Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly - Friday, July 23 (Day 2)
Today was another fantastic day at the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly. We had an ecumenical worship service in the morning at a beautiful historic church in Berlin and then divided up into groups and went on various tours to cultural sites around the city. My group went to the GDR Museum and some historic areas of Berlin. The GDR (German Democratic Republic) Museum focused on what was happening in East Germany during the period during which Germany was divided. It was a very interesting experience because it gave me more in-depth of a history than I have had before. After we were done at the museum, we walked around a historic area of Berlin with many very old buildings. It was fascinating to see pieces of Berlin’s history which were so well-preserved. During our tour, we had plenty of time to get to know one another. I was able to spend some time getting to know my roommate (as you may recall from the first day’s post, she is from Bulgaria), as well as a young woman from an African country (if I recall correctly, it was the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The young woman from Africa spoke hardly any English at all (only a few words; she mostly spoke French), so communicating with her was difficult, since I cannot speak French, but it was interesting being able to ask her about her family and siblings and making a connection with her on that level, and reaching a deeper level of connection with my roommate. After we were done on our cultural tour, we went to a local church in Berlin which had been around for just over 100 years. The pastor told us that up until about 100 years ago (after the church was built), the law of Germany required that churches must be built away from the road and must have a house in front of them (that is, not visible from the street), as I understood it. As such, this particular church had a residence in front of it which I assumed was the parsonage. I heard from a young woman who was leading our cultural tour that the congregation of this church was relatively young and included a lot of artists and actors and the sort. The church ran a program for children called “Kinder in der Mitte,” which in German means “Children in the Middle.” The church is in a fairly low-income area, and the children in the program often come from single-parent households which are struggling to make due. It is a fantastic program in which they show the children God’s love by merely showing them love. After returning to the hotel, we had free time for the night, so I was able to spend time with a number of my new friends from the Convocation. So far it is a wonderful experience, and I thank you all for your part in it.