by Bernhard Scheurenbrand
For months, the evangelical German community in Jerusalem prepared for its Easter service, made special because of the 100th anniversary of the Augusta Victoria complex. The service was to be held on campus at Ascension Church and broadcast on the German television station ZDF. Organizers agreed from the first that the choir of Talitha Kumi School would enrich the service with two songs. Talitha Kumi School maintains a close connection with its German roots through its main sponsor, Berliner Missionswerk.
So everyone was organizing and practicing hard. But fearful questions remained: Will the 22 students get a permit to cross the checkpoint that day? Will the soldiers honor the permits?
A lot of people spoke up for us, so we get those permits in the end. We drove to Jerusalem for the final rehearsal on Saturday. Until we passed the checkpoint, the atmosphere was stressed. But everything went well and we drove singing, clapping and smiling to the Mount of Olives.
The next day, Easter Sunday, we were lucky and again allowed to travel to Jerusalem, to participate in a wonderful service. After the service ended and the cameras were turned off, the choir got spontaneous applause for minutes and a lot of positive feedback from the audience as well as people back in Germany.
Among the many in Ascension Church that day was a special guest, His Royal Highness, Georg Friedrich Ferdinand. He is the Prince of Prussia and the great-great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm, the Prussian king who provided funding for building Augusta Victoria 100 years ago.
After the service the prince went to the playground, where the students were relaxing. He thanked them for their participation in the service and their great musical performance.
We are happy that the message of the Resurrection of the Lord was spread through the voices of our students – this time to millions of people.
Since March 2009, Bernhard Scheurenbrand has worked as Talitha Kumi School’s administrative director, a position created and financed by the Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst. A member of the Lutheran church in Reutlingen, Germany, Scheurenbrand also served as administrative director of the Jerusalem Foundation in 1990-1993.