Prayermails


Download as PDF: December/January

Good News: Salary Increase for Elementary School Teachers

Beginning August 1, 2019, the Senate will pay all elementary school teachers 5,300 euros per month, which is equal to the salary of secondary school teachers. That means a salary increase of more than 500 euros a month. The higher pension entitlement will also be included – the two-year waiting period will be eliminated. Even those who reach retirement age before the cut-off date can receive the higher pension if their retirement is postponed accordingly. This has a positive side effect for elementary schools suffering from a dramatic shortage of teachers.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for this sign of appreciation of teachers at elementary schools
  • Pray that it will have a quick impact and reduce teacher shortages

Welcoming Culture

In the first months after September 2015, an average 1,860 refugees have come to Berlin every month. Initially, the administration was overwhelmed by the onslaught (long queues at the LaGeSo); in the meantime, accommodation and provision are running quite smoothly. The „Masterplan Integration and Security“ of the previous Senate is now following the „Overall Concept for the Integration and Participation of Refugees“ of the current city government. The already refugee-friendly policy (the fewest amount of refugees are deported from Berlin) will be even friendlier. According to the integration commissioner, the high motivation of the refugees after their arrival in the city should be utilized so that integration can succeed from the beginning. All refugees receive a language course as soon as they arrive; already 11,000 refugees were able to begin employment; 8,039 children from “welcome classes” were able to switch to a regular school. In order to be able to measure the results of the integration, all measures are scientifically monitored and evaluated.

Prayer:

  • Thank God that people who have come from crisis and war areas have found a safe place with us and for the successful integration efforts
  • Pray that the refugees find a (possibly temporary) home in Berlin
  • Pray for further successful integration which benefit asylum seekers but do not overwhelm the locals

BER – New Deficiencies and Problems

Following the last opening delay, the BER Airport, under construction since 2006, is scheduled to open in October 2020. But whether the airport director Lütke Daldrup can confirm the opening date as planned in the early summer of 2019 now seems to be up in the air again. Even in 2019 after the fire system, the previous “headache”, will finally be completed, a new headache is emerging again — the wiring of the entire airport. Many defects have been discovered on the completely new cables which were laid in 2012 (botched construction). The cable ducts on the southern runway are almost completely under water. Instead of remedying deficiencies, too many new problems are being produced. Instead of being reported by the executing companies, the inspection is being “abused“.

The head of the airport has now proposed simplifying the construction regulations of the state of Brandenburg as has been done in other federal states, so that the operating permit can be issued by the scheduled opening date. The Brandenburg Minister of Construction Schneider opposes this, but may be willing to grant permission, provided that at least all safety-relevant deficiencies are resolved (the others will follow later). In the past, Christians have repeatedly gathered to pray for the new BER airport and its commissioning. Let’s not stop!

Prayer:

  • Pray for quick detection and error-free investigation of all remaining defects
  • Pray that good solutions for issuing the operating permit can be found
  • Pray that the opening in October 2020 can actually take place

Diesel Ban in Berlin?

A diesel driving ban for a small part of the city ring along the A 100 highway by the radio tower is imminent. This motorway section is the busiest section of highway in Germany with more than 200,000 vehicles a day. The permissible value limit for air pollution is already being exceeded. The section between Kaiserdamm and ICC is affected by the possible driving ban for diesel vehicles. According to a ruling by the Administrative Court, the Senate must take measures by the end of March 2019 to comply with the limit. However, a diesel driving ban on such a short section of the highway hardly seems practicable let alone enforceable.

Prayer:

  • Pray that a practical solution can be found to reduce air pollution, including the section on the A 100 highway

Raids on Left-Wing Radicals

In Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Neukölln 560 officials officially searched four apartments. The police union said: „It is absolutely necessary to consistently tackle criminal offences, also in this area.” After the raid, residents of the homes that had been searched called for violence against police officers. Retaliation acts are feared.

Prayer:

  • Pray for protection for residents and all police working in the Rigaer Street area
  • Pray for divine intervention to pacify the entire district
  • Pray for understanding that violence is not the answer

Protection of the Christmas Markets

Two years ago, there was the gruesome attack with a truck on the Christmas market at the Gedächtniskirche. Since then, people have been more concerned about safety for the 70 different Christmas markets in Berlin. A security concept coordinated with the police and the fire brigade and approved by the respective district is in place for all markets. The market at the Gedächtniskirche has particularly high security.

Prayer

  • Pray for God’s protection over all Christmas markets and similar events
  • Pray that fear and insecurity will not dominate Berliners

Urban Research Series – Blockade as Common Ground

Many Berliners show a blockade attitude. „Instead of agreeing on something in common, they are often simply against it,“ notes innovation coach Arvin Schwerin. „Sometimes it seems to me that being against everything is the only thing that connects Berliners.“ This has also been scientifically studied by Professor Martina Loew, who researched several cities in terms of their „intrinsic logic“. Unlike other cities, where respondents can agree relatively easily on things like progress orientation or a good atmosphere in the city, Berliners cannot agree. „It seems most important that everyone is unique and that the city does not connect anything.“ Thus, good moderation and constructive joint decision-making are needed in all questions concerning public spaces.

Prayer:

  • Pray that commonality and uniqueness have a healthy balance
  • Pray that the perspective of what is best for the city is stronger than criticism and exaggerated individualism

ONE (EINS) Day of Prayer January 19

After the enthusiastic response in January 2018, „ONE in Christ – the prayer event for Berlin with the motto “Praying, celebrating, acting together” will take place for the second time. The invitation states: „We want to celebrate our unity and diversity and discover the beautiful treasure of different forms of prayer. To do this, we gather in the name of Jesus Christ and pray for the concerns of our city.“ The approximately 20 prayer stations will be accompanied by a short joint program. Then there is time for sharing while eating together. A prayer concert will conclude the even. Details below on dates!

Prayer:

  • Pray that celebrating unity in diversity will be successful, encouraging, and lead to sending

Keeping On: Homeless in Winter

In recent years, public transport operators opened certain subway stations to homeless people during the winter, but this year, this was not planned due to safety concerns. After tough conversations took place, the U-Bahn stations Moritzplatz and Lichtenberg are now open for emergency accommodation. The Senate Department for Social Affairs and the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) agreed on a model project in which the districts of Lichtenberg and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg as well as the Berlin City Mission and the Social Foundation Karuna are involved.

Dates

Dec. 6, 7pm: Hanukkah at the Brandenburg Gate, solidarity event for Jewish life

Dec. 12 and Jan. 9, 6pm: Prayer for the city politicians in front of the Rote Rathaus

Jan. 13-20: Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer, dates at http://www.evangelische-allianz-berlin.de

Jan. 19, 3pm: ONE (EINS) – Prayer Event. 7pm prayer concert, EFG Schöneberg, Hauptstr. 125 A, 10827 Berlin. More: http://www.einsfürberlin.de

 

With this double issue for December and January, the editorial team wishes all prayer partners a happy Jesus birthday and a blessed 2019!

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Download as PDF: November 2018

Good News: Campus Siemensstadt

An innovation campus of the Siemens Group is to be created on the old Siemens location. The Senate has agreed with the company on a first concept. The innovation campus is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of Berlin as a business location internationally and to accelerate digital transformation. Modern research and office capacities are to be created on the campus, but also apartments. The group employs about 11,000 people in Berlin and will invest 600 million euros in the first step of the conversion.

  • Thank God for the common concept and the large investment in the future viability of Berlin

Homeless in the Winter

The emergency shelter Lehrter Straße, operated by the Berlin City Mission, is the core of the network of the Berliner Kältehilfe. This emergency system offers 1,000 places in total in the capital – with the sole goal that homeless people do not freeze outside. 500 places were already made available on October 1; the remaining 500 places will be available beginning November 1st. Until the end of April, homeless people will thus be protected from dangerously cold temperatures. The number of homeless people currently living in Berlin on the streets is not known. Estimates range from 4,000 to 5,000, but there are probably more. This network of care includes large institutions such as the City Mission or Caritas, but also many local churches of both main-line denominations and other institutions. Many dozens of volunteers make breakfast, cook, take care of sick people, talk with the guests, and some drive the “Rescue Bus”. People can call the Bus if they see a homeless person suffering from the cold who needs help. The number of the Bus is: 0178 523 58 38 or 030 810 56 04 25. The most important contact point for help against the cold is the Lehrter Straße in the center of the City Mission, because it has the widest range of help. The medical care is very good, because there is a doctor’s office in the complex and many medical staff are available. Above all, wheelchair users will find peace and help here.
After much back-and-forth, the BVG (public transport company) is now opening certain rooms in subway stations at night for the homeless. They had originally rejected this for this winter due hygienic and safety reasons. But those who spend the night in shelters have a better place. The City Mission, for example, takes care of 120 people daily at the Frankfurter Allee S-Bahn and subway station in an air-inflated hall. There are medical helpers, good food every day with a choice of a vegetarian or meat meal, a washing machine, shaving cream, and shower gel. If a facility is full, people – if they want to – can be driven to shelters that still have room. (Source: Tagesspiegel 10/22)

Prayer:

  • Pray for a warm shelter for as many homeless as possible, so they do not freeze to death
  • Pray for further work on the elimination of the causes of homelessness
  • Pray for love, patience and perseverance for the full-time and volunteer helpers
  • Pray for blessing on the work of the Christian institutions, especially the City Mission

Portal for Complaints against Teachers

The Berlin AfD (right wing populist party) activated an online portal on October 22nd. Teachers are to be reported there who are „indoctrinating“ students against the AfD. The Senate Administration and many others have great reservations about such incitement to denounce. School senator Scheeres emphasized that it was „contrary to the school peace“ to make such a portal. In addition, this project brings back fateful memories of practices during the two disastrous dictatorship periods in our country.

Prayer

  • Pray that possibilities can be found to stop the portal
  • Pray for civic courage among students, teaching staff, supervisors and school authorities

Staff Shortage in Youth Welfare Offices

The youth welfare offices are responsible for many areas, for instance for the advance payment of alimony (applications have increased by 60% since 07/17), supervised living for young people, accommodation of children in foster families, child protection, day care, integration aids for children and adolescents with developmental delays and mental disorders, etc. In each area of responsibility of the Youth Welfare Office, case numbers have risen steadily in recent years, for instance, in integration assistance, as more and more children and adolescents come from dysfunctional families and need help in their development. More and more children need to be taken out of problem families to receive care and new accommodations, or there are unaccompanied minor refugees to look after.

Even if significantly more jobs are provided for these tasks, there are too few new people being hired to compensate for the lack of staff. The reason for this is because there are too few well-trained social workers, educators, administrative staff, etc. and they are under-paid, so that suitable applicants accept other better-paid job offers. In addition, there are too few training places, or they are too expensive.

Prayer:

  • Pray for new ideas for advertising and recruitment of professionals
  • Pray for suitable professionals who accept the job offers
  • Pray that the situation of children and young people in their families of origin improves enough so that they no longer need support

Seven Excellence Clusters in Berlin

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has recently approved seven cluster applications from Berlin. This makes Berlin the most successful region nationwide. Work is now underway on the next step, the joint application, because in mid-December 2018 the application must be submitted to the DFG and the Wissenschaftsrat. An example from the approved clusters is MATH +. It connects the major universities FU, HU and TU with the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, as well as the Zuse Institute Berlin in the research and development of new approaches of application-oriented mathematics. Central to this are the mathematic foundations for the use of increasingly large amounts of data in the life and material sciences, energy and network research or the human and social sciences. The aim is to promote technical innovation and a general understanding of social processes.

Prayer

  • Pray that as a result, Berlin will be more visible as a science location and more profitable for society locally and globally
  • Pray that in science the common will overcome individualism
  • Pray that ultimately the knowledge of God will increase through research

Israeli-German Festival

The Israeli-German Festival took place from October 12 to 18. In small film sequences Berlin Jews told why they came to Berlin and what they have experienced here. However, there is no reasonably uniform Berlin-Jewish identity. People live here for a variety of reasons.

Prayer

  • Pray for the protection of the diverse Jewish life in Berlin
  • Pray that Israelis and Germans will get to know one another better and be good neighbours

Bridge Renovation

Eleven out of a total of 258 bridges in Berlin for which the federal government is responsible, must be renovated in the foreseeable future due to their poor condition. The bridges are regularly scored on a scale of one to four. Eleven Berlin bridges have received the grade „three“. This rating indicates that a bridge needs to be renovated. This is already planned for most of them. In Berlin there are a total of 1,085 bridges for road, foot or bicycle traffic. The bridges are repeatedly examined with regard to their stability, traffic safety and durability (source: rbb24 10/17).

Prayer:

  • Pray for wise decisions about the date of the renovation and if necessary the closing of bridges
  • Pray for God’s protection from collapse catastrophes

Keeping On: Clan Crime

As part of the cross-departemental overall strategy, the district office Neukölln is launching a district program for dropping out of criminal clan structures. In addition to the direct fight against crime, the exit from these structures should be as simple and attractive as possible. The rule of law should support people in the move to legality.

Dates

Nov. 10, 4pm: Solidarity rally for Israel at the Brandenburg Gate  

Nov. 10, 2:30-5:30pm: Evangelical Alliance Berlin Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians, EFG, Tempelhofer Damm 133-137, 12099 B-Tempelhof

Nov. 14, 6pm: Prayer for City Politicians in front of the Rote Rathaus
Dec. 12, 6pm: Chanukka at the Brandenburger Gate, Solidarity event for Jewish life in Berlin

 

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Download as PDF: October 2018

Good News: Berlin is growing slower

Berlin continues to grow, but not as dynamically as in previous years. This is good news given the acute housing shortage. The population increased by an average of almost 50,000 people a year from 2011 to 2016, in 2017 there was an increase of only 38,665 (Statistical Office Berlin-Brandenburg). At this rate of growth, Berlin will probably not reach more than four million inhabitants before 2030. Since the fall of the wall, there has been the same trend: the population of Berlin with a German passport is shrinking; the proportion of foreigners had risen to 17.6 percent at the end of last year. 193 (!) nationalities are now represented in Berlin. (Tagesspiegel 9/18)

  • Thank God for this population development and for the coexistence of the nations

Acute: Security Situation during the State Visit of Erdogan

From September 27 to 29 the Turkish President Erdogan will be on a state visit to Berlin. He is known to be controversial because of his autocratic rule and disregard of fundamental rights. Numerous demonstrations against the visit are registered, partly with potential for violence. Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) said: „These are difficult days that will push us to the limits of our capacity.“ During the state visit, the highest security level applies. As usual, the Berlin police will have reinforcements from other federal states and from the Federal Police, also because in the following days there are more large-scale operations of the police during the top match of the Bundesliga Hertha Berlin against Bayern Munich and because of the celebrations around October 3rd.

Prayer

  • Pray for God’s special protection over the city during these days
  • Pray for non-violent demos and good police tactics

“Only with you” – 28 Years Unity

The 28th day of German Re-unification will be celebrated in the capital in original settings of this historically unique process, which is still a miracle of God in the midst of our history and city. ONLY WITH YOU – this is the motto for the Day of German Unity. Since 1991, central celebrations for October 3rd have been organized in the federal state which has Federal Council Presidency, which changes annually. In 2018 it is Berlin. The celebration will take place from October 1 to 3 around the Brandenburg Gate and in frontof the Reichstag, where unified Germany began in 1990. Together with many hundreds of partners, a colourful programme will be offered on three days. In addition to political bodies, museums and foundations, volunteer projects, initiatives and associations will also be on the spot. Unfortunately (as far as known) no own programme contributions of the churches and Christian organisations came about. But at the opening there is an ecumenical service in the Berlin Cathedral. Info: https://www.tag-der-deutschen-einheit.berlin.de/

Prayer

  • Thank God for the miracle of unity and freedom, even after 28 years
  • Pray that courage and hope for the future will grow out of grateful remembrance

Prayer for Schools

We regularly report on specific prayer requests that affect our more than 700 schools in Berlin. It is clear: schools need prayer! An initiative of various prayer initiatives calls for every school in Germany to be surrounded by prayer of a church. According to information from „Moms in Prayer“, parent prayer groups for 11 schools in Berlin are known. So there is „still room for improvement“.

Prayer:

  • Pray for more prayer sponsorships for schools
  • Pray for prayer support, especially for Christian teachers in hotspot schools

More unfit teachers

There is a shortage of teachers in the capital. Berlin not only has a deficit in new teachers, but there is also a massive loss of teachers by premature retirement due to illness or disability. There has been a failure to train sufficient new teachers on time. Also, teaching in Berlin is not very attractive because there is a lack of the possibility to become a civil servant.

Prayer

  • Pray for more places at universities for education majors and the opportunity to become civil servants
  • Pray for the protection of teachers from excessive demand and burnout

More Protection for Cyclists

So far, ten cyclists have died in road traffic in Berlin this year, most of them by turning trucks. For a long time, the installation of so-called turn-assistants in trucks has been required, but that has so far failed due to technical problems and allegedly too high costs, and there is still no national or European legislation for it. The Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) is now setting a good example. Already 46 newly ordered garbage trucks are to be equipped with a turn-assistant. In addition, different systems will be tested by the end of the year – for example, with radar and 360-degree cameras. The other municipal companies in Berlin are to follow.

Prayer

  • Pray that the number of trucks with turn- assistants would rise rapidly
  • Pray that turn-assistants would soon be obligatory
  • Pray for the protection of cyclists in traffic

Care-givers from Albania and Mexico

Around 2,600 care-givers are missing in Berlin. In an attempt to tackle the shortage of skilled workers, the Charité University Hospital has been seeking care-givers and nurses from Albania since 2017. Over 75 Albanian employees have since been obtained through this program. Nursing is a field of study at the university level in Albania – as in many other countries. But before the care-givers are allowed to work in Germany, they still have to do additional training, learn German and pass the appropriate exams. Each year, 60 new nurses will come in the future. From the point of view of the Nursing Director, the program is so good that she intends to get nurses from Mexico soon, despite copious bureaucratic hurdles. (rbb 24, 9/25.)

Prayer

  • Pray for further creative ideas to solve the problem of the nursing crisis
  • Pray for good integration of the foreign care-givers

Razor Blades on Playground

Several times in the past weeks dangerous objects were found on the playground at Arnimplatz in Prenzlauer Berg. The playground was repeatedly blocked off and cleaned. Since razor blades were once again found, the playground is closed again. The district office has commissioned a cleaning company to clean the sand this week in the deeper layers. In recent weeks, in addition to the razor blades, broken glass and needles have been found in the sand. The police are investigating for attempted assault. Just a week ago, a woman injured herself in the playground with a needle in her foot as she played with her children in the sand. At the beginning of August, thumbtacks were found on the playground. City council Vollrad Kuhn suspects that the perpetrators may be local residents who feel disturbed by the children. Pankow’s district mayor Sören Benn condemned the acts in the „Berliner Morgenpost“ as „antisocial behaviour“. Anyone who does this should move away. (Tagesspiegel 9/17)

Prayer

  • Pray for rapid investigative success
  • Pray for more child friendliness among residents
  • Pray that God brings the hearts of the perpetrators to repentance

Keeping On: Clan Crime

Following the brutal murder of a clan member on Sept. 10, clashes between hostile Arab-born family clans continue to take place. The inner committee of the Berlin Parliament is now dealing with the topic and is looking for ways to put an end to the machinations of the clans. The mayor of Neukölln complains that „extreme brutality endangers social peace“, and that, as Hikel added, problems arise because the rest of the population lumps all Arab fellow-citizens into the same group and considers them all to be criminal. Some ideas are being examined such as the exchange of information between the authorities, by applications for welfare, the registration of businesses or in tax investigation. Taking away custody of children from these families is also being discussed

Prayer

  • Pray that all legal options will be fully exploited
  • Pray that social peace will not be endangered
  • Pray for wisdom and good cooperation between the responsible authorities

Dates

Prayer for City Politicians: Oct. 10, 6pm, in front of the Rotes Rathaus

„Moms in Prayer“ Informational meeting: Oct. 138, 10:00-12:30, Mavuno Berlin, Billy-Wilder-Promenade 4, 14167 Berlin
Registration: manuela.woldt@momsinprayer

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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