Saturday, September 29
It is hard for refugees from countries like Iran or Afghanistan to begin new lives in Germany. Language is a barrier, and German bureaucracy in general and asylum laws in particular are hard to understand. In their home society, honoring elders and parents is very important. But in their refugee situation, because children are fast learners they are able to gain power over their parents, which leads to many frustrations. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in Germany and have almost no training opportunities. At best, they might arrive at an official status in Germany known as ``tolerated.''
There are one million refugees living in Germany, and among them are 250,000 asylum seekers. Most are under the steady threat of being expelled. Additionally, there are several hundred thousand ``illegal'' immigrants who have no safety net or support system.
Azizollah Sadaghiani, a social worker experienced in refugee resettlement, serves people who were forced to leave their home country and settle in Europe. In close cooperation, Rev. Sadegh Sepehri, a pastor with the Iranian Presbyterian Fellowship in Europe in Berlin, teaches, preaches, and provides pastoral care elsewhere in Germany and Europe. This ministry takes place through our partner, the Reformed Bethlehem Church in Berlin, which historically received refugees from Bohemia in the 18th century. The welcome these immigrants received in Prussia so long ago bears fruit so many years later.
- Burkhard Paetzold, PC(USA) regional liaison, Central Europe/Roma ministry
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Black Forest Academy: James and Nancy Adams, school administrators * Burkhard Paetzold, regional liaison, Central Europe/Roma Ministry, World Mission * Azizollah Sadaghiani, refugee worker, Iranian Presbyterian Fellowship in Europe * Rev. Sadegh Sepehri, minister, Reformed Bethlehem Church/Iranian Presbyterian Fellowship * Alan Smith, coordinator for minority outreach/evangelism, Berliner Missionswerk
Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD): Bishop Manfred Kock, council chair * Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz: Bishop Dr. Markus Droege * Union of Evangelical Churches in the EKD: Bishop Dr. Ulrich Fischer, president * Evangelisches Missionswerk in Germany: Rev. Christoph Anders, director * Diakonisches Werk, Hoffnung fuer Osteuropa: Cornelia Fuellkrug-Weitzel, director * Berliner Missionswerk: Kirchenrat Roland Herpich, director * Berliner Stadtmission: Rev. Hans-Georg Filker, director * Reformierter Bund Germany: D. Peter Bukowski, moderator, Joerg Schmidt, general secretary * Reformed Diakonie: Rev. Dietmar Arens, chairperson * European Diaconal Year Network: John Stringham, director
PC(USA) Agencies' Staff
Katie Rhodes, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Let us pray
Dear Lord, we pray for refugees who had to leave everything behind in their homeland that they find people growing in their knowledge of you and welcoming strangers. Bless those who welcome strangers that they and future generations will be welcomed where they will become the foreigners. Amen.