Alleviating child poverty is his special concern

Alleviating child poverty is his special concern

No question of retirement: Armin Kraft, Protestant provost for ten years i. R., is still on the road as a companion through joys and sorrows. Because the i. R. it translates as "within reach. On Monday, 22. August, he completes his 75. year of life.

On his birthday, he invites people to a devotion in the cathedral at 5 p.m. There he worked for 16 years as a cathedral preacher, there he passionately conveyed: "People don't want to be preached to, they want to be told something from life."

The inventor of the "power words," which can be found in 16 books, says: "The church is a limited liability company, a community with a special hope." He said his time in retirement has led him to new gifts and tasks. His invitation to the birthday service reads: "Please no gifts." Instead, he asks for donations for the "Action against child poverty in Braunschweig".

For no sooner had he become a retiree in the summer of 2006 than the mayor at the time, Gert Hoffmann, asked him if he would like to take over the coordination of various projects on the subject of child poverty. Since then, Armin Kraft has been on the road as a canvasser to help alleviate the plight of 8,000 children in the city whose parents are dependent on Hartz IV benefits.

The focus of his devotion on Monday is Psalm 73, which says, among other things: "Nevertheless I always remain with you, for you hold me by my right hand."The "nevertheless", the defiance of all odds through trust in God, he had experienced in his youth.

Born in Schneidemuhl (Pomerania) in 1941 as a war child, he had experienced fear and suffering in refugee camps in Saxony. But he had also met people who told him: "Necessity teaches you to pray and to curse."His path led him via Grob Dahlum and Schoningen as well as five years of study in 1966 to Braunschweig, where he exemplified 40 years of Christian charity.

"Christians are no better than others," he says. "But they are better off." As a "lifelong Christian," for example, he baptized children, married couples, but also buried 50 people last year.

In October, he celebrates a golden wedding anniversary with his Hannelore – "a schoolboy sweetheart since 1952". Their two children have given them six grandchildren so far.

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