By Gerhard Padderatz, editor of BWgung magazne, Baden-Württembergische Vereinigung, Germany
PRESIDENTIAL HONOR: German president Horst Köhler (right) greets Seventh-day Adventist Hans Birkel during a ceremony in Berlin. Throughout the course of 37 years Birkel has raised almost €285,000 (US$403,303) for various charities, including Adventist relief efforts.ans Birkel, an 89-year-old Seventh-day Adventist, was recently honored by the German president, Horst Köhler, at a special ceremony in Berlin.
CHARITY STAMP: One type of Germany’s 2010 charity stamps will now be scented to match the fruit depicted.Asked why he has spent so many hours and years of his life collecting money for others, Birkel replies, “Since I have come to know Jesus and the Adventist message, I am so happy. This is my way of helping to lessen poverty and suffering and helping others to become happy. Perhaps it is even a way for them to get to know Jesus and the Advent message.”