My thoughts on the turn of the year 2019/2020

I can hardly believe that another year is over. “Chasing peace” was my motto for 2019. I was allowed to spend 80 days in The Gambia, 20 days in South Africa in the Highway Hospice in Durban. The rest of the time I spent in my home country. There were encounters almost every day and I felt in all of these encounters that the longing for peace, especially for inner peace, is strong. No matter if it was a young person in Gambia who is looking for perspectives for his life and his country, a student in Germany who is planning her career having big plans, or a dear person who knew from his diagnosis that he is about to say goodbye, everyone wanted this peace in their hearts. Now I take over the annual christian slogan “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark Gospel (9.24) on my motto 2020.
In 2019 I was often desperate because in many encounters I was unable to help, encourage, comfort, radiate as much confidence as I wanted. As a Christian, I am involved politically in order to inspire people to commit to a hopeful future – As a Christian, I am committed to the development of African countries – As a Christian, I am committed to adult education. Deep down and from my faith, I am convinced that it is God’s will that we should and will shape a very positive future with our virtues, our abilities and our inventions. But then the current reality overtakes me with such critical issues as climate change, anti-Semitism, racism, refugee movements, terror, etc., which depresses me making me discouraged. I experience myself helpless and above all doubtful whether I as a Christian can really do anything. Sometimes I can’t believe that God really wants to create a happy world. “I believe; help my unbelief!” then fully applies to me. Theoretically, in my mind I say to myself that God clearly wants to help us in the world, but there is doubt and despair in my heart because I miss God’s intervention, which faith teaches me. More often than I would like, I lack the confidence to have a positive view of the future in the Christian sense.
I have 2020 in front of me and I want to believe that 2020 will be a good year, but I realize that I can’t really do it. I don’t want to give up. Ultimately, what I have left is to say: God help my unbelief.  I think: “help my unbelief ” will be my cry for help, probably every day, probably secret and hidden and probably not let anyone know it that I have phases where I am not so strong, where I am at a loss, where I am doubtful and despondent. I hope that we can all experience in 2020 that we don’t have to give up on our commitment to a hopeful future because there is God who helps our unbelief.

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