February 2004


A.     Focal points for prayer (continuation from Oct. – Dec. 2003)

8th  Marriage and Family and 9th Education and Upbringing-Research and Technology


B.    The descent into a new poverty



A.      Focal points for prayer


8th Marriage and Family


Where there are children, laughter is allowed.  That is also true on the “Political Page”.

      That is why a few statements about family life taken from school compositions are included.

·         here, men can only have one wife: that is called monotone.

·         everyone has their own room, except Dad; he always has to sleep with Mom.

·         adoption is really better: parents can choose their children and don’t have to take what they get.

·         my Dad is a speculatius (biscuit). He earns a lot of money on the stock market.

·         Matches need to be hidden carefully so they don’t get little kids. (How should it be?)


         Problematic Behaviour:

         Problem: Insecurity. No basic trust and sense of acceptance.

         Fragility of own identity; relationships; trust.

         Too little instructions for living (role models, values, relationships).

         Ignorance of the opposite sex, in spite of the sex culture.

         Ignorance of cultivating relationships (words, gestures, signs).

         Ignorance of the mandate of fatherhood and motherhood (nearness/distance; limits; authority).

         Children or career. Two working parents. “I’m only a housewife”.

         Destruction (violence; substitute partners; abuse).

         Identity disorders (homosexuality; eating problems; self-abuse).

         Family politics.


         God’s Character:

         ….He made them as male and female (Math. 19:4)

         and God blessed them and said: be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth (Gen. 1:28).


         God’s Word:

         It is not good that man be alone ( Gen. 2:18).

         Children are a gift from the Lord. (Ps. 127:3).


         God’s Will:

         Before God, marriage is a covenant for life. Covenants are important to Him.

         Both parents and children receive protection and security through family.

Family as learning grounds for life ( basic trust, confidence, relationship-building. role-models, guidance to venture into life).

Reconciliation between generations.


Prayer Points:

Pray that we once again become a children-friendly nation, where children are welcome as gifts

from God.

Practised father and motherhood. Authority.  Words and the will for upbringing.

Role models.

Stability for marriages; against the wave of divorce; joy in marriage.  Good examples.

Prayer for childless couples who want children.

Prayer for single mothers and fathers.

Prayer for parents of physically and mentally challenged children.

Help for people with identity problems.

Repentance for the sex culture.  Teen pregnancies. Abortion. Abuse and child pornography.

The age- pyramid.  Children are our future.  Respect and recognition between the generations.

Pension reform.



9th  Upbringing and Education – Research and Technology


Quotes from: Norman Rentrop, 100 Quotes for 2004; Publisher Norman Rentrop. 2004


·          Capital can be made, factories can be built, people must be won. (Hans Chr. von Rohr, Manager and Entrepreneur).

·          It is better to put an idea into someone’s head than a coin in his pocket (Jose Maria Gironella).

·          The Ten Commandments are clear and understandable, since they were created without the help of a Board of Experts ( Charles de Gaulle, French President, 1890 – 1970).



·          Tell me and I forget it.  Show me and I may note it.  Let me participate and I will remember it   (old Chinese proverb).



·          Whoever stays on the shore, cannot discover new oceans (Fernando Magellan, 1480-1521;  first to sail around the world).

·          If the only tool you possess is a hammer, then you are inclined to see every problem as a nail. (Abraham H. Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-1970).



·          Ideas change the world – when they are put into practice (Norman Rentrop).

·          A winner sees an answer in every problem, a loser sees a problem in every answer.


Problematic Behaviour:

Upbringing without (Christian) value system.  Man as the measure of all things.  Imparting only knowledge; nothing about life and values of social behaviour or fine arts.

Parents that cannot cope or are absent.  Badly-behaved children.  Stressed teachers.

State versus family upbringing.

Research:  everything may be researched.

Technology: Nothing is impossible.  Can-do mania.


God’s Character

Re: Upbringing: The triune God as our teacher: as our Father; in Jesus as “dear Master”; as Spirit who guides us in all truths.

Re: Research: All things are from Him, through Him and in Him. To Him be all glory.


God’s Word

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10; Ps. 111:10).

In Christ lay hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


God’s Will

Holistic upbringing: Education is more than knowledge. Good models are needed.

Basic learning in the family

Joy in learning: developing talents. Guidance to independent thinking.  Teachers and pupils working together.

Research with an attitude of wonder and gratitude: discovering God’s world.

Research must be free! But limits have been set for scientific research and technology (forbidden to eat of the “tree of knowledge”).


Prayer points:

Gratitude for all the educational possibilities in Germany.

Prayer for everyone involved in education, from kindergarden to university, especially for Christians.

Reform of the educational system.  Which values are being taught? The substance of religion classes.

For all educational and vocational institutions.

Prayerful research and teaching.

Pupil and student bible groups and their witness at school and university.

Fair, innovative and value-conscious support for research.

Technology: Gratitude for all the progress. Protection from “Tower of Babel” syndrom.


B: The descent into a new poverty

Is Germany moving away from socialism? (excerpt from a letter)

“Because of the social reforms, the Parity Welfare Association fears a dramatic increase of poverty in Germany. The decision to lower the unemployment benefits to the level of welfare recipients means that as of 2005, an additional 1.7 million people will be living at the poverty level” according to Ulrich Schneider, the manager of the news agency AP.  This means an increase of  the poor from the present 3.7 to 7 percent.


“We’ll take it from the unemployed”

Schneider warns that especially poverty among children will grow.  For the time being, 1.5 million, almost 10 % of those under 18 will have to survive on welfare.  In addition, by lowering unemployment benefits for the socially weak, 3.6 billion Euros will be saved.  In face of the unequal distribution of income and wealth in Germany, this is completely incomprehensible.  As a consequence, Schneider is demanding a marked increase in welfare benefits, which at the moment do not protect from poverty.  In order to cover the minimum costs, rates must be raised 10 %.


Schneider doubts that wealthy Germany can no longer afford socialism.  Unfortunately, the priority set by the reform package calls for, “We’ll take it from the unemployed.”


Ten percent own forty percent of the wealth

-          Schneider criticizes that the tax laws of the federal government have led to wealth being accumulated. He predicts that although the entry and highest rates will be lowered on income tax in the coming year, the concentration of wealth and income will exist in less and less households.  “The top incomes will experience clearly more relief.  In this case, money will be distributed 50 percent of which will be put aside and not circulated.  Clearly put: wealth will be accumulated.”


According to Schneider’s words, in the future, the risk will grow dramatically for people who lose their job to fall into poverty. As before, single parents and large families are a poverty risk because the necessary social equalisation of burden is insufficient.



·         A law is general but each case is individual.  Let us pray for wisdom for those who prepare the laws and for courage to revise when a law has proven to be useless.

Wisdom also for the officials who have to apply the law to individual cases.  Our country needs reforms but socially tolerable ones. Germany was/is known for this worldwide.

·         Let us pray for all who can and want to work but can find no job in their region,

-for the families in the east whose fathers have had to go to the west to find work

 and thus are only on the week-ends  (if at all) at home (unemployment in the east

 in 2003 was 18%).


·         Let us pray for the churches which, due to the current work situation, often lose their most capable co-workers.

·         Let us pray for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own,

-          for their self-image, especially when they can not find work for a long time,

-          for the marriages and families that suffer under this pressure,

-          for the children who always hear: no money, no money,

-          for all single parents and large families who are especially hard-hit by unemployment; as well as the “difficult to place” over 50.

·      Let us pray that God will allow our economic wheel to begin turning so that gradually, more jobs will be available.


Ortwin Schweitzer

(Translation: Evelyn Souan)