The ecumenical organisation

The ecumenical organisation 
    “Andere Zeiten” awards first
     time mission prizes

   Hamburg – Baptist mission project in
   Germany wins ecumenical missions prize. The ecumenical organisation “Andere Zeiten” (Other Times) has awarded prize money totalling 17.000€ ($24,650 US) to Baptist pastor Carsten Hokema (Oldenburg) for his project named “”. The effort is aimed at athletes active in kite sports such as hang gliding. Prize money totalling 85.000 euros was awarded to one first-place winner and three equal runners-up. According to its chairman, the Lutheran pastor Hinrich Westphal (Hamburg), the organization “Andere Zeiten” hopes to support innovative efforts attempting “to acquaint people with faith in God”.

In a conversation with the European Baptist Press Service, Carsten Hokema - a Consultant for Mission with Germany’s “Federation of Evangelical-Free Churches”, expressed his pleasure and surprise regarding the reward. The name “Ewigkite” means “eternal kite” and is a play on the German word “Ewigkeit”, meaning eternity. “” involves all forms of kite sport; those in which the athlete gets airborne on an aircraft, as well as manual-controlled kites which pull athletes on skateboards over sandy beaches or on surfboards across water. Hokema himself has been an enthusiastic kite athlete for years. Even as youth pastor he organised several kite festivals. He hopes that a new project entitled “Just being around” will allow Christian kite athletes more social contact with other sporting fans.

Hokema intends to use a portion of the prize money to purchase an inflatable chapel with room to hold events for 20 kite athletes. He hopes that other enthusiastic Christians and kite athletes will lend him a helping hand (contact Hokema intends to be present at six kite festivals annually in northern Germany. He also wants to offer summer camps for adults. Not least of all he wants to combine his enthusiasm for sport with a good cause and financially support the international aid programme: German Baptist Aid (Elstal near Berlin). One of his latest tasks has been to start a blog entitled “the Pastor personally” on his homepage, where he writes on experiences of his Christian work. Being authentic is a major concern for him.

Over 90 groups and congregations from throughout Germany competed for the prizes. One member of the jury was Baptist pastor Andrea Schneider, well-known throughout Germany because of her stint as the speaker on “Word on Sunday” meditations broadcast weekly on national German television. She will be giving the eulogy in Hamburg at the official awards assembly on Pentecost Monday, 12 May.