Recently my husband and I visited Berlin. I grew up at the inner-German border with the fence in view that separated us from a substantial part of the German people, among them some of my mother’s relatives. So, being able to walk the Eastern part of Berlin without fear, even moving freely from one part to the other without any checks, made me again so thankful for this miracle that happened 26 years ago.
By the way, did you realize that the fall of the Berlin wall had a huge impact on the process of globalization? As I am preparing classes for cultural anthropology I am reflecting again on the repercussions this historical event not only had on Germany, but on the whole world. And I am wondering how we can best prepare our students for the mission task ahead of them in this globalized world, with millions of refugees and immigrants, with a post-modern worldview, with whole societies going through rapid changes without knowing how to cope with it. The revitalization of certain religions is, among other things, a reaction to these changes and uncertainties.
When the Israelites went through a time of confusion and loss, the prophet Jeremiah advised them: Settle down and get on with life, even in exile – and pray for this place (Jeremiah 29:4-7). Rooted in their identity as people of God they managed the change.
I pray that our students will leave the college with deep roots in Christ and be able to make a difference in whatever circumstance they may be led into.