Documents
Resources
Learning Center
Upload
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Newsletter Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 20

									                        Bulletin 1


                                                                         March 2005
Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland    ■   Evangelical Church in Germany


                                                      Tsunami-Special

                                                      New Year’s
                                                      Adress of Bishop
                                                      Wolfgang Huber                   3

                                                      Diakonie Emergency
                                                      Aid in south Asia                5

                                                      Human rights at risk
                                                      in countries affected
                                                      by the flood                     9

                                                      Indonesia:
                                                      The nightmares
                                                      of the children                 10

                                                      »Give a light of
                                                      consolation«                    15

                                                      Germany

                                                      News from
                                                      the EKD – just a
                                                      mouseclick away                 16

                                                      EKD presents new
                                                      online game                     17

                                                      Living undercover
                                                      in Germany                      20




After the flood:

             We need a globalisation
                               of compassion
                    Editorial

Dear readers of the bulletin,                                                                    Tsunami special



R       esignation or final hope? Exhausted, the woman sits in between
        the remaining mattresses on the ruins of the house she probably
        lived in until the big tide came. The pictures of December 26 and
the days after have dug their way deep into not only the people who
were in the vicinity of the south Indian Ocean on that day. In a short
                                                                                                 »Where can I find help?
                                                                                                 I find it with God«
                                                                                                 New Year’s Adress of Bishop
                                                                                                 Wolfgang Huber                           3

time, the people – like the woman on our cover – lost their possessions,                         Quickly provide the necessary
their shelter, the possibility of earning a livelihood and also many, many                       help – Collections in churches
people close to them. Seldom before has it become clear so suddenly                              for the tsunami victims        4
how cruel nature can be. But never before has it become clear in just a
few days that the globalisation of the media, politics and the economy                           Help creates a future –
also requires a globalisation of compassion. The willingness to donate                           Diakonie Emergency Aid
was also accordingly high in the days after the flood.                                           in south Asia                            5

The German media also raised the question: »How could God allow this                             Interview with Cornelia
to happen?« Wolfgang Huber, the Chairman of the Council of the                                   Füllkrug-Weitzel, Director of
Evangelical Church in Germany, gave his answer a few days after the                              the Diakonie Emergency Aid 6
seaquake in an online-magazine. This question was a matter of concern
in the »Wort zum Sonntag« – a preaching programme which has been                                 »We were there before
on German television for more than 50 years – and in televised church                            and we will stay«
services on January 2 and 9 and in a number of talk-shows. Seldom                                EMW promotes long-term
before had the secu-                                                                             help in south Asia                       8
lar media in                Seldom before has it become
Germany been domi-          clear so suddenly how cruel                                          »The flood in Asia can change
nated by such a the-                                                                             development policies«
ological question.          nature can be.                                                       The EED CEO Dr. Konrad von
                                                                                                 Bonin comments on the


W          ith the first issue in 2005, we are sending out the »EKD
           Bulletin«in a new design for the first time. What had no
           cover picture up to now, now starts – as the world of pic-
tures probably wants – with a picture. And apart from this, quite a lot
has changed in the design. The editors resolved all of this in the hope
                                                                                                 German debate on the relief
                                                                                                 after the seaquake

                                                                                                 Human rights at risk in coun-
                                                                                                 tries affected by the flood
                                                                                                                               9



that the »Bulletin« will become more attractive for the readers – i.e. for                       Bread for the World supports
you. Additionally you can from now on subscribe to a digital circular                            civil societies in Asia       9
that will be published every six weeks. Just go to www.ekd.de/bulletin,
leave us your e-mail-adress and receive up-to-date news from the EKD.                            Indonesia: The nightmares of
                                                                                                 the children                 10
Perhaps it is a symbol that the English-language publication of the EKD,
which created connections between the EKD and people all over the                                »Bargain holidays in tsunami
world, presents its new design with a cover picture which is a symbol of                         regions are an obstacle in the
the globalisation of compassion?                                                                 aim to build up fair living con-
                                                                                                 ditions«
With this question, I send you my best regards,                                                  EED asks for a new partnership
                                                                                                 in tourism, which respects
                                                                                                 peoples’ rights and needs      11

                                                                                                 »At work from 6 in the morning
                                                                                                 until 3 o’clock at night«
Christof Vetter


        Bulletin                             Editorial Board:
                                             Christof Vetter (Chairman),
                                             Dr. Dagmar Heller, Peter Weigand,
                                                                                                 Editorial office:
                                                                                                 Silke Fauzi, Pressestelle
                                                                                                 Kirchenamt der EKD
Bulletin                                     all Kirchenamt der EKD;                             Herrenhäuser Str. 12
of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland.   Ilonka Boltze (EED);                                D-30419 Hannover
Address: Kirchenamt der EKD                  Dr. Thomas Schiller (epd);                          Fon: +49-511-2796-267
Herrenhäuser Str. 12                         Ute Dilg (Brot für die Welt);                       E-Mail: pressestelle@ekd.de
D-30419 Hannover                             Miguel-Pascal Schaar (Diakonisches Werk der EKD);   Translation: KernSprachendienste
Fon: +49-511-2796-0; Fax: +49-511-2796-777   Freddy Dutz (Evangelisches Missionswerk).           Cover photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT International
                 Content/Tsunami Special

Interview with the EED-                »Give a light of consolation«           pilgrimage – EKD presents
seconded development                   Intercessions at the lamentation        new online game                   17
worker Regina Holle about              service in Frankfurt          15
her assignment in Banda                                                        Service for young journalists
Aceh/Indonesia                11       »Bread for the victims of               Online article service of
                                       the flood«                              Social Service Agency         17
Exchange meeting about                 German protestant rectory
the church commitment in               Costa del Sol remembers the             Media prize of Social
the regions affected by                victims of the fatal flood  16          Service Agency
the flood – Churches, missions                                                 Federal minister praises
and aid organisations are dis-                                                 initiative                        18
cussing together the chances           Germany
and challenges for the develop-                                                »For difficult and other
ment aid from the Churches             New from spring on – the                circumstances«
in Germany                    13       Bulletin Newsletter                     Campaign of the protestant
                                       News from the EKD – just a              pregnancy advice centres   19
Flood in Asia – Where was God?         mouseclick away            16
Wolfgang Huber on German                                                       Churches: Places of Hope
television programme »Studio           »Jacob’s journey« –                     Living undercover
Friedmann«                  14         the slightly different                  in Germany                        20




»Where can I find help? I find                            Only one bridge can
                                                          guide me over the
it with God«                                              precipice of thousands
                                                          of deaths, supported by
New Year’s Adress of Bishop Wolfgang Huber,               the two pillars of faith
Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical                in God and sympathy
Church in Germany                                         for fellow humans.
                                                          With the man praying
Take a look at how the year began! The seaquake in        in the Old Testament I
the Indian Ocean shook a great deal of what we            ask: Where can I find
thought was certain. We experienced how plans for         help? I find it with
life were destroyed from one second to the next;          God, who made
this takes away the foundation for our own                Heaven and Earth.
plans.The power of destruction touched us more
this year than the Christmas message.                     We feel that the flood,
                                                          of which the Bible        Wolfgang Huber (photo: epd)


A      mong those dead, both local people and for-
       eigners, were also an alarming number of
       German tourists. We feel with those, who
feared and hoped for missing relatives day after
day. Those who survived can hardly believe their
                                                          talks on its first pages,
                                                          is based on real experi-
                                                          ence: an event, in which nature shows its over-
                                                          whelming power to an unimaginable extent. Here
                                                          man who believes he can control nature with his
luck and, nevertheless, will still see the misfortune     claim for power reaches his limit.
of the others for a long time to come. The unimag-
inable suffering in south Asia does not just deter-       I, too, struggled with the question in the past few
mine what we think and talk about. It determines          days how God can allow the death of so many peo-                  3
above all our prayers.                                    ple. I sympathise when people doubt God, even
                                                                                                                        ▲




                                                                                              EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                          Tsunami Special

    despair, in such a situation. And yet I know no other     for a long time. The Social Service Agency
    place of refuge than God. I firmly believe that God       [Diakonisches Werk] of the EKD set up an account
    does not want death, but life. I pray to him – to         for immediate help (Diakonie Emergency Aid, ac-
    God, who turns to us in his love. In view of the          count 502 707, Postbank Stuttgart, BSC 600 100 70
    incomprehensible horror I want to turn to him. Then       or online via the Internet www.diakonie-katastro-
    I do not just see suffering and death. I also see         phenhilfe.de/spenden/). The Chairman of the
    traces and signs of love: The inexhaustible commit-       Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany,
    ment of the helpers gives testimony of this. The          Bishop Wolfgang Huber, requested the German pub-
    large and small donations contribute to a bridge of       lic: »Take in the Christmas message of peace and
    humanity. The announced partnership for the recon-        justice for all parts of our world and contribute
    struction of the countries concerned points in this       with your donation so the people concerned in
    direction.                                                south Asia can be given the help they need: medical
                                                              care, food and accommodation. The globalisation of
    We all know such signs of love, such bridges of           our world may not just be felt in economic cooper-
    trust in God and humanity.                                ation. It also brings suffering in far away places
                                                              close to us and makes us feel the pain as well.


    A       ten-year old boy is lying seriously injured in
            a hospital. We do not know who he is or
            where he is from. However, friends from his
                                                              Please help with your donation to relieve the suf-
                                                              fering!«

    sport’s club at home recognised him. They grabbed
    the telephone immediately and told what they
    knew. A bridge was formed.

    A flight attendant collected thirty cases with sup-
                                                              I   n a call for collections in church services
                                                                  between New Year’s eve and the Sunday after
                                                                  New Year the EKD states: »In the early morning
                                                              of December 26 a devastating seaquake shook
                                                              south Asia. Through the ensuing tidal wave tens of
    plies among her friends and took them with her on         thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands lost
    the flight into the disaster area. A bridge of charity.   their home and their foundation for life. Let us
                                                              today particularly remember the victims of the dis-
    I hope that sympathy and willingness to assume            aster, in prayer but also with our giving. The
    responsibility among us remain as strong as they          Diakonie Emergency Aid assists the people con-
    are, directly after the disaster. Later on I hope faith   cerned. It works together with churches in India, Sri
    in God and humanity will lead us the way. Then            Lanka and Indonesia, to whom many German local
    sympathy and care for each other will mark the            churches maintain close connections. The helpers
    New Year. And besides the worries about our own           distribute food, kitchen utensils and hygiene articles
    future there is the life-threatening plight on other      among the victims. They provide drinking water and
    continents. We are learning once again to pay             medication in order to prevent epidemics spreading.
    attention.                                                Help with your donation further assist the victims
                                                              of the flood disaster in south Asia in their plight.«
    I wish you a blessed new year: May God be with
    you!                                                      Council of the EKD thanks for your help

    (broadcast in ARD – First German television pro-          In a declaration at the end of January the Council
    gramme, on January 1, 2005) ■                             of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has
                                                              thanked all donators for the overwhelming willing-
                                                              ness to help after the seaquake. Until January 25
                                                              more than 28 million Euro were received at the
                                                              Social Service Agency of the EKD alone. Its
    Quickly provide the                                       Chairman, Jürgen Gohde, pointed out that this
    necessary help                                            amount does not include all donations received
                                                              from the church parishes nor the other church aid
    Collections in churches for the tsunami victims           organisations and mission. 15 million Euro were
                                                              already used by the Diakonie Emergency Aid for
    Countless people were killed through the earth-           immediate measures.
4   quake in south Asia. Hundreds of thousands are
    homeless, millions of people will suffer from the         The council of the EKD is grateful for the network
    consequences of the natural disaster in the region        of charity between the churches, their development
                                                                                                                       ▲




    EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
organisations and missions, local congregations and      200 families, who lost their houses and almost all
partners in Germany and in the countries con-            of their possessions in the small village through the
cerned. The importance of extensive experience on        devastating tsunami on December 26.
site and of the knowledge of the respective culture
and language had soon become clear, stated the           Immediate relief is running at full speed
declaration. »Local church partners, with which our
aid organisations and missions have been cooperat-
ing for decades also remain on site, when all other
helpers have left.« The christian network has devel-
oped a competency in the past few years. The aid
on site aims at the fact that the people get their
                                                         T      he Diakonie Emergency Aid and its local part-
                                                                ners supply the victims of the tsunami with
                                                                everything needed to survive. In South India,
                                                         Sri Lanka, Indonesia and in the East African Somalia
                                                         the distribution of food, drinking water, tents, plas-
own life under control again and can organise the        tic covers and blankets is running at full speed. At
reconstruction.                                          the same time the plans for reconstruction and
                                                         rehabilitation are already underway.
Above all help must be given to the weakest,
according to the members of the council. Thus, for       In the south Indian federal states of Tamil Nadu,
example, on the island of Nias 120,000 people were       Kerala and Andhra Pradesh 50,000 families are
accommodated and taken care of in camps and              being supplied with food, plastic covers, sleeping
emergency accommodation. In the north of Sri             mats, bedding and cooking utensils in just under
Lanka more than 33,000 families and in Tamil Nadu        50 villages. »We are especially helping the poorest
(India) more than 50,000 families were supplied          of the poor: Women, who have to look after them-
with food. In Somalia more than 4,400 families of        selves and their children alone, orphans and the
fishermen received emergency care with food and          disabled«, explains the head of the Diakonie
help in getting their equipment back.                    Emergency Aid, Hannelore Hensle. The most needy
                                                         are identified together with the senior villagers.


N        ow it is necessary to provide long-term
         support for the victims of the flood disaster
         in south Asia. Anyone who would like to
support this long-term aid and development work,
can do this through »Brot für die Welt« [Bread for
                                                         They are given cards in different colours, which
                                                         entitle them to receive the relief goods. Thus,
                                                         ensuring as far as possible just distribution.

                                                         Diaconia is placing its bet on local partners,
the World] or other church institutions and organi-      whom they have known for many years
sations. »The willingness to make donations after
the flood showed how much the German population          Relief goods are also being distributed to the needy,
takes part in the fate of people worldwide.              medical teams are at work in Sri Lanka and
Associated with this the Council of the EKD has          Indonesia. Moreover, within the framework of their
hope that other crisis-hit regions are not forgotten     programmes the Diakonie Emergency Aid and its
and expressly remembers the humanitarian disas-          partners offer assistance in coping with the trauma.
ters in Sudan and in the Congo.« ■                       »Many victims of the flood are traumatised through
                                                         the loss of relatives and friends and need psycho-
                                                         logical support«, says Hannelore Hensle.

                                                         Thanks to its local partners the Diakonie Emergency
Help creates a future                                    Aid also operates in regions, which cannot easily be
                                                         reached. Thus, the National Christian’s Council in
How the Diakonie Emergency Aid helps tsunami             Sri Lanka does not just restrict its work to the
victims in south Asia                                    regions controlled by the government, but also
                                                         works in the region of the Tamil rebels (LTTE), for
Ravi waits patiently, until it is his turn. The sun is   example near Mutur south of Trincomalee or on the
burning on the square in front of the assembly           Jaffna peninsula. The churches are acknowledged by
building of K.C. Kulam in the Indian federal state of    both sides and as one of the few organisations have
Tamil Nadu at the coast of the Indian Ocean. At          access to the region of the rebels. There they have
present, the building is used as a warehouse for         supplied refugees living in emergency accommoda-
relief goods. Native employees of the Diakonie           tion with relief goods. The Diakonie Emergency Aid               5
Emergency Aid distribute plastic covers. The 35-year     can also reach tsunami victims on the Andaman
                                                                                                                      ▲




old Ravi, his wife and the three children are among      und Nicobar islands.

                                                                                            EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                          Tsunami Special

    Tsunami even went as far as East Africa                  India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Somalia. At present,
                                                             the focus is still on the supply with food, drinking
    The massive tsunami did not just cause devastating       water, medication, tents and household items. In
    damage in south Asia, but also in East Africa. The       view of the enormous devastation this will continue
    tsunami affected the whole 3,330 kilometres long         for several weeks still. At the same time, however,
    coast in Somalia. Hundreds of villages were destroyed,   rehabilitation and reconstruction help is being
    thousands of fishing families lost their whole liveli-   planned. Moreover, together with our local partners
    hood. Native helpers of the Diakonie Emergency Aid       we offer medical care and help with coping with
    supplied food to 2,200 families. 80 families received    the trauma.
    nets, lines and hooks so that they could take care of
    themselves again as quickly as possible. An extension    Q: Why did the Diakonie Emergency Aid not send
    of the relief programme, in which also fishing kooper-   any own teams to these countries of south Asia?
    atives are considered is being prepared.
                                                             In the crisis-hit regions of south Asia the Diakonie
    Lasting relief                                           Emergency Aid works with local, mostly church
                                                             partners. They have extensive experience in emer-


    I   n South India 360 fishing kooperatives are also
        to be given new nets and boats, 10,000 families
        will receive material, with which they will be
    able to rebuild their huts. And investments are
    planned for the future: At the Indian east coast a
                                                             gency relief, know the local conditions, the culture
                                                             and the language of the people who are affected by
                                                             the flood disaster. They remain on site, when all
                                                             other helpers have left. This is of great benefit as
                                                             this way we can offer help which is exactly
    total of 40 protective buildings are to be set up, in    designed to fit the needs and situation in the crisis-
    which the people can take refuge in case of              hit areas and we can accompany the people affect-
    tsunamis or typhoons. At other times they will be        ed in the long run.
    available for cultural events and meetings.
                                                             Q: Are organisations that work with own teams
    On the Indonesian island of Nias partners of the         on site not far more effective, as they can
    Diakonie Emergency Aid will rebuild among others         directly control the use of the donations?
    two schools. In Sri Lanka 5,400 families will be sup-
    ported in erecting new houses and ensuing their          No. In close cooperation with our local partners,
    own income again through fishing, crafts or trade.       that we have known for years sometimes even
                                                             decades, and thanks to the agreements with all
    »This sustainable help is especially important for       other church relief organisations worldwide, who
    us«, emphasises Hannelore Hensle. »We do not just        are amalgamated in the international umbrella
    want to ensure the survival of the flood victims, but    organisation, ACT [Action by Churches Together],
    also give them a perspective for the future. This        we are in the position to use the donations effec-
    includes above all the possibility to be independent     tively and budget these. The effectiveness is partic-
    financially again.« Ravi, the fisherman from K.C.        ularly improved by the fact that all relief of the
    Kulam, thinks exactly the same when he says: »A          protestant, Anglican and orthodox churches is coor-
    boat and a net that is all I need. If I could I would    dinated worldwide, i.e. jointly controlled. This way
    go out to sea straight away again.« ■                    it is ensured that nothing is carried out double, on
                                                             the one hand, and too little supplies are prevented
                                                             an the other.

                                                             Q: With which partners do you cooperate and
    Interview with Cornelia                                  how trustworthy are they? How can I imagine
    Füllkrug-Weitzel, Director of                            the cooperation with local partners?
    the Diakonie Emergency Aid                               In disaster regions we cooperate with church and
                                                             other non-governmental organisations. In the
    Q: What is the status of the relief in the regions       majority of cases there is already a trustworthy
    affected by the flood?                                   cooperation which has existed for many years. We
6                                                            know that the donations are in good hands. One
    The Diakonie Emergency Aid has already given             example is the relief organisation of the Indian
    15 million Euro to the tsunami victims in South          churches that at present is dealing with the support
                                                                                                                      ▲




    EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
for the tsunami victims in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil          Q: You call now for donations for development
Nadu and Kerala. We have in the past decades              aid projects of another church organisation –
specifically contributed to the fact that this relief     Bread for the World [Brot für die Welt] – in the
organisation now has the know-how, infrastructure,        same region. Does this not mean competition in
a large number of trained volunteers, specialist con-     your own house?
sultants and logistics in order to immediately be able
to provide fast and effective help in all Indian dis-
tricts as soon as it receives the money for a concrete
assignment from overseas in the case of a disaster.
Thus, they were able to provide excellent work
already in the earthquake in Gujarat and now within
                                                          W           e do not see this as competition, but as
                                                                      a useful and necessary supplement.
                                                                      Thousands of people have allowed them-
                                                          selves to be concerned by the plight of the people
                                                          affected by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean and
two days had teams in all regions affected by the         made generous donations to the Diakonie
flood. Their philosophy is that they first talk to the    Emergency Aid for the support of the tsunami vic-
persons affected and the local authorities to jointly     tims in the phase of acute relief and rehabilitation.
determine the concrete needs and according to this        Now long-term aid is necessary for the principle
orientate the plans for their help. After talks with      improvement of the situation of the people in the
the people on the coast they decided for example at       affected regions. Attention must be paid that
their request not to have any stone houses built,         enough money is made available at the right place.
but to provide materials for the families, whose          Humanitarian relief organisations such as the
houses were dragged away by the flood, so that            Diakonie Emergency Aid cannot provide such aid in
they can build their houses again in a traditional        the long term: They are required to make the funds
method of construction. This way, the people can          entrusted to them available within two, maximum
take control of their own lives again and come out        three years to the rehabilitation projects.
of the depression, the helplessness and the waiting.      Those who wish to support the people in the coun-
This relief is very close to the people and places the    tries affected by the flood in the long term – and in
focus on them – from the planning phase on. In the        fact the flood victims as well as the people living in
event of a disaster the partners approach us with a       poverty, who can expect even less support from
project application. Together we decide which help        their governments in the next few years than in the
in the given situation is useful and (financially) fea-   past and thus are affected directly by the conse-
sible. For the duration of the project we confer          quences of the flood – he/she should now give his
repeatedly in order to be flexible in reacting to pos-    donation to the development organisations. We ask
sible necessary changes. In addition, the partners        therefore for target-tied donations for the work of
keep us regularly informed about the progress of          »Brot für die Welt«.
the projects. In exceptional cases we assign experts
to support partners, who above all support the            Q: Is it possible to apply to Bread for the World
coordination of relief measures.                          to work as a development worker?

Q: How does the Diakonie Emergency Aid ensure             No. With »Bread for the World« we also work with
that the donated money does actually arrive?              experienced, local partners. We do not assign any
                                                          employees overseas. Anyone who would like to work
Our partners are obliged towards us to provide            in the development cooperation, should contact the
proof of the use of the donations. This takes place       Church Development Service [Evangelischer
through regular reports, which are examined by us         Entwicklungsdienst, EED]. This organisation provides
accordingly.                                              experts for different tasks in countries all over the
                                                          world. These countries do not need unqualified
Q: If you cooperate a lot with churches do only           development helpers. There is no lack of availability
Christians receive the aid?                               and the willingness of people to help in Asia. On
                                                          the contrary: the help offered by the population in
No. All of our partners help according to the princi-     the affected countries is considerable and can hard-
ple: »Everyone in need receives the help that he/she      ly be coordinated by the relief organisations on site.
needs« – independent of sex, ethnical race, religion      This will not improve if foreign people also come
or church affiliation, political attitude, etc. This is   without knowledge of the place nor the language. ■
how Jesus acted. Our help is not tied to any condi-                                                                    7
tions either.


                                                                                             EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                          Tsunami Special

    »We were there before and                               In Indonesia UEM paired up with the »Association
                                                            of Churches and Missions in South-Western
    we will stay«                                           Germany (EMS)« to work together with
                                                            »Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI)«. PGI
    EMW promotes long-term help in south Asia               opened a task-force centre at Banda Aceh airport
                                                            to coordinate the work of the different relief organ-
    Germans have donated the marvellous sum of mil-         isations.
    lions of Euros to help to meet the victims’ material
    needs after the tsunami. Emergency relief has           »We know the people well, even the indigenous
    reached many people, but sometimes it seems that        peoples. Therefore we know their needs«, Bishop
    help has poured preferably into areas that could        Hemant Hansda of the »Gossner Church« in the
    easily be reached by international reporters. Now,      north of India said. With the help of »Gossner
    several months after the disaster, not everyone is      Mission« in Germany, who had been their partners
    happy with the way the money is being spent.            for decades, help was organised quickly.
    »Without knowledge of infrastructure, living reality
    or local customs, expatriates have showered money
    on individuals and communities«, said one local
    helper.

    But some organisations – for example the members
                                                            N        ow several months have passed and many
                                                                     international relief organisations have
                                                                     pulled out of the area. Reporters are seldom
                                                            seen. Local specialists are ready to work. After the
                                                            greatest needs have been met, churches are recon-
    of the »Association of Protestant Churches and          structing facilities and people are trying to return
    Missions in Germany« [Evangelisches Missionswerk,       to a life as normal as possible.
    EMW] – work differently. Not depending on their
    own knowledge, EMW members have been using              For many years the »North-Elbian Centre for World
    well known channels to distribute material aid:         Mission and Church World Service« in the North of
    their long-term counterparts in Asia are local          Germany has had friends in the Lutheran churches
    churches and church organisations. This is done         of Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Now they are
    without looking out for reporters’ cameras. While       helping their brothers and sisters in Christ in the
    some relief organisations flew in, distributed the      south of India to restore their fishermen’s fleet,
    goods on a first-come first-serve basis and pulled      working together as has been done for years.
    out again, German missions had already been there
    for years working with local churches.                  More joint ventures are being set up in Germany
                                                            among EMW members: the Evangelical Lutheran


    E      MW members didn’t flee from the waters.
           They stayed, channelling aid from Germany
           to their well known friends within the local
    community. For years they have been cooperating
    with churches in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka or
                                                            Mission in Lower Saxony (ELM) will pair up with
                                                            Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Department for World
                                                            Mission (LMW) to coordinate the work in India
                                                            between their mutual partners.

    Indonesia, countries that were affected by the          This is necessary to help the churches overseas to
    flood. German Missions first supported the initial      support their members to help themselves. For the
    action plans local churches were implementing.          Asian Christians the task is immense: people need
    »We were impressed to see how our local friends         permanent houses, farmland has to be regained,
    are putting their plan into action«, Wilfried Neusel,   church buildings, schools and hospitals have to be
    Vice Moderator of »United Evangelical Mission           rebuilt. What the water destroyed within minutes
    (UEM)« said on his return from Sri Lanka early in       will take years to be restored. Churches are willing
    January. Together with the Mission Board of the         to help, and their long-term German partners will
    German Methodist Church, UEM in Wuppertal               not leave them to themselves. EMW members are
    joined up with their partner to meet the challenge      prepared to stay, hoping that Christians in Germany
    on the island together. With the help of the local      will continue to support the effort with their dona-
    Methodist church ten lorries full of urgent relief      tions. ■
    goods were sent into the areas most affected by the
    flood.
8

    EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
»The flood in Asia can change                           hope that this attitude is serious and lasts, that it
                                                        holds more than just sudden sympathy or for exam-
development policies«                                   ple a new conservative Zeitgeist. This is where a
                                                        good debate about development policies begin. We
The EED CEO Dr. Konrad von Bonin comments on            should participate in and promote this debate. As
the German debate on the relief after the               church organisations we may have a specific role,
seaquake                                                beyond our professionalism. ■

There has never before been so much talk or so
much written about questions of development as in
the weeks since December 26, 2004. And this was
                                                        Human rights at risk in
often done at a certain level and seriously. The        countries affected by
countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India
have come closer to the people in Germany. And the
                                                        the flood
willingness to help is overwhelming. It is hard to
believe how often one is asked in these days how        Bread for the World supports civil societies in
one can make a useful donation. The lack of trans-      Asia
parency and the competition with the donation
associations do not make it easy for many people.       Bread for the World [Brot für die Welt] fears that
What does this mean for church development              human rights are in danger in the countries of Asia
organisations? I believe at least three things:         affected by the seaquake. »The world community
                                                        tends in view of the destruction to benevolence
Firstly: It is important that we as a development       towards the governments of south Asia«, explained
fund do not get arrogant. Of course e.g. the EED-       the director of the evangelical aid associations,
Desk »Tourism Watch« has considered questions for       Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel. The need of the giver
years such as: Does tourism help the poor? Under        nations to implement the funds for the victims of
which conditions and under which conditions not? Is     the flood quickly could be misunderstood and mis-
it cynical to spend your holidays where poor people     used in the affected countries as a free ticket for
live in the neighbourhood? Or now with the victims?     corruption and infringement of human rights.
Such discussions can now be conducted again after
completely different experiences. But with patience.    Slum clearances in Mumbai

Secondly: It is also important that we remind others    From the Indian major city of Mumbai for example a
that help is only effective if it is long-term and if   Bread for the World-partner, who has been fighting
the people concerned are enabled to take control of     for the rights of the residents in the slums for
their own future. To fly in and out again quickly, is   decades, reports of large scale and brutal clearance
not the right way.                                      actions in slum regions. More than 30,000 huts have
                                                        already been destroyed. Altogether around 200,000


T       hirdly: Help may not become a business, nei-
        ther an instrument for other political aims.
        The chief editor of the German Newspaper
»Die Zeit« Michael Naumann said it short :
                                                        people have been affected by the clearances.
                                                        »Apparently the municipal authorities are taking
                                                        advantage of the situation, in which the whole
                                                        world is looking at the disaster-hit regions in south
Development aid is also loving thy neighbour. The       Asia in order to drive out the people from the slums
Journalist writes in the »Zeit« of January 6, 2005:     without causing a big stir«, explained Füllkrug-
»If plight does not teach you to pray any more then     Weitzel. This example shows that the civil societies
it should make us understand that development aid       in the countries affected by the tsunami have to be
is also concern for our fellow human being – just as    given special support and strengthened in order to
particularly the poorest among the victims were         prevent the governments and municipal authorities
willing to help their guests from Europe in the         undertaking political or commercial »land clearance
worst plight«.                                          projects« in the shadow of the flood.

That is after times of emphasising individualism,       Strengthen human rights
boundless freedom and Shareholder Value a differ-                                                                        9
ent attitude which can be found in the newspapers,      »The victims of the flood need support in asserting
on television and on radio at the moment. Let us        their land and settlement rights in the reconstruc-
                                                                                                                     ▲




                                                                                           EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                           Tsunami Special

     tion« emphasised Füllkrug-Weitzel. At the same
     time, however, the people inland who were affect-
     ed indirectly have to be supported in being able to
     defend themselves again infringements of human
     rights. »It must not happen that the poor people in
     these countries are now segregated even more by
     their governments or put under more pressure
     than before the flood«, says Füllkrug-Weitzel.
     Therefore, development organisations such as
     Bread for the World now in particular have to sup-
     port their long-term partners not just at the
     coastal regions, but also in the inland regions of
     the affected countries. ■


                                                             »The children have to have something to look forward to«
                                                             (photo: Hege Opseth/ACT International)
     Indonesia: The nightmares of
     the children
     Holidays at last. The ten-year old Iqbal is up early.
     His friends are already playing on the beach.
     Laughing they run over the white sand and splash
     water at each other. »What a wonderful day«, Iqbal
                                                             A       hmad Sofian knows what he is talking
                                                                     about. For years he has been representing
                                                                     the interests of disadvantaged children with-
                                                             in the framework of PKPA. PKPA maintains in
                                                             Medan in North Sumatra a centre for street chil-
     thinks and blinks at the sun. It is December 26,        dren, offers them medical and psychological care
     2004 on Uleele Beach, a fishing village on the          and helps them to integrate into society again. »The
     coast of Aceh, Indonesia. Shortly before 8 o’clock      tsunami disaster poses great challenges to us«,
     in the morning local time the earth moves. The          explains Sofian, who left for Aceh with his employ-
     people hurriedly leave their houses, run confused,      ees immediately after the flood. A second team has
     do not know where to go. Suddenly, the Earth            now begun their work on the island of Nias. The
     swallows the sea to spit it out again with gigantic     PKPA employees know that they have to provide
     force and bury everything under the tides: Houses,      long-term assistance to the people in the region.
     boats, fields and the people, who cannot run away
     fast enough.                                            Mobile library planned

     Traumatised children                                    Supported by Bread for the World and the Diakonie
                                                             Emergency Aid PKPA is currently distributing food,


     I   qbal survives. The boy runs as fast as his feet
         can carry him, until he reaches a higher strip of
         land. His parents and his brother drown. He
     does not know what happened to his friends. »The
     children are especially traumatised«, explains
                                                             drinking water and other relief goods to families
                                                             affected in Aceh and Nias. In addition, the plans are
                                                             running at full speed for the reconstruction. Two
                                                             schools are to be rebuilt on the island of Nias. A
                                                             mobile library is also planned for the children in the
     Ahmad Sofian, head of the Bread for the World           refugee camps of Aceh. »The children need stories
     project partner PKPA in Indonesia. Iqbal is fright-     in order to be better able to cope with their own
     ened of being in closed rooms. Sometimes he runs        traumatic experiences«, explains Ahmad Sofian.
     around, laughs and plays. Then he despairs again.       Iqbal in any case is looking forward to having
     He has nightmares. »The children have to have           something to read. »I want to learn«, he says.
     something to look forward to again«, says Sofian.       »Hopefully I can go back to school soon.« ■
     »And they have to go back to school as soon as
     possible. The school gives them a hold.«


10

     EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
»Bargain holidays in tsunami                            of the costal regions. The EED is advertising for the
                                                        fact that now the opportunity should be used for a
regions are an obstacle in the                          new partnership in tourism, which is socially
aim to build up fair living                             responsible and environmentally-friendly. That this
                                                        is possible can be seen with the example of
conditions«                                             Honduras, where emergency relief and reconstruc-
                                                        tion after the hurricane Mitch was coupled with a
EED asks for a new partnership in tourism, which        clear development perspective, training and jobs
respects people’s rights and needs                      were created and long-term risks for the environ-
                                                        ment were reduced.
The Church Development Service [Evangelischer
Entwicklungsdienst, EED] warns that with an over-       »We now recommend only to travel where countries
hasty, uncontrolled reconstruction of hotel centres     and the tourist industry disclose how they wish to
the chances will be missed for a socially responsi-     care responsibly for better life conditions« says
ble and environmentally-friendly new beginning.         Heinz Fuchs from the EED desk called »Tourism
»The tourist industry and the media are giving the      Watch«. »This means to allow the population to
impression that you can help the people in              participate in the tourist development concepts for
Thailand, India and Sri Lanka already with a pack-      hotels, roads and supply systems, guarantee fair
age holiday to the regions. This debate is not hon-     working conditions and stop destroying nature
est and harms more than it helps«, Konrad von           through building. A lot of people donated money so
Bonin, CEO of the Church Development Service,           that a life in dignity will be possible in the disaster-
warns. With special prices and advertising for          hit region. Now the travel industry must make their
donations the travel industry continued the busi-       contribution.« ■
ness without learning from the crisis. The EED
emphazises that tourism as such does not improve
the conditions for the local people. Tourism is in
fact the largest economic factor in many countries,
the population however only profits to a slight
                                                        »At work from 6 in the
extent. Problematic is not just the situation of        morning until 3 o’clock
hotel employees, who in many places work without
social security, but it also concerns long-term dam-
                                                        at night«
ages: farmers have often lost their land and fisher-
men the access to the sea where holiday regions         Interview with the EED-seconded development
were created. The rise in prices often drove families   worker Regina Holle about her assignment in
to proverty and women and children to prostitu-         Banda Aceh/Indonesia
tion. And the damages to the environment are also
considerable: Hotels, new roads and numerous
prawn farms have led to the fact that in many
places the natural coast protection was destroyed
and thus also the tsunami was able to break in
without prevention. The EED partner organisation
                                                        R       egina Holle (36) comes from Berlin, is a
                                                                qualified nurse and graduate nursing teacher
                                                                and has been working as a skilled EED work-
                                                        er for one year for nursing training at YAKKUM in
                                                        Indonesia. YAKKUM (Yayasan Kristen Untuk
Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism (ECOT) is worried       Kesehatan Umum) was founded as a protestant
that now new tourist resorts will be developed too      foundation for public health in the 50’s and with 11
hasty and uncontrolled, especially in Sri Lanka and     hospitals, 18 polyclinics and gynaecology houses
on the Andaman and Nicobar. Misleading is the           and 8 community health centres is the largest
offer of leading tour operators to jointly offer        Christian health facility in Indonesia. Besides 3
package holidays and foster parentship projects         nursing schools YAKKUM operates two factories for
under the seal of «sustainable help« – without          producing cheap medication and has an emergency
making a statement on the future organisation of        relief department which operate nationwide.
the touristic core business. »Sustainable are only
programmes, which change structures – this also         Since January 5, 2005 Regina Holle has been work-
applies for tourist regions« von Bonin criticises.      ing in one of the 4 emergency assistance teams of
However, foster parentship for children or families     YAKKUM in Banda Aceh, which were set-up after                      11
alone will increase the dependency on outside help      the seaquake at the coastal towns. The emergency
without improving the perspective for the residents     assignments of church organisations are coordinated
                                                                                                                       ▲




                                                                                             EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                           Tsunami Special

     on the German side among others by the Diakonie         soap, shampoo, toothpaste and towels and lots
     Emergency Aid, assisted by the international net-       more.
     work ACT (Action by Churches Together). The EED
     questioned Regina Holle about her work on site.         The majority of people now want to rebuild their
                                                             villages and houses as quickly as possible and
     Q: What is the YAKKUM team doing in Banda               return to exactly the same place as they lived
     Aceh?                                                   before. However the government has other plans
                                                             and wants to relocate them to other towns with
     We live in Banda Aceh in a Health-Centre with a         large uniform residential blocks.
     team of 26 persons with one small bathroom and
     one bedroom. However, the lack of space is not a        YAKKUM and other local organisations want to
     problem as there is a very good atmosphere among        implement long-term concepts for the development
     our team. We do not sleep a lot: As a rule we are       of the communities together with the parties
     working from 6 in the morning until 1 to 3 o’clock      involved, which are based on the wishes of the per-
     at night.                                               sons affected and aim at giving the people a basis
                                                             for the life again so that they can go back to their


     A       lmost every day people are still coming to us
             who ask us for help for a group of refugees,
             which have not yet received any other help.
     We drive to these locations, do a stocktaking e.g.
     about the situation of the residents and their care
                                                             old professions or find a perspective for new profes-
                                                             sions.

                                                             Q: Many children have lost their relatives and
                                                             vice versa. The majority lost their home and
     situation – this includes the needs for daily items,    belongings. How do the people deal with this?
     food, soap, medicine, electricity – and orientate our
     help accordingly, based of course also on talks with    Many people do not show any feelings, but the
     the persons concerned.                                  serious nature of the trauma can be seen with the
                                                             children. Many do not talk, are depressed or aggres-
     The YAKKUM team consists of doctors, nurses and         sive. They are still frightened of the water, fright-
     nursing students. 80 per cent of the team members       ened of rain, frightened of the sea. The family or
     come from Aceh. This is especially important in         group association is now very important; it gives
     order to gain trust. We work in many places, in         people a hold. A psychiatrist and activity therapist
     which so far no help or hardly any was given. We        was involved in our previous offers for coping with
     care for the refugees one to two times a week with      trauma. In a drawing exercise in the first week,
     a »mobile health station« a team for logistics and      almost all of the children drew a mountain– as a
     one for water and sanitary problems. Because we         place of refuge against the flood. The trauma work
     come at regular intervals we distinguish ourselves      is closely linked with programmes for developing
     from the majority of organisations. If the needs for    communities.
     logistics are too big, we hand these over to large
     organisations for technical cooperation. In the field   We work e.g. in Meulaboh, another town, at which
     of water and sanitary systems we build up the           we work with 24 women’s groups, who produce
     water supply and install toilets and showers togeth-    handicrafts or make biscuits and cakes. This does
     er with the refugees.                                   not just secure the women a chance for income in
                                                             future, but is also important for overcoming the
     Q: What does the life look like at present for          trauma.
     the persons concerned? What is especially
     important now?                                          Q: YAKKUM is a Christian organisation. Is that a
                                                             problem in Aceh which is dominated by
     The acute phase is over; the health care is under-      Muslims?
     way, but the logistics, water and the sanitary
     systems are still a problem. We supervise around        Religion is a delicate subject here. Religion makes
     12 camps and two villages with several thousand         no difference for YAKKUM Emergency Unit, we sim-
     people. There is mainly enough rice, but a lack         ply want to help and the refugees see it that way
     of oil or sugar, also such daily items such as          too. Thus, we try e.g. to consider the religious needs
                                                                                                                      ▲




12

     EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
of the refugees. The prayer carpet and the Koran are     Exchange meeting about the
among the items that the people ask for and we try
to satisfy these needs. We are of the opinion that       church commitment in the
faith and spirituality particularly now have an          regions affected by the flood
important function for the refugees in order to get
healthy and process the trauma as well as get over
the bad events and losses.                               Churches, missions and aid organisations are dis-
                                                         cussing together the chances and challenges for
However, apart from the refugees our work as we          the development aid from the Churches in
are not a Muslim organisation is seen critically by      Germany
several parties and this does not necessarily make
the work easier.

Q: To what extent do the disputes between the
Indonesian military and the separatists influence
the work?
                                                         W           hat are the different measures of support
                                                                     in e.g. in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka?
                                                                     What is mostly needed in the long-term
                                                         and could be provided though the churches and local
                                                         organisations? How can we support each others ini-
                                                         tiatives? These are questions which will be discussed
We cannot act here completely free, as we hear           on an exchange meeting on March 2 invited by EED
from the people that the military applied tactics for    with regional churches, the missions, the EKD and
intimidation before the tsunami already and the          the aid organisations in Germany.
disputes between the military and rebels continue.
                                                          In the last weeks members of the congregations
Q: What impresses you most and how do you                showed great commitment, to provide financial and
personally feel about the work?                          ideal support or to create new partnerships. Critical
                                                         voices now are warning on the one hand against


I   still feel as if in a daze, sometimes I would pre-
    fer to just hide and cry for a week about what I
    have experienced, although that is not possible.
At the same time there are many positive experi-
ences: the considerable gratitude of the people, the
                                                         too much well meant help, which can also cause
                                                         damages. On the other hand there are calls for help
                                                         such as e.g. from Christian organisations in Banda
                                                         Aceh, which are not just requesting financial, but
                                                         also political help in the regions where the civil
laughing and the strength of the people, who have        population stand between the conflicting parties
and are still experiencing so much suffering, the        and refugees are not allowed to return to their vil-
children and the great team spirit. Also the good        lages.
cooperation with the large organisations and the
great interest in YAKKUM, these are the small big        Churches and church organisations play an impor-
highlights, which are the basis for each new day in      tant role in mediating conflicts, however their pos-
Aceh.                                                    sibilities are limited where there are no fully-grown
                                                         structures and hardly church members.
I am most impressed by the strength of the people
and their great solidarity to be there more for the      In a first exchange meeting of the church organisa-
others than themselves. And then I am also touched       tions in Germany it will be discussed, which initia-
by the enourmous contradiction between the mag-          tives are underway for supporting the people on site,
nificently beautiful nature and the total destruc-       but also, which chances and challenges there are.
tion. To drive through the destroyed regions is a        The exchange meeting also serves as preparation of
very brutal experience each time again, for which        the development conference of the churches and
there is no comparison. The 12 km from the sea to        organisations, which the EED and Bread for the
Banda Aceh look like complete devastation. There         World are organising on March 14–16 in Meissen.
where previously 30 villages stood, everything has       The issue this year is »church partnership pro-
been flattened. Life was completely eradicated. ■        grammes overseas«. ■



                                                                                                                          13
                                                                                                                      ▲




                                                                                            EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                           Tsunami Special

     Flood in Asia –
     Where was God?
     Wolfgang Huber on German television pro-
     gramme »Studio Friedmann«

     Q: Where was God when the people were struck
     by the water?



     G        od was hopefully so close to the people
              that he was able to support those who
              experienced this terrible disaster in a man-
     ner which we cannot describe. I firmly believe that
     God is on the side of those who suffer, not on the
     side of the force so that I can trust that also those
     who had to experience this, also their relatives and
     those who survived, can take refuge in God from
     this terrible event.

     Q: 200,000 people are no longer able to take
     refuge in God, they are dead. Who is to blame
     for their deaths?

     The force of nature is to blame for their deaths, but
     also the manner in which we treat nature, also the
     fact that a warning, which in many cases would
     have been possible, was not given.
                                                             »I firmly believe that God is on the side of those who suffer«
     Q: But nature also has something to do with God         (photo: epd)
     and the self-conception of the three monotheist
     world religions, thus also Christianity, states that    Q: But these natural processes, which you
     God is almighty. Is God also responsible for this       describe, they are also determined and controlled
     disaster?                                               by God. If one believes in God, the Almighty,
                                                             who left his mark on this Earth and the people,
     It is my firm belief that one should not imagine the    who brought everything to life, then surely God
     omnipotence of God in such a way that God takes         is also responsible for these events.
     away all evil and everything inconceivable from life
     beforehand. He neither does this for you, nor for me    My faith does not cover the fact that God controls
     with regard to the darkest depths, which also occur     and determines every single process of nature, that
     in our lives and neither does he do this with regard    is not my conception of God’s almighty power. But
     to the course of nature. We are not living in para-     my idea of God’s almighty power is that it also
     dise yet, we are living in the world which has not      includes the contradiction against that suffering,
     been saved yet.                                         which exists in this reality, the unredeemed reality.

     Q: Why did it happen?                                   Q: Let us simply imagine we are one of these
                                                             200,000 and we scream: God, God, why have


     I   t happened because Earth plates pushed against
         each other, because this caused a seaquake and
         because people were standing unsuspecting on
     the shore and had no warning.
                                                             you left me? Why did God leave this one person
                                                             200,000 times?

                                                             There was not even an explanation for that on the
                                                             cross of Jesus. There is no explanation for this.
14                                                           There is only the hope, even in suffering, that God
                                                             wants life and not death.
                                                                                                                              ▲




     EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
Q: Is there such a thing as God’s punishment?           understanding for people who are pushed to this
                                                        despair and I would like to accompany them in this
There is God’s punishment. But how personal guilt       despair.
and God’s punishment stand in relation to each
other I can always only refer to my own person,         Q: If God could not even have the power to cor-
because namely the confession of my sin and the         rect the evil in life, we as human beings would
realisation that God will judge this my sin, belongs    have to live with the fact that the evil cannot be
together and independent of this I cannot say           eradicated.
about someone else: He will now be punished by
God.

Q: You said further, and I quote: Not the
almighty power of God, but visions of omnipo-
tence by modern man are shown their limits
                                                        W           e also have to live with the fact that evil
                                                                    will be a part of this world until the Day
                                                                    of Judgement, until this world is saved
                                                        from evil and this will not take place today, nor
                                                        tomorrow either, as much as we try repeatedly in the
through this event. Who punishes whom and               light of God being close to us to fight evil. But we
why those people who died?                              will not be able to create a world without evil. It is
                                                        promised, but we do not yet live in this saved world.
I do not say that these people are punished. It is an
inconceivable fate, however ...                         Broadcasted on January 6, 2005
                                                        N24 holds the rights to the programme, copy
Q: Is it a useless death?                               through the church office of the EKD ■

It is a useless death. I see no sense in this death,
not even a sense by saying it is God’s punishment.

Q: But how can you face someone who has faith,
                                                        »Give a light of consolation«
who is mourning the one he has lost, how can
you comfort him by saying that this death was           Intercessions at the lamentation service on
useless?                                                January 2 in Frankfurt

Maybe more than if I say to him: This death was         »Endless suffering« was the title of the televised
God’s punishment. Maybe it is more honest to say        church service which took place in Nikolai Church
to him: I see no sense in this death. I am mourning     of Frankfurt on January 2. During the service emer-
with you that a life has been interrupted and I try     gency counsellors of Frankfurt Airport reported
to have faith that there is a future for this life      about their work with tourists returning home, of
beyond death.                                           whom many had lost relatives or friends. The ser-
                                                        mon was given by the Chairman of the Council of
Q: Can you understand that people lose their            the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop
faith in God after these or other disasters?            Wolfgang Huber. Members of the Indonesian Perki
                                                        Community described the situation in their commu-
I can understand that. I can understand that people     nity. Below we document the intercession from this
have doubts about God in such disasters and also        lamentation service.
despair and I would like them to see in me a person
who accompanies them in this desperation.               Pastor Dieter Roos: God, unimaginable is the suffer-
                                                        ing of millions of people. The wounds caused will
Q: Do you also have your doubts about God in            not heal for many years. Give them a light of com-
such situations?                                        fort and hope in the darkness of their suffering.
                                                        After the flood you promised the people a future.
Yes, I also have my doubts about God in such situa-     You gave Noah and the people a sign of reconcilia-
tions.                                                  tion with the rainbow. We pray: let the people rec-
                                                        oncile after this disaster. Give everyone an open
Q: Do you despair in such situations of God?            heart over all borders and prejudices that the peo-
                                                        ple concerned receive the help they need. We pray...              15
I am grateful for the fact that I have not yet
                                                                                                                      ▲




despaired of God in my life. But I have a very deep     Congregation: Hear our prayers.

                                                                                            EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                           Tsunami Special / Germany


     B       eate Schwartz-Simon: God, I pray for the
             women and men working for different
             organisations who left their homes to help
     the victims. God be with them with all your might.
     Do not let them see and experience more than they
                                                               »Bread for the victims of the
                                                               flood«
                                                               German protestant rectory Costa del Sol remem-
     can bear. Give them the certainty that they can           bers the victims of the fatal flood
     help, even if the disaster is unimaginable and the
     suffering innumerable. Give them courage, when            During the first service in the New Year 2005 the
     they see they cannot help. God, help them to let go       German protestant congregation in Marbella
     when they have fulfilled their task. Let them find        remembered the victims of the flood disaster.
     their way back into their life, healthy in body and
     soul. We pray...

     Congregation: Hear our prayer.

     Pastor Druschke-Borschel: God, I bring before you
                                                               I   n the church room El Angel the rainbow colours
                                                                   made of delicate chiffon cloths were hung up
                                                                   on the altar. Candles stood on the beams to
                                                               remember the victims and those that were missing.
                                                               »Our God comes and does not keep silent«. With
     everyone who is now hurt in body and soul; those          these words from the Bible, Pastor Friedhelm Peters
     who have lost people close to them; those who             reminded of God’s promise after the flood, to retain
     wanted to enjoy your beautiful world and now              the Earth and to faithfully remember the people.
     experienced hell on it. God, let those who got away       The expression of mourning, silence and hope
     be grateful they were rescued. Give them people,          repeatedly finds fulfilment for Christians before
     who understand and support them. Strengthen our           God. The lamentations and questions of why were
     hope that those whom the sea took away from us,           brought before God in the intercession and the vic-
     are not lost, but are well with you in eternity. Give     tims remembered. Members of the congregation
     us the faith that your love is greater than all           mentioned these thoughts in prayers.
     threats and that we – the living and the dead –
     remain in this love. We pray ...                          The collection was determined for the victims of the
                                                               flood. One member of the congregation, a baker, had
     Congregation: Hear our prayer.                            baked »bread for the victims of the flood« that was
                                                               purchased eagerly. All of the proceeds were donated.
     Frank Madrikan: Lord, our loving God, we would like       The »bread for the victims of the flood« campaign, in
     to pray for all those in the countries hit by the dis-    which the German Catholic community also took
     aster: in Indonesia, but also in all other countries of   part, will be continued until the end of February. An
     Asia and Africa, in which there was destruction and       amount of 1,595 Euro was collected as offering in
     death. Help those who survived to come to terms           the service. And the good ideas did not stop. The
     with their fear of a new quake and a new tidal            owner of a finca donated lemons, which were sold
     wave. They fear a new disaster and that makes their       the same way. By the middle of February 2,738.50
     situation even more uncertain and worse than it is        Euro were collected this way.
     already. Give the people the strength to clear the
     debris and slowly step by step rebuild their liveli-
     hoods again. We pray to you for the governments,
     give them the energy so that help can be given
     quickly to those who need help. We also pray: give
                                                               New from spring on –
     the people in these countries hope and confidence         the Bulletin Newsletter
     once again. Be with them so that in all their suffer-
     ing they feel your love and are given the strength        News from the EKD – just a mouseclick away
     again to continue. We pray....

     Congregation: Hear our prayer.   ■
                                                               T      atapudi is a Theology student in Southern
                                                                      India. In an e-mail to the editorial staff, the
                                                                      27-year-old described how important the
                                                               information from Germany is to him. Jorge lives in
                                                               El Salvador. He is planning to visit Europe and has
16                                                             already started learning German for his visit. At the
                                                                                                                        ▲




     EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                 Germany

moment it’s still easier for him to read the EKD        to produce the solution. Additional information
news in English, however. Heather emigrated to          sites and links to more detailed passages in the
Canada more than fifty years ago. The Bulletin          Bible make the puzzle easier.
makes it possible for her to keep in touch with the
Evangelical Church in her native country.

To be able to keep Tatapudi, Jorge, Heather and all
the other readers of the EKD Bulletin around the
world better up-to-date with EKD topics as well as
                                                        O       nline games
                                                                are a special
                                                                attraction on
                                                        the Internet site of the
                                                        EKD. »They present the
services and actions, we will be presenting the new     Bible in a lively and
Bulletin Newsletter per e-mail from May onwards.        creative manner and
In future, a digital circular will be sent around the   also arouse the curios-
world from the Church Office in Hanover eight           ity of younger players
times a year or around every six weeks. Brief para-     about stories from the
graphs will provide a summary of what topics peo-       Bible« says Tom O.
ple in the EKD are currently dealing with. Those        Brok, Head of the Internet department of the EKD.
who want to read more can click on a link to more       The games are especially popular for use in religious
detailed texts on the Internet. An attachment pro-      studies lessons and in the work with catechumens,
vides the complete texts for download.                  reports Brok. »Jacob’s Journey« is already the tenth
                                                        game on www.ekd.de. It was produced in tried and
The printed version will of course continue to be       tested cooperation with the cartoonist and web
distributed and will summarise the Newsletter sub-      designer Rainer Holweger from Tübingen.
jects in four issues every year. Those who would
prefer to change over to the digital service can sub-   Those who do not just wish to go on the pilgrimage
scribe to the newsletter immediately under              virtually should take part in the contest for »Jacob’s
www.ekd.de/bulletin. If you are interested, just        Journey« by April 29. The best player wins a trip on
enter your e-mail address and you will receive the      Jacob’s route to Santiago de Compostela. ■
up-to-date EKD news with the next issue – free of
charge, of course. ■

                                                        Service for young journalists
»Jacob’s journey« – the slight-                         Social Service Agency is planning an article
ly different pilgrimage                                 service in the Internet

EKD presents new online game                            The Social Service Agency [Diakonisches Werk] of
                                                        the EKD is planning an article service in the


J    acob’s life was turbulent, as reported in the
     Book of Genesis: Disputes about inheritance,
     jealousy dramas, escape and finally reconcilia-
tion are just some elements. Exciting material for a
new online game for the Internet work of the
                                                        Internet, which offers editorial offices of school and
                                                        youth newspapers contributions and illustrative
                                                        material on topics related to diaconia which are
                                                        relevant to youths free of charge. The project
                                                        financed by the media fund of the EKD thus brings
Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), which can be       diaconia’s topics into the schools and addresses a
played under www.ekd.de/jakobsweg. One of the           target group, which is still open for concepts for
prizes will be a pilgrimage on Jacob’s route in         life. Through the editorial offices of the school
Spain.                                                  newspapers at the same time potential up and
                                                        coming journalists can be reached, who will
The players are presented six sequences of Jacob’s      remember diaconia as a positive term and as a
life. The background is described in short text pas-    competent partner.
sages and by way of drawings, which in the end
lead to one question. For each correct answer the       The articles are especially designed in terms of lan-
participants receive a word syllable, which at the      guage and content to suit the target group of the                17
end of the game have to be put in the right order –     13 to 19-year olds and are oriented in their extent
                                                                                                                     ▲




                                                                                           EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                           Germany

     to the usual formats of school newspapers. The          midget and has produced a 25-minute feature
     contributions can be taken over unchanged or serve      about her life. She was awarded the first prize in
     as a basis for own articles. Additional information     the category radio with the »MitMensch« [fellow
     on the respective issue is supplied by the article      human] – Media prize of the Social Service Agency
     service.                                                for young journalists.

     The main focus of the articles for the school press
     are contraception, pregnancy, drugs, alcohol and
     addiction, debts, conscientious objection to military
     service and community service, voluntary social
     year, training in social professions, youths in
                                                             I   n February the prizes were awarded at a ceremo-
                                                                 ny in Berlin’s Sony Center. After the patron, the
                                                                 Federal Minister for Family, Senior Citizens,
                                                             Women and Youths, Renate Schmidt, had arrived,
                                                             Chaiman of the Social Service Agency, Jürgen Gohde,
     mourning, telephone counselling, globalisation.         went to the lectern. He praised all entries for the
                                                             prize and thanked the participants for their commit-


     T      he editor for children and youth media in the
            press office of the Social Service Agency cre-
            ates the articles in cooperation with special-
     ist seminar papers and diaconia advice centres and
     researches photos and graphics. The offer will be
                                                             ment. »We are impressed by the submitted work of
                                                             young journalists. We received a large number of very
                                                             emotional contributions. Although as a charity we
                                                             often see many social plights – they showed us many
                                                             new aspects. We would like to thank you for this!«
     available for downloading on the homepage of the
     Social Service Agency in an own school newspaper        The work of the nominees proved that social needs
     area. A newsletter can also be subscribed to here,      can be reported in a responsible manner, stated
     which informs regularly about new issues and arti-      Renate Schmidt: »All nominees proved that social
     cles on the website.                                    issues can at the same time be informative and
                                                             presented with sensitivity. You have thus con-
     As soon as the Internet offer is ready schools and      tributed to more understanding for how problem
     school newspapers will be informed via a mailing        situations can arise and the plight of those who
     about the new service of the Social Service Agency.     find themselves in difficult life situations.« In addi-
     They will receive an information letter and a calen-    tion, she praised the prize as such. »I would like to
     dar of the article service with relevant dates. ■       congratulate the Social Service Agency of the
                                                             Evangelical Church in Germany on this foresighted
                                                             initiative and thank them that they have created
                                                             this media prize.« The Social Service Agency thus
                                                             makes an important contribution to the under-
     Federal Minister Renate                                 standing and organisation of the welfare state in
     Schmidt: »I would like to con-                          Germany. »If the »MitMensch« did not exist yet,
                                                             this media prize would have to be introduced as
     gratulate the Social Service                            soon as possible,« said Schmidt in her greeting in
     Agency on this foresighted                              the Sony Center.
     initiative.«
     Prize ceremony in Sony Center in Berlin

     »...These gazes have accompanied me my whole life
                                                             W          hen the prizes were finally presented,
                                                                        tension had increased considerably.
                                                                        Neither the nominees nor the audience,
                                                             nor the press had been informed until this time
                                                             about the winners. – Unique for a journalists’ prize
     already, for 20 years now. I am just under one          and thus a very special attraction of »MitMensch«.
     metre in height and out of the house always en
     route in my wheelchair. I cannot operate it however     First the winner in the category print was called to
     as my arms are too short ...« –                         stage: Volker Walzer from Berlin. In his feature he
                                                             describes »Hopeless in Hopefield« the life of 500
     200 guests are sitting silently and extremely spell-    people in a village in South Africa, all infected with
     bound in the Sony Sky Garden on Potsdamer Platz         HIV. The report appeared through the German press
     in Berlin. They are listening to an excerpt from the    agency [Deutsche Presse-Agentur, DPA] in various
18   radio feature of Marie-Hélène Adams. The young          daily newspapers in the summer of 2004. The jury
     journalist describes her experiences of not being       praised the time-consuming research and the excel-
     normal, but different in her feature. Ms Adam is a      lent drawing of the people concerned which was
                                                                                                                       ▲




     EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
true to detail. »Such an achievement for such a            Agency, Jürgen Gohde, and advisors from institu-
young journalist is exceptional« said the member of        tions. The poster campaign formed the background
the jury Hannelore Crolly.                                 in order to make clear the position on the issue of
                                                           pregnancy and pregnancy conflict advice.


T      he prize which was endowed with 1,000.–
       Euro in the category radio was then awarded
       to Marie-Hélène Adam, from Kuppenheim. In
her 25-minute feature Adam asks the question
»Why is it not normal, to be different?« which was
                                                           The main aim of the campaign is to effectively
                                                           inform the public that the protestant pregnancy
                                                           and pregnancy conflict advice centres exist, which
                                                           type of advice and help they offer and what distin-
broadcast by SWR 2 Eckpunkt in July 2004. The              guishes them. The most important points here are:
young journalist dealt with her own situation as a         The advice is oriented to the protection of life, the
midget, tells the story in the I form and allows her       unborn child and the born child. In case of conflict
environment to talk about her situation. The jury          the advisors respect the decision of conscience of
praised the exceptional approach and the very per-         the women.
sonal implementation of the issue of disability.
                                                           The offer of advice however does not just refer to
Finally, the category television was still left. It went   this problem situation, but in addition offers psy-
to Stefanie Undisz from Hamburg for the report             chological and social help for many different ques-
»Laughing on Prescription«. In August 2004 Undisz          tions and problems such as family planning, unful-
accompanied for the central German radio (MDR) a           filled desire to have children, conflicts in the con-
clown on a children’s cancer ward. He tries to make        text of prenatal diagnosis or financial emergency.
the young patients laugh by making fun. The young          The information campaign for this manifold offer of
journalist manages to bring the viewer closer to the       services is also important, because the Catholic
issue of cancer with children in a sensitive way. She      Church has given up the pregnancy conflict advice
takes the viewers onto the ward with the clown             laid down by law and often gives the impression
and reports about those affected without making it         that both churches had withdrawn from this advice.
appear as if they were peeping, said the chairman
of the jury, Björn Staschen.                               The campaign motif developed by the agency
                                                           Morgenstern & Kaes was distributed in a circulation
A detailed documentation is currently being pre-           of 5,000 large scale posters by poster companies
pared by the press department of the Social Service        throughout Germany. Here the German railway
Agency. Available from the end of March under:             advertisement is the biggest sponsor. The posters
mitmensch@diakonie.de ■                                    can be seen until the middle of 2005. In addition,
                                                           the motif can be seen as an electronic poster on
                                                           video walls in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart,
                                                           Frankfurt and other towns. As a further central part
                                                           of the advertising offensive an advertising cam-
»For difficult and other                                   paign has been initiated in print media nationwide.
circumstances«                                             Major public magazines have published one whole
                                                           page advertisement each.
Campaign of the protestant pregnancy advice
centres                                                    In line with the start of the campaign a nationwide
                                                           postcard action is started: In a first consignment
Help with everything to do with pregnancy, family,         120,000 postcards were distributed with the cam-
life – this is the subtitle of the actual campaign         paign motif to the protestant advice network. The
»for difficult and other circumstances«. Since the         advisors distribute these postcards for example to
end of August 2004 the two coloured posters have           doctors’ practices. There they can be given directly
been hanging all over Germany. In addition, a radio        to the persons concerned.
spot has been providing information about the offer
for advice since February 2005 in various private          The design of the poster places its bet on a picture
radio programmes.                                          language designed very aesthetic and vivid. A young
                                                           woman pauses in a considerate pose. As if to find
The prelude to the new campaign was formed on              protection with herself, she has crossed her arms in             19
August 31, 2004 in Berlin a press conference under         front of her chest. Her pose expresses vulnerability
the assistance of Chairman of the Social Service           and silent thought. You can imagine that she has
                                                                                                                        ▲




                                                                                              EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005
                           Germany

     just found out that she is pregnant, which she was        first time in many years«, explains Revd. Dethloff.
     not prepared for. Maybe she will not be able to           She supports clients going through German court
     cope with this situation now and needs support and        procedure in order to be permitted to live in
     advice.                                                   Germany. »Many a time we have been successful in
                                                               convincing the judges to reconsider cases that were


     A       women in this situation is a potential client
             of the pregnant women and pregnancy con-
             flict advice centres of the Social Service
     Agency and protestant church. However, unfortu-
     nately many women and men (!) do not know that
                                                               dismissed at an earlier stage.«



                                                               B       ut she has also experienced lost cases. »If
                                                                       the court refuses to accept the credibility of
                                                                       a person seeking asylum, Christians have to
     there are prostestant advice centres. This should         believe the applicants.« Fanny Dethloff, who chairs
     change: Since the start of the campaign a service         this working group, is certain that it is a Christian’s
     number is given on the poster, through which              responsibility to house those that are without a
     callers can find out about an advice centre nearby        home. »We encourage people of good will to open
     24 hours a day in a professional diacony callcenter.      their home to refugees.« In Hamburg the church is
     For 9 cents for each call the caller will be told the     winning private people to put a sign in their win-
     local advice centre. The number is                        dow – a purple ribbon – to say »Refugees are wel-
     +49 (18 03) 53 53 55. ■                                   come here«. Bishop of Hamburg Maria Jepsen
                                                               strongly supports this project. Local churches in the
                                                               NEK have been doing this for decades: since 1987,
                                                               42 families and single persons have lived on church
                                                               premises for various periods of time in the north of
     Churches: Places of Hope                                  NEK. Throughout Germany many refugees found
                                                               shelter in different perishes.
     Living undercover in Germany
                                                               A new publication has just appeared on this issue.
     There are more than one million people without a          The Association of Protestant Churches and
     passport, ID or valid residence permit living in          Missions in Germany (EMW), fully aware of the
     Germany. Escaping from wars or poverty, many of           many different points of view on the subject, has
     the »sans papiers« (French for »without papers«) live     published a workbook with articles in German by a
     underground in constant fear of discovery and             number of knowledgeable authors (including Revd.
     deportation. In Germany laws are stricter than in         Fanny Detloff). 4000 brochures have been printed
     most other European countries when it comes to            and most of them were ordered within the first few
     recognising a foreigner as a victim of political perse-   weeks. »We may have to reprint the brochure. Many
     cution. Yet this group of people is welcomed as           people have called us to praise and comment on
     cheap labourers by various branches of industry. They     the material. The second edition will be improved,
     are often expoited, abused and mistreated because         as we have received new input from our readers,«
     employers know that there is no legal help for            says Martin Keiper, who is in charge of the publica-
     »undocumented migrants« in case of a complaint.           tion at EMW. If Germans are better informed about
                                                               the issue they can influence legislation to alter
     »Never attract attention! Keep a low profile!« is the     German laws in order to make them more humane.
     motto of the »illegals«. Having lived through trau-
     matising situations in the past, the inner resources      This is where you can order the brochure:
     of many of them have been stretched to the limit.         EMW, Normannenweg 17-21; 20537 Hamburg or
     »Many of the people seeking our help are highly in        service@emw-d.de
     danger of committing suicide«, says Revd. Fanny           See also: http://www.emw-d.de/de.root/de.publika-
     Dethloff. She is in charge of ministry to refugees in     tionen/de.publikationen.neu/index.html
     the North-Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church              Title of the brochure: »Bloss nicht auffallen« or
     (NEK). If she has the feeling that a person who           »Whatever you do, never attract attention!«. ■
     comes to her for assistance is on the brink of a
     breakdown, she moves him or her into a clandestine
     apartment paid for by the church, although this is
20   not legal. »Some of our clients find peace for the



     EKD Bulletin No. 1/2005

								
To top