By Andreas Koch | TeachBeyond Deutschland
TeachBeyond Germany is hoping to open Kindergartens and Kitas (before- and after-school child care) in several cities in northern and eastern Germany. These will bring transformational education, with its biblical worldview, to the only large area of the world where more than 50 percent of the people do not believe in any God. (Wikipedia reference) Many people in the former Russian-occupied eastern Germany are even proud to say they believe that there is no God. However, they do appreciate an education based on a Christian worldview, with its moral teachings and nonjudgmental atmosphere. Even families of other religious faiths are applying to Christian-run schools in Germany.
We see evidence that existing, non-TeachBeyond Christian Kindergartens are having an impact on families. Teachers report that parents are asking where they can find the Bible stories that their children are telling them at home, and asking that prayers be written down because they want to pray with their children at home. We also have to answer the questions about what Christians believe for people who have never been in a church or who do not know what the Cross signifies.
In addition, parents are asking for help starting Christian schools for older children because they are impressed by the education provided in the Kindergartens and Kitas. TeachBeyond recently agreed to collaborate with the Christian School of Lörrach, which already cooperates with Black Forest Academy in a bilingual school, to help with these new school initiatives.
Exploring Property in Rostock
In Rostock, in the former Russian-occupied zone, there are families ready to enroll 100 children in a Kita that TeachBeyond hopes to start. The obstacle is finding a building for it. TeachBeyond recently made a offer to the owners of a large property. The purchase price of several million Euros is to be paid in December 2021. Until that time, the owner will be paid rent.
In response, the owner said the amount of rent offered is too low, and a new prospective customer is showing interest in the building. If TeachBeyond is successful in obtaining the building, we will need donations and interest-free loans to start the project. We are praying that the price does not rise because of the new interested buyer. If we do not come to an agreement, there may not be a chance to start a Kita for years. This property is the only suitable one we found in Rostock after searching for two years.
The economic strength of the German economy is behind the high prices and scarcity. Germans are looking for somewhere to invest their money for a better return than interest in a bank account and safer than the stock market. Therefore, they are buying property as soon as it comes on the market.
Currently, 10 groups of parents have asked TeachBeyond to help start a Kita or Kindergarten. About once a month, another group joins the list. German law is working in their favor. If a group of parents petitions the government to start a Kindergarten that teaches their own religion, the government has to provide funding to cover most of the school’s costs, including rent and salaries. On the other hand, we met some people in government who authorize the Kindergartens who are not favorable toward Christian schools. Some parent groups have been trying for up to six years to start a school. This is where TeachBeyond can be a resource throughout Germany by navigating the government approvals while helping to find property, funding, and school staff. The running of Christian educational institutions is always an encouragement to Christian churches. In this way, we want to support local churches by cooperating on Kindergartens and promoting the founding of new churches.
We have an open door to provide a quality education with a Christian worldview. Pray for the building, funding, teachers, and volunteers we need to make this vision a reality.
Please Pray for Other Start-Ups
We found a potential rental site, but it depends on the cost of renovations to meet the standards for school use. We will need around a hundred thousand Euros as a donation and/or interest-free loan. We have not found an alternative. The real estate market in Ahrensburg is similar to Rostock and many other areas in Germany.
Our architect is preparing documents for the building authority. The answer is expected in about eight weeks. If we receive permission, we need funding for construction of the Kita building that will take a minimum of one year.
We will start an outdoor Kindergarten (classes held in the forest) and a Christian school for 20 to 40 students who will be 6 to 17 years old. We must send the government agency the educational concept by this September. We hope to begin the school in the summer of 2019.