction is stagnating

Unfortunately, there was hardly any progress on the urgent topics at the Senate retreat at the end of June. The three parties of the coalition have so far failed to agree on the implementation of the 115 proposals from the report of an expert commission on administrative reform. Also, the criticism of Senator Lompscher continues, because the urgently needed boost in housing construction remains far behind the self-imposed targets.

Prayer:

  • Pray for more unity in the Senate
  • Pray for ideas and acceleration in administrative reforms and housing construction

Dates

July 4-7, daily beginning 2pm: „ICK BRAUCH KEEN HAWAII“ Youth Festival on the Tempelhofer Feld. Attractive youth and family programs every afternoon with sports, music and art. Evangelistic worship services in the evenings. Saturday afternoon „Dance Battle“. Prayer support continues to be very welcome!
Prayer for City politicians: July 11 and August 15, 6pm, in front of the Rote Rathaus

Because of time constraints, this double issue July/August has only one page with just a list of current concerns. Please continue to pray for Berlin during the holiday season! The next issue will be published the end of August. The editors wish all prayer partners a restful and safe summer!

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.

Download as PDF: April 2018

Good News: Community Organizing Platform Spandau

Initiatives, associations and religious communities are joining together in so-called Community Organizing Platforms to work together on solutions for their neighbourhood or district. Following Neukölln, Berlin Südost and Moabit-Wedding, the fourth Berlin Community Organizing Platform was founded in the district of Spandau. Christians are taking part. A number of churches are involved as well as some mosque communities. They want to tackle issues together that are on the hearts of many in Spandau and negotiate with politicians face-to-face about solutions. Around 450 people from 15 groups came to the founding meeting.

Prayer:

  • Thank God that Christians and other people of good will are working together for better quality of life
  • Thank God that in this way they are serving the city and its residents

Personnel Emergency in the Courts

The Berlin judiciary has been overburdened for years, and the situation is still tense. The district court in Berlin-Moabit is particularly affected – Too few staff for too many cases and in addition, not enough courtrooms. This often leads to long delays in court cases, in part those concerning serious crimes. Proceedings cannot be completed quickly due to increasing numbers of offenses. Due to the delay in beginning the trials, prisoners are released from pre-trial detention because the duration of the legally allowed pre-trial detention has been exceeded. 19 out of 40 criminal chambers are officially overburdened. By summer, five new criminal court divisions will be set up, and new jobs will be filled – aiming for relaxing the overall situation. New high-security courtrooms are planned, but the building permit has not been granted yet.

Prayer:

  • Pray for the relief in the current workload of judges and prosecutors
  • Pray for timely filling of new posts in the criminal courts
  • Pray for rapid processing of the cases that have been postponed
  • Pray for a decline in the number of crimes in Berlin

Stumbling Blocks

The stumbling blocks are originally a project of the artist Gunter Demnig. The small commemorative plaques are intended to commemorate the people who were persecuted, murdered or deported during the National Socialist era. Around 7,800 stones have been laid in Berlin. On March 20, a nationwide „spring cleaning of the stumbling blocks“ took place. The stumbling blocks and the cleaning action are directed against the forgetting and suppression of our German history. It means pausing in hectic everyday life to decipher the writing on the ground. It requires humility to kneel down on the street to keep the memory present by brushing. What has happened may be repeated if we do not learn from past experiences. In Berlin, for example, in recent months, stumbling blocks have been torn out and an Israeli restaurant owner was verbally violently attacked with anti-Semitic rhetoric.

It takes courage to practically implement the motto „Never again“. Everyone is called to oppose anti-Semitic sayings or prejudices in their everyday lives. Another way to take action is to participate in the „March of Life“, which is directed against forgetting and against modern anti-Semitism. The march begins on April 18 at 6pm at George-Grosz-Platz (corner of Kurfürstendamm and Schlüterstraße).

Prayer:

  • That people will remain conscious of our special German and Christian responsibility for Jews and Israel
  • Pray for the protection of Israeli and Jewish citizens and institutions
  • Pray for courage and determination to stand up against anti-Semitism
  • Pray for a large number of participants and public impact from the „March of Life“

Business Location Berlin

There is good news from the business sector in Berlin. New jobs will be created (55,000 in 2017) and this will reduce unemployment. Berlin is an attractive location for companies from the digital economy, tourism and the media sectors. In recent years, economic growth in Berlin has repeatedly exceeded that of the rest of the Federal Republic. But from an all-German point of view, Berlin’s economic contribution does not look so glorious. Berlin contributes only four percent to the gross domestic product and even pushes the average per capita income down. Current surveys show that the potential of the business location Berlin is very different between Berlin and other federal states. In order for the economy of Berlin to continue to grow and the business location to become more attractive, executives cite in particular better education, optimization of administration, more openness, more investment and better infrastructure as areas of needed growth.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the economic growth and the new jobs
  • Pray for politics which look to the future and address the areas of needed growth in Berlin
  • Pray that new companies gain a foothold and existing ones remain stable

Kreuzberg and May 1st

For many years May 1st in Kreuzberg meant riots and unrest. Since 2003, Christians have been promoting a peaceful May 1st – with local public church services, street prayer teams, and worship times. How will it be this year?

As in previous years, the district and local residents are organizing the MyFest with eight stages from 11am to 10 pm around the Oranienstraße. The MaiGörli from noon to 11pm on two stages in the Görlitzer park with extensive entrance controls is new this year. The Revolutionary May 1st demonstration has been announced, but once again will probably not be officially registered. The demonstration under the motto of „For social revolution“ and „Make the rebellious city visible“ is supposed to start at the Oranienplatz.

Christian groups are planning the following:

„BURN“ from April 30, noon to May 1st. midnight: Praise and worship in the prayer cellar at Kottbusser Tor, for 36 hours. Intercession times embedded in BURN (April 30, 8 pm, May 1st, noon, 4 pm and 8pm).

On-site Prayer coming up to and during the demonstration: Monday, April 30, 6pm, along the demo route and May 1st beginning about 5pm parallel to the demo.
Evangelization in small teams on May 1st from 1pm at MyFest; joint start with a sending worship service.
If you want to join, please contact info@gfberlin.de!

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the years of significant decline in violence and riots surrounding May 1st
  • Pray for a peaceful day at the MyFest and MaiGörli
  • Pray for a peaceful 6pm demonstration (and any other demos)
  • Pray for wise, deescalating and effective action on the part of the police

Better Air Quality Through Tempo 30

In Berlin, as in many other cities, the level of nitrogen dioxide pollution on busy roads is above the permissible limit. This endangers the health (not only) of local residents, pedestrians and cyclists. Studies show that slower, evenly rolling traffic reduces the pollution level. For example, over three years of testing in Berlin Tempo 30 resulted in a reduction of between seven and 13 percent. In the case of fine dust and the toxic soot it contains, the effects were lower, but also measurable. After the Easter holidays, the Senator for the Environment Regine Günther (independent, for the Greens) wants to take the matter seriously. She wants to dictate Tempo 30 only where it makes sense. The test phase begins at Leipziger Straße in Mitte. There, the limit has been exceeded by 65 percent, more than at any other of the approximately 30 measuring points on major arteries operated by the Senate.

(Der Tagesspiegel 03/22/2018)

Prayer:

  • Pray for effective and sensible measures to reduce pollutants
  • Pray that the often emotionally and ideologically overloaded discussion will become more objective
  • Pray that the air quality in Berlin improves in the short-term term – and thus also health

Keeping On: Anti-Semitism

In a Tempelhofer elementary school (with 95 percent pupils with migrant background!), a Jewish girl was insulted and threatened by a Muslim classmate because she does not believe in Allah. The case is making waves all the way up to in federal politics. During his inaugural visit to Israel, the new Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned the incident and any kind of anti-Semitism in general. In addition, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble commented accordingly. In the affected school, the problem will be addressed pedagogically after the Easter holidays with external assistance. Such an incident is probably just the “tip of the iceberg”. There is open anti-Semitism both in Muslim circles and among Germans with right-wing sentiments.

Our prayer and practical work against anti-Semitism and hatred of the Jews reflects an unfortunate continuing need.

Dates:

April 11, 6pm: Prayer for the City, Rotes Rathaus

April 18, 6pm: March for Life (see article above), George-Grosz-Platz, Charlottenburg, https://www.facebook.com/events/167260303984412/

April 30 and May 1: Prayer Surrounding May 1st (Details in the article above)

 

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Download as PDF: March 2018

Good News: Less Crime on the Kotti

We have often called for prayer for the Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. According to rbb, the local police statistics show a significant decline in crime over the past year pertaining to assault and theft as well as pickpocketing, which all together fell by 14 percent from 2016 to 2017. Pickpocketing even fell by 42 percent. Unfortunately, the number of drug offenses has risen. Thank God, and continue to pray!

Sexual Diversity in Day-Care Centres

A new pedagogical guideline has been published for day-care centres– funded by the Senate – with the title, „Murat plays princess, Alex has two mothers and Sophie is now called Ben“. The target group, 1-6-year-old day-care centre children, is supposed to deal with all sorts of sexual and gender identity, orientation and life-styles in the form of picture books and stories. Child-care workers are trained to question the sexual and gender identity of toddlers and to help them find their sexual orientation. The topics in this brochure were developed by the LGBT interest group „Queerformat“ on behalf of the Senate. Despite the tolerance for different sexual orientations, also part of the Christian faith, many experts fear that children will be overburdened and experience serious interferences in their psychological development. If parents appeal to their constitutionally guaranteed parental rights and do not want to go along with this, the brochure indirectly threatens with the withdrawal of their custody rights. The attitudes propagated in the new brochure contradict standards based on biblical ethics. There is an online petition against this new guideline:http://www.citizengo.org/de/ed/156998-kein-vielfalts-sex-kitas-indoktrinierende-broschuere-sofort-zurueckziehen In addition, an initiative in Berlin could be a role model for other federal states.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the focus would be on the well-being of the child and not on ideological targets
  • Pray for the withdrawal of the guideline

Bicycle City Berlin

Serious accidents with fatal outcome for cyclists happen over and over again. “Ghost Bikes”, white-painted bicycles commemorating a fatal accident, have been set up, and the lines for bike paths, for instance at the Kolonnenstraße in Schöneberg, have been re-painted with solid lines and red paint. But again and again, these color-coded borders are disregarded.

We already requested prayer for this issue in February. Now the Senate has decided that in the next ten years Berlin should become a cycling city. The House of Representatives still has to agree, but most probably nothing will stand in the way. The Radverkehrsgesetz (bicycle traffic law) states that because of double proportion of cyclists, proportionally more space should also be allocated on the roads. This affects the parking along the roads, which have to give way to the bike paths. As a result, by June, a Federal Council initiative for more traffic safety will be formulated.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection and mutual respect of all those using the roads
  • Pray for solutions for safe conditions, especially for the weaker traffic participants
  • Pray for speedy and successful implementation of the goal of a bicycle-friendly city

Overcome Evil with Good –Transforum-Conference

According to Romans 12:21 „overcoming evil by good“ is the opportunity and task of Christians. How can the Spirit of Christ, who is a Spirit of love and reconciliation, become more evident through us in our cities? Are there successful models? This and more is the theme of the Transforum Conference by Gemeinsam für Berlin from 8 to 10 March in the Joshua community in Spandau. Exciting plenary guests and 24 workshops invite you to listen and participate. The whole program and registration can be found here:

https://transforum-berlin.de/startseite/

Prayer:

  • Pray for ground-breaking and sustainable impulses through the conference
  • Pray that Berlin and other cities will increasingly be changed by the reconciling Sprit of the gospel

Nursing Crisis

There is a lack of nurses, including in Berlin. Already last year, the Berlin Senate forecasted a need for around 4,000 additional care and nursing assistants in the capital in 2018. People who work in nursing are often overwhelmed, overburdened and poorly paid, but they render an invaluable service to society. A referendum has been launched to establish, among other things, a minimum number of caretakers in the state hospital law.

Prayer:

  • For better work conditions and pay for nurses
  • Pray that young people will be encouraged to seek jobs in nursing
  • Pray for the funding of more positions in nursing
  • Pray for the success of the referendum

Problems with the Construction of New Schools

Because Berlin is growing and therefore the number of pupils is also growing, the Senate will provide a total of 5.5 billion euros for the renovation and especially for the construction of schools for the next ten years. It is planned to complete 51 schools with a total of 55,000 pupils in just four years of construction (instead of the previous eight years). The interior design will be adapted to modern teaching methods and inclusion. To realize this goal in the planned time, the construction company Howoge is to carry out the construction work, and other private companies will carry out the renovation work. Critics fear that there will be privatization of schools and land and that the risks will have to be borne mainly by the districts and the Senate. Another problem is the lack of construction professionals in the relevant building authorities and also in the open labour market.

Prayer:

  • We bless the responsible politicians with wisdom and a clear view of the overall situation
  • Pray for new / different ideas to carry out the necessary construction work
  • Pray that the construction contracts do not lead to a one-sided burden on the Senate and districts
  • Pray that the independence of education from private economic interests can be maintained
  • Pray for more planners, engineers, and workers to carry out the planned construction projects

New Police Chief

The Senator of the Interior, Andreas Geisel (SPD), surprisingly dismissed Police Chief Kalus Kandt on Feb. 26. He had been increasingly controversial, among other things, because of numerous mishaps surrounding the Christmas market assassin Amri and the events in the Police Academy. According to the Senator of the Interior, the dismissal of Kandts was not a hasty decision — The Berlin police needed to renew itself. There needed to be a culture in which one could speak openly about mistakes. The new dual leadership to be found by mid-April could embody a credible new beginning. Police Vice President Margarete Koppers is also leaving the police on March 1 to take over the post of attorney general. The successor to Kandt will be the director of Directorate 5, Michael Krömer. On several occasions, he was Director of Operations on May 1 and is considered an experienced police leader. (rbb)

Prayer:

  • Pray for fast success and optimal choice in the reorganization of the police leadership
  • Pray for God’s protection from crises and disasters during the transitional period

Keeping On: Praying for our Country

Since 2004 there has been an annual Lenten prayer campaign entitled „40 days to pray and fast for our country“. It was founded prior to Jesus Day 2004, a major event with attended by 40,000 people which took place in Berlin on 9/11/2004. First there were booklets, then flyers, now everything is online. Because of digitalization, the campaign is now a smartphone app. Since this is a kind of partnership nationwide for our Prayer for Berlin, we want to let you know that for both Android and iOS there is an app called DEUTSCHLAND BETET, where our prayer requests for Berlin are included. There you will also find GEBET FÜR UNSER LAND with daily requests for politics and society. The special feature: Prayer partners are asked to keep on, not only for the 40 days until Easter, but throughout the year in prayer for our country.

Dates:

March 8-10, Transforum-Conference – see article above

March 10, 11am to 4 pm, Day of Prayer and Fasting for North Korea, Lukas-Gemeinde, Kurfürstenstr. 133, 10785 B.

March 14, 6pm: Prayer for the City, Rotes Rathaus

Preview:

April 18, 6pm: March for Life, George-Grosz-Platz, Charlottenburg, https://www.facebook.com/events/150873725601856

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Download as PDF: February 2018

Good News: UNITED more than ever before!

Christians from more than 30 denominations and from at least as many native cultures prayed together on January 20 in plenary and at 13 „prayer stations – Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Free Church, an African and a Coptic choir and more. „ONE – pray together, celebrate, act together“ was the fruit of years of building relationships and trust. Sponsors were the Evangelical Alliance, Together for Berlin with its youth network BerlinUnited and the Ecumenical Council Berlin-Brandenburg. This response summed it up well: „To unite over confessional boundaries in prayer and to bring in their own profile and the richness of this tradition – equal and in the brotherly respect of others – that comes very close to the prayer of Jesus ‘… that they may all be one’. And it’s a taste of what I imagine heaven will be like. Hopefully this will happen again next year.” Prayer: Many reasons for thanks!

Offices and Senate Administrations

In order to prevent financial collapse, the number of staff in the Berlin administrations was massively reduced beginning in 2001 (60% in the districts, and 10% in the senate administrations). In addition, state-owned or district-owned properties were sold or leased. The training of staff has been essentially discontinued, so there is a lack of younger employees in the administrations. Recently, the districts were once again allowed to recruit significantly more staff. However, there are problems: there are no qualified administrators; newcomers not only lack the expertise, but also knowledge of administrative processes; there is little time left for the transfer of knowledge from the „old hands“ to younger employees; there are too few workspaces for newly hired employees. Partly because of lack of space, the new employees that are urgently needed and – finally – approved by the Senate have not been employed. In addition, the processes from application to recruitment are very cumbersome, tedious and outdated. For many applicants, an employment offer comes too late. How to get these problems under control is controversial. The Senate blames the districts; the districts see the blame on the Senate level. The communication between both sides is clearly disturbed. The Governing Mayor now wants to extend his rights of intervention in district powers, but the districts and the district mayors are not open to this.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the state and the districts would be willing to seek solutions together
  • Pray for a new willingness to talk and a new culture of discussion between those responsible
  • Pray for suitable applicants for vacancies and that positions will quickly be filled
  • Pray for solutions for lack of space and more vocational training places

Overload and staff shortage in the judiciary and police

The frequent outbreaks from the Berlin prisons over the past few weeks are not the only reason for the necessity of effective and rapid measures. For a long time there has been a massive lack of personnel in courts, prisons and the police. The prison system is lacking around 200 employees, though the prisons are fully occupied. The director of the Moabit prison reported: The consequence of the lack of staff is „that every prisoner gets less care and less attention than he should actually get, in order for us to fulfill our legal mandate. This results in more risk for both my employees and for the State of Berlin.” The Justice Senator wants to hire more staff. This applies, on the one hand, to the 150 trainees who are finally completing their training this year and to other prison staff, but also to judges with special attention to the juvenile division. A significant increase in the number of staff in the police has already been decided, but of course, it will take time until the applicants are fully trained.

Prayer

  • Thank God that prisons are once again training staff
  • Pray that prison personnel will be protected against overload and for good success in the care of detainees
  • Pray for a faster resolution of staff shortages in the judiciary and police

University Contracts

In mid-January, the university contracts between the State of Berlin and the Berlin universities including the Charité hospital were signed. For the first time, the contracts will be valid for five years, from 2018 to 2022, thus offering universities greater planning security. The total volume amounts to 8.1 billion euros, which is to be used to improve the study and employment conditions. Thus, finally, more scientific staff of the academic middle-class can be employed indefinitely. It will also support measures that drive the digitization and free availability of research results. The topics of integration and migration research, Islamic theology, as well as peace, conflict and terrorism research will also be promoted.

Prayer:

  • Thank God that money has been put aside for education and better employment in the area of science · Pray that funds will be used effectively and responsibly
  • Pray that the responsibility for the funded research topics will be given to Spirit-filled people

More Homeless

The number of homeless is increasing: At present, at least 10,000 homeless people live in Berlin. Some experts estimate the number even higher. Every year, between 500 and 1,000 homeless people come to Berlin, mainly from Eastern European countries. Since there is a shortage of shelters, many of them had been sleeping in the Berlin Tiergarten park, but this was cleared last year before winter came. For the first time, districts, senate administrations and NGOs jointly discussed the problem at the first strategy conference on homelessness in the capital. The goal is to be able in the future to offer every homeless at least one emergency shelter.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the first joint search for a solution between the parties involved
  • Pray for a sufficient number of shelters
  • Pray for sustainable, timely and visible solutions to improve the situation

Accelerate Housing Construction

It is undisputed that Berlin needs more housing as quickly as possible, especially housing that is affordable for low incomes. Berlin is not fulfilling the quota of 25% social housing in new construction that was intended in the “Berlin model” of the Senate. In addition, there is a growing need for housing for mid-level incomes. The housing policy of the Senate is being generally criticized, especially the Senator for City Development Katrin Lompscher (Linke), also by their coalition partner SPD. The focus on public companies does not do justice to the fact that 90 percent of the new construction in Berlin has been given to private companies and property developers. In addition, the announced „urban development housing plan“ is overdue. Apparently, in recent years the Senate has hardly ever acquired land offered by the federal government at a preferential price. The federal government and Berlin are blaming each other for this. Another factor causing delay is the (legally stipulated) public participation: Everyone wants the construction of new apartments, but of course not on their own doorstep! The common good, however, must always be higher than individual interests. It is also urgent that the time needed for building permits and preliminary construction decisions be shortened. All in all, the new housing construction in Berlin obviously requires stronger political control and more effective cooperation between the Senate and the districts. However, whether a central Steering Committee for Urban Development should be set up is a matter of dispute between the coalition partners. The home exchange that is being set up seems to be a good new idea.

Prayer:

  • Pray for a rapid end to the roadblocks and delays in the construction of new housing
  • Pray for agreement between the Senate departments, the federal government and the districts
  • Pray for creative, new ideas for more living space

Keeping on: BER and Tegel airports

Unfortunately, a continuing long-term issue! All the more reason for prayer. The fight continues: There is a new legal opinion commissioned by the Senate which makes the continued operation of Tegel almost impossible. The opposition (FDP and parts of the CDU) however continues to demand the continued use of Tegel. The federal government and the States of Brandenburg and Berlin maintain their position that Tegel must close six months after the BER opens. The construction costs of BER have risen again. The probability of the announced opening date for 2020 seems to be increasing. So keep on: Let us continue to pray for the end of the unfruitful quarrels, that sloppiness and corruption will be revealed and for a quick completion of the BER and for the optimal use of Tegel!

Dates:

February 14, 6 pm: Prayer for the City, Rotes Rathaus

February 23, 5pm: Prayer for the Kotti, Gebetskeller am Kottbusser Tor, Adalbertstr. 97

March 10, 11 am to 4 pm: Day of Prayer and Fasting for North Korea, Lukas-Gemeinde, Kurfürstenstr. 133, 10785 Berlin

 

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Download as PDF: December 17/January 18

Good News: 7,8% more births

Last year, 41,000 children were born in Berlin. This represents an increase of 7.8 percent compared to 2015 – 0.4 percent above the national average. There have not been so many babies in Berlin since the ba-by boom in the 60s. Let’s welcome each baby as a miracle of God and congratulate the parents!

  • Thank God for the increasing courage for new life and parenthood

Christmas – Peace on Earth?

There are mixed feelings about Christmas. For some, it is a celebration they look forward to with bright eyes and full anticipation. For others, it is a time when family tensions can no longer to be evaded. And still others feel particularly excluded during the Christmas season – because they have no one with whom they can celebrate or because they are new here in Germany and do not yet know Christmas customs. We also need to pray for the protection of the Christmas markets from terror and violence. A year ago on December 19, an assassin rammed a truck into a Christmas market. 12 people died and 60 were injured.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the message „God with us“ will touch many non-believing people who, whether because of tradition or curiosity, visit worship services or Christian celebrations
  • Pray that Christians will invite lonely people to their house to celebrate together
  • Pray that Christmas markets will be protected from terror

New Tourism Concept

It is a gift that many people from all over the world visit our interesting city. Almost half of them come from abroad. In 2016, 12.7 million people visited Berlin; 31.1 million overnight stays were recorded. The numbers continue to rise slightly. For the residents in the districts which are particularly popular with tourists, the many visitors can also sometimes be a burden. The Berlin Senate is currently working intensively on a new tourism concept that aims, among other things, to increase the marketing of the outer districts of the city and to provide more contact between Berliners and visitors. Electric buses and other measures should make tourism more environmentally friendly.

Prayer:

  • Pray for a smart, sustainable tourism concept
  • Pray for good measures that combine tourism promotion and protection of local residents
  • Pray that more tourists stay longer and discover the city and its residents

Day of Prayer “ONE in Christ”

A prayer day for the city with this motto and the subtitle “pray together, celebrate, act“, will take place for the first time on January 20, 2018. At the end of the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer Evangelical, and in the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Evangelical Alliance, Together for Berlin, and the Ecumenical Council Berlin-Brandenburg are inviting Christians to come together for a day of prayer. At this event, Christians from different church backgrounds, cultures, and generations will meet each other, united in Jesus Christ. The sponsors would rather have “the greatest possible diversity than the lowest common denominator“. The event begins at 3:30 pm in the Evangelisch-Freikirchliche Gemeinde Schöneberg, Hauptstraße 125. We will begin together with music and songs to the glory of God and an input. We will then pray at twelve different „stations“ in various forms and traditions, distributed throughout the building. A children’s program will be provided. After a joint closing session, there is time to meet others over snacks and drinks. The day will close with the usual prayer concert of the youth network Berlin UniteD, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the broad unity of Christians honours God and encourages those involved
  • Pray for success for the complex preparations and planning
  • Pray that the world will realize that the Father has sent the Son (John 17:23)

Anti-Drugs-Campaign

In Germany, the use of drugs and the number of drug-related deaths continue to increase. The situation in Berlin is particularly frightening with a 15% increase in deaths in the last year, mostly due to heroin, cocaine and crystal meth in particular. But the capital is also the leader in cannabis use. The red-red-green government in Berlin wants to re-design its drug policy. This is shown, for instance, in Görlitzer Park, one of the main places for drug deals with hashish and marijuana. Following unsuccessful attempts to stop the dealing, so-called park walkers are now being used to keep the dealing at least within tolerable limits. This seems to work, because the accompanying crime has decreased. There is also a preventive offensive, which gives the Berlin specialist department 300,000 € more for prevention and education work in schools. Also, consumption rooms and so-called „drug checks“ are to be created in which police and consumers can check the substances.

Prayer:

  • Pray that an effective way out of dependency can be found for drug addicts
  • Pray especially that the prevention work among young people is fruitful

Nursing Care Crisis

Recently there was a strike at the Berlin Charité Clinic because the schedules for surgery are too full and there are too few staff. Nationwide and also in Berlin, the problem is growing: the number of (aging) needy people is increasing, but the number of nurses is increasing only slowly. This applies to outpatient home care as well as nursing home care and hospitals. There are currently very few nurses on the job market. Politicians urgently need to counteract this problem. The topic should be an urgent part of the negotiations for a new federal government.

Prayer:

  • Pray for determined action on the part of politicians at the state and federal level
  • Pray for strength and motivation for the care-givers
  • Pray for more Christians in nursing jobs

Keeping On: Crime

At Kottbusser Tor, Görlitzer Park, which is well-known for problems with drug dealers, and at the Warsaw Bridge, the number of crimes has declined compared to the previous year. There were fewer acts of violence and fewer thefts of bags or bicycles for instance. On the other hand, the drug trade increased in some cases (article above). It’s not that the state is powerless, but it is limited in its resources. Politicians of all parties did little, and the police force was neglected. Currently, nine large clans of Arab descent dominate the crime scene in Berlin. There are also rockers from various clubs, and the Russian mafia is also active.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for partial decline in crime and pray for further decrease

On a personal note: Rosemarie Stresemann is leaving the editorial team

Rosemarie Stresemann is a well-known name in the prayer scene in Berlin and now also nationwide. After 15 years she is ending her cooperation with the Berlin prayer mail and will now concentrate entirely on the „Wächterruf“, a continuous prayer chain for Germany with monthly letters and increasingly also conferences and seminars. The retired primary school teacher combines intensive and critical political research with a great passion for (often prophetic) intercession, a combination rarely found. Rosemarie has not only influenced the prayer mail, but also the prayer scene in Berlin significantly. From 2003 to 2016 she also co-headed the monthly meeting of the „Forum Prayer“ by Together for Berlin together with Axel Nehlsen. She has been responsible for an infinite amount of impetus for prayer for the city and also a significant portion of the texts and prayer requests in this prayer mail. It’s great to see our God sharpening the gifts and profiles of His people and using them for the coming of His kingdom. This also applies to Rosemarie’s future tasks. People can express their thanks in written or verbal form, but it is God who repays in his own way and creates lasting fruit. In that sense: May God bless you, Rosemarie!

Dates

Dec. 13, 6pm Prayer for City Politicians, Rotes Rathaus

Jan. 10, 6pm Prayer for City Politicians, Rotes Rathaus

Jan. 14-21 International Week of Prayer sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance. A brochure with Berlin dates can be obtained in participating churches and online here:

https://www.evangelische-allianz-berlin.de/aktuelles

Jan. 20, 3:30pm Day of Prayer ONE (See article above)

 

Warm greetings from the editorial team (Kerstin Hack, Axel Nehlsen, Anna Wunderlich) and from the GfB-leadership team Ana Hoffmeister. We wish you all a meaningful Advent and Christmas season!

 

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