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  • Prayer Alert

    We pray together, worldwide, for each other.

The UEM Prayer Alert presents current prayer requests from the member churches of UEM. It informs about events and situations from the perspective of our local brothers and sisters in faith and invites prayer in a worldwide community. The Prayer Alert appears irregularly, as required on Facebook and by e-mail.

Here you can subscribe to the UEM Prayer Alert by e-mail: gospel[at]

Do you have a prayer request? Then send us a message to: gospel[at]

Find the latest Prayer Alerts below

Prayer Alerts 2021

  • Prayer Alert - July 16, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    today we ask you to join us in prayer especially for two countries: South Africa and Germany.


    Situation in South Africa


    The situation in South Africa is under extreme tension, with the third wave of Corona pandemic hitting the country and the outbreak of violence after the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma in his home provinde KwaZulu/Natal and in Gauteng.


    We have received the following request for prayer from Rev. Ashley Fransman, Moderator of the Rhenish Church South Africa (RCSA):


    “South Africa is firmly in a third wave of Corona 19 with extremely high positive rate as well alarming high death rate.  This wave of Corona 19 is fuelled by two highly infectious variants.  It is well known that our hospitals suffering under the admissions.  With the extension of Level 4 rules enforced by our government no Church services will be allowed until 25 July 2021. This situation is also affecting RCSA with members infected.  Tonight 15.7.21) we suffered the loss of Elder Selwyn Matroos at the age of 48 years.

    This situation is further aggravated by growing political unrest and civil disobedience.  We are experiencing destruction’s with public violence, looting of shops and burning of property.  This situation has spread from Kwazulu Natal to Gauteng Province with signs of the violence in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.  With the civil unrest large crowds gather without Covid protocols of masks, social distance and sanitisers.  This situation is so serious that Government deployed soldiers to assist police in maintaining order and adherence to Level 4 protocols.  We expect the possibilities of further escalation of Corona infections.  There is also the possibilities of food shortage in the near future in certain areas.

    South Africa is in desperate need of Godly interventions.  Please pray for our country.”



    God of life,

    we entrust to you the people in South Africa,

    who suffer under the pandemic,

    who are ill and do not have sufficient medical help,

    who cannot go to school any longer,

    who do not know how to provide the essential things for their life,

    who suffer from hunger without a perspective for improvement.


    God of justice,

    we entrust to you the people with political responsibility, who are restrained between the different interests,

    the judges who shall judge according to the prevailing laws without regard of the person and therefore are exposed to enourmous pressure,

    those who shall take economic decisions, even against their own interests and for the common welfare.


    God of peace,

    we entrust to you those who think they can solve conflicts with violence, please transform and change them,

    those who carry responsibility in the churches, please make them raise their voice for law and justice and cooperate for a constructive solution of the problems.

    We entrust to you the people in South Africa. Please give them comprehension, confidence and hope for a peaceful and fairer living together. Amen. 

    Heavy rains and flooding in Germany


    On 14 July, unusually heavy rainfalls in Western and Southern parts of Germany caused severe flooding. Many brooks and rivers turned into large floods, leaving behind them a trace of destruction. More than 80 people are reported dead in Northrhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, more than 1000 are reported still missed. Houses and infrastructure have been destroyed, hundreds of families had to be evacuated. Some places are still cut off from electricity and cannot be reached, as bridges and roads have been interrupted. Weather experts see a clear connection to the climate change. In some places, the amount of water that rained down in one day corresponds with 10 % of the yearly rain amount. Wuppertal, where the UEM mission house is located, has also experienced a lot of suffering and destruction. However, the mission house itself has not been damaged, and work can continue as before.


    We have received the following letter and prayer from the Präses Rev. Dr. Thorsten Latzel of the Prostestant Church in the Rhineland (EKiR) which is severely affected in many of its regions.

    “People died, houses collapsed, basements flooded, firefighters died trying to help. The full extent of the destruction cannot yet be assessed. Together with many others, I think of and pray for those affected and the helpers.

    The old words from Psalm 69 currently gain a whole new meaning:


    God, help me!

    For the water is up to my throat.

    I am sinking in deep mud where there is no bottom;

    I have fallen into deep waters, and the flood wants to drown me.

    I have cried myself tired, my throat is hoarse.

    My eyes have become dim because I have to wait so long for my God.


    With this in mind, I pray for the people in the affected communities:


    God strengthen all who have lost or are missing a loved one.

    God strengthen all those whose belongings have been destroyed.

    God strengthen all who are now helping others.”


    And we add from the call of the Rhenish church:



    we ask for your comfort and assistance

    for all those whose homes have been devastated

    who have been evacuated,

    who have lost all their belongings.

    Send those affected the help they need:

    active support,

    financial assistance,

    emotional support,

    unceasing prayers.


    The EKiR has also installed a digital “room of lamentation”

    which can be joined through

  • Prayer Alert - July 9, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Our today’s prayer alert asks you to pray for our sisters and brothers who are suffering under new waves of the Covid-19 pandemic:

    Reverend Bishop Keib from the ELCRN reports about a dramatic third wave of infections in Namibia and says “It is evident that the impact of Covid-19 situation has moved from worse to catastrophic. Our public and private health systems are collapsing and unable to cope and deal with the prevailing crisis worsened … The mortuaries are full to capacity… The Pandemic is causing a mental health crisis that might have devastating effects on citizens in the short, medium and long-term. The number of new cases per day has more than tripled, since the first week of June. Tests have been conducted, with a positivity rate of 41 percent.” He appeals “for spiritual, material, financial and logistical support from our partners locally and internationally.” Specifically, he asks to “pressurize G7 governments and their pharmaceuticals companies to deliver the vaccines promised through COVAX and other mechanism”.

    Last week, UEM members, the Presbyterian Church and the Anglican Churches of Rwanda reported that according to the declaration of the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, due to a daily increase of Covid-19 infections, the country is under a new lockdown from June 23rd, 2021 on. Movements are prohibited between 7 pm and 4 am, shops must close at 6 pm. Due to hygienic measures, a number of churches are closed again, all social gatherings are prohibited, weddings are suspended, etc.

    D.R. CONGO
    The Medical Coordinator of the CDCC, Dr. Bosolo, reports that the government has no longer means to support the hospitals and that therefore, patients have to support themselves and pay for their treatment. The hospitals are full, it is hard to find a room and if, a huge amount of money needs to be paid for it. Nurses and paramedics are on strike for two weeks and this causes, in addition, a serious shortage of staff. There is a lack of oxygen flasks and if available, they are very expensive.

    The Ephorus of GPKB informs that Jakarta faces a high increase of Covid-19 infections (8000 infected people in 2 days). From the news we were informed that Bali and Java will be under a new lockdown, probably at least until July 20th. The Moderator Willem T P Simarmata shared with us that yesterday, 230 people died in Jakarta only. With 27.913 new infections on July 3rd and 493 deaths (after 539 the day before), Indonesia faces a quadruplication of infections in the last month and a new Covid-wave “like a Tsunami” (quote of Adib Khumaidi, doctor’s association), 40 % of all conducted Covid-tests are positive. Having learned from India, Indonesia has switched 75 % of their oxygen production from industrial to medical production as there is a noticeable shortage, also.

    Let us pray for our sisters and brothers

    God, our Creator,

    To you, we pray with our sorrow.
    To you, we pray with our empty hands.
    Shine on us your light.
    Shine, into our dark and wounded hearts.

    Please, dear Savior.
    Let us hear, your gentle voice.
    Let us feel, your kind presence.

    And let us not give way to despair
    But, let us trust, that nothing can take us from your loving heart.

    In Jesus name, we pray

  • Prayer Alert - June 18, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Looking at the world this week, there is reason for some to rejoice and for others to mourn.


    We thank God for the situation in Germany where the number of COVID-19 infections is falling dramatically; the 7-day incidence fell by 43% last week and stands at 11.7. (The 7-day incidence is the number of people per 100,000 of the population who have fallen ill in the last seven days. The highest incidence in Germany was 213.4 on 22 December 2020.) Life is returning to almost normal, churches and schools are open again, people can meet much more freely, and there is an overall sense that the worst of the pandemic may be over as almost half of the population have at least received the first inoculation shot.


    We also thank God that in Sri Lanka, the rate of new infections is going down. The 7-day incidence has fallen from a high of 102, registered on June 6, to 79.1 today.


    At the same time, we pray for our sisters and brothers in the many places where COVID is coming back in a bad way.


    In South Africa, confirmed cases have gone up by 53% last week, the 7-day incidence stands at 107.9. (On 11 January 2021, it stood at 224.7.) On June 15, the president announced that the country had to go back to Level 3 of the pandemic measures which include a nightly curfew and limits on religious gatherings to 50 persons indoors and 100 outdoors.


    Rev. M.G.Betha, the Vice-Moderator of the Uniting Church in South Africa, told UEM on June 16 that many people are dying of COVID-19. He told us that he had to conduct five funerals this week, and that he now went into meetings not knowing whether he would ever see the participants again.


    In Namibia, the 7-day incidence has gone up to 343.9, an increase of 99% over the week before. (Since early June, Namibia has had the highest numbers of infections since the beginning of the pandemic. Its second wave peaked on 1 January 2021 at 129.2) UEM co-worker Prof. Christo Lombard told UEM on June 16 that labs were so overwhelmed that one often had to wait for a week or longer to get the result of a PCR test. Antigen tests are available, but too expensive to be of much use for most of the people. Therefore, everybody just assumes that others are infectious and therefore mostly stays home.


    Africa News Agency (ANA) reported on June 16: Namibian president Hage Geingob, who has recently recovered from COVID-19 himself, on June 15 put in place tighter measures to cut the rapid spread of the pandemic in the country.


    In a televised national address, Geingob said the capital Windhoek which has 52 percent of the recorded cases and is currently the epicentre of the novel coronavirus, will be in lockdown for two weeks with no travel allowed in or out of the area. Schools and universities are closed, and religious gatherings limited to 10 persons only.


    In Botswana, the number of new cases was 270 on June 7, and 1,111 on June 11. Rev. Onalenna Kaartze, describes the situation as ‘scary.’ The 7-day incidence stands at 160.2.


    UEM Evangelism Contact Persons reported at the beginning of the week that there are now many cases of COVID-19

    • in Mbandaka in Equateur/Congo;
    • on Nias Island, Indonesia;
    • and in central Java, Indonesia.



    Jesus Christ, healer of all those who were brought to you:

    We thank you for the decline of COVID-19 infections in Germany.

    We rejoice in the possibilities to meet again.

    We praise you for human intelligence which gave us effective vaccines.


    But we also cry out to you for all the regions where COVID-19 is now on the rise.

    We lament the injustice that so many countries are lacking medical equipment and vaccines.

    We pray: Change the minds of political and economic leaders so that they will do their utmost to make vaccines available to all on earth.


    We pray for those who are sick: Strengthen and heal them.

    We pray for the dying: Bring them into your peace.

    We pray for all who have lost family members: Comfort them like a mother comforts her children.

    Be the protector of widows and orphans as you have promised.


    Jesus Christ, healer, we pray:

    Heal this world of COVID-19 and make an end to this pandemic.

    We trust in you, and our hope shall not be in vain.


  • Prayer Alert - June 11, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Goma, Rubavu and the Nyiragongo are no longer in the news. We thank God that the volcano has settled and that a further eruption now seems unlikely.


    But our prayers are still needed – here is an update from the Baptist Community in Central Africa (CBCA) and the Presbyterian Church Rwanda (EPR), both of which are very much involved in relief and rehabilitation work.



    Since the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on May 22, the population has remained dispersed, some displaced in SAKE, about 30 km west of the city of Goma, others in Bukavu, Minova in the south Kivu and a good part in Rutshuru, Lubero and Rwanda.

    The Situation in Goma, as reported by the CBCA to UEM:

    The Governor of the Province of North Kivu, on June 6, 2021, asked the population to gradually return to the city of Goma, although remaining vigilant. Since June 8, a large part of the population has returned to Goma aboard buses prepared by the Government of the DRC and others using their own means of transport. Likewise, all humanitarian organizations were asked to direct their interventions towards the return area in the areas of food, non-food, water, psychosocial support, protection, health and community recovery. In this way the UEM members in Goma (DRC), the CBCA and Rubavu (Rwanda) are implementing emergency support provided by generous supporters through UEM.

    Remaining problems are:

    • Access to water: 18 public tanks and 10 standpipes in Nyiragongo were damaged by the eruption, leaving large areas without access to water.
    • Destroyed religious infrastructure: Two CBCA chapels were badly damaged, and four pastor’s houses burned down.
    • Economic damage: CBCA is supporting 3,629 households who have lost their homes. Some of them have also lost their small businesses and have no money to start over. Casual laborers have lost jobs and income. There is a lack of energy sources which leads people to collect firewood from the lava which is very dangerous.
    • Peaceful cohabitation: Lava flows have covered many fields, and it will be difficult to establish property rights. This situation will require the involvement of the churches, the state and the provincial authorities, while Goma is still under a state of siege.
    • Damaged health facilities: Hospitals and health stations have cracks due to earthquakes. The express evacuation of the population has caused the loss / theft of equipment in some health facilities and the departure of patients without any payment of their bills, leaving the facilities short of funds needed to function. Currently health facilities have a problem with water supply for hospital hygiene and other purposes.
    • Education: It is estimated that 72 classrooms need to be rehabilitated, 50 classrooms to be rebuilt and 6,000 school desks replaced. Those who have lost their homes remain inconsolable, which requires psychosocial support.
    • Psychosocial support: The villages affected by the lava flow were inhabited by people who fled insecurity in their villages, elderly people who no longer have the capacity to work and widows without assistance. These people require psychosocial as well as financial support.


    The Situation in Rubavu, as reported by the EPR to UEM:

    The eruption caused panic in Goma (DRC) and many fled to Rwanda, mainly to Rubavu District.

    But the area was also affected by lava flows from the volcano and earthquakes:

    Lava covered 17 villages with more than 2,000 houses and many fields and killed dozens of people. People are now living outside and need food and shelter. Others have been displaced to other parts of Rwanda.


    Four schools were also destroyed.


    The ongoing earthquakes paralyzed public life and stopped all economic activities. Consequently, some people have lost their jobs as enterprises closed. Many people are going hungry. Many children have stopped going to school.


    Experiencing this widespread destruction, many people are shocked, fearful and traumatized.


    The Nyiragongo eruption and earthquakes are still hurting the lives of the population. They damaged many things that play a significant role in basic needs satisfaction, such as food and shelter. So far, the CBCA and the EPR keep on their mission of proclaiming the Good News of life to people even in critical times like the current one. In this regard, the CBCA and EPR raise their voices to call all people with a good heart to intervene in favor of these vulnerable people.

    God, creator of mountains and lakes,

    Lord over volcanoes and earthquakes:

    We thank you for stopping the eruption of the Nyiragongo.

    We are grateful that the terrible scenarios did not come true.

    We praise your holy power.

    But we cry out to you for the many people who are still suffering:

    Comfort and heal those who are traumatized and fearful.

    Give good sleep to those awake at night feeling the slightest tremors.

    Bless the children who are hungry and not going to school.

    We thank you for the people and the churches who share so much of the little they have.

    Strengthen and bless all those who are now assisting others.

    Send your spirit of peace that this disaster will not lead to new conflicts.

    Give peace and security to all the people on both sides of the border.

    We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ in whom you yourself became homeless.


  • Prayer Alert - May 21, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Today we ask your fervent prayers for Sri Lanka where COVID-19 case numbers are exploding. Rev. Ebenezer Joseph, President of the Methodist Church Sri Lanka, wrote on May 18:


    We have sailed into a ‘hot spot’ with regard to the pandemic.  We now have an average of 2200 infected rising from a daily average of around 200 – 250.  The death rate has also risen from around 5 to 23 daily.


    Our hospitals are now overcrowded and many sail into a crisis similar to India.  The Headquarters Office is closed and only one or two staff coming to attend the essential since on the days permitted.  


    He added on May 20:


    Yesterday's figure hit an alarming 3591 infections and 36 more deaths.


    Please pray for the health workers, security forces and police and other front line workers such as the cleaners, road sweepers etc.



    The United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) sent this information:


    On May 2, 2021, UCCP pastor Rev. Dan Balucio was arrested at his home in San Isidro, South Bicol Region. After about 30 police and military personnel searched his house for more than 45 minutes while he and his family were kept outside, it was claimed that weapons, munition and a red flag of the “armed rebels” were found. Two similar cases in which political activists were criminalized by trumped-up charges are known from the past.


    Rev. Balucio has a relationship with Münster Church Circuit in Germany which has a partnership relation with the UCCP.


    Please pray for Rev. Balucio, his family, and the UCCP as they work for human rights in an increasingly difficult situation.


    We have also received this message:

    The Uniting Reformed church in Southern Africa (URCSA) calls on its members, Ecumenical partner churches, and others to join in prayer and support for all those who are affected by any form of injustice.


    1. Pray for lasting peace to overcome all that may threaten the stability and peace of the Mozambican people who are suffering under political violence.
    2. Pray for Economic developments that protect all people.
    3. We pray that church leaders draw strength from the story of the cross, and say the words of Hope, Justice and Mercy without hesitation.
    4. Pray that all bible believing Christians, each loyal to their confession, may discover new forms of common Christian witness to stand before the divided world as a united and humble fellowship.
    5. We pray for an end to the pandemic as the crisis caused by Covid-19 can be seen on every level of society.
    6. Pray that South African people find ways to support its most vulnerable citizens amidst the existing battle against poverty.
    7. An end to Gender based Violence and respect for the rights of all human beings.
    8. We pray that our Government provide redress by strengthening institutional responses to gender-based violence. Please join us in the chorus of prayers for the above mentioned.


    The next UEM Prayer Alert is scheduled for June 4, 2021. We gladly receive prayer requests concerning our UEM member churches at gospel[at]

  • Prayer Alert - May 7, 2021

    As we received two urgent prayer requests this week, we decided to send this alert a week ahead of schedule. The next UEM Prayer Alert is now scheduled for May 21, 2021.


    First of all, please pray for Eastern Congo, and in particular for the Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA):


    Rev. Dr. John Wesley Kabango, UEM Executive Secretary Africa, writes:


    Eastern Congo does not find peace


    Let us pray for successful measures to reestablish peace in the East of the DR Congo which is currently declared “under siege”. Since the beginning of 2021, massive numbers of people have been killed in the eastern provinces. The “under siege” means that the Government authorities have taken measures to address the insecurity in the region. The military will be in charge of the two regions hit by conflicts and violence. For 30 days, there is a temporary suspension of Governors and regional assemblies in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Military will carry out searches on people and will restrict their movements. On Monday 3 May, President Felix Tshisekedi declared that the taken measures are to address "the cries of distress of our population, and felt the pain that our mothers, sisters and daughters are suffering in these provinces ravaged by barbarity".


    Several times, we have already informed you about the deteriorating security situation in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC). An estimated 122 armed groups of varying sizes act in mineral-rich eastern DRC, many being a negative effect of regional wars in the 1990s. Since many years local churches in the region reported massacres of innocent civilians which were not stopped. At different moments in the past, UEM and member churches contributed to emergency appeals sent by the Baptist Church in Central Africa (ECC-CBCA). There is still a persisting appeal pointing out to the killing of innocent people in both regions of North and South Kivu of the DRC.


    The danger of a genocide


    Mr David Fechner, UEM peace worker of a church Network for Peace in the Great Lakes region (APRED), sends a cry of alarm to UEM as shared by a member of peace theater group. He wrote: “It is with bitterness and sadness that I inform you on the precarious situation which has worsened so much as human clashes took place last week in  South Kivu”. The UEM Advocacy Officer in Africa Region, the Rev Dr Kahongya Kambale, observes: “The insecurity situation and its negative consequences in all sectors of life in the East of the DRC continue to be very worrying. Recent developments in the North as well as the South tend to turn these conflicts into an inter-ethnic war which risks to turn into a genocide”. The Director of Cabinet of the Church of Christ (ECC) in Congo, the Rev Moses Gbema, confirms the situation inviting the UEM International Communion to pray for the DRC, saying:” Please pray for restoration of security and peace by putting an end to the abject massacres and the forced displacement of which the population in the East of the country is a victim”.


    Exacerbated by insecurity in Beni


    As their parents and the entire community, tired of war, insecurity and massive killings of innocent people, on the 23rd of April several dozen pupils and students had been camping outside the Beni town hall over the past week. They demand the departure of the UN peacekeeping force MONUSCO. They decided to demonstrate and spent days and nights at the town hall. The category of those who demonstrate include minors of 7 years to 11 years old. They strongly cry for the attention of the international community to be aware of killings taking place in Beni. An 11 year girl says”: We appeal to the President of the DRC, Mr. Felix Tshisekedi, to personally come to Beni to put an end to the killings. Like other children, we wanted peace and be able to receive education in our schools. We are asking the President to come and see the misery we are living in our area.”


    In a reply to the general appeal, the DRC President ensured the population that the DRC authorities are in negotiation with the government of Kenya. “Soon Kenyan military troops are arriving in Beni to jointly work with the DRC army to fight those causing insecurity. Our response will be ruthless”, says the DRC President as reported by the local radio in Beni.

    Human killings and sufferings in South Kivu


    On the 29th April 2021, the Baptist Church in Central Africa writes to the UEM international Communion and seeks prayers for God’s intervention in the escalating social situation in South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, causing human sufferings and an estimated 40.000 displaced people without assistance. “Tensions in the territories of UVIRA, FIZI and MWENGA in South Kivu have increased in recent days between the different ethnic groups living in this part which has experienced increasing insecurity for more than two decades”, writes the Church President, Rev Dr Ngayihembako Samuel.




    Our second prayer request concerns West Papua, and in particular our member church GKI-TP there:


    The Indonesian government has declared the Free Papua Organisation (OPM) a terrorist group after the chief of intelligence in Papua Province was killed last week. Rev. Dr. Jochen Motte, UEM Executive Secretary for JPIC, expresses the fear that this decision will lead to further violence and escalate the situation, so that even more civilians might become victims of further human rights violations. UEM extends its deep solidarity with sisters and brothers in GKI-TP, and we pray that their efforts for peace and dialogue will prevent further violence.


    Meanwhile, GKI-TP is preparing to assist refugees in the Nabire area which has been affected by armed conflict between security forces and rebel groups.


    Please pray for justice in peace in West Papua!

  • Prayer Alert - April 30, 2021

    Our prayer alert today covers all three continents. First, the prayer requests from Asia:


    The United Church of Christ in the Philippines put out this urgent alert:

    Please remember in prayer the safety of UCCP Bishop Hamuel Tequis and other UCCP leaders in Davao.

    We were informed that today, April 27 around 4:00 pm, members of the Philippine National Police went to the office of the UCCP Southern Mindanao District Conference and Brokenshire College to look for South East Mindanao Bishop Assigned Hamuel Tequis, a know human rights defender involved in ministry and mission with indigenous peoples. The police are said to have inquired on the whereabouts of Bishop Tequis.

    Bishop Tequis is being harassed due to his genuine passion of serving the poor and needy, especially the Lumads.

    Please join us in prayer for the safety of Bishop Tequis, the Lumads in UCCP Haran Sanctuary, and all persons involved in Lumad ministries.*


    * The Lumads are an indigenous group of people who sought sanctuary and protection from the military in a UCCP church.


    The second request comes from UEM JPIC co-worker Irma Simanjuntak who reports about the situation of a village on the shores of Lake Toba, Sumatra/Indonesia:

    SIgapiton struggle

    When we met the Slgapiton community on April 14, we were met by many seemingly suspicious faces after they had heard from a community worker that we are from the church. However after explaining our intentions, which was to listen to their concerns and issues surrounding the property development, they appeared to relax and communicate more openly.

    One of the community members opened their home to us and also invited more community members to the dialogue. One of them shared about their struggles after the government had declared their village a tourist destination. Their village is located very close to the world famous and beautiful lake Toba and as a result it is in a prime location for development as a tourist destination. She went on to explain that investors had come to their village and communicated their intention to develop the infrastructure and thereby supporting the government plans.

    The speaker said that she does not reject the investors or the government’s plans and naturally wants to see her community developed and progress. However, she asks the question, ‘’where we will go if our land becomes a hotel or infrastructure?’’ Their ancestors gave their land to them as a home and a resource for their daily lives.

    Some of their land has also been claimed by government as government property. According to her, this land is customary land and the village people are the rightful owners. The community has made many attempts to understand the situation better including sending a letter the President and asking government to assist them in helping to find a solution. Unfortunately, until now, there is no solution and the development process is going on.  She alleges that 27 homes will be demolished while the government and investors implement their plans to develop the area into a tourist destination.

    How could the church help them? The community’s request is that that churches become involved in their struggle, that the church pray for them and that the church support them in asking government to apply the most suitable solution for all.

    Since this issue of developing their village for tourism arrived at their doorstep, the community in Slgapiton have grown increasingly divided. Some favor the development and while others are opposed to it. Therefore they also ask that the church help them reconcile their community.

    Please pray that a good solution can be found for the village and its community!


    Further news and prayer request come from the UEM Asia Department:


    Four churches in Indonesia have elected new leaderships. Please pray for all the newly elected leaders!

    GBKP: General Chairperson: Rev. Krismas Imanta Barus, General Secretary: Rev. Yunus Bangun and all members of Moderamen.

    HKI: Bishop, Rev. Firman Sibarani; General Secretary, Rev. Hotman Hutasoit and all executive board.

    GKPI: Bishop: Rev. Abdul Hutauruk; General Secretary: Rev. Humala Lumbantobing and all executive board.

    GPKB: Ephorus: Pdt. Ramses Pandiangan, General Secretary: Pdt. Darwin S. Sihombing and all executive board.


    Please also pray for Rev. Rosmalia Barus, Vice-moderator Asia and Chairperson of Asia Regional board who is infected by COVID-19 and hospitalized.


    Please pray for the GKPPD synod which will be held on 8-9 May 2021. In this synod they will also elect new leaders for the next 5 years.


    The UEM Africa Department received four prayer requests from the region:

    1.           The Rev Yoram Karusya, General Secretary of the ELCT-Karagwe Diocese wrote and shared: „We need your prayer to find the best solution and continue serve our people”.

    “More than 70% of all health facilities in Kagera Region are faith based. For a long time we have worked with the government as partners to provide health care to our people. Unfortunately, the partnership faces huge challenges ahead and may come to an end. One thing though is clear: The consequences will hurt our people, especially in Karagwe. The likes of Nyakahanga Hospital will be completely private and patients will be required to pay for all services. I can assure you, there is no alternative in our area if Nyakahanga Hospital is not involved as it used to and many people will not afford pay for their health services. There are also few people covered by health insurance.

    We just finished Mid-term Review workshop for of our 5 years strategic plan 2019-2021. This is all about what we should be doing as a Diocese. It has to do with decision making, commitment, etc. Pray for KAD to keep focused”.


    2.           Prayer alert from the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR) written and sent by the EPR President, the Rev Dr Bataringaya Pascal:

    “The Covid-19: In Rwanda, the number of new cases and deaths has decreased in general. However, there is an increase of new cases in some districts, mainly those of the southern and western provinces. Besides, different measures to limit the outbreak are followed in the whole country.

    The plea for the vaccine: The vaccine of covid-19 arrived in Rwanda on March 03, 2021, and the activities of vaccinating the front-line people started. According to the Minister of Health, a total number of 349,702 people identified as priority risk groups have been reported to have been vaccinated by April 28, 2021. We praise God that some people are now vaccinated. However, this number is too small compared to the total number of Rwandan people, around 13 million.

    We continue to raise our voice calling for countries and poor people worldwide to get the chance to have access to the vaccine without it remaining the privilege of rich nations and wealthy people.  We want to suggest that the vaccination might not be limited only to rich people and their countries; instead, there should be a sharing and equal distribution of this vaccine to developing countries with limited pay.

    The challenge to the EPR: It is evident that the Covid 19 has worsened the economic situation in the Rwandan society in general and the church in particular. Due to the measures to limit the outbreak, a lot of temples are still closed. The system in the EPR is conceived that the salary of pastors and church personnel on different church levels is from church communities. These being so far closed, it is understood that people who survive of collection during worships are in difficult situations.

    We keep on praying for the world: The EPR maintains its prayer program for the whole world in families using the prayer of the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father) and the Confession of Faith. In addition, we pray for brothers and sisters in the world during Sunday services, believing that our God is almighty and more potent than COVID-19. We affirm once again that God has conquered death and that life is proclaimed as possible despite challenging times and conditions”.


    3.           The President of the Baptist Church in Central Africa (CBCA), the Rev Dr Ngayihembako Samuel writes and seeks prayers for God’s intervention in the escalating social situation in South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, causing human sufferings and an estimated 40.000 displaced people without assistance.

    “Tensions in the territories of UVIRA, FIZI and MWENGA in South Kivu have increased in recent days between the different ethnic groups living in this part which has experienced increasing insecurity for more than two decades. The situation was exacerbated by the measures taken by the former Minister of Decentralization and institutional reforms of the central government to establish MINEMBWE as a territory. These measures had been denounced by various socio-political actors across the country. Meanwhile, armed groups have strengthened on both sides, in this case the MAIMAI defending the interests of the ethnic FULIRO, BEMBE, REGHA, and NYINDU on the one hand and the NGUMINO, TWIRWANEHO militias for the BANYAMULENGE on the other hand. Regarding the church life, ecclesiastical information of the CBCA UVIRA District indicate that five churches of the ITOMBWE Section in the highlands are closed and the believers are dispersed. These are the parishes of MUTARA, BIJOMBO, MAGUNDA, MUSHOJU and KAKUKU”.

    The ECC Cabinet Director, the Rev Gbema Moise just sent the following prayer request from the 95 ECC member churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

    1.           Thanksgiving for the restoration of health and the return to the country of the National President of the ECC.

    2.           Strengthening of the ECC in spiritual, human, material and financial means for the effective accomplishment in the DRC of its quadruple Evangelizing, Educational, Diaconal and Prophetic mission.

    3.           Restoration of security and peace by putting an end to the abject massacres and the forced displacement of which the population in the east of the country is a victim.

    4.           Materialization of the expectations of the population through the program of the new Government.

    5.           Revitalization of sectors of national life severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    6.           Materialization of the holding of the National Executive Committee scheduled for May 19th to 23rd, 2021.


    And finally, please also continue to pray for Germany. Most parts of the country are now under a stronger lockdown with closed schools, shops, and nightly curfews. Most Protestant churches continue to hold worship services online only. These lockdowns will continue until the number of new infections has stabilized on a far lower level than we see now.

    Vaccinations against COVID-19 are picking up pace, with more than 1 million vaccinations given in one day yesterday.

    Please also pray for efforts in Germany and elsewhere to waive patent rights on vaccines and to much stronger support the international vaccination alliance COVAX so that all people in the world will soon have access to a vaccination.

  • Prayer Alert - April 16, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    In this second week after Easter we join together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

    In the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):

    The CBCA President, Rev Dr Ngayihembako Samuel wrote: “in our context right now is a request for prayer. Indeed, in addition to the insecurity that has long prevailed in our country, especially in the Eastern part, there are more and more revolts of the population tired of experiencing daily massacres. The indescribable carnage that is experienced in villages around Beni has reached such a level that the population does not know what to do. It no longer keeps calm and revolts against those who are supposed to protect them, namely the Congolese politicians and MONUSCO (United Nations Forces). Chaos is likely to set in and the peril of the community will take place.

    On 13 April 2021, the local Radio Okapi reported: “The tension is still perceptible in the districts of Buhene and Majengo where violent demonstrations have taken place. According to local sources, this Tuesday, April 13, a timid recovery in traffic is observed and economic activities are resuming”.

    Let us pray that God intervenes and opens up new perspectives, a glimmer of hope for the people of the eastern territories of DR Congo.

    In Tanzania:

    Through the UEM Coworker, Rev Dr Kadiva Ernest, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Eastern and Coastal Diocese (ELCT- ECD) sent the following prayer alert: 

    Pray for the new president of Tanzania Honorable Samia Suluhu so as to lead the country to justice, unity, peace, and reconciliation.

    ECD is paying school fees and other needs such as health insurance for 66 vulnerable children in secondary through its education fund. The church is raising funds for them. We pray for a successful fundraising.

    Prayer for ECD pastors retreat on 1st -7th June, 2021 in Arusha for conceptualization of God’s Mission and partnership works local and international including the current Internationalization Partnership paper of UEM

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, North Eastern Diocese (ELCT- NED) sent the following prayer thanksgiving and request:

     We thank God for UEM churches and their support during challenging moment at NED. We request UEM family to thank God for peaceful transition and transformation which happened at NED.

    We request prayers toward the consecration and installation of bishop elect Rev Dr Msafiri Mbilu and other leaders which will be held on May 9th 2021.

    We request prayers for the entire leadership of NED and the whole diocese for a peaceful co-existence, communion, good governance and prosperity

    Cameroon: The EEC President, Prof Hendje Toya wrote:

    “Covid-19 is decimating so many people from the population in Cameroon: politicians, businessmen and women, teachers, pastors, etc. The EEC lost several Pastors including a Region President. Unfortunately, the situation is hindering the church process of running the long awaited reconciliatory Synod.  Currently the government has banned any meeting of more than 50 people, especially during mourning, funeral services. ”.

    Please pray for the Cameroon as we are almost at a standstill.


    The genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 has caused much pain, guilt and shame. About 1 million people, mostly of the Tutsi community and moderate Hutus, were killed in the genocide by Hutu extremists during a massacre within a span of 100 days.

    On 7th April 2021, 27 years later, the genocide in Rwanda is commemorated worldwide for one week but to continue to be remembered for 100 days.   May God strengthen and bless the people suffering the consequences of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.

    Covid-19: It is reported by the Rev Ntakirutimana Venant from the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the Evangelism Contact Person:

    In Rwanda, we thank God for that the number of Covid - 19 infection cases have been reducing. However, some areas (sectors) showing big number of new infections have to be restricted to the lock down without entrances or exits until the situation changes. We are happy that all healthy centers in the country have basic facilities to test Covid 19. Around 400,000 people were vaccinated so far but this is still a small proportion of the population around 13,000,000 people. So we pray for both the availability of more vaccines and more reduction of the pandemic spread. Since more than 20 attendees of physical meetings, weddings and funerals are not permitted, it is still a strange situation. We thank God for few churches allowed to resume worship services while observing the restrictions. However, so many churches are still closed because they do not possess required water tanks, hand washing stations, and fever testing tools.

    We thank God for that schools reopened and students and teachers are no longer jobless.

    Following the government policy of 2018 requiring churches to have pastors holding Bachelors' degrees in theology or certificate of theology for the Bachelors' degree holders in other fields, 4 Dioceses of the Anglican Church in Rwanda have more than 70 theology students.

    We pray for their fruitful calling and training, and for enough financial resources to support their training. 


    The ELCRN Acting General Secretary, Rev. Marinette M. Dausas shared the following prayer:

    The Lord has risen! He has truly risen! You have conquered death so that we can live. We can have eternal life because of your resurrection. Lord, we accept you as our personal Saviour. Help us to walk in your light and to reflect your glory. Thank you for making all things new. Thank you for the victory and power that is in your name. Thank you for holding the keys over death. Thank you that by you might, Jesus was raised from the grave, paving the way for us to have a new life with you. Thank you for your plan, thank you that you made away. Lord we remember the veil of darkness transforming to the brightest light. The most dreadful end becoming the most beautiful beginning. We remember with trembling hearts the depths of despair fading to reveal hope everlasting. The curse of death defeated by eternal life. Today we remember with thankfulness your willingness to be pierced for our sins. We sing with abounding joy of your miraculous rise, from death’s tomb to resplendent life. Thank you for the promise of heaven and your generous invitation of eternal life for all. Lord we also thank you for our partners in the mission of building your earthly kingdom that you have united us with. We pray that they may have good health. We also pray that you give them wisdom.

    Here are some prayer alerts from Asia:

    Earthquake in East Java:

    The GKJW’s General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Budi Cahyono wrote:

    An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 occurred in the area of South Malang, on Saturday, April 10 afternoon. Further aftershocks have also occurred up to five times since Sunday morning, April 11.

    According to an explanation from the Regional Disaster Management Agency of East Java Province, the epicenter of the earthquake was at sea, 70 kilometers southwest of Malang Regency, at a depth of 40 kilometers.

    As a result of the earthquake, 2 GKJW members were seriously injured. They are currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Malang City. However, even sadder, there were 8 Muslims who died.

    Apart from casualties and injuries, there were also material losses. More than 344 houses were damaged, 12 schools were damaged, 6 mosques and churches were damaged, 7 government offices were damaged, 1 hospital was damaged.

    GKJW members who experienced the impact of the earthquake, especially in Sukoanyar (1 church building and 34 houses damaged), Gunungtumo (1 church building damaged), Sitiarjo (1 church building and 10 houses damaged), Pronojiwo (2 houses in Taman Ayu damaged), and Sumber Tangkil (15 houses damaged).

    In two days, the Disaster Management Team of GKJW headed to the location.

    They immediately built Logistics Command Posts, Public Kitchens, and organized volunteer from Malang City to help clean up churches, parish houses, and people houses. They also distributed food and tents from City of Malang.

    This team is also working on trauma healing and healing services.

    The entire congregation of GKJW is asked to support by raising solidarity funds.

    Please pray, that everything will stay well, and there will be no aftershocks.

    Church Synods:

    Two UEM member churches in Asia, GBKP and GKPI, are holding Synod Assembly on 15-18 April 2021.

    In this synod assembly they will elect the new executive board. Please pray for a fruitful and blessed Synod Assembly.

  • Prayer Alert - April 1, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    In this Holy Week and the days before easter we are asking you to join us in prayer for a peaceful feast of the resurrection.

    It did not start peacefully on Palm Sunday, when a suicide bomb attack at the cathedral in Makassar/Indonesia left at least 14 people injured. The two attackers could be prevented to enter the church building with their motorcycles thus the bombs exploded outside. Gomar Gultom, head of the Indonesian Council of Churches, said the attack on people celebrating Palm Sunday was "cruel". He urged people to stay calm and trust the authorities. Also Indonesia's President Joko Widodo condemned the attack as "act of terror".
    Let u spray for the victims of the attack in Makassar and for peace among the people of different faith in Indonesia and all over the world.

    The president of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka, Rev W.P. Ebenezer Joseph shared in a statement that the MC-SL reiterates its commitment to journey along with the heart pangs of the innocent victims of violence, such as those of the victims of the Easter Bomb attack that took place April 2019. “We urge all our faithful, both clergy and lay, to continuously uphold the victims in our prayers, being rooted in the faith and hope that emanates from the sacrificial love of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection which brings victory over death and destruction, we celebrate every Sunday as we gather for worship and commit ourselves to be agents of peace and reconciliation.”

    The EEC- Evangelical Church of Cameroon shared with us that the church elder and former EEC President continues to have talks with different community groups to prepare the national pastoral meeting and an extraordinary general synod.
    Please pray for the conflicting parties to come to an agreement, unity and end the leadership crisis.

    They also praise God that a consignment of medical equipment donated by the UEM to Garoua Health Center reached safely. The region is part of the northern Cameroon which has been directly and indirectly affected by the Boko Haram attacks. The medical equipment is for the Martin Luther Health Center (MLHC) that will lend a supporting hand to the neighbouring Manfred Selle Health Center (MSHC) which is still not operational. Both health centres will help many people in need in the region.

    Mr Elie Leuwe, the EEC Project Officer writes: “Please pray that the equipment be used for the betterment of the poor and needy who are so many in the region. Besides, efficiency and effectiveness coupled with results should be the guiding principles of the use of this “God-sent” medical equipment”.

    Our sisters and brothers in Indonesia are also asking us to pray for their upcoming synods in April.
    The GKPI and the GBKP will hold their synods at the same dates from April 15-18.
    Please pray for fruitful discussions, wise decisions and God’s guidance.

    And let us all pray and thank to GOD for the wonderful Easter message: The Lord is risen. Indeed he is risen.


    Rev. Volker Martin Dally

    Generalsekretär / General Secretary

  • Prayer Alert - March 19, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Lent Greetings!

    It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that the president of the United Republic of Tanzania honorable Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli is no more with us.  He died on Wednesday March 17, 2021 from heart complications at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam. 

    The Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced his death and 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half-mast.

    Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan is now the acting president of Tanzania.

    Kindly we ask for your prayers at this period of grief and mourning. It is undoubtedly a period that requires unity and solidarity in Tanzania.


    Rev. Dr. Ernest William Kadiva

    Deputy Executive Secretary Africa  

    This morning, the BBC reported that the Vice-President, Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan, was sworn in today. She is the first woman president of Tanzania and currently the only female state leader on the continent. Under the constitution, she will serve the remainder of the late President Magufuli's second five-year term, which does not expire until 2025. Please pray for her and for the country.

    It is now one year that the whole world has been living under different kinds of restrictions due to COVID-19. Here are short updates from people from different UEM member churches, received on March 18:

    In Namibia the numbers of new infections are going down. Tomorrow the launching of vaccine and the first vaccination probably will start on Friday.

    In Botswana the number of new infections is rising daily. The total death toll was 424 last week,which might have increased by now. The Country has received vaccine and is yet to be rolled out...

    We are doing well here in Rwanda. Many churches are closed, those reopened are following government's measures to protect against COVID-19.  Schools have been operating for almost five months already. Three  Districts are in lockdown because the number of affected people is higher than other districts. Some people have already been vaccinated including pastors. We still waiting for churches to be reopened but we don't know when.

    In the DR Congo, the number of cases is increasing. The test is compulsory in Kinshasa and even in Mbandaka. At the city level, people are not interested in screening. I believe that the number of cases may increase further in the near future.

    In Sri Lanka COVID-19 second wave is now settling down. But now from yesterday, they found 3rd wave of infected people. Please pray for fast recovery.

    The Corona situation in Cameroon has become worse during this past weeks, either new cases or number of deaths. So the Government has strengthened measures  and meetings conditions. I have some members of the Parish tested positive. But for now, we will not close the church.

    The government insists on barrier measures despite the carelessness of the population. The vaccine is announced but public opinion is not favorable ... people are more afraid of the vaccine than of Corona itself...

    Since March 8, 2021, there was no new case of Covid-19 in Nias, and no more Covid-19 patients confined in the hospital or under any Covid-19 treatment. So, the numbers have been decreasing. In total, there were 694 cases which 677 were healed and 17 died. The vaccines are still on-going.


    Our situation in Sumatra is in a somewhat improved condition because Corona is decreasing. This is because more people have a good understanding of the importance of caring for their health, and many people have already been vaccined, including old people. We keep supporting our government program for vaccination, and in our daily life including in our worship, we are always following health protocols.


    According the government website, in Central Java, the number new infections with Covid is still rising. Today, there are new 565 people from the total number 165.226 people infected by Corona. Praise the Lord that the number of patients that heal is also rising, 724 people from the total number 149.038 people. Thirty-eight people died today, the total number of deaths is 10.359 people. Vaccination is still on going according the priority made by the government.


    In Germany, the number of confirmed cases is rising steeply, while vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine were stopped due to some unexplained deaths. Schools and shops as well as museums and zoos have re-opened under strict restrictions.


    The World Council of Churches is calling for a A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic from March 22-27. The week will invite a time of prayer and reflection on both the lament and the hope expressed and experienced across the world during what has been a year of unprecedented suffering, but also one when churches have worked together in ever new ways to adapt, respond and accompany communities through mental, physical, economical, spiritual, and environmental crises. 

    The week of prayer is convened with WCC member churches and ecumenical partners, and will share prayers and spiritual resources produced in response to the pandemic.


    Material for the week can be found at:


    Statistics have very different reliabilities, as we all know. But below is an overview taken from and



    Total cases

    New cases on

    17 March

    New cases per 100,000 population

    last seven days

    Change from last week

    Total deaths

    Total cases per 1 million/ pop.

    Total deaths per 1 million/ pop.









    S. Africa
























    Sri Lanka
































    DR Congo
















    Hong Kong









    No figures given


    Upcoming synods:

    Please pray for the Annual Assembly of GKJTU (Christian Church of Northern Central Java) which will take place March 21-23 in a hybrid format in Salatiga and online.

    Please pray for the General Assembly of GPKB (Batak Christian Community Church) which will take place in Palembang, March 25-28.


    The next UEM Prayer Alert will go out on Thursday, April 1, 2021.


    The graphics below (and other versions of them) can be downloaded from


    Please use and share freely and widely through social media! #churchcelebrates

  • Prayer Alert - March 12, 2021


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    This week, we ask your prayers for the Philippines in particular.


    Last week, nine political activists were murdered in razzias by police and the military in the Calarbazon Region. These killings came just a day or two after the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, had called for a new campaign against alleged Communist guerillas, saying publicly: “I’ve told the military and the police, that if they find themselves in an armed encounter with the communist rebels, kill them, make sure you really kill them, and finish them off if they are alive. Forget about human rights. That’s my order.”


    With this latest threat on Friday, there are now fears that it could prompt more violence similar to the Duterte’s war on drugs, which according to the government and rights groups has killed between 6,000 and more than 27,000 people.


    For years, social activists in the Philippines have been ‘red-tagged’ as alleged Communists. Just last week, General Parlade, leader of the National Task Force to End local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), used an op-ed article in the Manila Times to claim that the World Council of Churches, the Evangelical Church in Germany, Bread for the World, and many other European church based agencies were wittingly or unwittingly funding Communist activities in the Philippines through local churches. In recent months, a number of activists, lawyers and doctors have been killed by unknown gunmen, after they were tagged in public and on social media as communist sympathisers and active communist rebels. Pastors, church workers and even bishops of UEM member United Church of Christ in the Philippines have also been ‘red-tagged’ in recent years.


    UCCP Bishop Emeritus Reuel Norman Marigza this week petitioned a Baguio court for an injunction and a temporary restraining order against a resolution of the Cordillera Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC). This resolution seeks to send police and anti-communist groups to the homes of people “red-tagged” by the government to persuade them to abandon their allegiance to the New People’s Army, the Communist Party of the Philippines, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.


    Marigza said the RLECC initiative puts the lives of many activists in danger following recent killings of militants in other parts of the country.


    He informed the Court that social media posts attributed to police and military officials have identified him, Mariqza, as a communist sympathizer and a terrorist because UCCP has offered sanctuary to the Lumad in Mindanao.


    Please pray for all people who are working for justice and peace in the Philippines, inside and outside of the churches, that God may strengthen and protect them.



    We also want to share with you excerpts from prayers for each other that were exchanged between partnership groups in Germany and Cameroon.


    Prayer for Cameroon from Germany:

    We bring before you the tensions in the country the civil war that has been going on for four years. God, we ask you for protection and preservation. We hear of heavy gunfire and how traffic is blocked for hours. We hear of kidnappings and extortion for ransom. We hear of daily concern as parents send their children back to school. We hear of the plight of refugee families crammed into cramped spaces seeking shelter with relatives in the next town over or in the French part of the country. And yet the partners are determined to work as hard as they can to bring peace to their society and to counter the crisis with confidence and hope through cohesion in the church communities. In doing so, they are rebuilding what others have destroyed. The children of God need not only a roof for their worship services, but also a permanent one. May their desire to advance the work of the church in a responsible and transparent way be fulfilled. God of life and strength, you see all who are weakened by the fragility of life's circumstances, by a lack of responsibility on the part of those in authority and government. Strengthen them by your Spirit and give them signs of your nearness in these weeks of the Passion Season. Our partners say: God makes a way in all things, even where there is none. We trust in this for the people in Cameroon and here with us.

    Prayer for Germany from Cameroon:

    O God we want to pray for our friends in Germany, O God our father, for the sake of this partnership and the work we are doing we want to pray for all of them, wherever they are, for protection, for your hand to be upon them, o God, whatever they do for their living we pray that you protect them during these time of COVID-19, and Lord, as we enter this new month we pray that you assign special angels to watch over their lives. Lay your hand upon them O God. For those who are in quarantine, Lord be their God. Those who are in hospitals, Lord visit them. We pray God that those who are open to risk that you will shield and protect them. Thank you Father that even this month of March you see them through and you see all of us through, and at the end we shall glorify your name.

    This is our prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Prayer Alert - March 5, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Once more we ask your prayers for the DR Congo and particularly the country’s eastern region with Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu provinces. The following information comes from a virtual meeting on March 2 with Congolese experts organized by the Ecumenical Network for Central Africa of which UEM is a member.

    In the border regions to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, more than 130 armed groups are operating, fighting for control over land and mineral resources. Weapons are everywhere, and children are recruited into militias. Civilians, especially women and children are the victims of sexualized violence, murder, kidnapping and displacement. Corruption is rampant, and crime and moral decline destroy any chance for a positive development. The Congolese army and the police add to insecurity and violence rather than protecting from it. Due to the political crisis in the capital Kinshasa, there is no strategy to stabilize the country. Even MONUSCO, the UN peace mission with more than 18,000 soldiers, is unable to guarantee the safety of the population.

    The conflicts are furthered by fake news which manipulate and sow hate. Demobilization programs for former child soldiers and militia members have failed as there were no means for reintegration programs. Women who could play an important role in creating peace are mostly excluded from political participation.

    Local churches and NGOs working for peace and justice need the support from the international community to continue their work.

    For more information about the situation in Eastern Congo in German language, please look here:

    In addition to these news, Rev. Batachoka Kasole, President of the Eglise du Christ au Congo in Rutshuru, sent the following e-mail:

    Leaders of the Church of Christ in Congo Rutshuru brought together pastors and evangelists from 19 parishes for the preparation of a joint prayer on March 14, 2021 under the theme “And you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him.” (Deuteronomy 4:29) Other items on the agenda were the preparation of evangelization to the police and military in Rutshuru territory and the establishment of new strategies in churches to raise awareness, pray and fight against this COVID 19 pandemic which is ravaging the the territory of Rutshuru and the country as a whole during this situation of lack of peace. We therefore ask you dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ to join us this March 14, 2021, wherever you can be, in praying for peace and non-violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and everywhere in the world.

    On 25th of February 2021 church leaders of the HKBP, GKPS, HKI, GBKP, GKPI issued a statement regarding the case of four male paramedics in Pematangsiantar who were prosecuted for disinfecting the body of a woman who died by Covid-19. It is regarded as a violation of Islamic law if men handle the body of a woman not related to them.

    In their statement, the church leaders appreciated the Pematangsiantar district attorney for stopping the prosecution case. The church leaders invited all parties to maintain a tolerant, respectful and conducive situation in Pematangsiantar which is so far actually the most tolerant city in Indonesia. The church leaders also support, respect and pray for paramedics and all health workers to work in accordance with a code of ethics and good service to the community. Finally, church leaders call on the government and People's Representative Council/ Regional Representative Council, the constitutional court and Supreme Court and other state institutions to review legal products related to blasphemy which are often discriminatory and misused.

    Let's pray that God bless all health efforts and initiatives to face today's challenges.

    From the Germany Department of UEM comes this request:

    In Germany, COVID-19 infection figures are rising, partly because of the virus variants that are on the rise. On Tuesday, the chancellor spent hours negotiating an opening strategy with her ministers for the country which is still mostly locked down. Please pray with us that the new measures will be well implemented and accepted by the population, and that infection rates will not grow into the feared “third wave”.

  • Prayer Alert - February 26, 2021

    Today we are asking your prayers, once again, for Eastern Congo:

    Since October 2020, Beni City and the Ruwenzori Region in the DR Congo have seen a new wave of violent attacks on civilians by armed groups. These are likely parts of the guerilla organization ADF-Nalu, and they masssacre and rape people and plunder villages.

    During an attack on the central prison in Beni-Kangwai in October 2020, more than 1,000 prisoners, many of them criminals or suspected members of armed groups, were freed. In December 2020, armed attacks by presumed ADF rebels caused the displacement of tens of thousands of families who fled their villages for the cities of Beni and Kasindi.

    Local congregations of the UEM member church CBCA (Baptist Communion in Central Africa) are supporting the refugees.

    CBCA is asking for prayers and financial support in their endeavor to help these internally displaced people. The CBCA office in Beni has identified 300 families who urgently need support. They will receive food, household items and protective gear against the Coronavirus. In addition, the church is setting up medical stations to support primarily women, children, and people with handicaps, and to stop the spread of COVID-19 and Ebola. The church is also giving psycho-social assistance to traumatized refugees, and help in providing identity documents so that refugees will not be taken for rebels.

    The displacement of the population from the violence-affected regions in the eastern DR Congo has also impacted the economic situation of the local churches which are financed solely by Sunday offerings. About 90% of all congregation members are victims of this violence which has been going on for the last seven years, and which has paralyzed economic and social activities in the region.

    UEM member churches in Germany and Africa have pledged financial support for the CBCA and its work with refugees. We ask you to support this work with your prayers for the refugees, for those assisting them, and for peace in the Eastern DR Congo.

    We are very sad to announce that our colleague Rev. Kisuba Kateghe Ezechiel Ndungo, one of the authors of “Open to Go” (the UEM workbook on Gospel and popular culture), passed away this morning. Please pray for his family.

    Please also pray for Tanzania: In May 2020, President Magufuli said that the country was free of Corona. It seems that until November, there were few signs of this illness or deaths from it. But since then, Tanzania has seen a dramatic increase in ‘respiratory diseases’ and many deaths. 

    Now, according to international media reports, President Magufuli is calling on citizens for three days of prayer to defeat unnamed ‘respiratory diseases’ amid warnings that the country is seeing a deadly resurgence in infections.

    ‘Maybe we have wronged God somewhere,’ President Magufuli told mourners at a funeral for his chief secretary, John Kijazi, on Friday. ‘Let us all repent.’

    Magufuli has repeatedly claimed that Tanzania, a country of some 60 million people, defeated COVID-19 with God's help. The government has not updated its number of coronavirus cases since April, and the health ministry has promoted herbal remedies to protect from the virus. Magufuli has questioned COVID-19 vaccines.


    From the Germany Department of UEM comes this prayer request: In this week schools have started to re-open, we pray for God’s protection for students and teachers. We pray that the process remains smooth and that there is not another third wave. We pray for God’s guidance and wisdom for the whole process.  

    And Rev. Dr. Dyah Ayu Krismawati, UEM Executive Secretary for Asia, adds this: Please pray for the process of vaccination in Asia. We hope and pray that the vaccination could be done smoothly and fairly, so that all citizen could be protected and not only the rich, the most powerful and people who have access to political decisions may get the privilege.

  • Prayer Alert - February 12, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    This week’s prayer alert builds on information about the pandemic situation from international media. (Please note that we are happy to receive prayer requests from all of our readers!)


    Indonesia: The country is among the hardest hit in Southeast Asia. In the capital Jakarta, intensive care wards are full with COVID-19 patients, and space in cemetaries is getting tight. There are some restrictions, but no lockdown, so as to not put too much pressure on the economy.

    In January, Indonesia started a very ambitious vaccination campaign: The government hopes to have vaccinated 180 of the country’s 270 million inhabitants by March 2022.


    Tanzania: According to the government, the country is COVID-19 free. But there is anecdotal evidence of many people sickening and even dying of the Coronavirus, though it is impossible to gauge how many cases the country has. According to a BBC report, the president and the health minister of the country have been promoting local herbs and steaming as a way to fight the Coronavirus. There are no plans for vaccinations.


    Last week, the Catholic Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga, president of the Episcopal Conference, sent a pastoral letter to church leaders to warn of a new wave of infections. He urged believers to observe health guidelines. The letter came as Catholic priests report a sharply growing number of funerals.


    The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fredrick Onael Shoo, also wrote a letter to tell church members to take necessary precautions to fight the virus.


    Germany: The lockdown in the country will continue until March 7, though schools, beginning from primary, are allowed to start to open by February 22. Most churches continue to hold only virtual worship services. Vaccinations have started in late December, but due to a shortage of vaccines, are proceeding very slowly. Criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis is growing louder.


    Europe: As all European countries are suffering from the consequences of the pandemic, the situation of refugees on the continent or trying to reach it is being neglected. Thousands of people are having to live in tent camps in sub-freezing temperatures, or in rain and mud in Southern and Eastern Europe. Reports about illegal pushbacks of refugees to Turkey and Libya by the European border control agency Frontext are becoming much more common, but there is little political will to do anything about this.


    A prayer for healing:

    Lord Jesus,

    when you walked with us on earth

    you spread your healing power.

    We place in your loving care

    all who are affected by Coronavirus.

    Keep us strong in faith, hope and love.

    Bring relief to our sick,

    console our bereaved,

    protect those who care for us.

    We place in your loving care

    those who had to flee from their homes.

    Open the hearts of politicians to receive them

    and heal our societies from hatred and prejudice.

    We lift our prayer to you Lord,

    and trust in your infinite mercy,

    as we wait for the daybreak.


  • Prayer Alert - February 5, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    This prayer alert starts with a message of thanksgiving from the Moderamen of the Christian Protestant Karo Batak Church (GBKP) in Sumatra/Indonesia:

    We thank God for the recovery of some Moderators of GKBP from COVID-19, such as :

    - General Secretary, Rev. Rehpelita Ginting, S.Th, M. Min and his wife Nora Jenny Flora br Tarigan.

    - General Treasurer, Eld. Mulia Perangin Angin, SE.

    - Head of Marturia, Rev. Kongsi Kaban, S.Th

    We also pray for GKE on Kalimantan/Indonesia as it works to support the victims of the severe flooding in the south of the island.

    We wish for the condition will be better soon. God Bless us.


    The Chairperson of the Executive Board of Synod of the Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua (GKI-TP), Rev. Andrikus Mofu, sent a letter to UEM in which he shared the following:

    In the year 2020 all of us have been facing the same pandemic COVID-19 till this present time. We are grateful to God in the difficult situation that we are facing that the willingness of the GKI-TP congregations for fellowship with God was not neglected. Within the congregations, the fellowship has been done virtually or in different forms of worship besides getting together, following the guidelines and health protoocols. We believe that you continue to pray for our service, especially during this time. Our GOD who is Immanuel be with us and bless us all.


    The recent newsletter of the Christian Church of Northern Central Java (GKJTU) asked for prayers, too:

    1. Please pray for us, because at the beginning of 2021, the Indonesians cried because of various disasters including the COVID pandemic which has not ended, even the increasing number of people infected with COVID; the crash of the Sriwijaya Airplane in the waters of the Seribu Islands; Mount Semeru Erupution – East Java; Mount Merapi in Central Java which has started to actively release hot lava; earthquake with magnitude 6.2 in Mamuju-Majene/West Sulawesi; large floods in South Kalimantan; landslides in Sumedang/West Java, and in Manado/South Sulawesi.

    2. Schools in the Sion Foundation [this is a foundation of the GKJTU] still have to do online learning methods while mountainous areas are very difficult to signal; this problem hinders teaching and learning activities at schools.

    3. The impact of the COVID pandemic is still very much felt, especially in the financial condition of the institution to finance operational costs and salaries for 73 employees of the Sion Foundation.

    4. Programs related to the community still have to be postponed or done online, while not all people can access internet services properly.


    Evangelism Contact Person Rev. Onalenna Kaartze-Hambira wrote from Botswana on 1 February:

    14 new COVID-19 related deaths reported. This brings total number of deaths to 148. Whilst new positive infection in just four days shot up to 1445 bringing total number of active cases to 1903 as of January 29th 2021. Please pray for us.


    Germany continues under lockdown with schools doing online teaching and most church services conducted online. Psychologists report that children and youth are badly affected by this, and that the number of young people seeking help for depression and anxiety is rising steeply. The number of new infections is slowly going down, but due to fears about mutations of the Coronavirus, it is not clear whether restrictions will be loosened by mid-February as originally envisioned.


    The UEM Africa Department received the following information from the Karagwe Diocese (ELCT-KAD), Bishop Dr Bagonza Benson:

    At the 22nd synod assembly of KAD, Rev. YARED NAMARA WAKAMI was elected to be the Assistant to the Bishop (Dean). Dean elect WAKAMI was KYERWA District Pastor for 8 years and he takes over from Rev. YORAM KARUSYA who is now a General Secretary. The 31st January 2021 was their installation.

    Please pray for the ELCT-KAD leadership to be guided by God to serve His people in Kagera region, Tanzania.



    To remember the many people who have died of COVID-19, German churches have called on people to put a lit candle into their window in the evening. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has published a prayer to go with this. After the English translation, we include the original German version and a translation into Bahasa Indonesia by Rev. Mika Purba, South-North exchange pastor in Germany.


    Merciful God,

    „You cover yourself with light as with a garment.“ (Psalm 104:2)

    This is why I light a candle and put it into my window, to give light to all those who suffer from the pandemic, who worry and fear, who are exhausted from giving help, who are desperate from too heavy burdens and the fighting that results from this.


    “The LORD my God lightens my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28)

    I pray for all who are alone and lonely, who cannot receive visitors, who remain without comfort and accompaniment: Bless them with your presence and make all those who nurse and support angels of your light.


    „Jesus Christ says: I am the light of the world…“ (John 8:12)

    I pray for all people who are suffering from Corona and fight for their lives: Give them light and air, strength and courage, that they will find their way back into their life.


    „For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.“ (Psalm 36:9)

    I also pray for all people who have died of Corona, here and everywhere in the world: Receive them into your Kingdom and give them a light that warms their soul. And comfort all those who are crying for their dead.


    God, I also pray for myself and for my husband/wife, for my children, my family and my friends. Bless and keep them and us all, that we may keep our confidence and hope in these dark times. Amen.



    Barmherziger Gott,

    „Licht ist das Kleid, das du anhast.“

    (Ps 104, 2)

    Deswegen zünde ich eine Kerze an und stelle sie ins Fenster, um allen jenen zu leuchten, die unter der Pandemie leiden, die besorgt sind und Angst haben, die erschöpft sind von all der Hilfe, die sie geben wollen, die verzweifelt sind wegen all der Überforderung und dem Streit, die sie erzwingt.


    „Der HERR, mein Gott, macht meine Finsternis licht.“ (Ps 18,29)

    Ich bitte für alle, die allein sind und einsam, die nicht besucht werden dürfen, die ohne Trost und Begleitung bleiben, segne sie mit Deiner Gegenwart und mache alle, die pflegen und versorgen, zu Engeln Deines Lichtes.


    „Jesus Christus spricht: ich bin das Licht der Welt …“ (Joh 8,12)

    Ich bete für alle Menschen, die an Corona erkrankt sind und um ihr Leben kämpfen, schenke Ihnen Licht und Luft, Kraft und Mut, dass sie zurückfinden in ihr Leben.


    „Denn bei Dir ist die Quelle des Lebens, und in deinem Lichte sehen wir das Licht“ (Ps 36, 10)

    Auch bitte ich für alle Menschen, die an Corona gestorben sind, hier und überall auf der Welt, nimm sie auf in dein Reich und schenke Ihnen ein Licht, das ihre Seele wärmt, und tröste alle, die weinen müssen um ihre Toten.


    Gott, ich bitte dich aber auch für mich selbst und meinen Mann/meine Frau, für meine Kinder, für meine Familie und meine Freunde. Segne und behüte sie und uns alle, dass wir Zuversicht und Hoffnung behalten in diesen dunklen Zeiten. Amen.



    Tuhan yang penyayang,


    yang berselimutkan terang seperti kain, (Mzm 104, 2). Saat ini saya menyalakan lilin dan meletakkannya di jendela untuk menerangi semua

    mereka yang menderita pandemi, yang khawatir dan takut, yang lelah mengharap semua bantuan, yang putus asa karena semua kesusahan dan perselisihan yang mendesak mereka.


    “TUHAN, Allahku yang menyinari kegelapanku menjadi terang”

    (Mz 18:29). Saya berdoa untuk mereka yang sendirian dan kesepian, yang tidak diizinkan untuk dikunjungi, yang tetap tanpa penghiburan dan pendampingan, berkatilah mereka dengan kehadiranMu dan buatlah semua orang yang merawat dan memelihara, sebagai malaikat terangmu.


    "Yesus Kristus berkata: Akulah terang dunia ..." (Yoh 8:12)

    Aku berdoa untuk semua orang yang sakit Corona dan berjuang untuk hidup mereka, berilah mereka cahaya dan udara, kekuatan dan keberanian, sehingga mereka dapat menemukan jalan kembali ke dalam kehidupan mereka.


    "Karena bersamamu adalah sumber kehidupan, dan dalam terangmu kami melihat terang" (Mzm 36, 10)

    Aku juga berdoa untuk semua orang

    yang meninggal karena Corona, di sini dan di seluruh dunia, terima mereka ke dalam kerajaanmu dan beri mereka cahaya yang menghangatkan jiwa mereka, dan menghibur semua yang menangis untuk kematian mereka.


    Tuhan, aku juga berdoa untuk diriku dan suamiku untuk anak-anakku, untuk keluarga dan teman-temanku. Berkati dan lindungilah mereka dan kami semua untuk tetap setia pada pengharapan dan keyakinan kami padaMu di masa-masa kelam ini. Amin.

  • Prayer Alert - January 29, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today we again have some prayer requests related to the COVID-19 situation:

    We thank God for the recovery of Bishop Oloan Pasaribu of GKPI in Sumatra/Indonesia from COVID-19.

    Evangelism Contact Person Rev. Onalenna Kaartze sent this statistic from the COVID-19 Presidential Task Team in Botswana, showing that the total number of deaths from this disease almost tripled in less than three weeks:

    04/01/2021 – 3 new deaths (total 48)

    08/01/2021 – 11 new deaths (total 59)

    11/01/2021 – 12 new deaths (total 71)

    18/01/2021 – 17 new deaths (total 88)

    21/01/2021 – 19 new deaths (total 124)

    Please pray for Botswana!


    The Moderamen of GBKP in Sumatra/Indonesia wrote: We are concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic which is not over yet, with many people in every country affected by the COVID-19 virus. We are hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon end, so our life will be normal again. We are also pray for medical teams with a lot of work, that they will always be in good health to do their best on doing their job.


    Please continue to pray for Germany which will be under lockdown until mid-February at least. The number of infections is slowly sinking in the country, but it is still very high. Vaccine manufactoring problems mean that vaccinations are proceeding very slowly. All cultural institutions have been closed since early November, and shops (except those for daily necessities) and schools since mid-December. While the government has rolled out strong financial support programs for now, many people are very worried about their economic future. Families are under a lot of pressure with children having to be schooled at home. Mental health professionals report that they see a very large number of new cases of depression and anxiety, expecially among young people.


    Please continue to pray for GKE on Kalimantan/Indonesia as it works to support the victims of the severe flooding in the south of the island with financial support until this week from UEM, EKiR and EKvW.


    A prayer for uncertain times

    Merciful God,

    In uncertain times

    I long for you and for your Kingdom.

    And you let me find you:

    In unusual places,

    In foreign environments,

    And among people

    Where I did not expect you.

    But there is pain also

    For all that is lost now.

    Life as usual is not coming back.

    Whether in gratitude and joy

    Or in sadness and worry

    I trust in you and your kindness.


    (Christof Hartge, EKKW, found on Facebook)

  • Prayer Alert - January 22, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Once more, this prayer alert will mainly focus on the COVID-19 pandemic situation and how UEM churches are dealing with it. This morning, the UEM Evangelism Contact Persons met via Zoom, and this is what they shared:

    On Nias Island/Indonesia, schools are still closed. Sunday church worship services are possible under a strict health and distancing protocol. Sundermann Theological Seminary has re-opened after a closure of two months due to a huge outbreak of COVID-19. More than 90 students and staff tested positive, but thanks be to God, all of them have recovered well. Physical classes have now resumed.

    On Mentawai Island/Indonesia, schools and social work are set to reopen. To do this safely, all teachers and social workers are currently being tested for the Coronavirus.

    On Java Island/Indonesia, a strong increase in cases is seen in some areas, while other areas are not affected. Consequently, lockdowns are only local while in many places life goes on fairly normally. In central Java, bad weather with high winds and heavy rain has strongly affected vegetable crops.

    In Sri Lanka, local areas with outbreaks are locked down. Where that happens, Sunday services are not possible. But in most of the island, church activities are allowed, though restrictions remain. The Methodist Church Sri Lanka continues its relief work in areas that are locked down, distributing food to people who have no income as they cannot work. The mission work of the church also continues. A leadership training for lay evangelists has started, organized in 25 groups of 25 people each. Retreats for the full-time evangelists will be held in smaller groups as well and start in February. These will be mixed with both Sinhalese and Tamils in all groups.

    The Bibelvrouw School in Laguboti, Sumatra/Indonesia has switched its complete program to online teaching, and this works well. Sunday services are possible in Sumatra under a strict health protocol.

    In Papua, Sunday worship services can be held under a strict health protocol. In Jayapura, churches offer three services instead of one to spread congregants. There is little testing and information, but hospitals are reported to be quite full. Teaching at Kijne Theological Seminary is done online. But the work of the churches and the synod office of GKI-TP are continuing. The evangelism department plans a visitation to a remote area next month. 5 February will be an evangelism day.

    In DR Congo, businesses and markets are open, while schools and universities remain closed. Protest is growing against this inequality. There is a nightly curfew. In Mbandaka, churches are functioning more or less normally, and there seem to be few COVID-19 cases. But both in Mbandaka and in Kinshasa people are worried about a strong growth in violent crime. Armed robberies are becoming ever more frequent, and more and more people are buying guns to protect themselves. In Mbandaka, gun shots can be heard almost every night, and people do not sleep well because they are fearful.

    In Botswana, church activities are limited due to the COVID-19 situation which has been worsening since the beginning of this year. The number of infections and deaths keeps growing. People are expecting further restrictions or even a complete lockdown soon if this does not improve. Since January 3, there is a curfew, and the sale of alcohol has been banned.

    The situation in Rwanda is alarming; the high and growing infection rate prompted the government to decide on a total lockdown in the capital, Kigali. It is feared that other regions will follow. Sadly, these safety regulations will have a strong and destructive impact on the lives of many.

    In Germany, the lockdown has been extended until mid-February. Schools and universities are restricted to online teaching. All shops except those dealing with daily necessities are closed, as are all cultural venues (museums, libraries, concert halls etc.) Worship services are allowed in principle under strict distancing rules and without singing, but many churches have switched to online and telephone services. Home office is strongly suggested wherever this is possible, and restrictions on private meetings are extremely strict: only one person from outside a household is allowed to visit. People are getting very tired of these restrictions and frustrated with the fact that infection numbers are going down very slowly. There are also warnings that infections could increase again with the spread of virus mutations.

    But there is also a reason to thank God: This week, a new Bible translation was published in Germany. It was done completely from scratch, trying to be both as close to the original languages as possible and written in colloquial German so that it can be read and understood by people who do not know much about the Christian faith. People in the churches are very excited and happy about this new edition, and we pray that it will open the Bible for many people who do not know it yet.

    Finally, there is one prayer request that is not related to COVID-19: You may have seen news reports already about the very severe floods in the Southern part of Kalimantan Island/Indonesia. The Evangelical Church in Kalimantan (GKE) has told us that the flooding is ongoing and that more than 110,000 people have already had to be evacuated, with more to follow. Almost 30,000 houses are still inundated. The electricity supply has been interrupted in large areas, and mobile phone networks have also been affected. As the water is very high and not receding in some areas, there is a fear of an outbreak of infectious diseases and a strong increase in malaria cases. The GKE has set up five relief posts in different places to assist the large region that has been affected. From these posts, evacuations are being organized, and food is collected and distributed to those in need. Please pray for the many people who have lost everything in the floods, and pray for GKE and its members and workers as they engage in evacuation and relief work.

  • Prayer Alert - January 15, 2021

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Our prayer alert today again mainly focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are prayer requests from around the world.


    On January 4, we received this from Rev. Claudette Williams from the Uniting Church in South Africa:

    Currently, things are really bad in our country. We are experiencing the second wave in a real terrible way. Not a day goes by that I don't read of someone whom I know, or someone's family who passed away. This is because so many people are not taking this virus seriously. They are still having huge gatherings, no social distance, no wearing of masks. We had to close our congregation again until end of January 2021. Let us not forget one another in our prayers.


    On January 7, President Rev. Dr. Pascal Bataringaya of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda sent this message:

    I would like to let you know that the situation in Rwanda is getting worse. December was the deadliest month, claiming half of the total 105 deaths reported so far since the first case was confirmed in March last year. The country has in the past seven days recorded 820 new cases and 30 deaths.

    The Cabinet Meeting (Government Council) held before yesterday January 4 has just established new measures to fight the spread of this pandemic (measures to be observed from January 5 to 20). It is said that the new covid-19 is much dangerous that is why is killing many people than before.

    These measures include the following:

    • Inter-district travel is not allowed as well as travel between provinces and the city of Kigali. So we have “stay in our district”!
    • Shops and markets are closed by 18:00.
    • Curfew is from 20:00 up to 4:00 am.
    • The opened churches remain accessible at 50 % of attendance, but no wedding ceremonies.
    • No receptions and other ceremonies that gather many people.
    • However, schools remain operational, children continue their studies, as there have been no sensitive cases in schools, says the Government.

    The challenges due to these measures

    1.       The new measures affect the family economies due to employees contracts suspension because of businesses failures especially in the sector of hotels, etc.

    2.       The Rwandan borders are still closed while a big part of goods were imported. This causes the scarcity of goods and the result is the increase of their prices.

    3.       A big number of churches is still closed and those which are opened are allowed to accommodate only 50% of their ordinary capacity and observe the measures to limit the spread of the virus.

    4.       The primary 1,2,3 as well as nursery schools are not yet reopened.

    5.       The EPR is concerned with particular problems of Pastors whose churches are closed and consequently don’t get salaries; and the workers in the church hotel and guest houses who are not working due to the limited travels. Those who are from far are obliged to stay in the district where they are working while don’t receive customers.  

    However, the EPR leadership keeps on advocacy

    The EPR Leadership started a conversation with other church leaders in Africa, Europe and Asia for the purpose of raising a strong voice asking for vaccination in poor countries. When available, the vaccination would not be limited to rich people and their countries, rather should be a sharing and distribution to poor countries with limited capacity of payment.

    The advocacy goes with discouraging different theories that are circulating and reach our church members about the covid-19 vaccination, that the vaccine contains a microchip carrying the mark of the beast.


    The EPR maintains its program of praying for the whole world in families using the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles Creed/Confession of faith. This communion of prayer is the sign that we are powerful than Covid-19. By sharing testimonies, we hear not only pandemic news of deaths and new contaminated cases but we hear the great news of working together in love, the news of hope and life.

    We keep on praying so that God intervene in favor of all families and churches who have lost theirs, we pray for the unity of countries in the fight for searching sustainable solution to the famous pandemic.

    Even though the situation is not encouraging, our Lord is always encouraging the believers in the following words: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b, ESV).


    On 13 January, Rev. Humala Lumbantobing of the GKPI in Sumatra wrote:

    In this time I inform you about bad news from GKPI. On Thursday 7, 2021, Bishop Oloan Pasaribu has been infected positively by Covid-19 and now he is isolated at home because the capacity of hospital in Pematangsiantar is full. His condition now is better. He will need 14 days for healing and 14 days for recovering. Because of that our GKPI Synod for election the new leaders has been canceled on January 28-31, 2021. It will be rescheduled by the Council of GKPI who will do the meeting tomorrow (January 14).

    So please pray for the Bishop Oloan Pasaribu, so he will be healed as soon as possible. Today all the staffs of GKPI faced the SWAP Test, and the result will be known after two days later. We hope all the staffs of GKPI Headquarter will be negative from Covid-19. Because of that we work from each our house. Now the case of Covid-19 increase more and more in Pematangsiantar. Two of the big churches of GKPI in Pematangsiantar (GKPI Siantar Kota and GKPI Tomuan) have closed; there is no Sunday worship or other devotion at the church, only via Zoom or lifestreaming.

    We do hope that you pray for GKPI. God bless us.


    Please also continue to pray for Germany where the lockdown which began in late November has been tightened further as infection numbers remain very high, with more than 1,000 people dying every day. All schools are now closed and teach only online which means that poorer children without proper internet and computer access will be left behind badly. Churches are allowed to hold Sunday services under strict rules, but most congregations are refraining from doing so, rather concentrating on video streams, worship by phone, or written sermons.


    Other prayer requests:

    The Director of Cabinet of the Evangelical Church of Congo (ECC), Rev Moses Gbema, sent these prayer points which are shared by the 95 member churches of the ECC:


    1.         Thanksgiving for the improvement of the health of the National President of the ECC, the Rev Dr Andre Bokundoa.

    2.         Strengthening of the ECC in spiritual, human, material and financial means for the effective accomplishment in the DRC of the ECC quadruple aim: Providing and Strengthening Evangelization, Education, Diaconal service and Prophetic mission.

    3.         Security of Eastern DRC: Condemnation by the international community of the ongoing massacres of which the innocent population is a victim.

    4.         Sociopolitical stability of the DRC: pledge of hope for integral development.

    5.         Accompaniment of the Holy Spirit in the process of electoral, judicial, security and socio-economic reforms

    6.         End of the Covid-19 pandemic and restoration of all affected sectors.


    Bishop Sageus Keib of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) wrote:

    A thanksgiving from the ELCRN that in the midst of the current Covid-19 crisis, on Sunday 17 January 2021, the church will hold an ordination service for three vicars in Otjiwarongo which has a partnership with Tecklenburg Church District in Germany. Thanks be to God for this ordination as the church is in a great need of pastors as the bishop reported last year.



    And finally, please pray for the ongoing synod of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, which yesterday elected Rev. Dr. Thorsten Latzel as its new president.

Prayer Alerts 2020

  • Prayer Alert - December 23, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Our last Prayer Alert for 2020 contains many sad and worrying news.


    Early yesterday morning, we received the sad news that Rev. Wilfred Nico Diergaardt, Acting General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, has passed away. He had recently been hospitalized with COVID-19. May he rest in peace, and may God comfort his family and also the church!


    COVID-19 still keeps large parts of the world in its grip. The spread of a new and much more infectious Coronavirus mutation in Southern England has led to massive travel restrictions between Great Britain and Europe. At the same time, there are warnings that the new virus mutation may already have spread around Europe.

    Germany has been under a stricter lockdown for the last seven days, but case numbers continue to rise. Even though churches are allowed to conduct worship services, a majority of Protestant congregations has cancelled completely or shifted online. People are being cautioned to meet as few people as possible during the festive days.


    South Africa: Cape Town is in the middle of what reports call a ‘tidal wave’ of new COVID-19 infections, with ICUs overflowing and doctors forced to decide which patients can receive oxygen, and who cannot. There are more than 2,000 new confirmed infections every day, and almost 70 deaths in Western Cape Province. Churches in areas where the virus is spreading especially fast have suspended worship services until early January. There are reports that many of the new infections are due to a mutated strain of the Coronavirus.


    The Synod of the Christian Church from North Central Java (GKJTU) has sent the following prayer requests:

    The situation in Indonesia is increasingly worrying due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of positive sufferers in the last two months has shown a very significant number every day. This has an impact on the health, economy and social life of the nation and state.

    2020 was a tough year for the Sion Foundation (the diaconia and development arm of the church) because the economic crisis caused by the pandemic resulted in tough financial conditions to finance programs and operations. We pray that we will be able the 2021 programs properly.

    Please pray for the end of the spread of COVID-19. May each of us be kept away from this disease.


    DR Congo: Already on the 8th of December, the UEM Africa Department received a report from CBCA President Rev Dr Samuel Ngayihembako who wrote:  We give thanks for the UEM support to the CBCA in the Democratic Republic Congo in the fight against Covid-19. The UEM funds supported a large area of the DRC and reached out to the CBCA congregation in Uganda. 

    But the CBCA President sadly reported that: 

    In North Kivu province, insecurity and killings by presumed NALU soldiers persist in Beni city and its surroundings. Other cities and different areas in North and South Kivu are not spared by atrocities in terms of lootings, sexual violence, abductions, killings, etc. For instance, last week in Goma, 11 people were shot dead by armed people on orders of their commander, for no reason.


    But in all this, we also give thanks for good news: Vaccinations against the Coronavirus have begun in a number of countries, and more vaccines are due to come into circulation soon. Let us pray that they will be distributed equitably!

    And finally: Let us remember why we celebrate Christmas in a world troubled and torn apart:

  • Prayer Alert - December 18, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Our prayer requests this week are coming mainly from Africa and Germany.


    Bishop Sageus Keib of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia is asking for prayers for Namibia. He writes:

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Namibia, although politically stable was already a country in socio-economic crisis! Despite the efforts and achievements after independence in March 1990, food insecurity, malnutrition, overburdened and sometimes inefficient education and health systems, high unemployment rates and low levels of local economic development are still serious challenges. In the absence of economic security for the majority, precarious living conditions and poverty are still widespread. This all was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgent need to secure livelihoods independent of wage labor became even more apparent. Thousands of jobs have already been lost and the national unemployment rate is likely to reach around 50% by the end of 2020. 

    Rev. Mark Beukes writes from Namibia that the number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing in recent weeks, and that the government is speaking of a second wave. Therefore, new restricitions have been implemented beginning December 16: Public gatherings are only allowed with 50 persons indoors and 100 person outdoors, with every participant registered (including their body temperature), and physical distancing. Face masks are mandatory in all public settings.


    The president of the Church of the Disciples of Christ in the CongoRev. Eliki Bonanga, sent this message yesterday:


    Hereby, we want to share with you all the new draconian measures taken by the Government of the DRC to fight against the coronavirus. In fact, a curfew has been declared throughout the national territory as of this Friday, December 18, 2020. It must be said that 22 of the 26 provinces of our country are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new contaminations explode in the City Province of Kinshasa and in North Kivu. Thus, the latest figures worried the Head of State and his experts: 345 officially detected cases, including 298 in Kinshasa in a single day. And despite the pandemic, traffic in the city remains heavy even in the evening. Thus, the authorities have announced the establishment of a curfew across the country. From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., traffic will be subject to special authorization from the authorities, except for people in health emergencies, according to a report from the Congolese presidency. In addition to this announcement, there are measures that will affect the education sector in particular. The start of the academic year is postponed to a later date. And at school level, students will benefit from early vacations this Friday. Large gatherings are prohibited as are gatherings of more than ten people, such as artistic productions, fairs and festive ceremonies. Sporting competitions behind closed doors will continue. These measures will have an economic impact. This decision seems abrupt but the reality is that the health authorities are aware that the number of cases is far more numerous than those officially detected due to insufficient testing. One of the causes of the resurgence of the pandemic is the relaxation of the population in the application of barrier measures. Our vacation begins tomorrow December 18, 2020 and the return to work is scheduled for January 5, 2021. A minimum service will be organized at the level of the General Secretariat. We pray for this situation as it will certainly further disrupt the celebration of the feast of Christmas and beyond further complicate the lives of our pastors. We pray for you unceasingly and that this pandemic be brought under control. Greetings in Christ.


    We have also received a report describing growing political tensions in the DR Congo between supporters of the former president, Joseph Kabila, and the current president, Felix Tshishekedi. It is feared that these tensions could translate into ethnic conflict. The national lockdown is interpreted in this context not only as a health measure, but also as an attempt by the president to secure his power against possible opposition. Please pray for peace and good governance in the DR Congo!


    Prof. Hendje Jean Samuel Toya, the General President of the Evangelical Church of Cameroon, sent this update on the situation in Cameroon with requests for prayers and thanksgiving:

    There has been a new shift in political matters, with the first-ever regional elections of Councilors on 6th December, 2020. With these elections, a provision of 1996 Constitution which states that regions should be transformed into decentralized local authorities is finally addressed. It is expected that thanks to this implementation of the Constitution, participatory local development will be promoted.

    On the social scene, the situation in the war-torn areas (Southwest and Northwest regions) has somehow improved as there are less battles and killings. Unfortunately, separatists have adopted new tactics such as kidnapping of people in remote areas, destruction of properties, burning and looting.

    On the economic scene, Cameroon has just launched its “National Development Strategy 2020-2030”: this Plan replaces the former “Growth and Employment Strategy Plan” which was wrapped up in December 2019 with not so rosy results. According to official sources, the new Plan places a strong emphasis on structural transformation and inclusive development.

    We would like to underline that the reconciliation initiative that started in the church some months ago is moving on: two communities out of three have already held their reconciliatory pastoral meetings as well as general meetings (clergy and lay people). The third community is this week holding its pastoral meeting which will be followed by a general church meeting this coming Wednesday. The reconciliation train is moving on well and there is hope that the coming months will bring more positive outcomes.


    Germany has been under a strict lockdown since Wednesday this week. Schools and kindergartens have been closed as well as all shops except those dealing with daily necessities. Some states have added a nightly curfew. This will last at least until January 10, 2021. The number of COVID-19 infections keeps growing and is frighteningly high particularly in the eastern part of Germany. There is real fear that the health system will be stressed beyond breaking point if infection numbers do not go down soon. Churches are still allowed to hold worship services under strict distancing rules and without singing, but many congregations and churches are now deciding to cancel these as the risk seems too high. The UEM Mission House has closed down, all UEM staff in Germany are working from home. Please pray that Germany and Germans will find a good way to deal with this crisis.


    Two churches in Sumatra, Indonesia have held their synods and elected new church leaderships.

    Already in November the synod of GKPS elected Rev. Deddy Fajar Purba as their new Ephorus, and re-elected Rev. Paul Munthe as General Secretary.

    And this week, the synod of HKBP elected Rev. Dr. Robinson Butarbutar as the new Ephorus. Rev. Dr. Victor Tinambunan was elected General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Deonal Sinaga Head of the Koinonia Department, Rev. Kardi Simanjuntak Head of the Marturia Department, and Rev. Debora Sinaga was re-elected Head of the Diaconia Department.

    Please pray that God will bless, strengthen and guide these new church leaders.


    Please note that there will be another scheduled prayer alert next Tuesday, December 22. After this, we will take a break, and the first prayer alert for 2021 is scheduled for January 15.

  • Prayer Alert - December 11, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Today we ask you again to keep Germany in your prayers. 


    Despite having been under partial lockdown since early November, the number of new COVID-19 infections has remained very high. Yesterday the country had the highest number of new recorded cases in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, 29.875.


    National and provincial governments had agreed to loosen lockdown regulations for a few days between Christman and New Year to allow extended families and friends to meet and celebrate together. But it is now feared that this could lead to an explosion of infections that our medical infrastructure, already stretched, could not handle anymore. Medical personnel are exhausted and burnt out and warn loudly that such an outcome is likely if no stronger measures are taken. On the other hand, people point out that more than 85% of those who have died of COVID-19 in Germany were over 70 years of age.


    So we now have an agonized and very emotional debate about whether there should be a very strict lockdown beginning after Christmas (the majority of people agree to this, though a very vocal minority is loudly protesting against this proposal), or even beginning next Monday. The economic impact of closing all shops except for those supplying daily necessities at a time when they have their highest turnover would be disastrous. 


    People working in the social services and in diaconia, concerned with those in our society who need regular support in their life, also warn about rising social problems caused by an extended lockdown period.  


    Furthermore, a strict lockdown would include a ban on all Christmas worship services. Congregations have been preparing for a larger number of smaller services in church buildings and numerous outdoor activities, reaching from worship celebrations to worship walks and Christmas installations in the streets, to make sure that they stay within the partial lockdown regulations.


    A strict lockdown would also mean that many people, particularly older ones, would be very lonely at Christmas which in Germany is the main family festival. Families may choose to simply not follow the regulations, but that would in turn drive up the number of infections.

    So we are facing a situation where every alternative left to us is awful, and this puts a great strain on cooperation and peace in our society and political life.


    Please pray for wisdom for our political leaders who will have to make hard decisions in the next few days, for peace and mutual understanding between people for and against a strict lockdown, for the medical personnel who are so exhausted, and for all people that they will keep the common good foremost in mind when they decide how to celebrate Christmas.



    The Methodist Church Sri Lanka is asking for our prayers for the holding of their annual conference today and tomorrow. Church President Rev. Ebenezer Joseph writes: “We are hoping to conduct the conference via Zoom, while representatives will be connected through 13 clusters, from various parts of the country. It is a challenge for us as we do not have steady connectivity and technical facilities in all areas of the country. … We plead for your prayer so that everything works out well.”



    An excerpt from the Christmas Message of the World Council of Churches, signed by Rev. Prof. Ion Sauca, Interim General Secretary:


    The pandemic has everywhere torn the social fabric,

    causing massive unemployment and even hunger, rending our connections to each other, revealing and exacerbating inequalities, raising havoc and dissent,

    and threatening institutions of good governance.

    At the same time, violence and war continue, destroying the livelihoods of people

    with increasing numbers of refugees and migrants

    and killing so many men, women and children.


    Even under these circumstances, however, there is a sound of angels in the air,

    proclaiming the birth of Christ with great joy.

    As Christians, we glimpse in this singular event,

    the birth of the child Jesus in a desolate village at the margins of the Roman empire,

    the fragile beginnings of our own redemption.


    As people of faith, we know that in the Incarnation of the Lord,

    God, the Creator and Sustainer of all life, draws near to us,

    loves us compassionately, liberates and accompanies us.

    As people of hope, 

    we glimpse in the birth of Jesus God’s “yes” to life,

    and the birth of new possibility, new life triumphing over death and despair.

    The Incarnation is God’s decisive “yes” to humanity and creation.

    In the Incarnation, God cares for us and raises us,

    gives up God’s very self to identify with us,

    becomes human to make us like him by grace.

  • Prayer Alert - December 4, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    This prayer alert will start again with the Corona virus situation.

    Please pray for Sundermann Theological Seminary in Gunung Sitoli, Nias Island, Indonesia. A total of 92 persons, mostly students and a few staff, have tested positive for COVID-19 and 88 of them are under quarantine in their dormitory until 10 December, under difficult and cramped conditions. So far, nobody has fallen seriously ill, but a report from the seminary states: “Currently most students are in an unstable mental condition because on the one hand they have to accept the fact that they have tested positive for Covid-19 (some are people without symptoms), on the other hand they also have not received standard care, such as food that can meet nutritional intake.” With support from UEM, the Nias Christian Protestant Church (BNKP) is working to support the quarantined group with nutritious food and medication.

    On Java Island in Indonesia, public life is still very much restricted. Schools are still closed, and online teaching remains limited. Small shop owners and market traders as well as those running small food stores have lost most of their income as few people go out. Church services are restricted to online services only. A newsletter from the Javanese Christian Church of Northern Central Java (GKJTU) reads: “May our faith strengthen us in this difficult time! The COVID-19 pandemic has not ended yet. And in Central Java, where GKJTU is mostly located, the cases are rising day by day. Near the end of 2020, let's believe that God never leaves us and will always be with us forever. Do not ever lose our hopes and let's hug each other in prayers.”

    Please pray for the people in Germany as the partial lockdown continues. It has now been extended until January 10, 2021, though between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the rules will be relaxed somewhat to allow smaller family groups to meet and celebrate together. All cultural venues, indoor sports facilities and bars and restaurants are closed, while schools, child care centers and shops remain open. Sunday services may be held under strict distancing rules, without singing and with wearing face masks.

    Germany continues to have a high number of new infections every day, with more than two thirds of cities and counties reporting more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week. Many hospitals and particularly intensive care wards are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and doctors and nursing staff are becoming very exhausted.

    A large and loud minority of Germans is very much opposed to the Corona regulations and continues to protest in the streets and to spread incendiary messages on social media, while the majority agrees with the government’s rules and sticks to them.


    Further prayer requests:

    Germany: Please pray for the families and friends of the five persons who were killed day before yesterday by a car purposely crushing into them in a pedestrian area in the city center of Trier, approx. 250 km from Wuppertal. Please also pray for the eighteen people who were injured during this incident, and the many who were traumatized by witnessing this.


    Already last week, we received this letter from Rev. Prof. Dr. Leepo Modise, Moderator of the Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in South Africa (URCSA):

    URCSA is the confessing church which has been providing the World with prophetic voice from her leaders. As the church we have been observing the situation in South Africa since 1994 to date and the church has observed that the country is faced with lots of challenges that need to be addressed. We therefore request UEM friends and member churches to pray with us for South African society and churches for the following:

    1. Poverty in the country. 

    2. Unemployment that has now raised to 11 million due to lockdown when curbing the spread of COVID-19.

    3. Gender Based Violence and killings of women and children.

    4. Human trafficking with affect mostly women and children.

    5. Corruption in government and state owned enterprises.

    6. The exploitation of fellow Christians in the name of religion.

    We believe that God in a special way is God of the poor, orphans, widows, wronged and oppressed and downtrodden. The church as the possession of God, therefore, needs to stand where God stands.

    Please colleagues join us in the chorus of prayers for the above mentioned.


    And finally, some prayer requests regarding church synods:

    Last week, the synod of the Northeastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-ECD) elected Rev. Dr. Msafiri Joseph Mbilu as their new bishop, and Rev. Michael Mlondakweli Kanju as assistant to the bishop. Please pray for the diocese and its new leadership!


    The Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) plans to conduct its General Synod Assembly (Sinode Godang/Great Synod) in Sipoholon-Tarutung, North Sumatra on December 9-13, 2020.

    The assembly will elect HKBP leaders such as: Ephorus/Bishop, General Secretary, Head Diaconia Department, Head Marturia Department, Head Koinonia Department, and Praeses or Head of district. 

    The committee and delegates have been preparing to attend the assembly by doing PCR COVID-19 test and implementing health protocol in order to prevent transmission virus of COVID-19.

    Therefore the church asks us to pray for the plan to be implemented successfully.


    May God’s hope flicker among the uncertainties of our age.

    May God’s peace reign in the face of injustice and social unrest.

    May God’s love empower you to the world full of hate and anger.

    May God’s joy fill your lives with inspiration, courage and willingness to serve, care, protect, work and toil for a safer, just and peaceful world.

    Finally, may the hope, joy, peace and love that springs from Christ Jesus bring healing and reconciliation, comfort and wholeness amidst the sorrow, loneliness and brokenness brought about by the pandemic.

    (A blessing from Silliman University Divinity School)

  • Prayer Alert - November 20, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    We want to open this long Prayer Alert with a great thanksgiving:

    UEM Co-workerSafari Kanyena shared that on Wednesday, 18th November 2020, the Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared that the Ebola Pandemic has come to an end in the Equateur Region of the DRC. Thank you heavenly Father for hearing and responding to your children’s prayers!

    At the same time, we are very sad about the passing away of Ephorus Agustinus Purba due to COVID-19 yesterday. We are shocked of the course of the disease and the quick deterioration of his health in the last week. We remember that only on November 10th he took part in the virtual UEM Alumni Conference. All UEM employees remember him as a warm and friendly man and brother and we are deeply grieving with his family and with his church GBKP.

    Please pray for Rev. Purba’s wife, Rosmeri Perangin-angin who is also being treated in hospital for COVID-19. We pray that God will strengthen and comfort the whole family.

    We have also received a number of requests for intercession from Africa this week. The Rev. Dr. John Wesley, Executive Secretary Africa has asked African church leaders for their prayer requests and received a number of responses which we are documenting here.

    Rev. Ashley Fransman, Moderator of the Rhenish-Church South Africa, wrote:

    We hereby wish to call on churches in the UEM family for prayer in the current situation in South Africa.

    Over the last months newspapers reported of extensive corruption by high profile government officials.  In the last few days many people were arrested amongst them the Secretary General of the ANC.  The arrest of these high-profile people is causing tension and division in many communities between supporters of these high-profile individuals and people expecting justice as services to the poor has been influenced.  The accusations are that projects that should have improved the life of the poor were targeted and looted by people in power.

    South Africa cannot afford these types of political conflict as it can easily lead to violence.  Please pray for calm during this month of various pending court cases.

    President Eliki Bonanga of the Church of the Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) wrote:

    1. Please pray for the political consultation initiated by President Tshisekedi: That these consultations lead to strengthen the peace and security of the country, good governance and the social welfare of the population.

    2. The COVID-19 pandemic has adverse consequences on our populations. Please pray that a vaccine be found as quickly as possible and that our government can do its best to ensure that people benefit from it for free. In the meantime, let our populations be aware that this is a real disease.

    3. CDCC prays to God that the number of cases of COVID-19 that are causing the deaths of thousands of God's children around the world may decrease. Let this pandemic simply be eradicated.

    President Dr. Samuel Ngayihembako of the Baptist Community in Central Africa (CBCA) wrote from Goma in the eastern DR Congo:

    Please pray for the population suffering from human rights violations, insecurity, killings resulting from conflicts and war. Pray also for economic hardships caused by the Covid-19.

    1.         There are areas where rebels and militia groups are active in the two provinces, North and South Kivu. Despite advocacy and lobbying actions, insecurity and killings have not yet come to an end in different parts, particularly in Beni city where presumed Islamic Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU) militia decimate human life, cause massive displacements of people and paralyze all activities from time to time. Recently, more than 1,300 inmates escaped from a prison in Beni, during an early morning jailbreak. Now, they are thought to be authors of theft and killings in rural and urban areas of North and South Kivu. Cases of torture and sexual violence against civilians have been documented during the last months.

    2.         There have been people’s unrest, human rights violations and lack of confidence between ethnic groups in Minembwe Commune,  South Kivu. Through the CBCA, UEM deployed an emergency support to support the victims but the need is still big.

    3.         With the COVID-19 outbreak, the CBCA adopted worship in single, grouped families and worship at parishes with many services to avoid crowding which can be a way of spreading the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted negatively economic life. Some people who used to earn their lives through activities requiring travels abandoned those activities because of COVID-19 restrictions. The current inflation of the national currency “Congolese Franc” also affects economy. As far as the COVID-19 cases are concerned, the North Kivu province ranks second after Kinshasa the capital city. But the number of cases is decreasing. To date, the general situation of coronavirus in D.R. Congo is as follows: Number of cases: 11, 066; Deaths: 303; Recovered: 10 362.

    4.         The economic situation deteriorates while diverse mineral resources are illegally exploited and smuggled by foreign companies and multinationals, leaving behind various human rights violations and abject poverty in the exploited areas.

    As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) we request for the following prayers:

    Bishop Sageus Keib of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) wrote:

    Covid-19 and prayers for those who are mourning

    In Namibia and across all continents the whole human family is in turmoil, burdened with illness and fear and facing death and funerals of their beloved while families are mourning. During the these challenging times of COVID-19 the ministry the Church and its workers are not of  being on “holidays”  but to be there as the comforters. In Matthew 21:22 we read: Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” We ask for prayers directed to God of life who promised to be with us, especially as we are facing COVID-19 and death among our Church members and families. We ask for prayers from our partner Churches as we are facing COVID-19 while it is spreading and many are dying and to protect us all from being infected.

    School closure and reopening due to covid-19 and final examinations for our learners and students across namibia

    One of the biggest effects of COVID-19 is that it has resulted in the closure of our educational institutions across Namibia. Our Primary and Secondary Schools as well as Institutions of Higher Learning such as the Universities, including Paulinum Seminary, have been closed most of the 2020 Academic Year. By God’s grace it has been reopened after assessment on the prevalence of COVID-19 and while it has significantly been reduced. Now, our learners and students are preparing for the FINAL EXAMINATIONS. We are requesting from our member Churches to carry our learners and students while preparing for such final examination that God provides and give them wisdom to pass all their respective final examinations.

    Regional councils and local authorities elections

    Namibia is a democratic country and its Constitution, Article 103 and 111 dictates that there shall be regional councils and local authority’s elections after five years. On 25 November 2020 such elections shall take place. We are requesting for prayers that such elections be free, fair, impartial, peaceful, and be accepted by all participating political parties and candidates.

    Border tension between namibia and botswana

    The two southern African neighbouring countries are trying hard to maintain civilised diplomatic ties amid growing public pressure on Namibia to condemn the recent killing of four of its citizens by the Botswana army on suspicion that they were poachers.  The citizens of Namibia want their government to confront Botswana on its alleged “shoot to kill” approach of people they suspect to be poachers. The four Namibian men were killed along the Chobe River last Thursday. We request for prayers that this crisis be resolved peacefully.

    Early and unintended pregnancies (eup) and gender based violence

    Namibia is going through two types of crises, namely Early and unintended pregnancies (EUP) and Gender Based Violence (GBV). EUP are a public health concern as well as spiritual and moral concern among us as Christians and Christian churches. EUP is highly prevalent in Namibia and remains a huge challenge for Namibia with a pregnancy and childbearing prevalence of 19% among girls aged 15 to 19 years.

    At the same time there is tremendous increase on Gender Based Violence (GBV). Since Namibia’s independence in 1990, the country has been admired both at home and abroad, as a beacon of stability, peace, and security. It is therefore regrettable that hardly a day passes without reports of murder, rape, beatings, or other forms of violence against women and girls at the hands of men. These sickening acts are taking place in all parts of the country, involving perpetrators and victims of all ages. Pray for us so that such acts of GBV be ended today.

    A strong rise in Gender Based Violence is also reported by Evangelism Contact Person Rev. Onalenna Kaartze in Botswana. She reported orally that due to an increase of COVID-19 cases, there are still many restrictions on movements and gatherings in Botswana. As many people have lost their jobs and income, violence against women is on the rise. Almost every day, a woman is killed, and cases of rape are also increasing. Please also pray for Botswana.

    And finally, please pray for several synods:

    Simalungun Christian Protestant Church (GKPS) is currently holding its synod meeting online to elect its new church leadership (Ephorus, Gensec, etc). The current Ephorus, Rev. Rumanja Purba would like UEM family to pray for the succesful online synod meeting of GKPS.

    The synod of the Northeastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-NED) is scheduled for next week and will also elect a new church leadership.

    Please also pray for the synod assembly of BNKP on Nias Island which will be held next week.

    May God richly bless you!

  • Prayer Alert - November 11, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    We received two prayer requests today from Africa which we want to share with you immediately.

    1.     Evangelical Church of Cameroon:

    The Rev. Prof. Jean Samuel HENDJE TOYA, EEC General President, writes the following:

    Greetings from the Evangelical Church of Cameroon.

    Through this alert, I would appreciate your prayers for the following issues:

    - The restoration of peace in my country;

    - More people awareness about the dangers of COVID-19;

    -  And the successful implementation of the reconciliation program within the Evangelical Church of Cameroon.

    1- As you may have watched on international television broadcasts or read on social media, the conflict that started more than three years ago between separatist fighters and the Cameroon army has not come to an end yet. On the contrary, it has taken a different turn with new strategies adopted by belligerents: the kidnapping and killing of civilians. According to the Cameroon Minister in Charge of Communication who is also the spokesperson of the government, these woeful acts are being perpetrated by the separatists. Just a few weeks ago, there was an assault in a Christian high school, leading to the death of seven young students. This brutal and horrible attack sparked shock, dismay and anger among the whole population. Many people throughout the country protested in streets against the killings of such innocent children whose crime had been to go to school. Last week, one of Cameroon’s religious icons, Cardinal Christian Tumi and a local traditional chief were abducted by the terrorists. Thanks God, the Cardinal was released a few days ago, while the chief is still not to be found. When will this end?

    2- As far as COVID-19 is concerned, we are facing a rather surprising situation: while many European and American countries are under lockdown as a measure to address the upsurge of the pandemic, in Africa we are rather experiencing a weakening of barrier measures: citizens tend to believe that the pandemic has less effect on them. The government reports a rise in positive cases, as well as a high increase in successful treatments. Based on these reports, many citizens consider COVID-19 as a declining pandemic that is less harmful. This assumption is wrong as we know that the pandemic is still there. It’s real and it kills. Our population needs to be more sensitized on this threat.

    3- Concerning the Evangelical Church of Cameroon, I do appreciate your support and prayers. The church has embarked in a peace process since last June. Reconciliatory meetings have started in the three church main cultural groups. Pastoral meetings have started too and will continue in the above mentioned groups, followed by a national pastoral meeting. Each group is tasked to come up with concrete end-of-crisis proposals that will be submitted to an extraordinary general synod to be convened later on.

    So dear Sisters and Brothers,

    I look forward to your prayers to help us find ways to restore peace in the war-torn regions in Cameroon and within the Church and contribute to the mitigation of the spread of the pandemic in my country.

    2.     The ELCT- North Eastern Diocese (NED) in Tanzania:

    For some months, there has been a difficult situation in the NED leadership.

    The ELCT Presiding Bishop Dr Frederick Shoo writes:

    We have come to a point where both the Church and Government have to intervene, to see that a new NED leadership is at place. We have created a special committee to plan and oversee the process of calling the General Assembly and election of a new leadership. The committee  includes the ELCT Head office, three retired bishops and two from the government. There have been several consultative meetings with the Government, retiring  Bishop Dr Stephen  Munga, his office and the NED-Change Group. It has been agreed that the NED leadership has to step aside to allow free and fair elections. The General Assembly is planned to take place on 25-27th November”.

    Please keep the NED in prayers.

    Thank you and God bless you!

    Please note that the next scheduled UEM Prayer Alert will be sent out on Friday, 20 November 2020.



  • Prayer Alert - November 6, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today, we again have prayer requests from all three continents of the UEM community.


    Please continue to pray for Tanzania as President John Magufuli was sworn in for his second term yesterday 5th November 2020.

    Here is a statement from the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs on the situation:

    “The Tanzanian National Electoral Commission and Zanzibar Electoral Commission have declared the results of the elections. 

    Election day was well organized and peaceful in many parts of the country. Nonetheless, the European Union (EU) notes with regret the disruption of social media  before, on and after election day, claims of opposition candidates that they did not benefit from a level playing field during the electoral process, as well as the limited possibilities for electoral observation. Reports of irregularities in some districts are also raising concern. These serious allegations have an impact on the transparency and overall credibility of the process. They should be processed through legal means of redress.

    In Zanzibar, tensions were reported, with deadly violence, including allegations of excessive use of force by State organs. The EU hopes that it will be possible to lay the foundation for a sustainable reconciliation between all stakeholders, in order to contribute to long-lasting peace and stability in the archipelago.

    The EU encourages an open, constructive and inclusive dialogue between the Government of Tanzania, opposition political parties and civil society, and recognizes peaceful expressions of opinions as essential to multi-party democracy and civic freedoms.

    Tanzania has a strong record of stability, peaceful cohabitation and tolerance among its people. The EU and Tanzania have a long history of good relations, and the EU reaffirms its preparedness to contribute to joint next steps for political dialogue and economic cooperation”.

    In reference to the above European Union statement, the UEM Executive Secretary for Africa, Rev. Dr. John Wesley Kabango, writes: Let us commit Tanzania and the entire population in God’s hands. Please pray for justice, peace, and tolerance and against the spirit of vengeance. May God be present to ensure basic human rights to all people in Tanzania.

    Please give thanks with us for the improved COVID-19 situation in Namibia. Rev. Mark Beukes wrote earlier this week:

    We are doing good in Namibia. The Corona virus seems like being under control in Namibia. Very few new infections and for the last two to three weeks we had no deaths. In the northern part of the country the new cases are still a little bit high, but not as it was in the capital and at the coast. The state of emergency has been lifted and the restrictions are not that severe anymore. We thank God for that.

    Please join us in prayers for Sri Lanka. In late October, parliament there passed an amendment to the constitution which gives the president a lot more power and weakens the independence of the judiciary.

    And finally, please pray for us here in Europe. The second wave of Corona infections is hitting us much worse than the first one, and different kinds of lockdowns and contact restrictions are now in power over much of the continent. Please also pray that despite Islamist terror attacks and growing right wing mobilization Europeans will not succumb to hatred, but live together in peace and tolerance.

    Thank you for your prayers, and may God bless you richly!

  • Prayer Alert - October 30, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today, we have prayer requests from all three continents of the UEM community.


    Germany will go into a partial lockdown beginning Monday, 2 November, for four weeks, as the number of infected people is increasing very quickly and hospitals are starting to fill up. Schools, kindergartens and most shops will stay open, but restaurants, pubs, and all cultural and sports venues have to close. Tourist travel within the country is forbidden, and private meetings are strongly discouraged.

    There is a lot of debate about these measures and it remains to be seen what effect they will have. Please pray for a spirit of solidarity and responsibility among the people in the country.

    As of last night, the entire Western Province of Sri Lanka has gone into a quarantine curfew till 2nd November. Most of the fishing community and free trade zone workers living in this area. Rev. Ramesh Fernando writes:

    Now the quarantine centers are full. No beds left. Now they keep the suspected cases in their own places. They take them to hospital only if the PCR test is positive. Doctors are calling for a lockdown of the whole country, but the government is not doing it because of the economy. Many are suffering without food. A Buddhist monk called me today and asked for some food. I will deliver it to him tomorrow. Please pray for us as we are working to help people.

    Irma Simanjuntak, officer for advocacy in the UEM Asia office in Pematang Siantar, writes about the situation in Indonesia:

    As of October 29, the government has reported 404.048 persons with confirmed COVID-19 infections since the first case on March 2, 2020. Every day, the are more than 3000 new cases (source: This number has increased drastically.

    Since March 2020, Indonesia government has closed schools. Some of students are learning by. They have access to internet connections especially in urban areas. But, there are also many students who cannot learn due to limited internet and transportation access.

    Worship services have been possible since July 2020 with strict health protocols. This situation affects the churches’ income as they have to continue to pay salaries, electricity, water, internet etc. The economic situation also affects the member churches income. We thank the Lord for various creative effort of churches in Indonesia to help one another.

    In Jakarta, large scale social restrictions (semi lock down) have been extended until November 8, 2020. Not only in Jakarta, but also in some other big cities. We don’t know when the pandemic will end, we pray that God gives us strength to go through this situation.

    Further prayer requests concerning Indonesia:

    Large demonstrations are continuing against a new labor law that was passed by parliament on October 5, pressuring the president not to sign it. The bill is aimed at relaxing Indonesia's complex web of business, labor and environmental laws in an attempt to attract investment and stimulate the economy. But protesters, including many religious leaders, say that the law is threatening the lives of marginalized groups such as workers, poor farmers and poor urban society and indigenous communities. Rev. Dr. Dyah Ayu Krismawati, UEM Executive Secretary Asia, asks us to pray that demonstrations will remain peaceful and not further COVID-19 infections, and that the government will make wise decisions.

    Leaders of eight Indonesian UEM churches have written an open letter to President Joko Widodo to stop the criminalization of indigenous peoples.

    Irma Simanjuntak writes: The churches’ leaders urge the government to immediately revoke permits for companies present in the lands of indigenous people that have the potential to destroy the environment and agrarian conflict. They are asking the Indonesian Parliament to immediately ratify the Draft Law on Indigenous Peoples as the legal umbrella for the recognize and protection of indigenous peoples.

    Please pray for the churches in Indonesia and their efforts to recognize and protect indigenous people.


    Rev. Marcela Alegojoyo writes: Please pray for farmers here in the Northern part of the country. Crops are rotting with the continuous rain and great floods over residences and rice fields, and mud slides covering mountains and streets. It makes life more miserable aside from the pandemic.

    Tanzania national elections:

    According to the BBC, the main opposition candidate, Tundu Lissu, has said that he will not accept the result of Wednesday’s voting because of voting irregularities. The Electoral Commission has rejected claims of voting fraud. Counting continues, and first results show a huge lead for President Magufuli.

    Please pray for a fair and peaceful outcome of the elections, that the expected result will not lead to more tension, but will serve peace and reconciliation, press freedom and human rights.

    A prayer from the Mission House virtual devotion yesterday:

    Under your blessing let me grow,

    Inside and outside, as you want me to be.

    Under your blessing let me grow

    So that I can fulfill what you created me for

    And blessed me, from the beginning.


  • Prayer Alert - October 23, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today our focus is again on the COVID-19 situation.

    As you may have learnt from the news, Europe is facing rapidly rising infection rates, with curfews, regional lockdowns and even some border closures being implemented to slow the spread of illness.

    In Germany as of today, about half of the country (and all major cities) are considered high incidence area. The number of intensive care patients with COVID-19 is rising fast, but hospitals are well-prepared and there is no shortage of ICU beds.

    Rules about what is allowed (i.e. how many people are allowed to meet indoors) and what is forbidden change often and depend on where you are, making many people less willing to comply. Warning that a second lockdown may become necessary are growing louder. Church people worry about whether and how we will be able to worship on Christmas. We thank God for great creativity in finding new forms of church life, but also ask you to pray for people as exhaustion is setting in.

    This morning, we heard from Evangelism Contact Person Rev. Venant Ntakirutimana that life in Rwanda has gone back to almost normal, but that most churches remain closed as they are not able to fulfil very strict government regulations for reopening. In Shyogwe Diocese of the Anglican Church, only nine of more than 100 church buildings have re-opened so far.

    Evangelism Contact Person Rev. Ramesh Fernando told us this morning that a large area near Colombo including the Katunayake Free Trade Zone is under lockdown due to a high number of new cases. The Kal Eliya Bible School of the Methodist Church is also affected by this. The Methodist Church has been distributing food aid to people under lockdown and in quarantine who do not have an income if they cannot work.

    Evangelism Contact Persons from Tanzania and Cameroon report that life is going on as usual. In Tanzania, people gather for large events and in churches without any precautions, but there seem to be very few infections. In Cameroon, people are called to take precautions but often cannot do so due to poverty. Nevertheless, the country also does not see many infections.

    We thank God that in Mbandaka/DR Congo, there seem to be no further Ebola cases. Life is also returning to normal.

    Please pray for church workers in Africa and Asia whose salaries depend on Sunday offerings and the ability of their local congregation to support them that God will provide for them and their families.

    Please also continue to pray for Papua. On October 7, church leaders from Papua, among them Rev. Andrikus Mofu, president of UEM member church GKI-TP, sent an open letter to the Indonesian president calling for an end of the militarization of Papua and the land-grabbing connected to this. They also urged the president to enter into dialogue with the Papuan ‘Pro Referendum Group’, and to ensure an independent investigation into the murder of Rev. Yeremia Zanambani in September this year.

  • Prayer Alert - October 9, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    COVID-19 is the focus again of our prayer alert today.

    Rev. Onalenna Kaartze writes from Botswana: Please pray for my country. Covid-19 cases are increasing daily. And we are also experiencing an increasing no of gender based violence. For the past months women were being killed in an increasingly high numbers. Rape cases are also worrisome mostly to minors. The number of active cases in Botswana has climbed to 2,367, with 120 new infections within the last days. This is very scary for our small population.

    Bishop Elson Lingga from GKPPD also asks the UEM community for prayers. The number of COVID-19 infected people in the area where the church is serving (Dairi, Pakpak Bharat and Aceh Singkil in northern Sumatra) is increasing. The church wants to hold its synod, but is still waiting for permission from the local government to do so.

    Rev. Ramesh Fernando writes from Sri Lanka: Please pray for Sri Lanka. Again we are facing the challenge of COVID-19. This time, this mostly affects the Free Trade Zone employees. Now, almost 14,000 workers are under lockdown. This means no daily wages for people in Katunayaka, Minuwangoda, Diulapitiya, Katana and Seeduwa areas. This time it is complicated because the authorities could not yet find the starting point of the infections.

    In Germany, the number of COVID-19 infections is also rising rapidly. As of yesterday, Wuppertal is declared a hotspot (more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people in 7 days). The UEM office continues to function with many people in home office and compulsory mask-wearing in all public areas and during meetings.

    Indonesia: The leaders of GKPS, BNKP, GKPPD, GPKB, HKI, HKBP and GKPA are among the signatories of an open letter to the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo. The letter, sent from the National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation, laments the fact that in the fight against COVID-19, many church buildings have been closed and are now being declared illegal by local governments in violation of the Indonesian constitution. In some instances, people have even been prevented from gathering in private homes to watch a live-streamed worship service. The letter calls on the Indonesian president to continue to work in the spirit of tolerance, and to bring to justice those who violate the rights of others to religious freedom.


    The Morning Prayer for today from the World Council of Churches office in Geneva:

    Almighty God, we begin this day with you mindful that our help comes from you. Grant us your aid as we seek to bear witness to the Gospel. And as we do, may we be used as your divine instruments giving hope to a hurting world. May our faith be cemented in the finished work of Christ, who conquered death and the grave. May our love for humanity be sincere, as we love in the same way that you do – unconditionally...

  • Prayer Alert - September 4, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brother,

    Today, we ask you to focus your prayers on the DR Congo, particularly the South Kivu Region.

    We have been alerted to massive and credible threats against the life of Dr. Denis Mukwege who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. Dr. Mukwege is a gynecologist and director of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, and also a preacher in his local congregation of the Community of Pentecostal Churches in Central Africa (CEPAC).

    Dr. Mukwege, who has become well-known for his work treating women who were sexually assaulted, had called for instigators of violence in the Southern Kivu to be brought to justice. The Church of Christ in Congo has called for Dr. Mukwege to be protected not only by the civil and military authorities, but also by MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping troops in the area.

    Please pray for the protection of Dr. Mukwege and also for the protection of Panzi Hospital and the many women who are being treated there. Please also pray for peace in the Southern Kivu area.


    Please give thanks to God for the city of Palermo in Italy which has agreed to take in the 354 refugees who were rescued by the Seawatch 4, the rescue vessel sent by Christians and churches in Germany. We also give thanks for the British artist Banksy who has outfitted and sent a second rescue vessel to the Mediterranean. Please ask God to bless the people of Palermo who have shown mercy, and to bless and strengthen the refugees who now have to build a new life in a foreign country.



    Please pray for Indonesia and the Philippines. Both countries continue to report high numbers of new infections every day. Please pray for the churches working under difficult and lockdown conditions, and for all the people whose livelihood is threatened by the disease and the measures to fight it.

    Please also pray for the churches in Rwanda. With tough government regulations, only a minority of buildings could so far be re-opened for worship.


    A prayer from Pakistan:

    O God, creator and all-powerful,

    You have promised strength to the weak,

    Times of rest to the workers,

    Light for our path,

    Grace for those who have been accused,

    Help from above,

    Never-ending love.

    O God, creator and all-powerful,

    Help us to walk our path

    Trusting your promises.


    Please note that the next UEM Prayer Alert will be sent out on September 18.

  • Prayer Alert - August 28, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Two weeks ago, this prayer alert informed you about the rescue vessel Seawatch 4 which was financed by Christians and churches from Germany to save refugees in the Mediterranean. As of this week, this boat has already rescued more than 200 people from small boats, many of them sick and/or injured by leaking fuel. The crew is now trying to find a harbor in the European Union that will allow these people to be processed as refugees, but so far without any success. Please pray that God will soften the hearts of politicians and take away their fear of racist backlashes, so that they will allow these men, women and children to start a new life in a safe place. Please pray that wherever these refugees will end up, they will be made welcome.



    Let us give thanks:

    • For the slowing of the outbreak in Africa, as the WHO reports:

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the WHO African Region has continued to slow down, as seen in the past two weeks. Since our last External Situation Report 24 issued on 12 August 2020, a total of 56 508 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2 071 new deaths were reported. This is a 25% decrease in cases as compared to the previous reporting period (5 - 11 August 2020). Although South Africa reported majority of the new cases, it also continues to record a remarkable downward trajectory in trend with 42% fewer cases. Downward trends are seen in the DR Congo and Cameroon as well.

    • For children who act in creative solidarity:

    In Wuppertal, two 10-year old girls organized a small flea market in their backyard. In temperatures reaching 35 degrees centigrade, they raised 200 Euro for UEM’s United Against COVID-19 program.


    Let us pray for the Philippines, Indonesia, Namibia and Rwanda where the number of new confirmed cases is increasing.

    Newspaper reports describe how badly the poor, and particularly slum dwellers, have been hit by lockdown measures in the Philippines. Many of them have lost their jobs; unemployment may be as high as 45% in the country. The cutting of all long distance traffic has stranded thousands in Manila. People who may have houses and some land outside of the metropolis cannot get there and are reduced to living in the streets of the capital and begging.


    And for all of us, a prayer lifted from Facebook this week:

  • Prayer Alert - August 21, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today we ask you to especially pray for the Philippines.

    On 17 August, Zara Alvarez, a 39-nine year old human rights activist, was shot dead in Bacalod City, Negros. Zara, who was well known to many in UEM, had received threats for many years. She was labelled as a terrorist, and between 2012 and 2014, she was detained under false accusations. Though free again, she was continually harassed and threatened, living under enormous pressure until she was murdered this week. Zara is survived by a young daughter.

    We are deeply shocked about this killing and condemn this ruthless crime.

    We ask you for prayers for the family and friends of Zara Alvarez, that God will strengthen, comfort and protect them.


    On August 13, “Wanted” posters appeared in Davao City, naming nine persons, among them UCCP Bishop Hamuel G. Tequis, as suspected communists. In another recent incident, Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza and Rev. Irma Balaba of the UCCP were named as communists on a widely spread Philippine Facebook page. This so-called “red-tagging” is seen as a call to vigilante groups to threaten and kill the persons named, and it has also been happening to lay members of the UCCP who are active in NGOs.

    The UCCP through the Council of Bishops has issued a statement of condemnation on this trend that government military officers are using to harass and persecute the church. The UCCP Jurisdictional officers conduct dialogues with government officials and military commanders to stop this. 

    Please pray for the church workers and Bishops who have been labelled as terrorists by the government and fear for their lives. May God strengthen and protect them! And please pray for the ongoing dialogues, that God will change the hearts of those who are persecuting the church.


    We also ask your prayers for the villagers living in the vicinity of the Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra, and for the church people who are assisting them. Rev. Agustinus P. Purba, Ephorus of the Karo Batak Church (GBKP) writes:

    The latest situation related to the eruption of Sinabung recently is still difficult. There is no one living in the shelter anymore since our government has provided the new relocation places for displaced people from Sinabung.

    But the problem now faced by the surrounding community is the damage of agricultural lands. All the crops have failed because they were covered by the thick ashes of Sinabung. In the midst of the Covid - 19 pandemic, the only hope and expectation of the community is from the agricultural products, but now there will be no harvest. This will seriously worsen the economic crisis already faced by the community surrounding Sinabung.

    Please pray that God will strengthen Karo people in facing this hard situation. Luckily, there is no more wave of evacuation, and people need not live in a shelter in this pandemic of COVID-19.

    Thank you for your kind attention and prayer.




    Rev. Mark Beukes writes from Namibia: Walvisbay is no longer the epicentre but Windhoek. We have a decline in positive cases for the whole week already and in Windhoek and the rest of the country, especially in Windhoek there is a drastic increase in positive cases which is of big concern. Next week Friday the president will have to give new directions since the whole country is now in stage 3. The discussion on the situation of schools are on. The question is must the school year be cancelled or not. Walvisbay, Swakopmund and Arandis had their last school for pre-school to grade 9 on the 20th of March. Ever since they had no school. Grade 10-12 started the one after the other with grade 10 now in some schools back since one week. It is a scary situation.


    Rev. Dr. Marthe Maleke Kondemo, Evangelism Contact Person in Equateur/DR Congo, reminds us not only to pray for the victims of COVID-19, but also to pray for healing for those suffering from Ebola, Malaria, and other infectious diseases.


    Excerpts from “Summer Psalm” by Hanns Dieter Hüsch


    We pray for silent months.

    That God, our Lord, will take the shouting from the world

    And decree silence.

    That includes that he will take the weapons from the hands of the warriors.

    And that he will take away the hopelessness of those without jobs.

    That he will not allow the mighty to become Mafiosi.

    May God, our Lord, bless this silence.

    Lord, we urge you: Do it!

    Allow our hearts to breathe

    And our eyes to calm down

    And our ears to listen properly.

    And again we ask our Lord

    To bless this our prayer everywhere and immediately

    Because it is needed right now and for evermore.

    Thank you and Amen.


  • Prayer Alert - August 14, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    In addition to COVID-19, there are many other issues which need our prayers.

    Today, I would like to begin with Germany:

    The rescue ship Sea-Watch 4, purchased by a crowdfund led by the Evangelical Church in Germany, is starting to operate today in the Mediterranean Sea to help migrants attempting to reach Europe from North Africa.

    Sea-Watch 4 is to set sail from the Spanish Burriana, less than one year after a petition was published by the 12th Synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany asking the church council to continue to campaign for sea rescue, communal reception, safe escape routes, fair asylum procedures and legal migration opportunities.

    “We ask for God’s blessing on the crew of Sea-Watch 4 and on their important mission. May each of us, too, become a vessel of hope and instruments of peace for our neighbours,” said Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, interim general secretary of the World Council of Churches.

    With work to convert the old research vessel into a sea rescue ship completed, the crew can finally set out to their first mission. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in Spain, it was delayed almost four months.

    Since the end of all state-sponsored rescue operations, only private ships have been sailing in the Mediterranean to rescue people who have fled from distress at sea. It is estimated that around 400 people have drowned in the Mediterranean in 2020. Such reality hurts many Christians.

    “One does not let any single human drown, period,” said Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairperson of the Evangelical Church in Germany, during the ceremony that launched the mission last February, in the city of Kiel.

    The fundraising efforts that enable Sea-Watch 4 to be ready to operate started last December, with a campaign of the alliance called "United4Rescue" named #WirSchickenEinSchiff (“We send a ship”).

    The coalition initiated by the Evangelical Church in Germany presently gathers more than 500 supporting organizations, ranging from congregations and student groups to diaconal agencies as well as secular partners.


    But rescuing people in the Mediterranean is not the only issue surrounding refugees in Germany. With news of horrible overcrowding in refugee camps particularly in Greece, several cities and states in Germany have volunteered to take in a number of refugees for resettlement. But Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, keeps prohibiting this despite public pressure.

    Please pray that God will guide politicians in Germany and Europe to do what is right in God’s eyes, and that he will soften their hearts towards the suffering refugees.


    Natural disasters have affected two member churches this week. In Sumatra/Indonesia, the Sinabung volcano has erupted once again, showering surrounding villages with ash and stones, turning day into night, frightening people in the vicinity.


    And coastal Tanzania was shaken on Wednesday by a strong and unusal earthquake. Rev. Earnest Kadiva writes from the Regional Office in Dar es salaam:

    A very strong dangerous earthquake was felt along the coast of Tanzania on Wednesday 12 August 2020 17:13 UTC. According to United States Geological Survey (USGS) the epicenter was located about 80 kilometer south-east of Dar es Salaam. Moderate intensities were recorded across Dar es Salaam and on Zanzibar Island. Had the quake occurred closer to the shore, it probably would have had a much more severe outcome. However, due to the distance between epicenter and coast, there are no reports of serious damage or injuries.

    People in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar Island, and other nearby coastal areas felt moderate to strong shaking. There were light to moderate damage, depending on the quality of structures to resist shaking, such as broken windows and roof poorly built.

    We thank God for His care and protection.


    Updates about the COVID-19 situation:

    In Namibia, Windhoek, Rehoboth, Okahandja, Walvisbay, Swakopmund and Arandis are now under lockdown with a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Travel to and from these towns is forbidden. The rest of the country functions normally, though with social distancing and hygiene measures.

    In Rwanda, Cyangugu and Kigeme continue under lockdown. The bishops of the two dioceses of the Anglican Church in Rwanda ask for our prayers for the people there.

    Churches are set to re-open for worship this Sunday in Equateur Province in the DR Congo.

    The number of new infections in South Africa is finally going down.


    COVID-19 statistics:

    As these figures only show tested and registered cases, they only give a limited picture of what is really happening in the world. But we still report them as they give us an idea about trends and developments.

    Worldwide, about 250,000 new cases are identified every day. This number has not grown within the last two weeks.

    Three countries make up for almost two thirds of daily infections: India, Brazil and the USA. Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Mexico also have high numbers of positive cases every day.


    New infections on August 13

    Active COVID-19 cases on August 19

    New infections on August 6

    Active COVID-19 cases on August 6

    South Africa




























    No figure given





    No figure given


    Hong Kong





    DR Congo










    Sri Lanka    






    No figures are given by Tanzania.

  • Prayer Alert - August 7, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    After a three-week break, here are updates about the COVID-19 situation around the UEM member churches.

    Africa Region

    Rev. Stephen Pedro writes from the Uniting Reformed Church in South Africa (URCSA):

    We are continuing the COVID-19 fight.

    In our province, the Western Cape, the numbers are stabilizing and the death toll came down considerably in comparison with some of the other provinces.

    I think most South Africans understand the importance of masking and sanitizing.

    Our schools are closed from 24 July till 24 August.

    URCSA congregations still haven't start with Sunday services but all congregations are slowly returning back to some sort of normality with church offices that are open, etc.

    On synod level we are preparing for our Synodical Commission Meeting 25th August. On congregational and synodical level we are having difficult conversations about congregations who cannot pay their ministers salaries and vacant posts that cannot be filled.

    Otherwise we keep the faith and hope for better days again.


    On July 27, Bishop Assiel Musabyimana of Kigeme Diocese of the Anglican Church in Rwanda (EAR) told UEM about a new lockdown in his region with dire consequences. He wrote:

    Today Kigeme area is locked down again, because of 7 Covid-19 cases found there and the government took strong measures to manage the situation. We thank God for that because if those measures were not taken the spread of coronavirus could be uncontrollable, and the Diocese working in rural area were the people are not well equipped to fight the pandemic could face catastrophic damage than being under lockdown. Nevertheless the effect of this lockdown is huge: In other place nationwide they are enjoying Sunday services of course under plenty restrictions but in Kigeme it is not the case, secondly being inside the houses for a long time without having access to market and to our daily activities: economic, social and physical is affecting our spiritual and economic life.

    These are some diocesan services severely affected: The diocesan office is closed, the staff are not going to work for the time we don’t know, which will depend on the ministry of health decision. Kigeme hospital is partly closed; it is receiving solely emergence cases like surgical and serious accident; the majority off hospital staff are under isolation because two of their colleagues were tested positive of Covid-19. Kigeme refugee camp is also under lockdown because of 8 Covid-19 cases found in the camp, and now the people are locked down and this is bringing about starvation. Kigeme secondary school both A and B are places of isolation, all the shops are closed including those selling food items. In short, the measures are strong depending on the gravity of the problem, they are needed, but also unbearable. People are hungry and our prayer is to see this lockdown ending so that the government may ease the restriction. We always appreciate your intervention in dealing with this, your prayers always needed.


    As Marcel Sebahire reports, in other areas in Rwanda, churches have started to re-open for worship on July 19 after 127 days of closure. As churches need to fulfil a number of safety requirements to be allowed to resume worship services, the process will take some time.


    Christine Musongya, head of the Department for Diaconia and Development of the Baptist Community in Central Africa (CBCA), reports that members of their congregation in Kampala are mostly refugees who are facing severe problems due to the lockdown. There is very little government help, and, with funding from UEM, the church has started to provide food relief and hygiene items to 250 refugee families.


    Rev. Dr. Marthe Maleke Kondemo writes from Equateur Province in the DR Congo:

    The problem here is Ebola. The number is increasing, there are now 68 confirmed cases and 21 deaths. Now it is not only in Mbandaka but in different places within the region.

    The big fear is that people do not want to get vaccinated. In many cases, when a suspected person dies, there is a fight between the family and friends of the deceased who want to take the body with the government. They want their relatives to be buried in a normal coffin, not plastic bag and have normal funeral. A majority of people still believe that these illnesses are a government invention to get money. They don’t care if it is Ebola or another decease that can take life, any way as they say, no one will escape death.

    Many people are dying at home due to fear of going to the hospital. There are rumors that suspected people are given an injection to increase the number of deaths. The situation is increasing poverty, violence and crime especially among youth. With the actual situation, hunger might kill more than corona and Ebola.

    People often do not know how to survive in this situation. Schools were supposed to resume last Monday, 3 August, but this has now been postponed to next Monday, the 10th. If there will be no changes, churches will reopen on the 15 of this month.

    Please pray for people to be conscious of the actual situation that Ebola and Corona are real.


    Rev. Mark Beukes wrote from Namibia on August 5:

    We in Walvisbay, Swakopmund and Arandis are still under lockdown. Gatherings are allowed only with 10 persons. Schools for grade 11 and 12 started respectively last week and this week. In the whole country schools were closed again for the whole of August.

    Walvisbay is still regarded as the epicentre. We are sitting in front of the radio now, because every day at 15h00 they give an update. Today, there were 12 deaths, of which 9 were in Walvis, 2 in Windhoek and 1 in Swakop. Positive cases over 2000 of which 90% in Walvis. However cases are increasing rapidly in Windhoek. We are not allowed to travel to the rest of the country. Recoveries are very slow. Just over 100 recoveries so far. They released n big number of people, but did not announce it yet. People are waiting very long for their results. It seems that the pandemic seems to really start now in Namibia. We need your divine prayer intervention.


    Asia Region

    Rev. Petrus Sugito, Deputy Executive Secretary Asia, reports from the UEM Asia Regional Office in Pematang Siantar/Indonesia:

    1. The general situation of Indonesia is that it is still a red zone of the Coronavirus outbreak. There are 116.871 people (73.809 people cured and 5.452 people died) confirmed positive infected the virus at 7.30pm Pematang Siantar time on August 5, 2020. Last week, the positivity rate in Jakarta was around 7.8 percent, meaning that according to WHO standards, it is not safe, because the WHO maximum safe standard is 5%.

    This happened for one reason: The lack of mass awareness about self-prevention. Therefore, recently Indonesia President Joko Widodo launched a presidential instruction in order to raise mass awareness on self-prevention by using face masks, physical distancing, washing hands or using hand sanitizer as often as possible, and keeping healthy by consuming healthy food. It is a change for the churches to take part in the raising of mass awareness.

    Indonesian economic growth in 2nd quarter 2020 is minus 5.32%. This is a sign that “people's purchasing power”, particularly of the middle and lower class is decreasing, because income is also decreasing and the rate of unemployment is increasing. Please pray for the Indonesian churches to be able to do transformative diaconia to help people.

    Biofarma, a state-owned enterprises and the medical department of Padjadjaran State University in Bandung are going to do a 3rd Corona Virus vaccine test in August. The government plans to produce 250 million doses by the end of 2020.


    1. UEM member churches HKBP, GKPS, HKI, GKPI, GKPPD, and GBKP plan to conduct general synod assemblies to elect church leaders. They need our support in prayer in order to be able conduct the assemblies successfully, safely and healthy in midst of the pandemic.


    1. MCSL: Rev. Asiri Perera will go out and Rev. Ebenezer Joseph will come in as MCSL president in August 2020. Rev. Asiri Perera is going into retirement.


    Rev. Homar Distajo adds on the situation in the Philippines:

    As of August 4, 2020, Philippines has 112, 593 total cases. There are 44,429 active cases and 66,049 recoveries. The President ordered the re-implementation of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), following the sudden rise of cases. Specific affected areas for MECQ are Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Region 4. A strong appeal came from the frontliners who asked for help as many in their ranks are getting infected and dying. The frontliners are medical health workers, including doctors, nurses, and volunteer health workers.


    Rev. Tulus Suprianto sent this e-mail from central Java for the GKJTU Synod Board:

    In Ecclesiastes 3: 11a, “He has made everything beautiful in its time ...”, we believe that there must be something beautiful that God has provided for us in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The current condition of Indonesia in general is still not so good. The Covid-19 chain is also still strongly connected. Various attempts have been made by the Government to break the Covid-19 chain. But until now, God still hasn't allowed this chain to be broken. This has a tremendous impact on the whole community. Many companies cannot be opened again and eventually closed. Many companies finally have to lay off their employees. As a church which is present in the midst of the community, GKJTU also experiences the same thing. The pandemic’s impact is directly felt for the journey of GKJTU’s service.

    But praise the Lord, because in the midst of these hard times, it raises an extraordinary sense of empathy among fellow members of GKJTU churches and even between GKJTU and non-Christian institutions. There has been quite a lot of basic need aids that has been distributed by GKJTU church members both to GKJTU members and non-Christian organizations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In synod level, GKJTU has also provided a part to support the church members to get through this emergency period.

    At present, the GKJTU Synod is also developing a virtual service which aimed to help the members’ spiritual growth and also Economic Development Training. We hope that through this virtual service, church members can have spiritual supports and they are equipped with various skills through the economic training provided. We hope that finally church members and communities can have the ability to get through these difficult times.

    That’s all the letter, may we pray for one another so that the service we do can truly bless many people. We also hope that soon the situation will be normal again and our partnership can continue to work well and the name of God will be glorified.


    In Hong Kong, the press is now speaking of a ‘third wave’ of infections. After weeks of no local transmission, new cases have been rising rapidly.

    On July 26, the Hong Kong government implemented additional social distancing measures, including limiting group gatherings from four to two, limiting indoor dining at all times, and suspending operations of bars, fitness centers, beauty parlors, and other places of entertainment.

    As of July 29, the Hong Kong government requires the wearing of masks in all indoor and outdoor public places, public transport facilities, and bus interchanges and adjoining facilities. Schools and universities are still closed.

    Elections for the Legislative Council that were scheduled for 6 September 2020 were postponed to 5 September 2021.

    An infection cluster among migrant domestic workers has raised fears of further discrimination against this group.


    Germany Region

    Life has returned to a kind of normality, albeit with masks in public transport and shops and the prohibition of large gatherings. Church services are held with social distancing, masks, and no singing, unless people gather outside. Schools are opening again after the summer break, but with distancing rules. In many states, older pupils and teachers are required to wear masks throughout the school day.

    Many people have traveled for their holidays, both within the country and within Europe. There is a great fear that this will re-start a new wave of infections, and people who travelled to areas of high risk now face mandatory testing upon their return.

    Numbers of infections are rising, but slowly.


    COVID-19 new infections and active cases in countries with UEM churches:




    New infections on August 6

    Active COVID-19 cases on August 6

    New infections on July 9

    Active COVID-19 cases on July 9

    South Africa


























    No figure given


    No figure given


    Hong Kong





    DR Congo





    Sri Lanka    











    No figure given


    No figure given



    No figures are given by Tanzania.

    More than one third of the cases in South Africa are in Gauteng Province (Johannesburg and surroundings), another third in Western and Eastern Cape Provinces.


    Excerpts from a prayer from Silliman University, Dumaguete:

    In the midst of what is happening now in our world O Lord, may we not feel weary in seeking out your presence in moments of sheer silence. May you teach us the value of observing such moments of quiet contemplation to allow us to experience what may no longer be available to a world that has been so drowned in the noise and tumult of modernity, wars, greedy acquisition and cutthroat competition. Teach us o Lord to listen to your voice from the silent moments that we observe in connecting and communicating with you.

    In such moments, whisper to us in your still small voice your will for what is to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Show us what you have for us to as part of your kingdom building in a world that has become so broken and divided. Guide us towards others with whom we may share the labors of peace and justice, and our humble efforts towards healing and reconciliation.

    Yes, O Lord, healing and reconciliation, justice and peace are the things we need most these days, in this world that has become so ill, not just with this pandemic, but ill in their spirits, with many people harboring so much ill feelings towards others. Teach us O Lord to make way for what will bring about a fullness of healing and recovery not just for those who are sick with this Covid illness but those who are also afflicted with the spirit of ill will and hatred towards others.

    Even as we pray for healing and recovery of our loved ones, those dear and close to us that they may find in you the grace and power to be healed, we also pray for those living with wounded feelings and aching hearts, those longing for reconciliation and resolution of deeply rooted alienating issues, be it in the family, in the neighborhood, or in the church and community. Teach us O Lord, the way of peacemaking as an element of holistic healing that we are all praying for.

  • Prayer Alert - July 10, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Our long prayer alert this week takes up news from several Evangelism Contact Persons on the COVID-19 situation, shared in a videoconference on 8 July, as well as reports from Rwanda and South Africa. In addition, we have news about the arrest of a pastor in the Philippines, a statement from the President of the ECC in DR Congo, and a prayer request from Germany.


    To begin with the Philippines, Rev. Homar Distajo from the UEM Asia Office sent this news: Rev. Dan San Andres, 61, a pastor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, also the Spokesperson of Karapatan-Bicol chapter, was arrested July 9, at 12:55pm in his house at Sipocot, Camarines Sur.

    According to initial reports of Karapatan-Bicol, Pastor Dan and Jenelyn Nagrampa of Bicolana-Gabriela were accused of double murder in relation to an alleged NPA ambush resulting in the deaths of two soldiers in Ragay on May 13, 2018. Both filed their respective counter-affidavits where they vehemently denied participation in the alleged ambush. They submitted their affidavits during the preliminary investigation on the double murder complaint in December.

    Duterte's administration has started the crackdown and criminalization of human rights' activists with the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2020 that gives power to the state to silence government critics and to suppress the people from expressing their reasonable concerns. It is a reckless act meant obviously to discredit the image of legitimate institutions like the Church which commits itself to work with the people in the noble cause of peace advocacy and human rights protection.

    The UCCP, in its pastoral statement, "A Mockery against Freedom and Sovereignty", states that, "The Anti-Terrorism Bill is a peril not just against those upholding and safeguarding human rights, but against every individual or group who advocates and defends human rights and the protection of human dignity as afforded to all by God."

    We demand the immediate release of Rev. Dan San Andres, Jenelyn Nagrampa, and other human rights defender/activists. We seek the prayers and support of the international community.  


    The president of the Eglise du Christ au Congo, Rev. Dr André Bokundoa-bo-Likabe, has published a prophetic statement coinciding with the commemoration of 60 years of independence of the DR Congo on June 30. Bokundoa calls on the president of the country to engage in national consultations to overcome the deeply entrenched problems and divisions in the country, and he calls on all Congolese citizens to live in unity and overcome religious, ethnic/tribal and political wars. At the end of his statement, Bokundoa calls on all Christians to pray for the DR Congo.


    In the churches in Germany, discussions this week focus on the news that more people have left the churches last year than ever before. Protestants and Catholics together now make up just above half of the German population. (Muslims continue to be a small minority of about 5% of the population.) Almost 40% of the Germans do not adhere to any religion. This has caused intense discussions about the future of the church, and how to react to this trend. Rev. Jule Gayk asks us to pray for individual congregations as well as the churches as a whole to listen to God, and to follow God when it comes to making decisions about the future.


    And now to the COVID-19 situation:


    Rev. Talla Waffo told us that churches have re-opened in Cameroon. Church services can be held with a maximum of 50 people, so that many large congregations are forced to hold a series of services every Sunday. At the same time, many Christians are afraid of infection and prefer to stay at home and not participate in Sunday worship. As a consequence, church offerings are down, and pastors’ income is very low.


    Rev. Dr. Marthe Maleke Kondemo told us that in Mbandaka/DR Congo, schools and churches are still closed. Pastors are preaching on the radio to reach out to congregants. Some Christians are getting organized into small house churches, with three or four families meeting for worship in private homes. But they are fearful of the police which will break up such meetings if they are discovered. Last Sunday, she and other pastors spent several hours, distributing Holy Communion to people coming in groups of four to the back door of the church. In Congo as well, pastors’ salaries depend on Sunday offerings, and many pastors and their families are suffering.

    The big problem in Mbandaka is not COVID-19, but the Ebola outbreak. Vaccinations are now available, but due to a lot of fake news, many people refuse to be vaccinated. As the vaccine also has quite severe side effects, making people ill for several days, many are afraid to be vaccinated.

    Rev. Joel Kuvuna writes from Kinshasa/DR Congo: In our side, we are busy alerting people of the risk of the virus spreading. We have organized a structure to alert about the virus but also to make people aware to avoid stigmatization on those who can be infected. Stigmatization is one of the problems going beyond the pandemic. We work on both sides, prevention and stigmatization awareness. We noticed that the virus is spreading because people are hiding themselves if infected to avoid to be stigmatized and rejected by the society. So this week we were busy alerting on public places. We reached all the markets (six) in our city. Pray for this ministry and the burden Lord have given us.

    Here is the situation in this Thursday 09 July 2020 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Infected: 7,846 

    Death: 189

    Healed: 3,513

    And more than 3000 people are waiting to be declared healed.


    Rev. Anderson Kipande and Rev. Ainekisha Bulaya from Tanzania describe a country that is operating almost normally. Schools and churches are open, and even Sunday schools have resumed. People can travel all over the country, and preparations for the presidential elections in October are under full steam. Most people are not afraid of the pandemic, though some doubt that there are really no more COVID-19 cases in Tanzania.


    Marcel Sebahire writes from Rwanda that the Rwanda Interfaith Council has asked the government to allow the reopening of places of worship. The government has responded with a long list of requirements, beginning with an assessment of each place of worship by a trained team from the local authority. Churches will only allowed to re-open if social distancing and hygiene regulations can be kept, and masks are worn by all worship participants. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed into churches, and those aged 12-18 have to be accompanied by their parents. Churches are now waiting for the government to implement these regulations.

    Rev. Venant Ntakirutimana adds: In Rwanda, all professions are operating, except some sports and bars. Church gatherings are not yet resumed and schools will reopen in September. However, the numbers of new infections cases increase more than it has been. Some districts are in quarantine like some sectors and cells according to the location of infected people. There is hope that churches may reopen in this month.


    Rev. Stephen Pedro writes from South Africa where the rate of new daily infections is growing steeply and now the fourth-highest worldwide after the USA, Brazil and India: I am very worried and concerned. Our regional Synod leadership [of the Western Cape Synod of URCSA] called together a COVID-19 response Team with experts from relevant sectors to advise and inform our ministries but then again it is responsive and not proactive. Otherwise we hope for the best, pray especially for the essential health care personnel and take every chance to highlight the importance of self-care wherever I can. Let's keep on praying for one another.


    Rev. Samuel Tarigan said that in Medan/North Sumatra, the number of positive COVID-19 cases has increased to more than 1,000. Therefore, churches are still closed and using social media and video conferences for their activities. It is hoped that churches can re-open in early August under a ‘new normal’ with some restrictions.


    According to Rev. Eirene Gulö, Nias has only had one confirmed case of COVID-19. Churches are open but observing strict hygiene, and people wear masks during the worship service. Overall, life seems to be going on normally.


    The situation is similar in Papua, says Rev. Dolfina Yahuy. Churches in the cities have re-opened (village churches never closed down). Social distancing rules are being observed. Evangelism programs will now resume.


    In Germany, Sunday services are taking place again, though without singing and with strict distancing and mask-wearing rules. Other church programs, though, like the Bible workshop of the Westphalian Church, are still closed, as Sven Körber reports.


    In Hong Kong, the summer break for schools and kindergartens has been moved forward and will begin this weekend due to a new local outbreak. About 1,400 people will be evacuated from a housing block in which eleven residents tested positive, reports the South China Morning Post.


    COVID-19 new infections and active cases in countries with UEM churches:


    New infections on July 9

    Active COVID-19 cases on July 9

    New infections on July 2

    Active COVID-19 cases on July 2

    South Africa




















    DR Congo






    No figure given


    No new figures

    No new figures






    Sri Lanka    





    Hong Kong











    No figure given





    No figures are given by Tanzania.


    Please note: The UEM Prayer Alert will take a break for the next three weeks. Unless there are special developments which require an extra alert, the next bulletin will be sent out on August 7, 2020.


    To finish, a prayer by American pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, slightly amended:

    Dear God,

    Everyone’s exhausted right now: parents, activists, cashiers, people who are just now actually learning about systemic racism, delivery drivers, the unemployed, the chronically sick, ER nurses, doctors, those who fear the police, the elderly, performers with no hope of an audience any time soon, clergy, social workers, teachers without salaries, daily laborers who can’t make their rent, and everyone who has to spray something down with disinfectant for the 1,000th time.

    Teach us to rest, Lord. Help us dial back our obsession with productivity. Raise up more helpers for those who are over-extended, Lord - stir up the desire to serve in those who only take. Remove barriers to napping. Quiet babies for an hour so those new mamas can sleep. Give employers the will to grant paid leave. Quiet those voices that tell us we should be doing more right now, especially the ones that come from inside of us. Teach us not to confuse respite with laziness. Increase our compassion for one another. And while you’re at it, increase our compassion for ourselves. And strengthen our hope in you.

    Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. AMEN.

  • Prayer Alert - July 3, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Our prayer alert this week focuses on a number of issues in addition to COVID-19.


    First of all, you may have heard or seen the news about Hong Kong this week. Rev. Leon Chau, General Secretary of the Chinese Rhenish Church, has this prayer request for us:

    The implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law in Hong Kong has caused great repercussions in society, as well as in the church. Please pray that God will look after His children and keep their hearts strong. Please also pray that the Holy Spirit will always assure us that God is the God in charge of everything, and that the Spirit will teach us to encounter ourselves and others with faith, hope, and love.


    Please also pray for Rev. Marcelino, Daisy and Jennybeth Mariano of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

    They have been accused by the military to be members of the Communist Party and rebel organization New People’s Army. This “red-tagging” is used by the Philippine military to threaten environmental and human rights activists, and leads to harassment and attacks. Pastor Marcelino is the spokesperson of Ilocos Network for the Environment (Defend Ilocos) and a member of the Ilocos Region Ecumenical Council (ISEM). Defend Ilocos played a significant role in the region’s campaign against destructive mining in the coastal areas and interior towns. Daisy is the deputy secretary of the Ilocos Human Rights Alliance. Their daughter, Jennybeth, heads the Christian Youth Fellowship of the UCCP North Luzon-Amburayan Conference and is active as a volunteer in COVID-19 hit communities. The family rejects the accusations, but now fears for their lives.


    Evangelism Contact Person Rev. Marudur Siahaan from HKBP sent this message:

    Whirlwind and heavy rains happened in our area, Toba regency at around 3-5 pm, day before yesterday. It caused much damage. One death, a woman, 55, Sigumpar, is confirmed. It says hundreds of the houses and the farming are much damaged. Many of the affected people are our member church at HKBP Toba District. Please pray for the victims...


    And finally, please pray for South Africa, and in particular Western Cape Province and Cape Town. South Africa is now has one of the fastest growing COVID-19 epidemics worldwide, with almost 9,000 new confirmed cases just yesterday. Most of these are located in Western Cape Province, and black townships in Cape Town like Khayelitsha are hit the hardest. According to a BBC report, many health workers have fallen ill themselves, and hospitals are overwhelmed. A lack of education about the virus means that many people do not wear masks in public, and social distancing anyway is difficult to maintain when many people live together in small spaces.

    At the same time, let us give thanks and praise to God for the many countries where new infections and active case numbers are falling.


    The COVID-19 situation in countries with UEM member churches as of July 2:


    Active COVID-19 cases on July 2

    New infections on July 2

    New infections on June 25

    Active COVID-19 cases on June 25

    South Africa




















    DR Congo






    No new figures

    No new figures








    Sri Lanka    





    Hong Kong
















    A reflection and a prayer by Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber from the United States:

    I swear to God, exercise and gratitude are like, God’s own anti-depressants. In this time of loss and suffering and turmoil, when not one of us is spared of sorrow, this morning I made myself list some things I am genuinely grateful for right now, today, in this very moment. And it made me feel better. Feel free to add your own. Also, this is obviously not a comprehensive list of that which is worthy to be grateful for, but simply what came to mind in the moment.


    Give Us This Day Our Daily Gratitude

    That I have been given one more day, I give thanks.

    That the birds still sing each morning, impossibly early outside my window, I give thanks.

    For the sun rising once again in the East, I give thanks.

    That for this day I have bread, I give thanks.

    For drinkable water, for breathable air, and Dairy Queen dipped cones I give thanks.

    For one more day of mobility I give thanks.

    For cell phone reception, and I-guess-its-better-than-nothing ZOOM calls and reliable internet service, I give thanks.

    That I am loved, I give thanks

    That I am forgiven, I give thanks.

    That I am alive, I give thanks.

    That you, O God are known by many names, I give thanks.

    That you, O God are present when I feel only your absence I give thanks.

    That you are God and I am not, I give the most thanks. Forgive me when I forget that one.

    And for every other gift I am too self-obsessed to see, but that totally comes from you -Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


    For what or for whom do the people of God offer thanks?

  • Prayer Alert - June 26, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Our weekly prayer alert brings together news from different corners of the world today.

    Our first prayer request is not Coronavirus-related. Rev. Dr. John Wesley Kabango, Executive Secretary for Africa of UEM, writes:

    For more than 2 years UEM member, the Evangelical Church of Cameroon (EEC) has been suffering from an internal leadership conflict. On the 23rd June 2020, it is reported to the UEM Africa Department that 17 Presidents of EEC regions out of the 22 led, by the former EEC President Pastor Njike, decided to come together to see a way of mediation and solve their internal problems. They believe that it can only be internally resolved and by EEC church members and their leaders. Today it was planned that the conflicting parties will have a first meeting at the EEC Faculty of Theology at Ndoungué to initiate talks and mediation processes.

    Let us pray that God helps and inspires the EEC members/leaders to have unity and properly address the causes of the destructive divisions.

    UEM co-worker Rev. Yessy Kapitan (Foreign Domestic Helper Program-Hong Kong) writes:

    We praise the Lord for His Protection, since June 19th, Hong Kong already loosened up the eight people gathering restriction to a 50 people policy. It is quite relieving for all of us in Hong Kong, because it means our activities can be back to normal, of course with all “new normal” habits we shall do. Even though, according to Hong Kong Immigration, there will be 10,000 applicants of Foreign Domestic Helpers who will be entering Hong Kong during summer and need to pass the SWAP of COVID-19 and make a statement at Hong Kong Airport before they enter Hong Kong. Employment agencies have called for newly hired domestic helpers to be quarantined in government centres on their arrival in Hong Kong, saying most families did not want to house them over the 14-days period. Most of the families hire foreign maids to take care of the elderly, children, or babies, who are the most vulnerable groups. If a maid ends up being found to be a virus carrier, the whole family can be infected and if it could lead to community outbreak.

    Shall we pray for these workers' health physically, mentally and spiritually, as they need to leave their family back home in their origin during this pandemic. May God also take care of them and comfort them during the hard situations while people also lose their occupation.

    Also for the employer's compassion to these workers, to welcome and treat them well as a part of the family, so both sides can have a good complementary relationship.

    Rev. Mark Beukes of the ELCRN in Namibia wrote from Walvisbay on June 25:

    The minister of health this evening announced that Namibia has recorded 12 new COVID-19 positive cases. Eleven of the cases are from Walvisbay and one is from Swakopmund.

    Things are getting worse in Walvisbay. There is a rapid increase in positive cases. They are busy with a 4 day mass testing campaign and numbers will increase. It is getting scary now.

    Marcel Sebahire writes from Shyogwe Diocese of the Anglican Church in Rwanda:

    Since its creation, Shyogwe Diocese has always considered education as an important pillar that makes strong the life of the church. Evangelism, health and holistic development are other main pillars on which the diocese is built.

    Shyogwe Diocese owns a total number of 33 primary, secondary and TVET schools and 1 higher learning institution. From all those schools, we count a total number of 28,545 learners.

    Since the arrival of the COVID-19 outbreak on March 14, 2020, Schools are closed and they will reopen in September depending on the situation with regard to the pandemic. The pupils and students are now at home and can review their lessons using e-learning and television & Radio programs put in place by the government of Rwanda to help pupils and student learn from homes, though quite a number of children can access the online and TV learning. Our prayers and support always go to those who can’t access online learning. The diocese, through its education department, urges the parents, pastors, head teachers, and teachers to assist the learners at home. Some schools prepare some quiz and other teaching works to share with parents who can use WhatsApp or simple phone messages to help their kids.

    Evangelist Nalin Chamila wrote from the Methodist Church Sri Lanka on June 22:

    Thank God, Sri Lanka has solved Covid-19, but still new cases rise from the quarantine centers. Now everything is under control. Yesterday were started Sunday services, but the government advises us to limit people to around 50 with face masks.

    Germany has seen a huge outbreak of infections in an abattoir in Northrhine-Westphalia state with more than 1,500 persons affected, causing renewed lockdown measures in two counties and rejection and stigmatization of travelers from these counties in other parts of Germany. It is possible that a worship service was a cause of the outbreak, but it is also clear that working conditions and the cramped living conditions of contract workers play a role in the rapid spread of infections. There is a big discussion now in Germany about improving working and living conditions as well as wages for meat workers.

    A further outbreak with 79 cases so far was reported yesterday in another meat-processing factory.


    The COVID-19 situation in countries with UEM member churches as of June 25:


    Active COVID-19 cases

    New infections on June 25

    South Africa












    DR Congo









    Sri Lanka    



    Hong Kong










    A prayer by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:


    God who is called by many names,

    How long, O Lord?

    How long until we can touch our parents and beloved elders? (and we thank you for each day we have had with them)

    How long until we can have things on our calendar to look forward to that don't involve staring at a computer? (and we thank you for the abundance of celebrations and movies and live music and meals with friends that we have been granted up until a few months ago)

    How long until we can gather together again to sing your praise? (and we thank you for calling an assembly in the streets to overturn the tables of injustice and racism)

    How long until the dying ceases, the brutality ends, the anxiety abates?

    How long, O Lord?

    I’m not asking for a date. I’m asking for the faith that a date will come.


  • Prayer Alert - June 19, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Our prayer alert today does not only look at COVID-19 and how it affects us, but first at the situation in West Papua.


    Rev. Dr. Jochen Motte, UEM Executive Secretary for JPIC, wrote on June 16:


    In a statement from 12th June 2020 religious leaders West Papua, Indonesia called upon the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo to stop racism against Papuans. Rev. Hendrikus Mofu, chairperson of the UEM Member Church, the Protestant Church in Papua (GKI) co-signed the letter.


    The religious leaders urge President Jokowi to investigate the numerous gross human rights violations from the past years and decades and to sentence the perpetrators for their crimes.

    Furthermore they demand an end to discrimination against and marginalization of Papuas in their own land, to allow independent historical investigation on the “integration” of West Papua into Indonesia in 1969 and to improve the economic situation of Papuans, access to education and health services.


    The statement was released in view of the ongoing trial against 7 Papuans who are accused of treason. These Papuans participated in protests in Jayapura (West Papua) against racism in August 2019 after it became public that soldiers in a racist attack in Surabaya had shouted insults such as “monkeys” and “pork eaters” at Papuan students in a dormitory. The names of the seven Papuan defendants are Buchtar Tabuni, Agus Kossay, Stevanus Itlay, Ferry Gombo, Alexander Gobai, Irwanus Uropmabin and Hengki Hilapok.


    In their statement the religious leaders also accuse the Indonesian judicial system of discriminatory verdicts. While Papuans receive long term prison sentences even for minor felonies, perpetrators of human rights violations from the military or the police often are often acquitted or receive low punishment.


    If you would like to express solidarity with the UEM Member Church, the GKI, please send an E-Mail to Rev. Hendrikus Mofu, Chair-Person of the GKI using gkitanahpapua[at] with copy to us (jpic[at]


    We ask for your prayers and your solidarity with sisters and brothers in the GKI-TP.



    On June 17, Jochen Motte added:


    An Indonesian court issued on Wednesday guilty verdicts against the first three West Papuan defendants accused of treason, in a case that has drawn concern about deteriorating political freedoms in the world's third-largest democracy.

    Buchtar Tabuni, one of the leaders of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, was found guilty of treason and sentenced to 11 months in prison - significantly lower than the 17 years that prosecutors had asked.

    Following his sentencing, Tabuni, who was previously imprisoned for three years from 2008 to 2011, told the court, "in my conscience, I am innocent."




    Rev. Juliman Harefa from BNKP on Nias wrote on June 18:

    For your information that yesterday June 17, 2020 in Gunungsitoli city there was one positive case affected by corona virus.  We need all UEM friend’s to pray for us here in Nias Island. Thank you.


    In South Africa, some more restrictions have been lifted, but the number of cases keeps growing. The following statistic was sent by Rev. Stephen Pedro from URCSA and shows how cases and deaths are concentrated in Western Cape Province:

    #COVID19_SA Update:  17 June 2020


    As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases in South Africa is 80,412

    Active cases: 34,407

    The total number of recoveries to date is 44,331 - *recovery rate of 55.1%

    There have been 49 more deaths bringing the total to 1,674 deaths - mortality rate: 2.1%

    Western Cape:  46,555 cases (+1,198). Deaths: 1,243


    Rev. Mark Beukes reported from Namibia, also on June 17:

    In Namibia we have recorded two new cases yesterday of which one is in Walvisbay, the town in which I live. Our region is in lockdown until coming Monday. Two weeks before, only Walvisbay was on total lockdown. When the rest of the country went to stage 1, we went back from stage two to three after cases were recorded in Walvisbay. Just before we could move to the following stage, it was announced new cases in Walvis were recorded and that it was possible local transmission, the first for the country, which brought the whole region back to lockdown. Now a new case was recorded in Walvis also due to local transmission, so we don't know what to expect coming Monday. We pray to God that the lockdown will be eased, because the economy in our town is suffering. People are losing income. Businesses are closed and loosing income. Grade 11 and 12 started with face to face education in the whole of Namibia already except for the Erongo region. Please be safe and let us keep on praying.


    In Germany, a huge cluster of new cases in an abattoir in Westphalia State has thrown a light on the exploitation of migrant workers in the meat industry. They are brought in for short periods from Southeastern Europe, live in cramped and squalid conditions, and work 12-hours shifts in cold temperatures and with little chance for the necessary distancing.


    A prayer from Germany for this specific situation:

    We pray, merciful God, for all those in the meat factories who suffer from COVID-19,

    Who had no chance to protect themselves,

    And who were not protected by those responsible for them.


    Look at the injustice that is spreading among us.

    Judge the perpetrators who stick to the exploitation of cheap labor for profit even though they know better.

    But first have mercy on those who are being exploited and deprived of their rights.


    Teach us all the insight that our limitless consumption of meat has no future.

    Listening to your will and with respect for all our co-creatures

    Teach us to recognize how renunciation and dignity come together,

    And set our feet on the way of peace

    On which all creatures have their room, and all can live their joy,

    For your praise and the salvation of many.



    Rev. Enock Thobias writes from Tanzania: It's been announced by the President that from 29 June2020 all primary and Secondary Schools will start and life should go on as usual!

    Pray with us.


    Active COVID-19 cases as of June 18:

    South Africa               37,230

    Indonesia                   23,625

    Philippines                 19,395

    Germany                      7,080

    DR Congo                    4,481

    Cameroon                    4,018

    Sri Lanka                         514

    Rwanda                           294

    Botswana                          53

    Hong Kong                        49

    Namibia                             20


    Tanzania has not reported any figures since the end of April.

  • Prayer Alert - June 12, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    As many countries are coming out of their lockdowns with low and sinking numbers of active cases, the number of COVID-19 infections is still rising in other parts of the world.

    Confirmed active COVID-19 cases, newly confirmed cases, 11 June 2020:


    South Africa   24,032                                   3,147

    Indonesia       20,659                                      979

    Philippines     17,974                                      443

    Germany           6,744                                      285

    DR Congo         3,850                                      125

    Cameroon        3,639                                   not reported

    Sri Lanka             716                               8

    Rwanda               179                             18

    Hong Kong            49                               0

    Botswana              23                               0

    Namibia                 14                               0


    Tanzania has not reported any figures since the end of April.


    Please give thanks to God for the countries where there are no or very few new infections, and pray that they will remain protected.


    Pastors from different churches are asking for our prayers as they begin to reopen their churches and restart Sunday services and other activities.


    Please pray in particular for South Africa where the number of new cases keeps rising steeply.


    Please also continue to pray for the city of Mbandaka in the DR Congo which in addition to an outbreak of Ebola now also has its first confirmed case of COVID-19. A second youth leader of the CDCC has died from an Ebola infection. Rev. Clément Mputu reported this morning that the number of Ebola vaccine doses available in the city is not sufficient.


    Finally, we want to share with you excerpts from a meditation from the Philippines:


    Muted and alienated

    Musings and remorse in the season of pandemic

    by Frank J. Hernando

    May 20, 2020


    Scripture Text: Psalm 143


    Muted and alienated ...


    I'm having a kind of ambivalence 

    If not confusion, or worse recalcitrance---

    what to feel and more importantly 

    what to expect in the coming weeks and months 

    working in the National Capital Region (NCR). 


    I felt like I have been muted, 

    unable to be physically present in meetings and conferences 

    to deliver sermons or presentations. 




    My world got smaller everyday due to restrictions 

    imposed by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) 

    in Luzon and then the entire country.


    Anxiety driven and threats of death ...


    The pandemic has instilled the fear of infection. 

    The moment one is infected, 

    one has already received his death certificate 

    where written COVID-19 as cause of death. 

    The declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine 

    or lock down was not well thought of by the government, 

    It was drastic, compulsive, militarist.


    What was in their minds?

    The easy way to do a lock down 

    is to do it military style of quarantine. 

    It is cheaper to lock down people

     in their homes and communities, 

    instead of launching mass virus testing programs. 


    Rights violated, hopes dimmed ...


    People losing control of their economic life, 

    those asserting their right to economic support  were jailed, killed, penalized

    Those who like to stay outdoors were called 'pasaway' or and punished, 

    as if their right place is indoors all their lives 

    Those who resist the quarantine were ordered shot or jailed

    Government judges were alerted to issue warrant of arrests

    For those who violate quarantine protocols


    The people have further been abused and their rights doubly violated.

    "We will not die of COVID-19

    But surely we will die of hunger, patay sa gutom," People in distress murmured.




    Praying for God's strength ...


    Dear God strengthen my heart and empower my will,

    My spirit is weakening, my resilience is diminishing, 

    Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning 

    for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, 

    for to you I lift up my soul. Amen.

  • Prayer Alert - June 5, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today we ask you to join us in prayers for the DR Congo, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. We pray for healing, for protection, and that God will strengthen the churches and all church members in these difficult situations.


    The watchword for today takes up the suffering of so many:

    My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually: “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3)

    And the doctrinal text responds:

    The Lord says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor 12:9)


    From the Church of the Disciples of Christ in the Congo inMbandaka, Rev. Clément Mputu writes:

    We want to thank the Lord and all people who have prayed for Rev. Dr. Mboyo, the chaplain at the Protestant University in the Congo, who suffered from the Coronavirus. He is healed and has been discharged from hospital. May God be praised!

    But Ebola brings us mourning. We have just lost the youth president of a parish in Mbandaka who worked as a nurse. I also spoke on the phone with another youth, Alain, who is responsible for intercession in one of our parishes. He is in an isolation ward because he has contracted Ebola. He told me that there are seven cases altogether, two people have died, one was cured, and four remain at the hospital. Please pray for them, and may God bless us all.


    Rev. Stephen Pedro writes from the Uniting Reformed Church in South Africa in Cape Town on COVID-19:

    Our numbers are on the increase, available hospital beds are getting less and we are getting more worried. After the president's announcement that places of worship can open still under strict regulations, URCSA however decided, like most if not all faith formations and denominations, not to re-open for assemblies and worship services. Otherwise most of the businesses re-opened and more and more people returned back to work, though under strict regulations and conditions. One of which is, no one without a mask in public.

    Otherwise we try to stay strong for our congregations’ and members’ sake and continue with virtual messages and encouragement. The past two days my colleagues in service of our Regional Synod, with our Moderator, had ZOOM conferences with all our pastors to listen and to hear from them how we can support and help address the needs at congregational level.

    Otherwise we try to stay focused although I personally am very hurt and angry about the killing of George Floyd. Really hope it will ignite the flame and movement for racial and economic justice all over the world so that all peoples can live in peace and true freedom, the abundant life Christ said He came for.


    From the UEM JPIC Department come these news:

    In Sri Lanka, for the first time in modern history of the country, the government has declared its intention to rule without parliamentary oversight beyond the three months period which the constitution allows. These actions are considered as a fundamental threat to the political institutions and have caused a constitutional crisis. Attempts to stop this development by appeals to the High Court so far have not been successful.

    In the Philippines, human rights have been severely restricted during the Corona crisis especially by an emergency law declared on 25th March 2020.  It also criminalizes any spread of “false information” with charges up to two years of prison. As a matter of fact, people who criticized the health crisis management in the Philippines on their personal social media accounts have lately been arrested and charged for violating the fake news provision of this law. 

    Meanwhile, tens of thousands have been at least temporarily arrested for curfew violations. There were reports of security forces confining those arrested to dog cages, among other abuses.  Reports shared with Human Rights Watch by child rights groups show that children are among those facing abusive treatment. As a punishment for violating the curfew, security forces have locked children inside dog cages, forcibly cut their hair or arrested their parents for letting them play outside.   



    Special Prayer for the World on Corona Virus Disease (COVID 19), by the Eastern and Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania

    "I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!" (John 16:33 - NRSV).

    Dear God, the Almighty, you said whatever we ask in your name, we will receive.

    We pray for global health, especially, during this time where the world is faced with the pandemic of COVID 19. God, we know that without you we will all perish.

    We pray for the families which are affected with coronavirus, as there are some families which have lost their beloved ones. God, we ask for your comfort, strength and encouragement during this tough time, these families are going through.

    We ask your wisdom for the heads of states when making decisions on how to combat the COVID 19. We need peace and unity of our leaders all over the world, so that they stand firm, come together and guide their people in good manner.

    We pray for the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel and scientists who day and night tend and treat patients infected with COVID 19. Give them strength, courage and inner love in dealing with sick people.

    God, you gave as ability to make and own different things on this earth. We pray for researchers and innovators all over the world, who are working hard to find a proper medicine for the disease. Give them vision and directions to find the solution.

    We pray for your church which is also passing through a difficult period. We thank you because in Tanzania, Churches remain open for worship and now we ask you to intervene into other countries so that people can again gather together to worship You and glorify your Mighty Name.

    Ooh Lord, the Bible says, "In you, O LORD, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me." (Psalms 31:1). And Isaiah 53:5 tells us that, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed."

    We come to you God in faith that coronavirus disease (COVID 19) and other pandemic on this earth, will go away and perish for good, in your Holy Mighty Name we pray. Amen.

  • Prayer Alert - May 29, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    We start this prayer alert two days before Pentecost with an interfaith meditation from Indonesia, with thanks to Rev. Friedrich Tometten for his translation work. (A German version of this meditation can be found at the very end of this alert.) It speaks to us as many churches are still unable to hold worship services, while others can do so, but under severe limitations.


    God brings us to insight through Corona


    The Vatican forlorn.

    Jerusalem deserted.

    The Wailing Wall closed off.

    Easter uncertain.

    The Kaaba closed.

    Friday prayers only at home.

    Pilgrimage impossible.

    On Ramadan evenings, people pray in isolation.


    Corona came.

    As if it wanted to say: Your piety is fragile.

    Your celebration in God’s name only illusion.

    Signs and rites are often just masquerading and business.


    Since Corona has come, you are challenged to seek God.

    Not in the basilica of Saint Peter,

    not in the Kaaba,

    not in the church,

    not in the mosque,

    not in the pulpit,

    not in the council of the scholars,

    not in Sunday mass,

    not in Friday prayers.


    Rather: In yourself.

    In your closed mouth.

    In silent reality.

    In meaningful silence.


    Corona teaches you:

    God is not (only) in the crowd.

    God is not (only) in the festival

    God is on the way of your desperation over the sick world.


    Corona cleanses faith.

    Nothing shall remain.

    Only God.

    Finished: teachings which patronize reason.

    Finished: noisy acclamations of God’s name.

    Come, meet HIM in your soul,

    get to know HIM in the deepest core of your heart.

    Meet him in silent time,

    when you by yourself are together with HIM.


    Truly, the Kingdom of God is within you.

    Qalbun mukmin baitullah:

    The heart of those who believe is God’s house.


    May only God remain.

    May only your heart speak.


    Oh, may the covetous, those who abuse religion for their own purposes, come to their senses with God’s help.


    May we all grow and be illuminated through what is happening right now.




    To keep us updated about the situation of our sisters and brothers, here is the number of active confirmed COVID-19 cases in the countries of UEM member churchesas of May 28:

    Indonesia:      16.802

    South Africa:  12.456

    Philippines:    11.069

    Germany:          9.782

    Cameroon:       3.265

    Sri Lanka:            775

    DR Congo:           391

    Rwanda:              104

    Hong Kong:           28

    Botswana:             14

    Namibia:                  8


    Tanzania has not reported any figures since the beginning of May.





    News and prayer requests from the churches:


    Rev. Jacques Ngahne writes from the Eglise Evangélique du Cameroun (EEC):

    Some three weeks ago, the government came out with some flexibility measures, especially in public transport and in drinking places. We are wondering because there is no adequation between measures and the increasing number of infected cases.

    The main opposition leader offered the health ministry tests and masks for hospitals and medical staffs, but he refused them.

    Gatherings of more than 50 people are still forbidden, even though there is no distancing in public transport, market places... Bearing a mask is an obligation in public places.

    Our parish continue church services on social media.  We have lost two more members. We cry upon to the Lord!

    Yesterday number of cases 5356, showing an increase of more than 100 % within a month, and 25 % within a week, and 177 deaths. School resumption for exam classes on 1st June 2020, that is next Monday.

    The church, with support from UEM is offering masks, hydro alcoholic gel and public hand washing devices to its Regions, schools and hospitals.


    Rev. Oinike Harefa writes from the Christian Protestant Church on Nias (BNKP):

    During this Covid19, I am so proud of the youth in BNKP who take part in solidarity with others. Last week, the youth of BNKP shared lunch and masks for the pedicab men in Gunungsitoli. 

    Tomorrow, the youth of BNKP will start to share books for children in 5 regencies in Nias. We call this action "Youth for Children" which inspired from UEM programs. These books are about the stories in the Bible. We hope that they can spend their time in reading the Bible with supporting books. Please bring our program for children also in your prayer. 


    Rev. Clement Mputu writes from the Communauté des Disciples of Christ (CDCC)/DR Congo:

    The CDCC is in need of prayer due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There is now a first case of a pastor of CDCC who has contracted COVID-19. This is Rev. Mboyo who is chaplain at the Protestant University in Congo (UPC). This situation affects the whole church.


    Rev. Stephen Pedro writes from the Uniting Reformed Church in South Africa (URCSA):

    Our government decided that we can re-open our churches and resume with our services, albeit 50 and less people at a given time. Please pray for us for discernment.


    Rev. Kisuba Kateghe Ndungo Ezekiel is a missionary of the Communauté Baptist au Centre d’Afrique (CBCA) in Kampala/Uganda and writes that the city is still under lockdown.


    And finally, Rev. Mark Beukes from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) writes that while Namibia as a whole is easing lockdown regulations, Walvisbay has gone back into a 7-day total lockdown as of yesterday due to a new outbreak there. In all other parts of the country, worship services with up to 50 participants will be possible again from June 1.


    Rev. Boni Kombo has sent us this prayer from the Eastern and Coastal Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT-ECD):


    Our creator and life giving God, we thank you for your work of creation. We admire the beauty and sustainability of your creation purposes; you made a wonderful dwelling place for us. You made it from unformed and desolate, from deep sea and from deep darkness. You turned lonely and deserted place to become such a wonderful garden.

    Lord, you chose us, human beings, to enjoy and take care of the Earth you created. We confess that our responsibilities to take care of your creation have not being enough. Our irresponsibility to take good care of creation has caused many disasters on Earth and caused much pains to us and to our fellow creatures. We pray for forgiveness and healing for what our hands have destroyed. We pray that you grant us healing and health in this beautiful Earth.

    Lord, at this time of COVID-19 Pandemic we unite as global Church in this family of UEM, we cry unto you for healing. We pray for healing of those who are now under attack of Corona virus. We pray that you will protect people who are at high risk of the pandemic, especially our senior elders, refugees in camps, migrants, poverty stricken communities, researchers, nurses and physicians, and all stakeholders trying to respond against this pandemic.

    We pray for health centres, research centres and manufacturers of necessary equipment that all things go well for betterment of our Global and its dwellers. We pray for the World leaders from all spheres of community that they will respond positively to tackle the pandemic, instead of bringing more pains to people and the creation. We pray for healing of economy of many countries affected by this pandemic and any other natural and non-natural calamities.

    Almighty God, we thank you for Jesus Christ, who can give us abundant life now and eternal (John 10:10b). We pray that you grant the Church power of the Holy Spirit so that it will continue preaching your kingdom and Salvation of all human kind through Jesus Christ.

    Glory and Power and Mercy remain yours.




    And finally:

    “The Spirit of God, too, is pan-demos. It touches all people and crosses all barriers, yet in a way that spells life, not death.” (From the Pentecost message of the Presidents of the World Council of Churches.

  • Prayer Alert - May 22, 2019

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    we are in the third month of pandemic restrictions (Hong Kong is already in the fifth month!) and social distancing, hand washing and face masks in public have become the new normal. With lockdowns and almost no international travel, societies are becoming more inward-looking. This prayer alert is a reminder that we are still the world-wide body of Christ, even though our connections right now are tenuous.


    Today, we ask you to pray for the children all over the world. Everywhere, measures to combat the pandemic have had a heavy impact on them.

    Schools are still closed in most countries, and children are not only losing a chance to learn, but frequently also the only proper meal they get during a day.

    In richer countries, schools have turned to online teaching. But this widens the gap between those who have access to smartphones, tablets and laptops, and those who do not.

    Locked up at home, children often have little room for movement and play. Adults around them, who may have lost their jobs and income, are stressed and anxious. Even loving parents can become violent and abusive in such a situation.

    Let us call on Jesus, the friend of children, to protect and bless these vulnerable little human beings!



    From a meditation in German, author unknown:

    While we mourn our closed churches, I ask myself how Jesus is.

    He has been freed from the confinement of bricks and walls, freed to stretch his long limbs of love into the world.

    As we cannot go in to him, I imagine how he is coming out to us.

    I imagine him crossing our cities, wiping away tears with the seam of his garment. Bringing bread to those who need it. Keeping watch over the lonely dying, blessing burning foreheads with the tips of his fingers.

    We long to go back into our churches.

    But Jesus lives and breathes among us, and every oxygen molecule is holy air.

  • Prayer Alert - May 15, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    After the flurry of news from all over the UEM in the last few weeks, things have quietened down. We are all struggling with the new normal of lockdowns and social distancing and all the challenges this brings every day. Life is difficult, worries exhaust us.

    In this situation, let us not forget that despite the distances between us, we are still the One Body of Christ. Let us continue to pray for each other!


    Next Thursday we celebrate the festival of Ascension. The UEM General Secretary, Rev. Volker Martin Dally, has written a pastoral letter on this occasion which we want to share with you today.


    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    I am greeting you in the name of our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    The festival of Ascension is ahead of us and I am thinking about your individual situation: I wonder in what kind of circumstances you as Sister and Brother of the UEM are spending these days of the pandemic.

     When reading the circumstances of our Lord’s Ascension, I must admit that part of it seems familiar to me during the last weeks:


    Acts 1, verses 9 and 10 describe the following:

    …he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven….


    Somehow, I imagine the disciples as standing and remaining on the same spot where Jesus was lifted up, looking into the sky – not understanding the situation and asking themselves what to do now. They must have been some sort of perplexed and helpless.

    But then again, our Lord never lets us down or leaves us without guidance:

    Before he was carried up into heaven he 

     blessed the disciples (Luke 24,51), 

    • he instructed them “you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1,8)
    • he gave them joy for their job to do (Luke 24, 52)
    • He showed his authority to do all this because “he sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16,19)
  • Prayer Alert - May 8, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today, we ask you to pray for governments, political and administrative leaders all over the world. As COVID-19 infections are going down in some parts of the world while still rising fast in others, much wisdom is needed to chart a course forward. And day by day, the economic fallout is worsening, forcing difficult decisions.

    Please pray for wisdom, courage and compassion for all those who now have to make decisions on lockdowns, quarantine regulations, and the reopening of economies, that they will protect and support the poorest and most vulnerable groups.

    Here is a very short overview of the situation in all countries of the UEM member churches, mostly gleaned from newspapers and government websites:

    In Germany, numbers of new infections and patients in intensive care are falling, with more than 140,000 already recovered and only about 20,000 active cases. People are grateful that the medical system was able to cope well with the numbers of sick people. Even though, more than 7,000 people have died of COVID-19, most of them elderly. Lockdown conditions have now been loosened: Church services are possible again under strict distance and hygiene rules (communal singing is not allowed!), shops and schools have re-opened with the duty to wear a face mask and to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. Pressure from the population is growing to relax restrictions even further while epidemiologists warn that this could induce a second wave of infections. The economy has been hit hard, but the government will spend hundreds of billions to keep businesses from bankruptcy and people from losing their jobs.

    In Indonesia, a lack of testing facilities makes it impossible to gauge how far infections have spread, but the number of 943 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 has been among the highest in Asia, and there are a total of more than 13,000 confirmed cases in all provinces. Even the remote Mentawai islands now report 3 infections. The national government has stopped the practice of mudik, traveling to visit one’s family during Ramadan. Severe social restrictions have been implemented in parts of Java and Western Sumatra (which includes Mentawai) as well as some bigger cities (e.g. Banjarmasin on Borneo).

    The Philippines were declared under a state of calamity for six months on March 17. Enhanced community quarantine/total lockdown was declared on Luzon Island and in several other provinces, including Negros Oriental with Dumaguete, the Davao Region on Mindanao, and Cebu City until May 1. Since then, this has been extended in Metro Manila, central Luzon and some other areas, while in other places, general community quarantine is imposed. There are more than 10,000 confirmed cases and almost 700 confirmed deaths. There has been much public criticism that testing has been insufficient.

    In Sri Lanka, an island-wide curfew was imposed on March 17, then somewhat loosened in mid-April, and re-imposed from May 6-11 to cover the Buddhist Vesak festival which usually draws great crowds to the streets. Schools and businesses are set to reopen on May 11. Sri Lanka has 824 confirmed cases and 9 confirmed deaths.

    Hong Kong has been very successful in eradicating the virus, with only one case of local transmission in the last 4 weeks, and 60 imported cases. All travelers arriving in the city have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, passengers arriving by air undergo mandatory testing in addition. Restrictions on public life are being eased beginning today, with schools set to open in the next weeks, and businesses, restaurants and cinemas already open under distancing regulations.

    South Africa is the hardest hit country in Africa, with more than 8,200 confirmed cases. Since mid-March, schools and universities have been closed, and since 27 March, a national lockdown has been in force. Since May 1, this has been eased somewhat, but many restrictions are still in place, including the prohibition of travel, public gatherings (except funerals which are limited to 50 participants), and the sale of liquor and tobacco, and the closure of public parks and cultural venues. Masks need to be worn in public. Borders remain closed to tourists.

    Cameroon is the most impacted country in West Africa, with more than 2,000 confirmed cases, half of whom have already recovered. The country closed its borders on March 18, and on 10 April imposed the duty to wear a mask in public. Schools are closed, public gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned as well as non-essential travel, and bars and restaurants have to close at 6 p.m.

    Of 271 cases in Rwanda, about half have already recovered, and nobody has died. Rev. Emmanuel Muhozi reports: “On 30 April 2020, the Rwandan government took a decision to relax measures against the spread of New Coronavirus, lifting the full lockdown and embarking on a curfew, where sections of the economy will reopen. These new measures have been started to be observed on Monday 4th May 2020. With the new order, employers have been encouraged to ensure that only essential staff, not exceeding 50 percent of the entire staff, reports to work.  While other all businesses will be closing by 1pm, churches, all schools and universities, bars and other places or activities which gather many people will not open. It has been announced that schools will reopen in September while nothing has been announced concerning the reopening of church worships.”

    Please also note: Heavy rains have hit some parts of Rwanda in the last few days, causing landslides and flooding houses.

    Tanzania has only 480 confirmed cases, with 134 of these on Zanzibar and about 50 in Dar es salaam. All international air travel has been suspended since April 11. But president Magufuli has rejected the need to restrict movement of citizens, claiming stringent social isolation measures would severely damage the economy. While large public gatherings have been banned and schools and universities closed, markets remains open. Magufuli has also encouraged Tanzanians to gather and pray in churches and mosques claiming the coronavirus cannot harm the bodies of the faithful. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania continues with Sunday worship services, but using social distancing and strict hygiene measures.

    On May 2nd, opposition leader Freeman Mbowe called for the suspension of Parliament for at least three weeks after the deaths of three MP's of unknown causes in the previous eleven days. He blamed the deaths on COVID-19 and asked for testing for all MP's, parliament staff and family members.

    DR Congo: A national emergency was called on March 27, with a ban on all trips between the capital and the provinces, and extended for another 15 days on 23 April. 274 infections have been reported from four provinces, with the epicenter in Kinshasa. Kinshasa was put under lockdown on March 26, but restrictions on essential services were eased on 23 April. While most borders remain closed, the border to Zambia was opened to pedestrians today to enable small trade.

    Botswana has only had 23 confirmed cases, but in early April, the National Assembly passed an Emergency Powers Act which allows the president to govern by decree for six months. The state of emergency means that permits are needed for all movements outside of one’s house (including shopping for essentials, work in formal and informal businesses, funerals etc.); these can be applied for online. A step-by-step loosening of these restrictions has been announced and will begin soon. Borders remain closed to tourists until at least the end of May.

    Namibia was under lockdown from 27 March to 4 May, reporting only 16 cases of infection and no death. For the next four weeks, markets and shops are open under strict hygiene rules. Masks must be worn in public, schools and cultural venues remain closed and group sports prohibited. Borders remain closed for tourists until at least the end of June.

  • Prayer Alert - May 5, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Last week, 12 of the UEM Evangelism Contact Persons (ECPs) met via ZOOM videoconferencing software, sharing about their respective situations. While churches remain open in Tanzania and Cameroon, Sunday services have to be held with limited numbers of attendees and social distancing. Consequently, many churches have switched to holding a series of 3, 4 or even 5 shorter consecutive services every Sunday. In all other countries, churches have been closed for worship. All ECPs reported about the severe economic effects of the lockdowns, particularly on church members who live on daily wages. While better-off congregations are collecting and distributing food to those in need, poorer congregations are struggling. Where internet is easily available, Sunday services are streamed. But poorer and more remote congregations do not have strong enough internet, and often lack the necessary funds to pay for an upload.

    Everywhere, there are discussions about how countries can slowly start to open normal life again without being hit by a second wave of the pandemic. It is a time of confusion, conflicting information, unclear options, and a lot of fear, frustration and fatigue.

    Therefore, in today’s prayer alert, we would like to share with you a reflection from the Philippines, published by the Divinity School of Silliman University in Dumaguete, which speaks right into this situation. We pray that God may bless and strengthen all of us and our churches!



    by Rev. Josuah M. De Rosas

    News will not stop. The number of those infected as well as the death toll continues to climb here in our country and around the world. How we wish we were looking into the tally of scores of sports rather than the statistics of Covid19 cases in affected countries. The chaos, as localities implement government protocols and measures to prevent the situation from getting worse, divided us politically. Becoming apprehensive as well as being anxious is now a regular dose of daily living. This pandemic has shaken our sense of equilibrium and wholeness. We fear of what’s going to be the next worst scenario that we will see. According to an article, mental illness might be the next wave of Covid 19 pandemic if people will not do some concrete essential ways to care for themselves.

    It’s a moral and ethical imperative to care for ourselves and to care for others. We are called to do our part to help so we can get out of this pandemic as soon as possible. Everyone is called to care. But remember, we have all heard it when flying, “In case there is a loss in cabin pressure, yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment above you. Please secure your own mask before assisting others around you. This is a good metaphor to put in mind that we can only save ourselves first, before we can save others. Please take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others well.

    In addition, the apostle Paul writes, “Nobody lives and dies for oneself alone but for others.” And so, we do our part; we stay home, we wear masks, we washed our hands, we practice social distancing, support and obey new protocols and measures of the government, giving our full trust to the competency and capacity of those who are called to do and are experts to lead us through all these. Therefore, we need to care for each other in these times. To care is to mirror God’s life in us as 1 Peter 5: 7 says “Casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

    Caring through our Faith Resources

    As Christians, we look into our faith resources to give us assurance and stability in the midst of uncertainties, chaos and fear. We want to be still from our restlessness and mind wanderings. To be still means to have the fullness of being, full awareness and unmitigated bliss, with that sense of contentment and of not wanting anything. So in coping instinctively we hear more and more vividly from the recesses of our memory some words in the Bible of our God who assures people “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46), and Jesus who calmed the storm with the words, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39), the greetings of the resurrected Christ to the disciples, “Peace be with you!” or simply the phrase “Do not be afraid!” which interestingly is spoken in the entire biblical narrative 365 times. It means we have one reminder every day for the entire year.

    Our Reformed tradition also teaches us to confess that God is sovereign and is in control over the situations of God’s people at all times. Although unpleasant and bad things will happen, God still works with, in, and collaborates with us to bring good things out of the bad situations. All we need is to be aware of what resources we have been given by God and use all means to alleviate the situation.

    Caring Through Nature

    The enhanced community quarantine has offered me opportunities to listen to the silence around me. The stillness of early morning and early evening is palpable as I looked closely and gaze upon the tall, sturdy and imposing acacia trees and variety of trees around the Silliman University campus. Trees exude stillness. They breathe on us and I breathe with them. Rooted deeply into the ground, they stand with the aura of permanence and stability, untroubled by what is going on, meanwhile giving life to their surroundings. They have withstood the test of times and has gone through the different seasons of life through generations. The stillness of the trees and their life- giving presence can be the best metaphor we can learn as we care for each other in this time of pandemic. We need to stand still, deeply connected to the core of our being, grounded and nourished by faith, and spread our branches wide to accommodate all that might take refuge in us.

    Slowing down is also another way to care for ourselves by noticing the environment around us. The different species of birds and the overgrowth of wild flowers, and the changing hue of colors of the leaves in this season, will give us the lesson that life continues and the world is still alive! Take time to notice; stop, look and listen! Nature can teach us what Jesus says to his disciples, “Look at the birds of the air…and the lilies of the field….are you not more than these?” God cares for every single sparrow that falls into the ground…..

    Caring through the “A-B-C of Life”

    A colleague has taught me the A-B-C of life as we live through these days of pandemic. ABC is an acronym which stands for A- Awareness, B- Balance, and C-Connectedness.

    Awareness. We need to be fully aware of what is going on around us and especially of what is going on in our inner life. Are we healthy spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally? What resources do we have? What needs to be done? Remember that they key towards wholeness is awareness!

    Balance. If we have become fully aware of our needs, the response will be to balance our lives. I am glad to see that these days have encouraged people to do some exercise, practice mindfulness, eat healthy, do some art works, gardening and read books and immersed in spirituality by watching worship services and listening to sermons. We also need to balance between the news of the COVID-19 cases and the news of the overwhelming generosity and acts of sacrifice done by our front liners and even ordinary people who touch our hearts and give us hope through their random acts of kindness and compassion to each other.

    Connectedness- Most of all, we need to be fully connected to ourselves, and to our loved ones, and friends. Through social media and technology, we can connect with them, and share each other’s lives even in the virtual world. Acts of generosity and compassion in small or big scale can contribute to our well-being by cultivating empathy towards others. Social media use should be for spreading good news and hope, and a way to advocate better ways to serve the people. We need to check whether what we share to others are not fake news or materials that can agitate and infuse fear others. We need to connect to our faith community to share resources to help those who are in need.

    Finally, these days of pandemic has given us the opportunity to renew our faith in Jesus Christ who cares for us all. We need to stay calm and still, keep the faith, pray without ceasing and work for the good of others. We need to be reminded of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians when he said, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”. At the end, it is what a beloved Christian community is all about. God’s love will see us through!

    This meditation is one of a weekly series available on Facebook:


  • Prayer Alert - May 1, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    This week Wednesday, the Project Committee of the UEM decided to support projects and programs of 32 UEM member churches in Africa and Asia with a total of 1,017,980 Euro. They will support the churches’ work in the following areas:

    • Food, products for personal hygiene, and access to clean water for vulnerable groups of people;
    • Educational campaigns on COVID-19 and how to protect oneself (also countering fake news);
    • Assistance and training for churches to develop online worship services;
    • Support for church-run hospitals and health stations;
    • Support for the production of masks, disinfectant and soap.


    Therefore, today we ask you to pray for all of these church programs:

    • For blessing, strength and protection of all those who are moving around to visit people and distribute relief materials and for the staff in church-run health institutions;
    • For open ears and minds of those listening to church radio, TV and social media programs, that people will not fall victim to fake news and false theologies;
    • For clear minds and warm hearts for those who are organizing and administrating programs and projects;
    • That we, as churches, can be a blessing to the people around us for the glory of God.


    The following prayer will be prayed in many German churches this coming Sunday:

    Merciful and eternal God, this morning we pray

    • For those who are sick with the Corona virus and fear for their lives, that you will walk with them in life and death.
    • For family members who worry about a sick relative and are desperate because they cannot visit: Comfort and strengthen them.
    • For all those of us who find themselves in great economic troubles and fear for their future, particularly those who depend on daily wages and can no longer work due to lockdowns: That our communities will stay strong enough to carry all who need our help and support.
    • For all overwhelmed parents whose children are not going to school, that they find some breathing space so that they can continue to turn to their children in love.
    • For the children whose education is now interrupted due to the closure of schools and daycare centers, that they will not lose their chances for a good future life.
    • For those who are pregnant and due to give birth, that they will be safe in their great danger.
    • For political and economic leaders, that they will be spurred to serious and responsible action, and that they will find ways to lead the world out of this crisis even in the middle of errors and trials.

    Give us peace, oh Lord in your mercy, in these troubled times!

  • Prayer Alert - April 29, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today our Prayer Alert focuses on Hong Kong. Windvy Yu from CRC writes:

    Our Heavenly Father,

    We pray to you about this world crisis, Corona Virus that is affecting the whole world. God, please save those poor who even do not have enough protective means. Please stand with those medical front liners who put their life lower than the patients. Please help those researchers to have wisdom to develop an effective cure as early as possible.

    God, because you are the LORD, our LORD. 'The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalms 121:7-8)'

    Thank you LORD that we can still help each other in this hard time. A few weeks ago, we at CRC received a number of masks from the member churches in Indonesia. We really thank these member churches and also the management work by all the colleagues in the Asia Department.

    The virus situation is changed every day. On 31/3, the official report announced that there were 41 new cases that day and now 683 cases in total in Hong Kong. The government launched numerous regulations last Saturday. One of them bans every assembly or meeting which has more than 4 people. That means all the services in Hong Kong are stopped and transferred to an online format. Restaurants are also the victims because they need to ensure each table has only 4 people and each table should have at least 1.5 meter distance from the others. They can only serve half of their capacity. We all know these measures are used to decrease the infected cases.

    LORD, please help our leaders in the government to launch the strategies more wisely. Please also help the church leaders and colleagues to make the appropriate decisions when facing the current situations.  Please be with the brothers and sisters who have to stay at home to attend online service or those in quarantine period. God, please be with us.


    In addition to the focus on Hong Kong, we would also like to share with you the concern in several churches for those people who do not have food to eat because they depend on daily wages and are unable to work due to lockdowns.

    Ramesh Fernando reports from Methodist Church Sri Lanka today that pastors, evangelists and lay people are out in force despite the curfew to distribute food to people who are in danger of starving. He also writes that it is difficult to get medication, and that many people with diabetes and high blood pressure are at risk.

    And Bishop Francis Kamerera from EAR/Cyangugu Diocese in Rwanda writes:

    As many of our people are living in extreme poverty and are dependent on casual labor, we are facing another threat of hunger. Parents who normally depend on their daily wage have lost their income and are currently not able to provide a single meal per day to the children.

    As this situation occurs in the days of Lent, we are reminded of Isaiah 58:6-7, where it is written: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: … Is it not to share your food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” These verses inspired us to start a project to help our brothers and sisters who are currently struggling to survive. We are raising funds from our own congregations and we are distributing it to the most vulnerable, but it is like a drop in a sea of needs.

    We kindly request for prayers and support as the crisis is so enormous that we cannot handle it alone.

  • Prayer Alert - April 28, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    The Prayer Alert today will focus on pastors and church workers.

    Almost all UEM member churches are now functioning under lockdown or social distancing measures, which means that in most places, usual church work is no longer possible. This puts a lot of pressure on pastors and church workers to keep congregations going and to find new and creative ways of worship.

    Many pastors and church workers have turned to the internet and are producing video messages for social media, sometimes on a daily basis. Worship services are being streamed.

    One of many examples, the Cape Synod of URCSA in South Africa puts out a daily Bible meditation as pdf and video. Yesterday’s video (in English) can be seen here:

    Another example: A team of pastors from Melsungen in Germany recites Psalm 23:

    And, more detailed, this is how the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR) is now working, according to a report by Rev. Emmanuel Muhozi:

    1          The meeting of pastors

    These are held two times a month using WhatsApp groups of pastors of same presbytery. The first meeting is held in the beginning and the second in the middle of the month. The role of these meetings is to acquire same understanding of the message to be delivered to church members and therefore sustaining church unity and identity.

    2          The follow up of church members in the parish

    This is done by the parish responsible. He/she uses the leaders of grassroots churches which are communities of 7 to 10 families of the same neighborhood. Before lockdown, they were meeting once a week in one of the families for Bible study, socialization, discussion on some of their concerns and prayer. Nonetheless, in this time of lockdown the members don’t meet physically. The leader of the grass roots church uses phone calls to know the situation of every family and give them the passage of the Word of God and the message received from the respective parish pastor. The leader informs the pastor of any news from church members (sickness, death, birth, etc…).

    3          Worship in town parishes

    In towns, at least in family, there is smartphone. On Sundays, some pastors conduct services which is followed on YouTube for those who can follow. After the service, they send the sermon in both forms of audio and audio visual. This act of sharing message by audio is common to every pastor in town. Also, every day or at certain times, a pastor prepares a lesson that he sends to the group of church members for sharing. In addition, once per week through a WhatsApp group, the grassroots church members discuss the lesson prepared previously in the booklet.

    4          Worship in rural parishes

    On Sundays, pastors send their parish members the written sermon by SMS. On the day of the grassroots churches, the pastor sends the lesson prepared for the grassroots church members. Using phone short messages, the leader of the grassroots community who has the booklet conducts the discussion on the lesson of the day.

    Please pray for all of these pastors and workers, that God will bless them with creativity and strength, and that the Holy Spirit will use the media to touch people’s hearts.


    In areas where few people have access to the internet or even mobile phones, other ways have to be found. Pastors and evangelists report that they are doing a lot of home visiting, bringing Holy Communion to old and infirm people.

    Pastors in UEM member churches are not only involved in parish work. Many of them also are very active helping church members who try to survive without any income under lockdown conditions. Many churches have started to collect food among their members and congregations and are distributing this to those who need it most.

    As one concrete example, Rev. Ramesh Fernando writes:

    At this critical period, we received calls and requests from our members. Some were begging for food. We have members who were living on daily wages. Some of them lost their jobs around March14th because some offices reduced staff from outside. (e.g. cleaning staff). So they do not have money to purchase what they need.

    Others are estate workers. They have locked down these people in their estates. No jobs and no shops to purchase their needs.

    As the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka our President/Bishop decides to start the relief work with the money we have. And some of our members and circuits contributed on this effort.

    As the Department of Evangelism, we have the responsibility for all new areas and mission areas.  I have purchased dry rations from Colombo and managed to travel to Deniyaya, Ampegama, Beruwala, Mahiyanganaya, Awissawella, Kalleliya,Giriulla, Badalgama, and Kovinna.

    My department helped 846 families in these areas. Thank God. And thank you for prayers. Please continue to pray for this work and for me. Because I’m exposed too much on my traveling.

    Please pray for these church workers that they will be given strength, and that they will be protected from being infected or infecting others.


    Finally, pastors and church workers themselves are a vulnerable group. Unlike in Germany, where salaries are paid by the church, pastors and evangelists in other parts of the world are mostly supported by local congregations, with income generated through Sunday offerings. With no church meetings possible and congregation members out of income, many pastors and church workers do not get paid any more. At the same time, the cost of food has risen steeply in some countries.

    Please pray for pastors, church workers and their families that God will take care of their needs. Please pray that those who have money and food to share open their hearts and their hands.


    In conclusion, this short reflection from Rev. Emmanuel Muhozi:

    In such a situation the word of God builds up our faith and strengthens us in praying.  In John 16:33 it says: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV). This is the conclusion of Jesus on his discourse to the disciples. He uses the words of hope and realism. He has promised his peace which surpasses that available from the world (14:27). To have peace doesn’t mean that ALL IS WELL in one’s life, rather expresses the notion of positive blessing, especially in terms of an accurate relationship with God. Peace is the most valuable blessing Jesus chosen for His disciples and it is still for Christians in all times even in the current situation of COVID-19.

    Peace be with you now and forever! Amen!

  • Prayer Alert - April 24, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today’s UEM prayer alert focuses on the situation of migrant workers in Asia and Germany. They are one vulnerable group that has been severely affected by both the Coronavirus and government responses to the crisis all over the world. Here are just some spotlights on their situation, collected from a number of different sources:

    Hundreds of thousands of women from the Philippines and Indonesia live abroad as domestic helpers. In cities like Hong Kong, social distancing measures mean that many of these women can no longer go outside during their free time. As most domestic helpers live with the family they are working for, usually in extremely cramped quarters, they are now completely isolated from their friends and colleagues. This is a difficult situation in the best of times, but utterly horrible if the employers are oppressive or even abusive.

    In Singapore, male migrant workers are housed in huge dormitories, sleeping twelve to twenty to a room. At least four such dormitories are now under quarantine due to COVID-19 outbreaks. But if these workers cannot go out to work, they also earn nothing.

    The Indonesian Muslim organization Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) has said that about one million Indonesian laborers in Malaysia have not been paid since the lockdown there began on March 18. The NU and other NGOs have been delivering food to these workers, but have been overwhelmed by the needs of people. The NU also reports that about 400,000 of them are no longer able to pay their rents and face eviction from their living quarters.

    In Germany, 40,000 Eastern Europeans have been allowed in on special flights to help harvest asparagus and strawberries. These migrant workers also live in cramped quarters and are often unable to follow the social distancing and hygiene rules that are being enforced in Germany. It is not clear what kind of care such workers will receive when they fall ill (one Romanian worker has already died of COVID-19 in Southern Germany). And if they find conditions unbearable, they have no way of escape as borders are closed and no means of travel back to their homes are available.

    Rev. Dr. Mike Lee of EKiR in Germany works in close contact with migrant churches. He writes:

    International churches suffer financial losses due to the Corona crisis as they are dependent on Sunday offerings. Many are now using online offerings, but these raise far less money. Quite a few congregations now find it difficult to pay rent for the buildings they use, or the salary for their pastor. We pray for their financial support in this time.

    We also pray for equal chances in education for children and youth of immigrants. It is a sad truth that they are disadvantaged when it comes to schooling. We pray for an intercultural opening of education in Germany.

    (In Germany, schools were closed for five weeks and have only started to reopen for small groups of students this week. Online education is offered, but migrant families may not have computers or tablets on which students could do their work.)


    In the Bible, we can read that God is very much concerned about migrants. The exodus from Egypt is actually the story of the liberation of a tribe of migrant workers who had to leave their homes due to drought and famine to work under inhumane conditions. Long before Israel was established as a nation, God said: “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their suffering and I have come down to deliver them.” (Ex 3:7-8)

    So today we ask you to pray for migrant workers in Asia and Germany and to remind God to listen to their cries and to come down to deliver them like he delivered his people back then.

    Finally, Rev. Clément Mputu from CADELU in Mbandaka/DR Congo, also asks for prayers:

    We don't have cases of coronavirus in Mbandaka, but people live in great fear. It is a poor city but which does not often experience wars and unrest. Often these are epidemics like Ebola, Cholera and now it's Measles.
    People are afraid because the conditions will be very difficult to fight coronavirus. We need prayer.

  • Prayer Alert - April 21, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,
    Today’s prayer alert does not focus so much on the COVID pandemic, but widens our perspective to other important prayer needs.

    First of all, here is a prayer request from CBCA - Baptist Church in Central Africa (DR Congo). The church’s treasurer, Mr Pascal Munoka, wrote: 
    In several African cultures, it is said: "Misfortune does not come alone". Similarly, since 1997, the Kivu region of the DRC is going through more than twenty-three years of war, insecurity, epidemic diseases like Ebola in 2018 which recently ended but thought to come back again in some parts of the DRC and now the Coronavirus like the whole world.
    This morning of April 17, 2020, information was sent to us that the very populated Uvira region, South Kivu, experienced a torrential rain that fell on the hills and the city of Uvira, leaving great human and material damage. A full report will be made as soon as the rain stops. CBCA correspondents on site are monitoring the situation while they are in confinement because of the Covid-19.
    The concern is that since this heavy rain started at midnight on April 16, 2020, it has strongly continued the day of April 17, 2020. The number of victims is still unknown.
    We have so far only had an oral update on the situation, saying that it is still raining in Uvira, that houses have been destroyed and that people are forced to live in the open.

    The General Secretary of the GPKB in Jakarta, Rev. Darwin Sihombing, also wrote to us:
    We inform you that in Jakarta as the capital of Indonesia, large-scale social restrictions have been implemented which have caused the economy of the church / community to begin to experience unrest. Because GPKB is a member of the UEM where the GPKB head office is located in Jakarta, we are very aware of the events occurring to members of the congregation and the people of Jakarta in general. GPKB has carried out social actions on a small scale even though it is still on a small scale, namely the temporary closing of houses of worship / churches, spraying disinfectants into congregational homes, and distributing masks. 

    Kavira Nganza, a church worker from CBCA in Goma, Eastern Congo, sent us this prayer:
    May God help us all to worship him in spirit and in truth.
    May he let this time of COVID-19 be the end of war in countries and regions of insecurity and successive war. As borders are closed, we hope that weapons of war have no place of circulating. 
    May this be a way of enemies of peace to reflect.
    Our prayer is: 
    Dear Lord, heal all your people from this challenge of COVID-19, protect them and save them, not only from physical hard diseases, but also from spiritual ones. 
    Let all UEM church members be attached to you, Lord. Amen. 

    Bishop Asiri Perera of the Methodist Church Sri Lanka published a video message on Facebook today to commemorate the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka exactly one year ago. (The video can be viewed under…)
    In his video, the bishop called for prayers for the families of those who were killed in last year’s bombing attacks as well as for those whose injuries still have not healed, for those who have remained disabled, and for those still suffering from trauma.
    Speaking about the fact that the government had prior warning of the attacks but did not inform the churches, the bishop asked that we should not only pray for God’s comfort and healing for the victims, but also for God’s power and authority to be brought over those who are hiding the truth about these attacks. People should pray for them to confess and to be brought to justice by the authorities.
    The bishop also asked for prayers for the ongoing investigations in the attacks, so that the truth about them would be revealed to the victims and all those affected. He added that we should also pray for those who are supporting the victims and their families that they would be strengthened in their encounter with the authorities.

    The final word today goes to the Moderator of the UEM, Rev. Dr. h.c. Willem Simarmata. He has written a pastoral letter that we would like to share with you all:
    I am humbly wishing you: Have a blessed Easter! The word of God confirms it: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1. Corinthians 15:57) 
    I hope you all are well and remain fit especially amidst a calamity of the Covid-19. Our world is shaken by the Covid-19. The global churches must cancel their Sunday services and regular ministries; employees must work from home and discontinue their products; schools and any educational institutions are locked; business centers and economic activities from small to large scales muss halt their operations; national borders are closed and the recent numbers of infected people have reached more than 2 million people. Most of the global countries have been affected by the outbreak of this virus. The rich countries are also not prepared to anticipate its mortal impacts. We are even more worried on the countries with financial and health systems limitations including the refugees, which could make the outbreaks even worse. We are like the disciples of Jesus who were afraid and hopeless as the Messiah was crucified and buried. Hopelessness, anxiety, sorrow and death have been our daily realities. 
    My brothers and sisters, but please be aware that our Christianity was not shaped in the comfort situations, but rather in the climate of sorrow, persecutions and death. However, the history tells us, that the number of first Christians even grew up in the midst of a crisis. Indeed, the risen Christ was the one who strengthened and uplifted their spirits to proclaim the Gospel and to live as the true Christian communities. 
    Dear friends, may the resurrection of Jesus Christ grant us strength and peace among the UEM families. I realize that many people do not have any serious concern with the virus. The largest troubles for them are massive poverties, high unemployment, and economic recession as consequences of the outbreak. However, I draw your attention to follow firmly the instructions from our own governments and from the global health institutions. Let us discipline our self to obey physical distancing as well as to live in healthy physical, mental, and spiritual conditions, so that the comprehensive healings would be fulfilled soon. 
    As the faithful communities in Jesus Christ we are called to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2). I am touched by the decision initiated by the UEM Management Team to donate One Million Euro to ease the burdens of our member churches in Asia and Africa which have been enormously affected by the pandemic. Moreover, I am asking you to elevate our Christian solidarity and social responsibilities to contribute more financial donations to UEM. UEM community which celebrates the Easter means that we are all courageous and convinced to overcome the valley of insecurity and depressions, as togetherness in the risen Christ is our strength. 
    Let us enhance our fellowship and intensify habits of the digital technologies in the time of physical distancing. In this turbulent phase we are called to develop our networks in many creative ways. I do thank you for posting the Prayer Alerts regularly which means for me that UEM is the praying community. Let us also pray for our friends who dedicate their life to serve us: medical workers, farmers, mail carriers, public transporters, etc. I conclude my Easter message with the words of the angels on the day of Jesus´s resurrection: “Do not be afraid ….. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28:5-6).

  • Prayer Alert - April 20, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    After the long daily prayer alerts before Easter and a one-week break, we are sending you a shorter alert today. Next week, there will be two prayer alerts, on Tuesday and on Friday.


    The following prayer requests come from UEM Evangelism Contact Persons in different regions as well as some local pastors. All of them remind us that the workers dependent on daily wages are the hardest hit in the current crisis.

    Rev. Joko Mahendro writes from GKJTU in central Java: As far as I know, Java (especially Jakarta and surrounding cities) is really rapidly affected of this pandemic. Many people are suffering because of losing a family member. Nowadays, many people are also losing their jobs. As pastor in the village, with other friends, I am trying to do some social actions. Next week we are collecting vegetables from the congregants that would like to share with the other. We will distribute it for some people in Salatiga which is now really in need charity relief. Please pray for this small action that my church is going to do.

    Rev. Ramesh Fernando from the Methodist Church Sri Lanka writes in a similar vein: Please pray for daily waged people! They are suffering without their medications and food.

    Superintendent Rev. Shukuru Maloda of the ECD in Zanzibar: We are well but not very well because we have 88 cases all over Tanzania of which 11 are from Zanzibar. We are worried because of the people who go to work, many fall under per day allowances; they cannot afford a total lockdown. We interact a lot in public transport dalala and in the market places. The families are much afraid of the situation. 

    I am sharing the situation so you remember us in prayers. 


    Rev. Dr. Anna Pangaribuan, Head of Marturia Department of HKBP in Sumatra reminds us that it is not only COVID-19 that makes people suffer:

    North Sumatra is in a bad condition not only because of Covid 19 (red zone) but also the weather too. A part of Samosir Island was struck by a tornado yesterday, and in other parts of Toba region, we had hailstorms. In nine villages around Laguboti, houses were damaged.

    Rev. Herta Manik from Ambarita (Samosir Island) adds that the church building and several houses of HKBP church members in the village were badly damaged by the tornado and heavy rain.


    Rev. Talla Waffo from EEC in Cameroon has this to say: We continue with partial containment where people can go out (to the market or to the office). Since Monday it's an obligation for every citizen to wear a mask before going out. Also the social distancing and hygienic rules are to be respect at all. At each market, church and public service entrance there are washing and disinfection devices. The school is still closed. The churches are open but with a ban on gathering more than 50 people at the same time. So far we have in all the country 878 cases with 165 cured and 17 deaths.

    Finally, from Germany I ask you to pray for the women and children suffering from increased domestic violence due to the lockdowns. This is something we hear from all over the world.

    At the end of his e-mail, Rev. Shukuru Maloda reminds us of our hope:

    All in all God is great. He shall take all of us through this tragedy like He did to the Israelites when crossing the red sea. 

    God bless you all. Stay home stay safe.

  • Prayer Alert - April 9, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today our prayer alert focuses on updates and prayer requests from UEM Wuppertal, Germany (EKvW), Indonesia (BNKP, GKI Tanah Papua), the DRC(ECC, CBCA), Tanzania (KAD, NWD) and Rwanda (EAR).

    UEM Wuppertal published eight posters for eight festivals:

    Church celebrates.

    Good Friday is not cancelled. Easter is not cancelled.

    Even if there are no church services: Church celebrates.

    That God is near, especially in suffering and death.

    And that he has conquered death.

    That there is hope.

    And that's why we share our message.

    Eight posters for eight festivals.



    From Germany:

    There are many international networks of communication, prayer and support, and these are growing.  They link people all over the world in these times of lockdowns and distancing. One example is the “Ecumenical Hangout”:    

    Hi friends around the Globe,

    please feel invited for the second Global Ecumenical Hangout!
    This time we will share about celebrating Easter in Coronatimes. 

    The Global Ecumenical Hangout is a digital ecumenical space for mutual exchange, reflection and support of each other. It started in March 2020, when people from Christian networks came together via Zoom to share about how our daily life changed due to Corona. 


    What can you expect: We come together in the group of all participants for prayers - and in groups of two, face to face, for a personal sharing. God gave us a spirit of love! And when we connect and share, we will learn from each other and become empowered! The event is open for people from other or none faith backgrounds, if they like to pray with us. 


    Many of the participants asked for a next meeting. So here it comes:


    Thursday, 9 April 2020, 2:00 pm UTC+2 (MEZ)

    For local times, please check examples below or a timezoneconverter.

    For this week, 9 April, the dial-in link is: 

    Meeting ID: 667 374 400

    Password: 368267

    There is also a Facebook Group “Global Ecumenical Hangout”. Please join it and check the dial-in information for the next Hangouts on Thursday, 23 April, 7 Mai and 21 Mai 2020.

    We are looking forward seeing you at the #globalecumenicalhangout

    Carolin, Christina, Lioba (Germany) and Mathew (India)

    San Francisco 5:00 am

    New York City 8:00 am

    Buenos Aires 9:00 am

    Lomé, London, Accra,Yaoundé 1:00 pm

    Berlin, Paris, Belgrad, Kapstadt, Kigali, Windhoek, Lusaka 2:00 pm

    Minsk, Nairobi, Daressala 5:00 pm

    Neu Delhi, Colombo 6:30 pm

    Yogyakarta, Jakarta 7:00 pm

    Hongkong, Manila 8:00 pm

    Jayapura 9:00 pm


    From Germany:

    From the Homepage of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia (

    In North Rhine-Westphalia, on Easter Sunday at 9.30 am, all bells of the protestant and catholic, of the free and orthodox churches will be rung.  The joint sounds of the bells shall express the Easter-joy about the victory of life, especially in these times of the pandemic. At 10.15, all who play organs, the piano, brass- or other instruments, are called to a “flashmob in distance”: They are called to play simultaneously “Christ ist erstanden (“Christ has risen”, a traditional and well known German Easter-hymn), in their gardens, on the balconies, or in front of the open windows of their homes.

    In Nordrhein-Westfalen läuten am Ostersonntag ab 9.30 Uhr außerdem die Glocken der evangelischen und katholischen Kirchen. Auch die freikirchlichen und orthodoxen Gemeinden schließen sich dieser ökumenischen Aktion an. Das gemeinsame Geläut soll gerade in Zeiten der Pandemie die österliche Freude über den Sieg des Lebens zum Ausdruck bringen. Um 10.15 Uhr, im Anschluss an den Fernsehgottesdienst, sind Bläser, Sängerinnen, Organisten und Pianistinnen zu einem „Flashmob auf Sicherheitsabstand“: aufgerufen: Das alte Osterlied „Christ ist erstanden“ soll dann überall in Deutschland erklingen – am offenen Fenster, auf dem Balkon oder im Garten.


    News from Juliman Harefa, Team leader COVID-19 Of STT Sundermann BNKP prevention task force team:

    The situation and condition of Coronavirus (COVID-19)  in Nias.  In Nias Island, there are 565 people in monitoring (ODP) are people who have a fever (≥ 38oC) or symptoms of respiratory system disorders such as colds / sore throats/cough and in the last 14 days before the symptoms arise have a history of travel or living in the country/region report local transmission. In the city of Gunungsitoli, there are currently 250 ODP people.  Thank God to date on April 3, 2020, there have been no residents infected or suspect with  COVID-19.

    In preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, The Bishop and General Secretary of BNKP Synod officer applied instructions from the President, the Police Chief of the Republic of Indonesia, the Governor, the Regent, the Mayor, and the PGI, which extended the social/physical distancing period by giving a circular stating that Sunday worship services and all church services were involving many people was carried out in the homes of each congregation until 29 May 2020 to break the chain of distribution of COVID-19.

    The BNKP Sundermann Theological Seminary is closed until the date of termination from 30 March - 29 May 2020. Civil servants work from home and school holidays until 21 April 2020. 

    Please pray for this situation, so COVID-19 will not spread to the Nias islands. People stay home and work from home safely.

    Thank you for your care and attention for us in Nias.


    Rev. Andrikus Mofu – Chairperson of GKI Tanah Papua wrote for call of prayer:

    Heavenly Father, already many people here in Papua suffer from infection with the Coronavirus. Protect our people and all others that You gave to us as our neighbors, that we shall not perish. 

    Lord, have mercy on our Papuan “mamas”, especially those who have small commercial enterprises that have to shut down in these times of crises. They no longer have any income. Let them not fall into poverty which could cause death in their families.

    God, we can no longer worship in our churches, but we rejoice because our members make family-altars at home. Their houses become centers of prayer and praise to You. Please receive the expressions of our faith, that we may not loose our trust in You during this catastrophe.

    Praise be to You for You move many hearts for charity. Your children help their neighbors, congregations and authorities help the students in their dormitories, many poor and needy enjoy acts of solidarity

    In Your caring hands we submit our physicians and nurses, who work day and night in their hospitals and clinics to help those who suffer. Protect them, oh Lord, from sickness and death.

    We pray especially for the millions of patients all over the world who are racked with pain, both those in hospitals but also those who cannot get medical treatment because of a lack of facilities; we pray for their families and friends who are afraid and desperate; we pray for those who mourn the loss of a beloved one whom their could not even meet for a last time, nor provide them with a proper funeral.

    Oh almighty Healer, grant wisdom, skill and strength to the scientists to develop a vaccine in a short time, so that many vulnerable people may be protected or healed from Covid 19.

    Merciful God, you are the great Listener of prayers. Receive our intercessions. Amen.


    The President of the Christ Church in Congo (ECC) in the DRC, Rev Dr Bokundoa Andre, sent a recorded song in French with the following translated words in English,

    Please read as you pray:


    1. When comes a strong storm                                                                                            
      to darken your blue sky
      Instead of lowering your head
      Count the blessings of God!



             Set before your eyes
             all the blessings!

            You will see while worshiping
            how great the number is!


    1. When on the slippery road
      you totter under the cross
      Think of that mighty hand
      who blessed you so many times!


               Set before your eyes
              all the blessings!
              You will see while worshiping
              how great the number is!


    1. If you lose in the trip
      more than a dear and sweet treasure
      think of the divine heritage
      who, at the highest you still have!



              Set before your eyes
              all the blessings!
             You will see while worshiping
             how great the number is!




    The President and Legal Representative of the CBCA- Baptist Community in the Center of Africa, the Rev. Dr Samuel Ngayihembako wrote:


    Here are some sentences by way of theological reflection and prayer that I offer to the UEM family at this Coronavirus and Easter times: 


    Praise for the house church at this time of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    A French expression says that something good can come from a misfortune (“à quelque chose malheur est bon”). Since our governments recommended the containment of the population and prohibited large gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19, we immediately understood that we must return to smaller prayer groups, in family cells. We have thus found places of communion, sharing, prayer and listening to the Word more effective than large gatherings in crowded temples, where many came to listen to the choirs, to follow whatever an eloquent speech by the pastor, a little bit like in concert halls or shows.

    Indeed, in these family cells, the father or the mother or the family member more knowledgeable in reading or studying the Bible directs his family in devotion and sharing of the Word, using the mother tongue and a language known to all, adapted and therefore well understood by each and every member of the family. In these cells, there is no gender segregation or conflict between social classes. There is no place for the snobbery of those who display their assets and reduce the needy. The noise of improperly used musical instruments is not there and the calm proper to true meditation before God reigns there. It is therefore more effective for mutual edification and truer, far from the hypocritical appearances of the official officiants of our large gatherings. We found the house church which, in early Christianity, trained trainers of committed and engaging disciples, fostered the spread of Christianity and resisted the terrible and successive waves of persecution.


    In this Easter period, we are going to live a true symbolism of the Jewish Passover, each family in prayer, locked up in their house, asking to be delivered by the shed blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and who delivers us from the death. In there, our meals will be taken as an agape where parents and their children really share this love of Christ who watches over us.


    My prayer is this Easter be for us a holiday "of the pass over" the houses of the people of God and therefore a party of avoiding death (cf. Ex 12: 21-27).


    May the Lord keep you and grant you a quiet Easter time.



    Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) - Tanzania:

    Bishop Dr Benson Bagonza of the ELCT KAD- Karagwe Diocese wrote:

    Greetings from Karagwe Diocese                                              

    Beloved brothers and Sisters in Christ

    We join UEM family to pray for the world under siege of Corona Virus. On Wednesday (1. April) , we held a diocesan prayer day. From 2.45pm, church bells, drums, sirens and other music instruments were activated for 15minutes all over the diocese. All people stood for 5 minutes wherever they were. They prayed, cried and sung. Then prayer intersessions were offered in all churches. The turn up was overwhelming and mostly held outside churches.

    As part of the country, we are standing on the critical and moral crossroad. The government has not locked down nor ordered churches to close. Church authorities have issues directives to effect liturgical and traditional set up in the churches. It is still not enough. We have 20 infected people nationally and 1 of them from Karagwe Diocesan area. Pray for our wisdom and responsibility in these trying times. We educate, we reach out and get ready for the support. Resources are not enough. The national leadership is tested beyond measure. We solicit your support and prayer


    UEM Vice Moderator, ELCT- NWD Bishop Dr. Abednego Keshomshahara, Bukoba, Tanzania sends the following prayer:

    Heavenly God, we ask you to help us in this context of the corona pandemic disease which is killing many people worldwide.  We request you to heal those who are sick, help to prevent others from contracting this virus. Comfort those whose relatives have died of the virus.

    Help scientists to discover vaccination and medicine for cure. Help the people to abide with the medical precautions for prevention.

     Help our countries to get necessary medicine that treats the symptoms of Coronavirus, help our countries to access equipment for medics. Help our doctors and nurses to take care of the virus victims with love and dedication. 

    Protect doctors and nurses against the disease as they serve people.

    Provide people with tolerance as they experience curfew, unusual life during times of corona virus and higher prices of some basic needs. 

    We thank you for those who have recovered from the virus. This shows your presence and hope of overcoming this disease.

    We ask all these in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.


    The Rev. Venant Ntakirutimana of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, Diocese of Shyogwe wrote:

    Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus  Christ, Greetings from the Anglican Church of Rwanda/ Shyogwe Diocese. Like many countries around the world, Rwanda also has been affected by Covid-19 and today Rwanda counts 89 infected people, none yet recovered and none yet died.  Since March 15th, all the country is restricted to lock-downs. There is no allowed gathering of people including worship gatherings, markets and all shops are closed, no work in office, taxi motorcycles and vehicles don't work, only some shops for food and pharmacy are still open. Since people cannot go out for work, those whose lives depend on day to day income are suffering from hunger. The government tries to provide a little help to the very vulnerable and our parishes in Shyogwe dioceses have been trying to collect some help to the poorest people in the surroundings. It is the right time also for the church to demonstrate the love of God through the congregants’ mutual support and congregations donating food to the poor. Again, without worship services and offerings, the church worries also about salaries of pastors which depended on local churches' offerings.  About evangelism work, Christians have been encouraged to have family worship services at home and Pastors try to spread brief bible messages in WhatsApp groups or send SMS. Some pastors try to share recorded video sermons on WhatsApp groups.  Please join us in prayers as we pray for people’s mutual help to overcome hunger, for leaders’ courage and fruitful decision making, for nurses and doctors for health, strength and courage to treat the sick, and for pastors to maintain hope as they spiritually care for believers. We pray God for healing all people around the world of their fear, depression from isolation, hunger and the pandemic itself.



    A Prayer by the One World Centre in Herne, EKvW for Easter Day:


    Lord, our Father,

    Lead us all out this Easter morning,

    as you did on Easter Day in Jerusalem,

    out of the locked grave and through closed doors into the light of the new day.


    See the plight of your people worldwide at this time,

    who want to celebrate the new life together on this day

    and are not allowed to do so, because of the regulations in almost all countries. 

    For all of us, let Easter be part of our everyday life,

    as we can see in many people and their deeds of hope,

    so that we become encouraged to try new things and defy old habits.


    In the end, like the women at the grave,

    let us find ourselves strengthened and encouraged in all our grief and fear.  

    Like the new morning you come to us

    into our world now marked by the disease.  

    But perhaps soon again we will be full of strength to carry on your message

    like the women did on Easter morning.


  • Prayer Alert - April 8, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today our prayer alert focuses on updates and prayer requests from four countries: Indonesia (STT Sunderman, GKPI, GKE), the DRC ( CDCC), Cameroon (EEC)  and Germany.

    Fotani Ziliwu from STT Sunderman BNKP wrote:

    According to government data that there is still no positive infection with the covid-19 virus in Nias, but hundreds of people who have just come from outside Nias are under surveillance. They came from the infected areas in Indonesia (Jakarta, Batam, Medan) and some Indonesian workers who were back from Malaysia.

    The government and various elements of society (including the church) are working together against the spread of covid-19. The things done are for example social/ physical distancing, washing hands, healthy lifestyle and so on. Classroom learning in schools is closed, replaced by home learning (online). Worship in the church is replaced by worship at home. The government has appealed to stay at home but in reality there are still many people difficult to do it fully because of economic problems.

    Please pray for us.

    -        People keep staying alert but not in panic.

    -        Groups that are very vulnerable, for example: the elderly, pregnant women, infants and children.

    -        People who are increasingly experiencing economic difficulties due to this situation. The price of basic necessities has been higher.

    -        Students and teachers who are still experiencing difficulties in the home or online learning.

    -        Health facilities and health workers in Nias which are still limited to face the spread of this virus.

    -        Devotions in homes can go well, and Christians can continue to grow in faith on this difficult situation.


    Rev. Teddy Sihombing, GKPI pastor, a UEM scholarship holder and member of the UEM international study program last year share the news:

    Provided help to members of the congregation, who affected by the corona virus pandemic. They are informal workers who cannot work after the Indonesian government calls for "social distance". My wife and I give food aid from church donations and pray for them that God give them strength throughout this situation. So this help is "from members to members".


    Rev. Wardinan S. Lidim, general Chairperson of GKE wrote:

    We do hope that pandemic covid- 19 as soon as possible the end up and our daily activities will be normally usually. In this bad situation, all of us as member big families of UEM must take care our health. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.


    From the DRC, Mbandaka City, President Eliki Bonanga writes:

    COVID-19: situation in DRC and position of the CDCC.

    Since the first case of COVID-19 had been identified in Kinshasa, the message has spread in the whole country but people were not very aware of what the situation had to become. From radio and social media, they already heard about it but they thought it was a Chinese disease. And when it touched DRC, some people claimed on streets that authorities were creating a situation in which they wanted to earn money from the International community. Unfortunately, the first case is always identified when other contacts have already been infected. Then, other cases were reported and even death. Then, the population understood that it was also a local issue.  It was time of fear and consciousness.   In a city like Kinshasa, infectious disease is more than catastrophe.  COVID-19 spread very fast that from March 10th, the current situation reports 123 confirmed people and 11 dead (25 days later).   With such exponential growth, in order to prevent the rest of the population, the government took severe measures such as:

    1.    Suspending public meetings: cultural events, church meetings including the Sunday services;

    2.     Closing all the schools;

    3.    Forbidding the funeral meetings in the temples as well as in families;

    4.    Encourages people to maintain hygienic practices (washing hands with soap, not shaking each other hands,  not touching  mouth, eyes and nose especially after blowing one’s nose) ;

    5.    Encourages people to stay at home and avoid direct contacts.

    The problem is that, it is possible that these decisions and even the additional measure of isolating Kinshasa, closing frontiers and suspending travels (flights and shipping) have been taken after some other infected people had already gone in Provinces. It is the case of the Kivu where Bukavu City reports two confirmed cases and the North Kivu one case.

    Position of CDCC:

    In solidarity with all the CDCC partners, brothers and sisters:  

    ·         We are listening to Paul who says: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7);

    ·          Then, we believe God will not abandon us because He says: “…Can a women forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you” (Isaiah49:15);


    In this trust, despite the high risk the world is exposed to, and considering the local context of the equatorial forest, CDCC:

    ·Commits for campaigning against COVID-19 through community education on what is COVID-19, how to contaminate it, how to avoid it, what to do in case the community identifies a suspect case,…

    ·Is aware of the necessity of mobilizing necessary equipment and basic  medicines for the community health stations,

    · Fully supports the measures already fixed by the Government for more prevention.

    Therefore, CDCC has established a multi-sectorial team to coordinate the church action against COVID-19. It is headed by Dr Bosolo (the Coordinator of Medical Department) and will have the charge of:

    -       sensitizing the population of Equateur, Tshuapa and Maindombe using media and other means which limit interpersonal contacts, 

    -        promoting hygiene in the community health stations, and even educate population on hygienic issues in their living places;

    -        Equipping the community health stations in necessary materials and basic medicines,

    -       Providing special services to the confined population in Kinshasa.


    Regarding the context, and the necessity of reaching all the corners of the church perimeter, CDCC intends working (if possible) in the following geographical areas:

    1.    Area 1: Mbandaka (Mbandaka, Bolenge, Bikoro, Boyeka, Ingende, Lukolela, Dianga, Bolomba, Basankusu);

    2.    Area 2: Basse-Tshuapa (Monieka, Eungu, Boende, Lofoyi, Wema, Wini, Befale, Djeera).

    3.    Area 3: Haute-Tshuapa (Bokungu, Mondombe, Lokina, Lofoome, Ikela, Loombo, Opala),

    4.    Area 4: Moboyo (Lotumbe, Mangilombe, Ifumo);

    5.    Area 5: Kiri (Kiri and Inongo);

    6.    Area 6: Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Kikwit, Matadi),

    7.    Area 7: Ubangi (Bosobele, Ubangi).

    CDCC trusts in God and believes that fighting together will be the solution against COVID-19.


    From the EEC Cameroon, the Rev Jacques Ngahne shares:

    An update of the situation of Covid 19 in Cameroon. Since Monday we have reached 650 cases. Maybe you remember last week when I sent you a report, there were 280 cases.

    Two members of our Parish passed away last week. A doctor on Friday, a lawyer on Sunday. What is terrible is the impossibility of being nearby the family in these circumstances. So sad.

    Lord, we look for your strength!

    From Germany: the following prayer is shared:

    Good God, the Corona crisis frightens us.  We never had such a situation before.

    All over the world, people are becoming ill. And many more stay at home or in distance to each other, so that they do not transmit the virus.

    I ask you: Stay with us in this situation. Be with those who are sick and those who are at risk and with all those who care for them. Help us to remain calm. Help us to show solidarity with those who need our protection.

    Good God, let this Corona crisis pass soon.  And grant us now courage and hope.

    (Beate Hirt,

  • Prayer Alert - April 7, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Our prayer alert today focuses on four countries: Germany with a prayer for Rwanda, today is the beginning 26th commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi

    (April-July 2020) , the UCCP in the Philippines and ELCT-ECD Tanzania.

    From Germany, Rev Bukowski Sylvia of the Evangelical Church in Rhineland (EKiR) sent the following prayer for Rwanda, please join:

    Lord of the world,

    you promise to be close to the people,

    a protector of the weak. 

    But where have you been

    when the big murder started

    in Rwanda?

    Didn't you hide your face,

    didn’t you hide your presence,

    didn’t you keep silent about the cries of the victims

    who were left defenceless, even in the churches?


    Now, 26 years later, we pray to you 

    for the survivors of the genocide:

    Until this day, most of them are marked

    by the horror

    in which they have lost everything:

    loved ones,

    a safe home,

    and trust in one another. 

    Don't deny them your comforting presence.

    Help them

    when by remembering the wounds tear open again. 

    Put people by their side

    who listen to them

    without avoiding their pain.


    God, judge of the world,

    we command your righteousness

    to the murderers and their accomplices,

    many of them still without remorse,

    embroiled in lies and coward excuses. 

    Lead them to understand their guilt

    and make new beginnings possible

    from sincere confession.


    God, we also pray for us:

    Yes, we were shocked

    when we heard and saw

    what was happening in Rwanda at the time. 

    But we quickly forgot it

    because new things are overwhelming us daily. 

    God, we often feel so helpless

    facing the magnitude of suffering! 

    And now the fear of Corona

    keeps our eyes on what is happening elsewhere.

    Lead us out of the confines of our thinking

    and save us from resignation.


    Bless the peacemakers

    and those who work for reconciliation.

    Hold your protecting hands over Rwanda

    and heal the wounds of all nations. 

    Turn to us and connect us across all borders

    in the hope for your mercy.



    From the Philippines: Rev. Frank J. Hernando, Executive Secretary of the UCCP wrote:

    Greetings in God’s reassuring peace and love!

    We are indeed grateful for the UEM’s initiative in praying for the countries including the Philippines.

    The most recent data on the COVID-19 infections, deaths and recovery is disclosed by CNN Philippines online news portal:

    Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — Nine more Filipinos have died from the coronavirus disease in the country, bringing the nationwide death toll to 54, the Department of Health reported Friday. In its 4:00 p.m. bulletin, the DOH confirmed 96 new cases of the viral disease. The country now has a total of 803 cases. Three more patients have recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 31 recoveries.

    The government has ordered enhanced community quarantine in the entire northern island of Luzon since March 15 and followed suit by provincial and municipal government in the entire country. Because of the lock down intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus, public transport was totally shut down, flights coming in and out of domestic and international airport have been drastically reduced and will be totally locked down in the coming days.

    Daily wage workers and those in the informal economy, sidewalk vendors, tricycle drivers and others have been severely affected such as losing income and running out of food supply and scrambling for cash they can eke out from odd jobs they can do to get cash. Local government units have supplied basic food assistance consisting of five kilos of rice and two or three cans of sardines for three to four days. Other Local Government Units (LGUs) have given generous food supplies.

    The UCCP along with progressive and concerned sectors of society has been advocating for “mass testing” for persons with symptoms of COVID-19 virus so that people will get proper and speedy diagnosis and medical and health support services can be offered.

    Also, the UCCP Office of the General Secretary (OGS) has issued a pastoral statement and guidelines how to face the pandemic and protect the communities from catching the virus. Church services were suspended and house church worship services have been encouraged. Financial assistance to poor and needy church workers will be given to alleviate their dire economic situation.

    We are also encouraging church hospitals to respond appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic. Relief assistance service is underway which will be done in coordination with the government Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

    We didn’t missed emphasizing the state’s primary responsibility in these times of great need of the people especially those in the lower social strata of the Philippine society.

    We pray that’s healing will flow forth like the biblical imagery of the healing balm in Gilead. +


    From the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania- East and Coastal Diocese (ECD), the Dean Rev Chediel Lwiza writes:

    Bwana Yesu asifiwe (Praise the Lord).In Dar es Salaam, people continue to attend places of worship with precautions of washing hands by either using: water and soap, treated water, or/ and sanitizers. This is done before entering the church and afterwards. Religious leaders also insist their followers to adhere to health directives.

    The ECD is careful about misleading theologies regarding the pandemic. The ECD believes that apart from all human beings efforts, still in God there is complete healing. The church thus encourages church members to fast and pray for God’s intervention. Ash Wednesday is one of the most dedicated days for fasting and prayers. The ECD insists on praying for all nations.

    The ECD is using Upendo Media (newspaper, radio, television, and social media) to reach community with the Gospel and educative messages at this time, where week day’s church services in place of worship have been suspended. There are pastors who have been assigned each day to share the significant of Jesus suffering and the Love of God to human being. The ECD through Upendo Media is developing contextual biblical messages of hope, trust and confidence and display them through the television. Through Upendo Newspaper there are selective educative articles from physician and theologians, shared to community regarding the pandemic.

    Furthermore, the ECD is admonishing Congregants to send messages of encouragement and hope through their social media. The Tanzanian government has started to impose stringent restrictions to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. In the public transport it insists level sits, motorcycle, popular as "Bodaboda," have been allowed to ferry passengers into and out of the city centre, public gatherings including schools, sports and music events, political meetings, and community events are still suspended.

    To date, the Tanzanian ministry of health has confirmed the country's first death from Covid-19. The patient was a 49-year-old Tanzanian man, who had other underlying health conditions. The number of corona virus cases in Tanzania is still 19.



    Our God who art in heaven, you are the Alfa and Omega. Your Word, the Bible, shows your immense care and mercy for your whole creation, and especially for each one of us. You care for us, and promised that you will not forsake us, and that you want us to spend eternity with you. You gave us your only beloved Son that whosoever believes Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

    You confirmed to your nation Israel when was in exile through your prophet Jeremiah that your thoughts toward them was peace and not evil, to give them a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). You also promised that "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14). Lord, God, you have assured us that eventhough we walk through the darkest valley, we need not to fear no evil, for you are with us, and your rod and your staff, they comfort us. Lord God, we confess our sin and humbly ask you to hear our prayers and heals us from corona pandemic.

    We pray for people who are infected with COVID-19 or facing quarantine. We pray for people at higher risk of developing the disease. We pray for people who are dying now because of corona virus, to die in your hands. We pray for medical professionals and caregivers to handle those who are suffering in a Godly way. We pray for researchers responsible for corona antiviral to invent it. We pray for wisdom for leaders responsible for making decisions about how to face this pandemic. We pray for consolation, hope and trust to the LORD for families whose loved ones have rest to eternity.  We pray for business, our economy, we pray for families facing financial stress. We pray for the disease to stop spreading. We pray for your guidance on how we can help each other and how we can care people affected by the new corona virus. We pray as apostles did to you Lord, "to increase our faith!" in this devastating situation.

    We pray all these in the Name of your Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


  • Prayer Alert - April 6, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Our prayer alert today focuses on three countries, Germany, Indonesia and Rwanda. It will end with a short meditation from South Africa.

    From Germany, one thought and a prayer were shared by the Evangelical Church of Hesse and Nassau:

    Not all has been cancelled

    Life has not been cancelled

    Spring has not been cancelled

    Summer has not been cancelled

    Autumn has not been cancelled

    Smiling has not been cancelled

    Reading has not been cancelled

    Praying has not been cancelled

    Singing has not been cancelled

    Writing letters has not been cancelled

    Talking has not been cancelled

    Dreaming has not been cancelled

    Consoling has not been cancelled

    The future has not been cancelled

    Faith has not been cancelled

    Love has not been cancelled

    Hope has not been cancelled

    Gratefulness has not been cancelled

    (Found, taken up and thought further during the Corona crisis by Günther Ruddat)


    Our heavenly father,

    Through your spirit we are united in faith, hope and love.

    Even if we are isolated and lonely in these times–

    We belong to the worldwide community of your children.


    Let grow our faith that you are always close to us and let us experience that we are one with our sisters and brothers all around the world.

    Uplift those who are sick.

    Lighten the hearts of those who are lonely.

    Grant wisdom and courage to those who bear responsibility.

    Strengthen all those who work in the medical services

    Stand by our sisters and brothers in the worldwide ecumenical community.

    And endow all of us with new ideas to strengthen our bond.


    May the Lord bless you and keep you;

    May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

    May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.


    (International Prayer Chain, Evangelical Church of Hessen and Nassau)


    Rev. Agustinus Purba, Ephorus of GBKP, Indonesia sends the following prayer:

     Greetings in the Name of Jesus.

    This hard situation all our activities we do in home. In all the GBKP, we worship in homes by providing worship services made by pastors of each congregation. In some places of worship carried out using technology such as live streaming.

    In this difficult situation, we also make diakonia actions such as making wasteful  in several locations and spraying disinfectants. Some congregations in the city have taken action to distribute rice, sugar and other food needs to the poor people affected by covid 19 plague.

    For that, please pray for us:

    1.      GBKP ministry to people who are facing this difficulty, especially for congregations who have been affected by this virus. And All families, the GBKP congregation to stay strong

    2.      So that the presbyters and volunteers are given the strength to serve all congregations and community in this difficult time

    3.      All activities that are postponed, especially the preparation of the synod meeting in due time, will be carried out well

    4.      One significant impact is church finance; this will affect the activities and salaries of GBKP personnel. Please pray for this too

    5.      Pray also for people affected by the virus, doctors and nurses, scientists and the Indonesian government who are struggling to overcome this difficulty

    Thank you for your attention and good cooperation. May we continue to do good services in this difficult situation. God takes care of us.


    Bishop Dr Jered Kalimba of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, Diocese of Shyogwe writes on the behalf of the Dioceses of Butare (Bishop Nathan Gasatura), Cyangugu (Bishop Francis Karemera) and Kigeme (Bishop Assiel Musabyimana):   COVID-19 SITUATION IN RWANDA AND PRAYER ALERT

    Dear Friends, Warm greetings in Jesus Name!

    First of all, we thank Almighty God for his protection; He has not abandoned us indeed. Even in this scary time of COVID -19, we still feel the love and presence of God in our midst. To Him, we lift up our eyes (Psalm 123: 1, Psalm 121) and from Him, will come the healing and salvation of the entire world. Although, we are surrounded by fear and anxiety, we still lean on God’s promises and we feel protected and comforted in His shelter. We thank also our government leaders, our president and his team, our local authorities for the effort made to protect the whole Nation against this pandemic. The care given to the 75 infected is to be appreciated. Praise the Lord that up to now, no one died.

    Let us kindly share with you about the COVID-19 situation in Rwanda. We now have 75 Cases and the number is still increasing since we had the first case, March 14; fortunately no death is reported yet. Since March 21, the whole country is in lockdown and the country’s life is down. Schools, church buildings, borders and Markets-shops (Other than food ones) are closed. Many people are suffering due to consequences of this severe lockdown as many people have lost jobs following the re-enforcement of the measures taken to stop the spread of the plague. People are going hungry because of the food shortages and the peak in prices for the necessities. The government is now trying to help the most vulnerable people with food distribution but it is just like a half drop in the ocean. The government has called on churches, institutions, organizations and private individuals to join hands in this battle of getting food for the hungry and dealing with all kind of consequences of COVID-19.

    Some people are afraid for the next weeks, it could get harder and harder to get food and basic needs but we place our faith and hope in God, the most merciful and provider.

    We are also wondering how the people who work for the church (catechists, pastors, teachers in our private schools, staff in our clinic and health centers paid by the church and supporting staff …etc) are going to be paid. All places of worship (Church buildings) are closed and no more church offerings. The church is encouraging Christians to help their families and their neighbors who are suffering from hunger and lacking the basic needs. We kindly seek for your prayers and continuous support.

    Dear all UEM friends and the entire worldwide community,

    We are aware that on your side you are struggling with the hard challenges and consequences caused by COVID19. We hold you in our daily prayers. As Christians letus continue to join hands in praying for all victims across the globe, especially for those who are severely sick and those who are mourning after the loss of their dear ones.  Let also keep standing on our faith and hope, relying only on the Almighty God for the eradication of coronavirus and the healing of the whole world very soon. Amen!

    We have got some Particular prayer requests to share with you: We kindly ask you to pray for:

    1. Rwandans and all people’s hearts to feel God’s love  and peace in this terrible and anxious time;
    2. Anglican Church of Rwanda to help Christians to stand firm in their faith and be able to provide food to the hungry ,vulnerable people and  victims of the COVID19;
    3. Anglican Church and other Churches initiatives of supporting the needy people like collecting food, clothes and some other necessities;
    4. Anglican Church to find support to keep running daily church activities like salaries for pastors and other church workers etc….
    5. God’s healing: we pray God to give knowledge to the scientists to get medicine and vaccines as we are crying to Him to answer our prayers and to have mercy upon His creation;
    6. Orphans, widow (er)s and elderly people  who are in a very great need of help;
    7. Rwanda government to be able to support  financially the  institutions dealing with finance , other institutions and organizations and self-employed people that are greatly affected by the great financial crisis brought by the Pandemic;
    8. Rwanda government to be able to care for current 75 infected people( the number is increasing)  and to find funds  to improve healthcare facilities and to participate in stopping the spread of the pandemic; 
    9. 26th commemoration of Genocide against Tutsi while facing the COVID- 19.
    10.  Families to be able to care for their children confined at home and to assist them in their education and wellbeing with parents and living peacefully within the family.


    The Cape Regional Synod Core Ministry for Congregational Ministry and Witness Ministry of URCSA in South Africa has published a set of daily short mediations for the month of April. Here is today’s meditation, written by Rev Prof Reggie Nel,


    Readings for the day: Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11

    Focus Text: John 12:1-11

     Our God in times of vulnerability

    One sometimes wonders, did Mary know what would come – the execution and ultimately the crucifixion of Jesus? Obviously, the author here is already aware of what will happen and can therefore make side-notes of Judas’ question (v 4-5) and even of Jesus’ answer (v 7). He writes this gospel many years after these events. 

    What we can see is that vulnerable people like Mary, through Jesus’ life and actions, got to know Jesus as the One who draws people to him – people who often struggle, people who are burdened. They experience him as the One who will not break a “bruised reed” (Isa 42:3) or snuff out a “smouldering wick” (v 3, NIV); He is the destination of their search.  Ingrid Jonker describes this search as a wind which carries “’n nag van distels” [“a night of thorns”] and “’n dood sonder duisterheid” [“a death without darkness”] in her poem Die lied van die gebreekte riete [“The song of broken reeds”] (1959). He himself, carries this vulnerability. 



    Lord, we are also bruised reeds, who are searching for You. We come to be with you, with our tears, vulnerability, and we discover that You carry it for us.  Amen.

  • Prayer Alert - April 3, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Many thanks to all of you who have been responding to the alerts to say that they are praying with us!

    This Saturday and Sunday, we will not send out any prayer alert. From next Monday to Maundy Thursday, there will again be daily prayer alerts, but then we will take a break until the Tuesday after Easter. We trust that with all the alerts we have been sending out, you have plenty of material for your prayers! After Easter, we will send an alert twice a week for the time being.


    On this Friday leading up to Palm Sunday, we have some shorter news from Asia, and a meditation for Palm Sunday from Rev. Prof. Reggie Nel from URCSA.

    Officially, Indonesia now has 1,986 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but as Tetty Aritonang (GKPI, UEM Council member) writes, this number may be much higher:

    Because of the limited medical equipment to test COVID-19, I am sure that many people are not yet detected with COVID-19, but in reality perhaps the number of positive COVID-19 are many and still hidden.

    We are not yet under lockdown. I don't think Indonesia is ready for the lockdown. It could create chaos because so many people will be having difficulty for their everyday life, whereas the government is not yet ready to provide logistics equally because of the political situation. It is so sad when people are still thinking and playing politics in this such a difficult time.

    Please pray for the people's will and commitment to stay home and to follow the standard protocol from the WHO and the government, and that people will stand hand in hand to fight this pandemic.

    Please pray for the poor who are currently affected a lot financially.

    And also please pray for the people who lost their family member because of COVID-19.


    Rev. David Thayaseelan, former director of Kalkudah Evangelism Training College in Sri Lanka, has these three prayer requests:

    May I request all who read this message to include the following prayer requests in your chain, individual or family prayers:

    1. Pray for the migrant workers who got stuck locally and internationally and are unable to return home. Remember their families as well.

    2. Pray for those who have left the country with the hope of settling in another country through 'AGENCIES '. Many are abandoned and stranded. Their families are suffering as they invested everything they had on this travel. Please do pray for them.

    3. There are many social and other media spreading many fake news on the present crisis. It creates unnecessary panic and mental depression among people. Please pray that everyone especially the media behave with greater responsibility.


    And the meditation for Palm Sunday, 5 April 2020:

    Readings for the day: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-

    16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 27:11-54

    Focus Text: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

    His love endures forever

    Jesus walks (rides) towards His execution. Branches of palm trees are waved and the authorities whisper slyly behind their hands. He looks these realities straight in the eye, like the poet of Psalm 118 who, in the face of “anguish” (v 5), surrounded by the nations and about to fall (v 13), can still sing with the people of the covenant: “His love endures forever.”

    This makes me think of an old well-known song we used to sing: “Sing when the sun is bright, sing in the darkest night … let us sing, sing, sing.”

    There was singing when Jesus was on his way to meet his fate in Jerusalem. Today, at the beginning of the final Holy Week of Lent, let us focus our eyes on God’s enduring love and

    sing: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps 118:24)



    Lord, in the face of anguish and the Holy Week of Lent, we will sing: This is Your day, the day you gave us. We will rejoice and be glad in it.


  • Prayer Alert - April 2, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Our prayer alert today focuses on two countries, Botswana and Cameroon, and we close with a short meditation from South Africa.


    Bishop Mothusi J. Letlhage of the ELCB- Botswana- and Chairman of the UEM Africa Regional Board, writes:

    Greetings from Gaborone/Botswana
    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
    Please pray for our beloved Country Botswana and the Southern African region that the spread of (Coronavirus) Covid 19, which has affected the whole World, be under control. The pandemic emerged where many families are still suffering from the aftermath of chronic diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Blood pressure, Cancer and other related diseases and also living under extreme poverty.)

    Pray for our countries, churches, the ELCB Pastors, co-workers, congregants and all UEM members worldwide during this time of fear and hopelessness, that they continue having wisdom and strength to share the message of love and care especially on this period of extreme lockdown.

    Pray for the congregations to find new and better ways of reaching out to the needy and give spiritual support to each other in this period of extreme lockdown and social distancing.
    Pray for our nation to conquer fear and evil spirits in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ throughout this period of extreme lockdown. Pray for nations to trust in their governments and adhere to all measures put in place by our leaders to curb the global pandemic.

    Let us all pray to our Heavenly Father and mighty Lord who is our Healer that the medical professionals may find the cure for this Covid 19 soon.

    Hope and trust be unto our Creator in whom we trust.


    From Cameroon, two people have reported about the situation. Rev. Jacques Ngahne from Douala writes:

    The last official figures in Cameroon are 233 cases, 8 deaths and 10 cured.

    Measures from government are: closing of borders, schools, avoiding gatherings of more than 50 people, reducing number of people in transport, all this for 15 days, and renewed yesterday for 15 other days. These measures are not working because of lack of social measures to support them.

    This week, there was an announcement of a fund of solidarity with one billion francs. But no one knows what it means and of course, it will be very insufficient.

    Many experts have asked for a confinement, to at least avoid people from travelling from a city to another. Nothing till now.

    All this to say that, like many countries and worse, our health system is not ready to face a catastrophic crisis. We haven't been preventive enough. Now we don't have means to cast out massive diagnoses.

    During our teachings on Facebook, we have a Covid page to sensitize our followers on barrier measures and the necessity to be aware. We are preparing posters to display in some church places such as hospitals, banks. We also looking forward to provide them with hydro alcoholic gel. We are finding other ways to help.

    Unfortunately, there are not enough medical materials such as masks, tests, protections for medical staff who are exposed to the virus. A city like Douala can reasonably take care of 15 patients in case of respiratory distress.

    We share the suffering of our sisters and brothers all over the world and we all look to the One who is still able to strengthen us in these moments. To him be the glory.  Amen!


    And Rev. Talla Waffo adds:

    Even if some parishes have seen fine to close completely, the majority still organize worship and prayer meetings in the church with limitation of participants below 50. Also, at the entrance of the parishes which have remained open, there is a disinfection device and inside people are seated respecting the principle of distance and prohibition of greetings...

    We're praying for the government, for the medical team on the field and for God's mercy...


    The General President of the EEC in Cameroon, Prof. Jean Samuel Hendje Toya, sends the following prayer:

    Almighty God, be present now to those who need your love because of COVID-19. Put your healing power through the care of doctors and nurses. Father God, help your people to avoid fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation, especially people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a great sense of pursuing health and protecting others from being exposed to the disease. 


    Be with countries’ leaders making decisions that affect the lives and the future of our families, communities, countries and the wider world. May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection!  Holy God, we know that you are the one who provides everything. We ask that you keep this coronavirus from continuing to spread. Give government officials the ability to safely handle people arriving from other countries. Help people to stay home instead of traveling or going out needlessly. Holy Spirit, remind people to keep all measures taught to fight spread of the disease. And while it may be heartbreaking, comfort families as they decide to keep their distance from elderly or other high-risk family members. God help your people to remember that you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear!

    The Cape Regional Synod Core Ministry for Congregational Ministry and Witness Ministry of URCSA in South Africa has published a set of daily short mediations for the month of April. Here is today’s meditation, written by Rev. Stephen Pedro:

    Readings for the day: Psalm 31:9-16; 1 Samuel 16:11-13; Philippians 1:1-11

    Focus Text: Psalm 31: 9-16


    Even in times of pandemic, our times are in God’s hand.

    The psalmist in Psalm 31:15 declares that his times are in God’s hands. It is the words of a man who fully trusts God (verse 14). David is saying that his life is in God’s hands – his day by day circumstances and events. This is just another way of saying that he was trusting God with his life. He made this statement whilst he was in a situation where he was pursued by his enemies and he was pleading to God to rescue him with his unfailing love.

    We are also in a situation where our lives are threatened. We are afraid, uncertain, and anxious, especially when we hear every day how the total, of people who tested positive with the Corona virus and dies of COVID-19 related illnesses, increases. It even contributes to our state of mind becoming depressive. But we are also certain that the God in whose hand our times is today and tomorrow, is the God that only want the best for His creation and especially for His children.


    We also know that the God in whose hand our time is, is our Redeemer (v16), that He is present in our lives (v21). He listens when we call upon Him for help with our supplications

    (v23b). Therefore, we can, in these times of pandemic, go to Him in prayer, with boldness and assurance that He will not forsake us.



    Lord our God, we are worried and anxious and afraid. Thank you for the assurance to know that our times is in Your loving and caring hand, especially in times of pandemic. Thank you that we know that You only want to do good to us. Come to our rescue, O God, save us with your unfailing love.



  • Prayer Alert - April 1, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today our Prayer Alert focuses on Hong Kong. Windvy Yu from CRC writes:

    Our Heavenly Father,

    We pray to you about this world crisis, Corona Virus that is affecting the whole world. God, please save those poor who even do not have enough protective means. Please stand with those medical front liners who put their life lower than the patients. Please help those researchers to have wisdom to develop an effective cure as early as possible.

    God, because you are the LORD, our LORD. 'The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalms 121:7-8)'

    Thank you LORD that we can still help each other in this hard time. A few weeks ago, we at CRC received a number of masks from the member churches in Indonesia. We really thank these member churches and also the management work by all the colleagues in the Asia Department.

    The virus situation is changed every day. On 31/3, the official report announced that there were 41 new cases that day and now 683 cases in total in Hong Kong. The government launched numerous regulations last Saturday. One of them bans every assembly or meeting which has more than 4 people. That means all the services in Hong Kong are stopped and transferred to an online format. Restaurants are also the victims because they need to ensure each table has only 4 people and each table should have at least 1.5 meter distance from the others. They can only serve half of their capacity. We all know these measures are used to decrease the infected cases.

    LORD, please help our leaders in the government to launch the strategies more wisely. Please also help the church leaders and colleagues to make the appropriate decisions when facing the current situations.  Please be with the brothers and sisters who have to stay at home to attend online service or those in quarantine period. God, please be with us.


    In addition to the focus on Hong Kong, we would also like to share with you the concern in several churches for those people who do not have food to eat because they depend on daily wages and are unable to work due to lockdowns.

    Ramesh Fernando reports from Methodist Church Sri Lanka today that pastors, evangelists and lay people are out in force despite the curfew to distribute food to people who are in danger of starving. He also writes that it is difficult to get medication, and that many people with diabetes and high blood pressure are at risk.

    And Bishop Francis Kamerera from EAR/Cyangugu Diocese in Rwanda writes:

    As many of our people are living in extreme poverty and are dependent on casual labor, we are facing another threat of hunger. Parents who normally depend on their daily wage have lost their income and are currently not able to provide a single meal per day to the children.

    As this situation occurs in the days of Lent, we are reminded of Isaiah 58:6-7, where it is written: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: … Is it not to share your food with the hungry and provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” These verses inspired us to start a project to help our brothers and sisters who are currently struggling to survive. We are raising funds from our own congregations and we are distributing it to the most vulnerable, but it is like a drop in a sea of needs.

    We kindly request for prayers and support as the crisis is so enormous that we cannot handle it alone.

  • Prayer Alert - March 31, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    This is the tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the countries of UEM churches today (according to


    Germany          68,180

    Philippines        2,084

    Indonesia           1,528

    South Africa      1,353

    Hong Kong           714

    Cameroon             193

    Sri Lanka              142

    DR Congo               98

    Rwanda                   70

    Tanzania                19

    Namibia                  11

    Botswana                  3


    The ECC President, Rev Dr Bokundoa bo-likabe Andre writes:

    Dear beloved UEM, Thank you for everything. For the subject of prayer, we have only one: May God save the Congo from the hecatomb at the origin. We do not have an adequate health services, our help is in the hands of the Lord.


    We join in this prayer and pray that the countries with low numbers of infections will not see these numbers grow very much, and that the pain of lockdowns will bear the fruits of protection. Let us also pray for the United States (165,874 cases), Italy (101,739 cases), and Spain (94,417 cases) which are struggling with huge numbers of sick people and are mourning many deaths.


    From an email by Rev. Hatani Kisting from Namibia:

    The world is at a stand-still and nothing seems to be functioning... People are left in hopelessness, in despair and in fear and anxiety. Covid 19 has got us all on our knees and as we are anxiously looking around us, we realize at once that only God's word and His everlasting promises are given to us as our everlasting hope. 

    I need to assure you that we are not only in thoughts and prayers with you, but you remain in our hearts as partners in Christ Jesus. Your pain and suffering is touching us deeply and even moving our souls as we are connected as Church and children of God. The circumstances in Namibia is devastating as well but we remain connected with you and light the candle of hope for us all.

    As you and us and the whole world is going through these hard times, let us carry the torch of hope and keep it burning. I'm sure that this will pass and we will overcome in the blood of Jesus. We pray for the families who lost their loved ones, that God will comfort them in their bereavement, and also for those in medical facilities. We pray for Germany and our sister churches in Africa and Asia and for the poorest of the poor. May God our Mighty Fortress keep us and have mercy upon us.

    May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and minds.


    Hulda Vagheni writes from Goma: 

    1 case has been confirmed today by the governor. It is about a man from Nigeria who was in Goma since 18th of March. He works for a humanitarian organization. 

    Bukavu has 2 confirmed cases. United in prayer, we believe in God even now.


    We continue to bring you translations of a prayer that goes around the world. A big Thank You to Venant Ntakirutimana, Marthe Maleke Kondemo and Anderson Moses Kipande for their help with translations in to Kinyarwanda (yesterday), Lingala and Kisuaheli!



    Tata na biso oyo azali na likolo, na nzela na molimo na yo tozali moko kati na kondima, na elikia mpe na bolingo. Ata soki tozali kobika moto na moto na esika na ye, mosika na mosusu na tango oyo, tozali moto kati lingomba monene na mokili oyo esangisi bana na yo. Tika tokolisa komdima na biso koyebaka ete ozali tango nyoso pene pene na biso to bilkela mpe tososola ete tozali moko elongo ba ndeko basi mpe mibali kati na mokili. Bikisa ba oyo bazali na pasi. sunga mitema na ba oyo bazali bango moko. Pesa bwanya mpe nguya na ba oyo bazali komema mokumba. Pesa makasi na ba oyo nyoso bazali kosala na ba opitale. Telema pembeni na ba ndeko na biso ya basi mpe mibali oyo tozali na bango kati na bomoko na mokili mobimba.Pesa biso nyoso makanisi ya sika mpo na ko kembisa lisanga ya bomoko kati na biso.

    Tika Yawe apambola yo mpe abatela yo; tika Yawe atanisa elongi na ye na likolo na yo mpe ayokela yo ngolu; tika Yawe anetola elongi na ye na likolo na yo mpe apesa yo kimia. Amen


    Mokili mobimba tozali na mabondeli. Soki olingi ko bondela na biso, zuwa libondeli oyo, kabola yango na ba mosusu na nzela na internet too mpe bimisa makomi mpe baka na bikuke na ndako na to too mpe na motuka na yo. Tokoki kokabwana na mikili, kasi tozali moko kati na molimo. Tika tomonisa yango.



    Baba yetu uliye Mbinguni, Kwa Roho wako tunaunganishwa ki-imani, matumaini na upendo. Pamoja na kujitenga na kuwa wapweke wakati huu, tu watoto na jumuiya yako ya kiulimwengu. Kuza imani zetu kwa sababu kila wakati uko karibu nasi, tuunganishe na kaka na dada zetu ulimwenguni. Wainue wagonjwa. Imulike mioyo ya wapweke. Wape hekima na nguvu wanaokabiliwa na majukumu. Waimarishe watenda kazi mahospitalini. Uwe na ndugu zetu wote ulimwenguni. Na utupe mawazo mapya yatakayoimarisha umoja wetu.

    Bwana akubariki na kukulinda; Bwana akuangazie Nuru ya uso wake na kukufadhili; Bwana akuinulie uso wake na kukupa amani. Amina


    Maombi kiulimwengu. Kama unataka kuwa mshiriki katika maombi hata ya mnyororo. Shiriki sala hii kwenye makundi yako mitandao ya kijamii, au chapa (printi) na weka sala hii mlangoni, au ukutani au dirishani au kwenye gari lako. Tumetengwa kimwili lakini Kiroho tuko pamoja-Tuoneshe hili!


  • Prayer Alert - March 30, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today we would like to ask you to pray for Germany. We have almost 64,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. About 10% of these are already recovered, and 560 people have died.

    For the last eight days, Germany has been under what we call a communication ban (which is not quite a lockdown): In public places, no more than two people are allowed to come together. Any kind of public meeting is forbidden: No sports events, no worship services, no Bible studies etc. All shops that are not selling daily necessities are closed, as are schools, universities, theaters, restaurants, and gyms. People are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, and to meet as few people as they possibly can. Wherever possible, people are told to work from home. In shops and supermarkets, a two-meter distance is enforced between people. This will last at least until April 19.

    So far, hospitals have been able to deal with the influx of infected patients, but this may change as the number of cases is still growing very fast.

    While the German government has announced huge financial packages to save the economy and has promised support in particular for small companies, individual entrepreneurs and performing artists, many people are afraid about the future and what it may bring. The finance minister of the State of Hesse took his life last weekend; his colleagues believe that he felt overwhelmed by the political and financial implications of the current crisis.

    And not all Germans are well protected: There are many homeless people as well as refugees living in cramped accommodation with little chance of social distancing. And experts are warning that children and youth are in particular danger as they are forced to stay at home with stressed-out and even abusive parents.

    Please pray for these weakest people, that God will especially protect and strengthen them.


    Some further prayer requests:

    HKBP reports from Sumatra that one of their pastors, Rev. Bonatua Siregar, has died of COVID-19. Please pray for his family that God will comfort them.


    Bishop Abednego Keshomshahara writes from Bukoba, Tanzania:

    Here in Tanzania there are 13 cases of corona, 12 of which were people coming from outside the country. Since 16th March, 2020 the first case was recognized in Arusha, four days later and onwards, others who were entering the country were detected. They are taken care and no death has occurred. 

    Those coming from outside are quarantined for 14 days at their own expenses.

    Scanners for measuring temperatures and rapid testers are spread at borders and air ports to detect those with virus.

    Schools and colleges are closed and meetings, workshops and conferences are prohibited though public transport continues. 

    Measures of hygiene and precautions are shared in the communities via media. The church is insisting on people to follow what the government and health officials recommend. No sick person has been found in Bukoba. It is already two weeks since the first case was found in Tanzania.

    We continue to pray for cure and vaccination.


    Jacques Ngahne of EEC writes from Douala, Cameroon:

    My Parish is now a Facebook Parish ?. Though the government has not forbidden church meetings, gathering more than 50 people is not allowed. Even if it was allowed we wouldn't have taken such risks. So we have suspended all meetings in the parish.

    We now have three activities, morning devotion every morning, teachings every evening in this lent period and the Sunday worship, and all are live on Facebook:


    If you want to watch this in French, here is the link:


    Mark Beukes of ELCRN writes from Walvisbay, Namibia:

    In Namibia we have 8 cases of Covid 19. We believe that the numbers will increase. We hope and pray that it will not be the case. Two of our 13 regions will start with total lockdown as from tonight 00h01. I am in one of those regions. We must keep on praying and trusting God to have mercy on us.

    And finally: The Ecumenical Center of EKHN and EKKW has developed a prayer that they ask people to pray every night at 7:30 p.m. This prayer is sent around with the logo you see here, and it is being translated into more and more languages as it is meant to go around the world to connect people. Today, we include it in our alert in English, German, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Afrikaans, Arabic and Kinyarwanda. Tomorrow, we will add more languages.


    TOGETHER – A World in Prayer

    If you want to take part in this prayer chain, share this prayer on your social media site or print it and fix it to your door, your window or your car. We may be separated spatially, but we are spiritually united -let us show this!


    Our heavenly father,

    through your spirit we are united in faith, hope and love. Even if we are isolated and lonely in these times– we belong to the worldwide community of your children. Let grow our faith that you are always close to us and let us experience that we are one with our sisters and brothers all around the world. Uplift those who are sick. Lighten the hearts of those who are lonely. Grant wisdom and courage to those who bear responsibility. Strengthen all those who work in the medical services. Stand by our sisters and brothers in the worldwide ecumenical community. And endow all of us with new ideas to strengthen our bond.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Amen.


    Gemeinsam - ein Gebet geht um die Welt

    Wenn ihr Euch einreiht in die Gebetskette – dann postet es und teilt es. Oder druckt das Emblem aus und hängt es in euer Fenster und Auto. Räumlich getrennt aber geistlich verbunden, das wollen wir damit zeigen.


    Gott, unser Vater,

    durch deinen Geist sind wir miteinander verbunden im Glauben, Hoffen und Lieben.

    Auch wenn wir in diesen Zeiten vereinzelt sind: Wir sind Teil der weltweiten Gemeinschaft deiner Kinder.


    Lass wachsen unser Vertrauen in deine Nähe und in die Verbundenheit mit unseren Schwestern und Brüdern.

    Die erkrankt sind, richte auf.

    Mache leicht die Herzen der Einsamen.

    Den Verantwortungsträgern gib Weisheit und Mut.

    Stärke die Frauen und Männer im medizinischen Dienst.

    Unseren Geschwistern in der weltweiten Kirche stehe bei.

    Uns allen schenke Ideen, unserer Verbundenheit Ausdruck zu geben.

    Segne uns, o Herr! Lass leuchten dein Angesicht über uns und sei uns gnädig ewiglich!

    Segne uns, o Herr! Deine Engel stell um uns! Bewahre uns in deinem Frieden ewiglich!

    Segne uns, o Herr! Lass leuchten dein Angesicht über uns und sei uns gnädig ewiglich!




    Ensemble - une prière fait le tour du monde

    Si vous rejoignez la chaîne de prière - postez-la et partagez-la. Ou imprimez l'emblème et accrochez-le dans votre fenêtre et votre voiture. Nous voulons montrer que nous sommes séparés spatialement maisconnectés spirituellement.

    Dieu notre père par votre esprit, nous sommes liés dans la foi, l'espérance et l'amour. Même si nous sommes isolés en ces temps: nous faisons partie de la communauté mondiale de vos enfants. Que notre confiance en vous et dans la connexion avec nos sœurs et nos frères grandisse. Ceux qui sont malades, redressez-les. Assouplissez le cœur des solitaires. Donnez aux responsables sagesse et courage. Renforcez les femmes et les hommes dans les services médicaux. Aidez nos sœurs et frères dans l'église mondiale. Donnez à nous tous des idées pour exprimer notre solidarité.

    Bénissez-nous, ô Seigneur! Laissez briller votre visage sur nous et soyez gracieux envers nous pour toujours! Bénissez-nous, ô Seigneur! Vos anges soient autour de nous! Gardez-nous dans votre paix pour toujours! Bénissez-nous, ô Seigneur! Laissez briller votre visage sur nous et soyez gracieux envers nous pour toujours! Amen


    Kebersamaan – Doa untuk Dunia (Bahasa Indonesia)

    Jika saudara-saudari ingin terlibat dalam rantai doa ini – posting dan bagikan ini. Atau logonya dicetak dan ditempel di jendela atau kaca mobil. Secara ruang kita terpisah tetapi dalam roh kita terhubung. Itu yang kami hendak tunjukkan dengan ini.

    Ya Allah, Bapa Kami , melalui Roh Kudus-Mu, satu sama lain kami dipersatukan dalam Iman, Pengharapan dan Kasih. Termasuk saat ini ketika kami terpisah: Kami adalah bagian daripersekutuan anak-anak-Mu di dunia ini. Biarlah Keyakinan kami tumbuh di dalam Engkau dan dalam persekutuan dengan sudara-saudari kami. Ringankanlah beban hati mereka yang kesepian. Mereka yang memikul tanggungjawab berilah hikmat dan keberanian. Kuatkan dan tabahkanlah hati para tenaga medis. Bersamalah dengan saudara-saudari kami di gereja-gereja di dunia ini. Karuniakan kami ide untuk menunjukkan keterikatan kami. Berkati kami, ya Tuhan! Biarlah wajah-Mu bersinar atas kami dankasihanilah kami senantiasa! Berkati kami, ya Tuhan! Berjagalah Malaekat-Mu disekitar kami! Peliharalah kami dalam damai-Mu selamanya. Berkati kami, ya Tuhan! Biarlah wajah-Mu bersinar atas kami dankasihanilah kami senantiasa! Amin.


    Saam - 'n Gemeenskaplike gebed gaan om die wereld (Afrikaans)

    As U wil deel neem aan die Ketting gebed, kan u dit deel op sosiale media of uit druk en dit aan u deur plaas, of aan u venster, of op u motor aanbring. Ons mag oor afstand geskei wees, maar ons is geestelk verbind aan mekaar - dit wil ons prakties uitbeeld.

    Onse Hemelse Vader. Deur U Gees is ons verenig in geloof, hoop en liefde. Al is ons geïsoleerd en eensaam gedurende hierdie tyd - behoort ons aan die wereldwye gemeenskap van u kinders. Laat ons geloof meer word in die wete dat U naby ons is, en laat ons ervaar die eenheid tussen ons as susters en broeders regoor die wereld. Genees die wat Siek is. Verlig die harte van die eensames. Gee wysheid en deursettingsvermoe aan die persone in verantwoordelike posisies. Versterk alle mediese amptenare. Onderskraag ons susters en broeders in die Wereldwye EkumenieseGemeenskap en skenk ons die insig om uitdrukking te gee aan onsverbondenheid. Die Here sal u seen en u behoed. Die Here sal Sy aangesig oor ons laat skyn en ons genadig wees. Die Here sal Sy aangesig oor ons verhef en aan ons Sy vrede gee. Amen.


    اللهياابانا٬أنإرتباطنا اعمبروحك القدوسبالإيمان٬والرجاء٬والمحبة.وأنكنانعيشفىاجزاءمختلفةمنالعالملكننانجتمعاعمالأنوخاصةفىهذاالوقتالذىنمر به٬نتحداعمفىشركة واحدةكابناءلك .يارباجعل ثقتناببعضتزدادوتنمو ٬اننانقربمنكمعاخواتناواخوتنافىالعالماجمع .المرضىمنهميارباشفيهم.والمعزولين عنارافقهم.أعطىالحكمةوالشجاعةللمسؤولين.شددالاطباء واطقمالتمريضفى الخدمةالطبية .قفبجانباصدقائناوشركائنافىالخدمةالكنسيةفىالعالم اجمع .اعطيناياسيدكل الافكارلكىيلمسواارتباطنا بهموتضامنااعم .باركنايارب وانربوجهكامامناوارحمنا .باركنايارب وارسل ملائكتكاليناليحيطوابنا .وأحفظنا بسلامكالىالأبد .باركنايا ربوانربوجهكامامنا وارحمنا .امينهذة الصلاة ترسل للعالم اجمع بلغات مختلفة. إذاانضممت إلى سلسلة الصلاة-انشرهاوشاركها .أو اطبعالشارةوعلقهافينافذتكوسيارتك .نريدأننبينأنهذامنفصل منالناحيةالجغرافية ولكنهمتصل ايحور .


    TWESE HAMWE – Isi irimo gusenga (Kinyarwanda)

    Niba nawe ushaka kugira uruhare muri uru runana rwo gusenga, sangiza abandi iri sengesho ku mbuga nkoranyambaga, cyangwa urisohore ku rupapuro urimanike ku muryango wawe, ku idirishya ryawe cyangwa imodoka yawe. Dushobora kuba dutandukanyijwe n'intera y'ahantu ariko mu mwuka turi umwe-reka tubyerekane.

    Data wa twese wo mu juru, mu Mwuka wawe turi umwe mu kwizera, mu byiringiro no mu rukundo. Nubwo tutari hamwe kandi turi twenyine muri ibi bihe- turi mu muryango w'abana bawe mu isi yose – Ongera kwizera kwacu ko uri hafi yacu ibihe byose kandi dufashe kubishyikira ko turi umwe na Bene data bose hirya no hino ku isi.  Hagurutsa bariya barwaye. Murikira imitima y'abari mu bwigunge. Ha ubwenge  abafite inshingano. Komeza abakora imirimo y'ubuvuzi.  Egera Bene Data bo mu matorero yose  ku isi. Uduhe twese ibitekerezo bishya byo gukomeza umurunga wacu. Imana ibahe umugisha kandi ibarinde; Imana ibamurikishirize mu maso hayo kandi ibagirire neza; Imana ibarebe neza kandi ibahe amahoro. Amen.


  • Prayer Alert - March 28, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Let us focus our prayers today on HKBP in Sumatra, Indonesia. Rev. Lelim Limbong, Head of Ecumenical Bureau writes:

    1. On March 26 th, Indonesia has announced 103 new cases, bringing the total number to 893. [Today, March 28, the number has risen to 1,155.] The number of deaths increased by 20 [today, there were 15 more deaths], the most in a single day since the virus hit Indonesia. Let us pray for the healing, because some of the cases are our congregations and pastors and also the families of pastor. That is out breaking.

    2. Pray for the church members who have difficult economy. Due to the Coronavirus, their income has been greatly reduced and because of government's recommendation to stay at home, the church members cannot work and absolutely cannot earn some money for their lives.

    3. Pray for the financial problems of the churches in Indonesia, HKBP particularly. There is no more Sunday Service, even the praying together as family that we usually do once a week, and another gathering in the church. Due to that, the offerings for the Pastor and Synod workers dropped dramatically.

    Thank you for UEM who always supports and consistently prays for this pandemic situation.

    May the peace of God always be with us through this worst situation.


    We are facing another Sunday tomorrow with most of us not able to worship in community in a church building.

    But let us thank God for the gift of creativity and unity in churches. Here are just some of the ideas for tomorrow that we came across.

    Bishop Asiri Perera, Methodist Church Sri Lanka, writes on Facebook:

    The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka is now ready with a Recording of a trilingual United Worship Service to be telecast tomorrow Sunday through the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Channel. The exact time will be announced shortly through my fb post.

    Many congregations will be streaming worship services through Facebook. Others will be broadcast on radio and TV.

    In EKKW in Germany, Rev. Michael Schümers is riding a motorbike to different villages in a rural area, taking along a microphone, loudspeakers and his trumpet, to celebrate a short evening devotion in different places.

    Many churches are sharing liturgies for home and family worship services. And let us remember in our isolation that we are connected to our sisters and brothers all over the world through the Holy Spirit.

    And for your Sunday medidation, some excerpts from a poem by Swiss writer Jacueline Keune, translated from German:


    the worship service

    Not cancelled


    to God



    The wedding

    Not cancelled




    the funeral

    Not cancelled

    the resurrection

  • Prayer Alert - March 27, 2020

    Dear all,

    Today we will have a special look at the Philippines in our prayer alert. As of this afternoon, the country has 803 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 54 deaths and 31 recovered. Nine doctors have died of the virus in recent days.

    Large parts of the country are under strict quarantine, and the army is out in the streets to enforce compliance. But many people have pointed out that a lockdown makes little sense in crowded slums. And people who live on daily wages also are badly affected.

    In addition, many people have criticized that not enough people are being tested for the Coronavirus, but that politicians and other influential people have access to tests.


    The United Church of the Christ North Luzon Jurisdictional Area has been preparing liturgies for people to use at home in family services. Here are prayers for the coming Sunday, translated into English by Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza:

    God of hope, in this hour we draw near before your presence with certainty that you meet us here.

    Where there is sorrow, you provide joy; where there is weariness, you give us strength; where there is despair, you renew our hope.

    May this place be where we can find hope for each one,

    a home where holy words

    and songs are heard, where prayers are uttered as we join our hearts in devotion to you.

    We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.


    INTERCESSORY PRAYER: (Sentence prayers may be expressed by each of the family members for the following concerns:
    ➢ For protection from COVID-19 and for its eventual elimination
    ➢ For the healing of those patients with COVID-19
    ➢ For the comfort of families who lost a loved one due to COVID-19
    ➢ For the health and protection of the frontliners and their families
    ➢ For the immediate discovery of cure against COVID-19
    ➢ For our government leaders that they may be guided with wisdom in their decisions and in
    their crafting of policies that considers the plight of the poor, the homeless, and the unemployed
    ➢ For unity of will and resolve of the whole world to combat COVID-19


    Rev. Ferdinand Anno writes in a meditation on “Sensing God’s radical presence while a pandemic rages on:”


    God’s presence manifests itself in us when we are finally able to see this human tragedy as an opportunity for spiritual and moral rebirth; when we see our present predicament as an opportunity to rebuild our relationships, revise the way we live, and give birth to a new world.

    Finally, God’s presence is made manifest when we are finally able to see the abandonment of ourselves as key to rebuilding our common life, when to wash in love the feet of the other becomes our moral compass, and when to love and serve unconditionally and efficaciously become the fulcrum of our spirituality.

    This affirmation of God’s presence is the most powerful antidote to the present pandemic; it is the one antidote that calls us to approach the current crisis as one human community destined to share the earth; it is the one antidote that can give birth to a radically ecumenical vision and spirituality necessary for the rebuilding of our global and national communities; it is the one antidote that pushes us into expanding the horizons of our creativity and resourcefulness in terms of medical and social cures to both our physical and social malaise; it is the one antidote that we now see at work in big and small ways by those who, amidst our debilitating fears if not mass hysteria, continue to courageously offer themselves in the service of the weak and vulnerable.

    While I am writing this prayer alert, Pope Francis is celebrating a special evening service in St. Peter’s Square which is broadcast over the internet. He is preaching about Mark 4:37-41: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” calling on all believers to trust that Jesus is with us in the storm and to live and act in this hope.

    For the sick and the dying, the pope will pronounce the special blessing “urbi et orbi” (for the city and the world) which is normally reserved for Christmas and Easter.

  • Prayer Alert - March 25, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    As the Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide and people are falling ill in almost every country in the world, we continue being connected by our prayers. As borders are closed, we remain a global community.

    As far as we know, most of the UEM member churches are no longer holding public worship services. Many are encouraging their members to worship at home or, where possible, to use online ways of worship. On Facebook, on YouTube and in WhatsApp groups, prayers, music and worship services are being shared. It is encouraging and heart-warming to see the work and creativity going into these efforts.

    At the same time, we also receive worried messages particularly from Africa and Asia. How are people going to feed their families if shops and markets have to close, or if a lockdown is imposed? How are weak health systems going to deal with a wave of seriously ill people?

    Therefore, we ask you today to particularly pray for those whose livelihood is now endangered by government measures against the spread of the virus. Let us pray that our God who takes particular care of the poor and the weak will show himself as the savior of those who do not know where to get food in this situation.


    God who made us all,

    Our healers are exhausted, God.

    Give rest to those who care for the sick.

    Our friends are lonely, God.

    Help us to reach out.

    Our pastors are doing the best they can, God.

    Help them to know it is enough.

    Our workers are jobless, God.

    Grant us the collective will to take care of them.

    We haven’t done this before and we are scared, God.

    I don’t even know what else to pray for. Amen.


    In addition, we would like to share excerpts from e-mails that we received in the last two days.

    Rev. Agustinus Purba, General Chairperson of the GBKP, writes on behalf of the Moderamen:

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of this worry situation for the breakout of Covid-19,

    May our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Savior, Healer, Refuge, and Sanctuary will always keep us safe and healthy.

    Due to the rampant pandemic of corona virus nowadays in all over the world, Moderamen GBKP has made a decision today to postpone the implementation of our big and important event of Synod Assembly which was to be implemented this coming April 13-18, 2020. […]

    Thank you very much for your kind attention and keep praying for the better situation of the world, for all the victims and those who lost their beloved one due to this virus. And the most important thing is stay healthy and safe, God bless and protect us all with Jesus' Mighty Blood.


    Rev. Marcela Alegoyojo writes from the Philippines:

    Greetings of Hope in the name of Jesus Christ. 

    The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has declared the whole country as in the state of calamity the other day (March 16, 2020). We are in the enhanced community quarantine in the whole island of Luzon. Some provinces of the southern part have already done it. Schools are closed as well as churches, Most of the government and private offices are closed. Some are doing their works at home. Only gas station, groceries, pay centers, banks and hospitals are open at the moment. All public utility vehicles have stopped their operations as part of the directives. This is effective March 15 to April 14, 2020. For the 3 days enhanced community quarantine, a lot of people are already complaining especially those are daily wage earners. Only people with humanitarian reasons, medical personnel, people going to the airport, police and militaries are allowed in the street especially in Manila. […]

    We continue to hope and pray for strength as we look our eyes of faith to Jesus Christ who suffered until at the cross to give us eternal life. 


    UEM co-worker Safari Kanyema writes from DR Congo:

    We keep watching in this prayer, especially this Sunday we will not attend a large community Sunday service.

    Thank you for maintaining UEM family in unity of prayer in this uncertain time. 

    We believe that at His time God will bring a solution to this woldwide issue.


    UEM co-worker Uwe Hummel writes from Papua, Indonesia:

    The campus of STFT I.S.Kijne has been closed for all academic activities since Tuesday, 17th March, due to first Coronavirus cases being registered in Papua. I am working with my students via Whatsapp Group.


    Rev. Christoph Nötzel writes from Germany:

    This suffering under the pandemic is an ecumenical suffering – and we are widening our horizon beyond the narrow perspective of our own worries and increasing national fixation. A pandemic does not know any borders –but neither does our God.


  • Prayer Alert - March 24, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    In the next weeks, we will focus on one UEM member church every day, rotating across continents.

    Today, we ask you to pray for Sri Lanka and for the Methodist Church there.

    Sri Lanka is under lockdown. Parliamentary elections which were planned for April 25 have been postponed. Sri Lanka’s main industry is tourism, already hit hard by last year’s Easter bombings. Now, no tourists at all are coming anymore. It is not clear whether the country’s economy can survive.

    The number of Covid-19 positively confirmed cases as at 2.45 pm local time today is 100.

    2,405 persons were arrested for violating the curfew from 6 pm Friday to 12 noon today; 646 vehicles including motorcycles & 3-wheelers were taken into custody.

    Already, the poorest are suffering terribly.


    Rev. Ramesh Fernando writes:

    Please pray for people in estate areas [those working on tea plantations]. And people who live on daily wages. So many calls came to me saying “nothing to eat “. But I’m also stuck with the lock-down situation. Please pray for nearly around 4000 families.

    On Friday, I will travel to distribute food hampers to people.


    Evangelist Nalin Chamila adds:

    Please pray for the people who are going with fear, anxiety and also lack of food. Now we all are shocked that today the government permitted only four hours to purchase the stuff that they need. But that time was not enough. And many people don’t have money to do that.

    Today when we were in a queue one person asked: Only one kilo of raw rice? Actually, that is not enough for their family for a day. How can they survive for a week with that? Some people look for work during these four hours, like this coolie hoping to cover his family’s living cost. Please pray for my country!

    We are doing our duty as we can do, today also Methodist church distributed necessary food for the people, but the main problem is that the time is not enough.


    And Rev. Sujithar Sivanayagam, Principal of Kalkudah Evangelism Training College, writes:

    My humble request is to ask God to grant our people wisdom to realise their responsibility towards homes, societies, country and world during this pandemic.  

    Please pray for ETC, Kalkudah students and their families who are at the campus.

    Let us uphold the daily wages in all over the Island.



    We are grateful for the UEM community standing together in prayer. President Rev. Dr. Pascal Bataringaya of the EPR in Rwanda writes:

    We are praying with the whole worldwide church, we are thinking of all of you and are praying for you.

    For this daily prayer in solidarity with the whole world, we have a special time in our church: Every day at 6 p.m., all people stand up in the family and pray together the Lord’s Prayer and recite the Apostles’ Creed. With this, we are connected with all people in the world through prayer.


    And Bishop Sageus/Keib of ELCRN in Namibia sent this e-mail:

    We are in solidarity with the entire world. Let us remain in constant prayers. God will heed to our supplications.



    You fed the multitudes that hungered. You are the Lord of the poorest and weakest.

    We call to you: Let not your children go hungry, in Sri Lanka or anywhere in the world.

    Open the hearts of those who have in abundance that they will share with those who have nothing.

    Guide governments that they will take care of those who are most vulnerable.

    Show yourself as the God who answers prayers. Amen.

  • Prayer Alert - March 23, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    As the Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide and people are falling ill in almost every country in the world, we continue being connected by our prayers. As borders are closed, we remain a global community.

    As far as we know, most of the UEM member churches are no longer holding public worship services. Many are encouraging their members to worship at home or, where possible, to use online ways of worship. On Facebook, on YouTube and in WhatsApp groups, prayers, music and worship services are being shared. It is encouraging and heart-warming to see the work and creativity going into these efforts.

    At the same time, we also receive worried messages particularly from Africa and Asia. How are people going to feed their families if shops and markets have to close, or if a lockdown is imposed? How are weak health systems going to deal with a wave of seriously ill people?

    Therefore, we ask you today to particularly pray for those whose livelihood is now endangered by government measures against the spread of the virus. Let us pray that our God who takes particular care of the poor and the weak will show himself as the savior of those who do not know where to get food in this situation.


    God who made us all,

    Our healers are exhausted, God.

    Give rest to those who care for the sick.

    Our friends are lonely, God.

    Help us to reach out.

    Our pastors are doing the best they can, God.

    Help them to know it is enough.

    Our workers are jobless, God.

    Grant us the collective will to take care of them.

    We haven’t done this before and we are scared, God.

    I don’t even know what else to pray for. Amen.



    In addition, we would like to share excerpts from e-mails that we received in the last two days.

    Rev. Agustinus Purba, General Chairperson of the GBKP, writes on behalf of the Moderamen:

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of this worry situation for the breakout of Covid-19,

    May our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Savior, Healer, Refuge, and Sanctuary will always keep us safe and healthy.

    Due to the rampant pandemic of corona virus nowadays in all over the world, Moderamen GBKP has made a decision today to postpone the implementation of our big and important event of Synod Assembly which was to be implemented this coming April 13-18, 2020. […]

    Thank you very much for your kind attention and keep praying for the better situation of the world, for all the victims and those who lost their beloved one due to this virus. And the most important thing is stay healthy and safe, God bless and protect us all with Jesus' Mighty Blood.


    Rev. Marcela Alegoyojo writes from the Philippines:

    Greetings of Hope in the name of Jesus Christ. 

    The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has declared the whole country as in the state of calamity the other day (March 16, 2020). We are in the enhanced community quarantine in the whole island of Luzon. Some provinces of the southern part have already done it. Schools are closed as well as churches, Most of the government and private offices are closed. Some are doing their works at home. Only gas station, groceries, pay centers, banks and hospitals are open at the moment. All public utility vehicles have stopped their operations as part of the directives. This is effective March 15 to April 14, 2020. For the 3 days enhanced community quarantine, a lot of people are already complaining especially those are daily wage earners. Only people with humanitarian reasons, medical personnel, people going to the airport, police and militaries are allowed in the street especially in Manila. […]

    We continue to hope and pray for strength as we look our eyes of faith to Jesus Christ who suffered until at the cross to give us eternal life. 


    UEM co-worker Safari Kanyema writes from DR Congo:

    We keep watching in this prayer, especially this Sunday we will not attend a large community Sunday service.

    Thank you for maintaining UEM family in unity of prayer in this uncertain time. 

    We believe that at His time God will bring a solution to this woldwide issue.


    UEM co-worker Uwe Hummel writes from Papua, Indonesia:

    The campus of STFT I.S.Kijne has been closed for all academic activities since Tuesday, 17th March, due to first Coronavirus cases being registered in Papua. I am working with my students via Whatsapp Group.


    Rev. Christoph Nötzel writes from Germany:

    This suffering under the pandemic is an ecumenical suffering – and we are widening our horizon beyond the narrow perspective of our own worries and increasing national fixation. A pandemic does not know any borders –but neither does our God.


  • Prayer Alert - March 21, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,


    Today, we are sending you a prayer for today and tomorrow. We will not send out an alert on Sunday.

    A Prayer for the World under Pandemic, 21 March 2020

    You, our God:

    What we believed far away has now reached us:

    A virus, so threatening that it turns over the normal order in our country

    and palpably limits our lives.

    Many of us are afraid of what may be coming.

    Many of us do not know how to do what is now necessary.

    Many of us fear for their economic existence or even their survival.



    it is all so strange

    and we cannot even come together

    to be strengthened by a worship service

    and by community with each other.


    We remember the infected, waiting in quarantine for what will happen:

    Let them find the support that they need.

    Be close to them and comfort them.

    Take away their fear.


    We pray for those who are ill, who are fighting for their lives:

    Hold them in your arms and protect them.


    Also protect those who are treating them and caring from them,

    Protect their strength and their empathy.


    We thank you for those who are using their knowledge to fight the virus:

    May their insights work for the good of all people.


    We pray for the leaders on all levels who now need to make decisions on how to go on:

    Given them wisdom, courage, and an awareness of what their decisions mean for all of us.


    God, strengthen the togetherness of our societies.

    Open our eyes so that we can see those who need us now.


    Let us, in all worry about our own lives, not forget that we are part of a larger world:

    We pray in particular for those fighting for survival on Europe’s borders and in Northern Syria.

    We pray for those in countries with weak governments and even weaker health systems.




    in this crisis, show us what really counts in life,

    and strengthen our powers for goodness.



    (Written in German by Rev. Sylvia Bukowski, Wuppertal. Translated and slightly amended by Claudia Währisch-Oblau.)


    Greetings to all of you with the watchword and the doctrinal text for today:

    The Lord said, “I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid.” Leviticus 26:6

    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

  • Prayer Alert - March 20, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    In response to the prayer alerts of the last few days, we have received several messages from leaders of UEM member churches which we want to share with you today. It is encouraging and strengthening to see how despite the impossibility of travel and meetings, we remain connected through prayer.

    Please also remember in your prayers the UEM North-South and South-North volunteers who have been ordered by the German government to go home, and whose travel is now very difficult to arrange.


    The Moderamen (leadership) of the GBKP in North Sumatra has sent us this letter:

    Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our healer and sanctuary in the midst of this pandemic,

    Thank you for the prayer alert due to the Corona Pandemic. We are all worry and try to do some effort to stop the spreading of the virus. Even we are in Karo Land is not as strict as in German for social distancing, but as a church GBKP has made the pastoral letter to all congregation members as the alert and to urge the congregation members to be aware. Some of the worship services have been closed and held through live streaming, but mostly are still running as usual. Also with the Bible Study groups now have been stopped for undetermined time at least until the pandemic is getting over.

    Of course this situation is really affected to the church life, but we believe that all will brings better life for our congregation to keep them safe and healthy.

    Luckily in this technology era we could keep in touch even there is a distance between us, and GBKP itself is also challenging by the existences of this pandemic. As you know this year the annual theme for GBKP is "Developing the capability of congregation in managing Information and the skill in using the information technology." We are challenged to implement this theme in the midst of the current situation now.

    GBKP is also struggling now due to the big event of Synod Assembly which will be held soon this coming April 13-18, 2020. Seeing the rapid outbreak of Covid-19, and this assembly will involve thousands of Pastors and church leaders of GBKP from all over Indonesia, there is a possibility that the implementation of this assembly will be postponed. Please pray for the better situation and for Moderamen GBKP as well as the Committee of this Assembly to make a good decision for the Synod Assembly.

    For sure, we will keep in touch and continue to pray that this pandemic will over soon and all the sick will be cured, those who lost their beloved one due to the pandemic will get a true reassurance from God.


    The President of the CBCA in the DR Congo, Rev. Dr Samuel Ngayihembako, writes:

    Dear Partners,

    Beloved in Christ,

    May the peace and grace of the Lord be with you in this difficult time all over the world.

    Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the same measures that restrict gatherings in order to prevent the spread of this virus are also applicable here in D.R. Congo. Yesterday, the President of the DRC communicated a series of measures banning gatherings, including worship in churches, for a period of four weeks from March 19, 2020.

    Taking into account this press release, we, the CBCA General Secretariat, wrote to all our Superintendents of our 18 Church Districts to instruct them how prayers, morning devotions and worship will be organized in "small family units".

    Here at the General Secretariat, we have adopted a work system which allows the staff to take turns at the office in reduced numbers so that a minimum and acceptable work is ensured. There will certainly be a slowdown of work.

    Nevertheless, we count on the help of the Most High, we continue to remain united in prayer and we wish you, once again, the peace of the Lord.


    The following is a letter from Rev. Dr. Pascal Bataringaya, the President of the EPR in Rwanda, to all the church’s partners:

    Dear Brethren in Christ,

    Dear friends,
    Please do receive the best greetings from the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR)/Kigali). I would like to give you an update on the situation in the EPR and in Rwanda in general at this time when the world is facing the pandemic of Coronavirus.


    As you know, the EPR is in partnership with many Churches and Christian organizations around the world and in many countries where this pandemic has paralyzed life at all levels. We lift you in our prayers.


    Since the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Rwanda on 14/3/2020, today the number of cases declared positive has increased to 11 people infected by the virus. The Government of Rwanda has applied precautionary measures to limit the outbreak of the virus among the population. These measures include limiting travels, avoiding mass gatherings including Sunday services, physical meetings, services that gather many people in offices as well as the closure of all schools (Nursery, primary, secondary, and university) until the next communication of new order (there is the official document on the measures taken). 

    ​As can be seen, these measures will affect the activities at all levels and life in the country in general and in the church in particular, especially the life in parishes. They affect also the activities of the Church at the Head office and in the various areas of church life.

    In the meantime, the work is done at home (home office). Nevertheless, there may be an arrangement in case of emergency whereby someone can go to the office for urgent activities taking into account the precautionary measures taken. We are going through the crisis in this way of course waiting for the situation to improve for the resumption of activities with our hope in God who restores life.

    We know that you are in the same situation where you are and that is the same situation all over the world. Let us pray that the might hand of the Lord be on all of us and on his children in this world in distress, may his grace accompany those who give themselves day and night to help the sick, families and all those in difficulty in the world. We pray for brothers and sisters with whom we share the faith and who are facing this pandemic. We pray for the whole world that the strategies taken may be accompanied by God’s hand and that they may respond effectively to the current challenges. We pray for doctors and researchers on COVID-19 that the Holy Spirit guide them in their work.

    We keep you all in our prayers and remain with you in fraternal communion. In the hope that the situation will improve in the nearer future, we will keep you informed of situation in the country and its impact on Church activities.

    ​Dear brethren and friends, our faith in God does not shelter us from trials but reassures us that God Himself accompanies us. Consequently, even in the present time of distress, the Lord says: "Behold, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the world (Mt 28:20)."

    May the Lord be with you, keep you and bless you.


    From Rev. Boni Kombo, Deputy General Secretary of the ECD in Tanzania, we received this message:

    It is really sad to hear and learn about corona problem and how it affects people's lives, spiritually and physically.

    Here in Tanzania, in the ECD to be precise, we are not in a lock-down situation. However, Government Officials have advised the nation that gatherings should be minimized, people should not travel unless necessary, to avoid handshakes, hugs and to wash hands often.

    All in all, we are praying for the God's intervention and hopes for those who are bereaved, those who are sufferings from corona, and all those who are affected in one way or another with this tragedy.

    And from the ELCT Presiding Bishop’s Office in Tanzania, Rev. Anicet Maganya writes:

    Thanks for sharing daily prayers from our big faith family.

    Let us stay grounded and pray for one another as the Word of God ensures that He cares for us.

    "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" - 1 Peter 5:7

  • Prayer Alert - March 19, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    Today I am sharing with you some messages from around the world. We are a community that prays for each other and encourages each other.

    God is always with us and he cares for us.


    Joseph Kalemba, DR Congo:

    Our God promised us in Exodus Chapter 23 verse 25 by saying: "You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you".

    So let us keep on reminding our God on what he has promised us while serving him hard and honestly.


    Agnes Lema, Tanzania:

    We really need God’s mercy. Just coming out of Ebola that has killed many, Congolese are now living under fear. The government is still slow in taking decisions. How will Congolese who have to go out every day for survival, survive?


    Marthe Maleke Kondemo, DR Congo:

    We have started a prayer chain every day at 7 p.m. Please join us for prayer!

    Ramesh Fernando, Sri Lanka:


    Yes, this pandemic brought all of us to lock ourselves where ever we are and down to our knees to pray to our God that all of us will be spared from this virus and those who are infected will be healed.

    Let us all trust in our GOD WHO is indeed bigger than this Virus. Praying.

    Jeaneth Faller, Philippines:

    The Government took some measures on Tuesday forbidding gatherings of more than 50 people. Church services are not forbidden, but in my parish, we have decided to suspend all the meetings. We are keeping in touch with the congregants through WhatsApp and Facebook.

    We remain prayerful, confident that our strength abides in the Lord.


    Jacques Ngahne Ngouaba, Cameroon:

    In Germany, churches are calling for prayers at 7 p.m. and at 20:20 every day.

    Let us keep our faith high in God and He will show us the way out of this soon.

    Let us share Psalms 145:18: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

    God bless you all and stay safe and healthy.

    Shukuru Maloda, Zanzibar

    Found on the internet today: A 20-second blessing for neighbors while washing hands:

    FATHER I ask you to bless my neighbors. Would you protect their bodies from sickness. Would you protect their hearts from fear. Would you protect their minds from distraction. Would you fill their hearts with peace. Would you give me an opportunity to serve them with my hands, and share your love with my mouth. Amen.

  • Prayer Alert - March 18, 2020

    Dear Sisters and Brothers,

    For the time being, we will continue to send you a daily prayer alert. In a time of social distancing, lockdowns, and a complete stop of international travel, this is a way to keep our UEM community alive.

    The UEM administration in Wuppertal, Pematang Siantar and Dar es salaam continues to function, even with many people working from home. But people also come to work in the office, and we continue our daily devotions in Wuppertal, doing them outside in our courtyard so that we can keep enough distance between us.

    Some news that we have received since yesterday:

    ELCRN has suspended all worship services and other congregational gatherings. Funeral services will only be held in private homes, with small numbers of attendants and social distancing observed.

    Bishop Sageib writes at the end of his pastoral letter: “Let us meet this time of crisi with Christian hope. The time of Lent culminates in the celebratin of Easter – our brother and Lord Jesus Christ transcended the grave and opened the doors to life in all its beauty and fullness.”

    The Cape Regional Synod of URCSA has also written a pastoral letter to its members, encouraging them to worship at home. But at least some churches will be kept open with a small group of elders doing the Sunday service for all those who are not present.

    UEM co-worker Dr. Josephat Rweyemamu writes from Dumaguete, Philippines, that Sunday services have also been suspended, and that Christians follow worship services on the radio and on YouTube. As the province of Negros Oriental has been put under a state of calamity, and no movement is allowed across provincial borders, there are worries that food and other daily necessities may run out soon.

    Ephorus Togar Simatupang of GKPA writes that his church also published a pastoral letter on the situation. His e-mail ends with these words: “Let's bring this situation in our daily prayers. May our God protect us and make us strong.”

    In a blog post, I found this prayer in times of Coronavirus:

    “God of Mercy, be with the tens of thousands of people who have contracted the coronavirus around the world. Comfort those whose loved ones have died. Bring peace to those living with uncertainty after perhaps being exposed to the virus. Give patience to those who are quarantined and unable to move freely in their communities.

    Wise and Faithful Guide, watch over and protect other people from catching this deadly virus. Strengthen those who are risking their own lives to care for sick patients.

    May we all be filled with compassion for those who are suffering.”

Photo: A. Jäger/UEM
Rev. Dr. Claudia Währisch-Oblau
Executive Secretary "Evangelism"
Rudolfstrasse 137
42285 Wuppertal
+49 202 89004-190
Photo: A. Jäger/UEM
Dina Kipker
Administrative Assistant Evangelism
Rudolfstr. 137
42285 Wuppertal
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