There are moments in live, when I am amazed what my nation is like. Saturday we moved 9000 books from Floor Nr. 4 in one place to the attic of an other place. Had an elevator in one place. For five minutes. Then it got stuck. With one third of the moving crew being unmovable. Stuck in an outdoors elevator at freezing temperatures. We knew it would take 90 minutes for the landlord to arrive. So they wrapped themselves up in Packing paper and cardbord to stay warm. The others members of the reduced moving team could still move. And without grumbling carried all the books down 90 stairs. And up again 90 stairs. And the three once delivered got out of the elevator and started to work: First unpacking themselves and then all the stuff. Could not really believe it. Guess that makes other people think that we as Germans are work machines….But what else should you do….
A friend said to me: All people in Christian ministry write nice, decent prayer letters: you are the exeption…you write real ones…Guess, the comment was a bit extreme, but it is true: I do not like anything that is polished up or pretending to be better than it really is…God is real, his whole book is about real people with real problem walking in a real world….so I want to walk and let others know how I walk with a real God in my real world…
Right now I am in Canada for an inspiring conference…and to meet old and new friends…new like Alexandra who translates the Berlin prayer mail into English….and so far we have only met via Email…so it is great to meet the real person…
Sorry, haven´t really written much these past weeks. Mostly because I am dealing with the unreachedpaper groups on my desk. Once they are reached I will write more about the wonderful place I live in.
According to a statistics in the youth editon of Operation World more than half of Germanys active Christians are 50 years of age. This is a sobering thought and an encouragement for prayer.
We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year..:” You may wish to praise God that this blog does not have sound…(i.e. it is not me singing)…but it comes from my heart anyhow.
I hope that this Christmas and in the coming months you will experience the God who is so real that he did not care about being God but became real man….
Right now I am not in Berlin, but in South Germany. Celebrating Christmas with my family (parents and siblings). Today we will clean the house. Then we will have the traditional lentil soup for lunch. This is tradition as it is the last “poor” meal before the season of “rich food” starts. We all love it.
Later in the afternoon we will go to church togehter (traditional Lutheran chuch)…have a simple, but good meal (usually fish and toasted bread) and then share gifts. (For those who do not come from a German context: we celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve). In my family one person is chosen by lot who is first allowed to give her / his gifts. Then we chat, drink wine (if you are from North America and have a problem with this passage simply change it to “grape juice of a special kind)…and enjoy being together…
The next two holidays are spent chatting, eating (yummy), going for walks and most of all reading…we all love books and usually we kuddle together in the afternoons with the books we have given each other for Christmas and read. I love it. The only big question is: Who will get up and make coffee for all of us. The same procedure as every year….
Met with a bunch of people to start a portal for Christians in Berlin. Pretty good. Won´t be involved in the process myself for a long time, but definetely wanted to be part of starting it…love starting new stuff! It´s pretty good! Will see what happens in the next months as the portal emerges…[will let you know!]
Church placed 4th in Gallup studyThe Gallup organisation conducted a study of which institutions are most trusted in 47 nations, interviewing 36,000 people on all continents. The study was paid for by the World Economic Forum, which traditionally meets in Davos, Switzerland, in January. The report reveals that Germans trust the Police and Army most, and that the Church is in a crisis, landing last among the 17 major institutions.
On Monday, the Berlin daily newspaper 'Die Welt' reported that 86% of Germans trust the Police, 70% the Army, and only 39% the Church. Globally, the Church ranks fourth, with 57%. The figures for the respective national educational system vary greatly; in Germany, it ranks fifth from last with 50% following the recent PISA study, which revealed major defecits, but internationally, it ranks first with 62%.
The Zeit newspaper commented o
n the economy that seems to be stuck in Germany: “´The area of reform in Germany is like a field of mushrooms – as soon as you pop up your head it gets chopped off!”
It is one of my biggest desires to see people who know God and trust him get active in the area of social, ecconomic and spiritual transformation of our land.
One guy who did it is Joerg Knoblauch – Dawn Friday Fax reports on him:
“Germany: Christian businessman receives award
One of the most prestigious German business awards was awarded to extraordinary Evangelical businessman Professor Joerg Knoblauch in Frankfurt's St. Paul's
Church on November 11th 2002. The Ludwig Erhard Prize is awarded by the German Society for Quality for 'Excellence in Competition'. Knoblauch owns the
companies Tempus (time planning systems), drilbox (cases) and DISG (personality profiling).
Michael Jackson was in town – welcomed by dozens of Teenagers screaming under his Hotel Window. Marching with protest signs: “Peace to Michael” and “Leave his nose alone!”….drew some attention – even ours as I was sitting in a Starbucks opposite of his hotel with some people who wanted to understand what Berlin is like and what God is doing in the city. As I was trying to explain some of the historic roots of the city we had this interessting background event…weird….pretty weird. Like absurd theater.