Paul writes to Timothy knowing his time on this earth is limited the following words: “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!” 2 Timothy 4 v 7.


It is with these words of victory that we share with you the sad news of the passing on of our Bishop MJH Ubane, the Presiding Bishop of ELCSA, during the night of the 28th of January 2021. The Presiding Bishop worked like a whirlwind to accomplish the mission set before him, he has indeed completed his task well, he has finished his race and above all, he has kept the faith.
The Leadership of ELCSA extends her heartfelt condolences to the Ubane family and members of ELCSA.

At this time of mourning, let us respect the privacy of the family. Messages of condolences for the Presiding Bishop can be sent to the office of the Acting General Secretary at this email address:

We will update Members and Partners on any further development.

As Christians we know that we are on a journey, a journey to a better condition. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” Revelations 21 v 4.

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Bad Essen, January 3rd, 2021

Dear friends of the South African-German partnership work,

with the 2021 watch word, I would like to thank you for the many hours of voluntary work that have gone into the actions of the support of our Christian community. Those who found it difficult to help themselves and need our solidarity, they have our respect and solidarity.  I am not only just thinking of our friends in South Africa, who were very pleased with the financial resources with which they were able to alleviate concrete hardship in their communities. I also mean the time we/you have invested in our small association and in the support of the people in our communities and neighbourhoods.

We all have to learn new possibilities of contact and closeness. Perhaps some have also rediscovered the old forms of citing the daily watch word, writing letters and sending postcards. My little great-nephew is in class 3 d and wrote a letter to his great-grandfather. He reports that because of Corona he cannot play football but collect stamps. He asked his great grandfather to respond to him ?. Then he enthusiastically reports on the Christmas forest service. Only he alone with his parents and siblings. By this, the Christmas message has developed a new power. In this times of change, we need patience and creativity.

My new forms of religious practice may be experimental in terms of location and content. The watch word 2021 is an incentive for me. In any case, I would like to encourage those who are active to remain so. I would like to call out to all of us that we want to be merciful with the failures of the active. Despite our own weakness, despite failed attempts, despite impatience and rejection, despite the continuing and valid quality and hygiene standards that we may already be tired of.

Be full of mercy, even as your Father is full of mercy

(Luke 6:36)

With this in mind, I wish us all discipline, health, vitality, new closeness and mercy for our plans in 2021. Let us defy the ruthlessness of the virus and those who ignore or deny its dangers.

Sincerely, yours

Elke Eilers
Chairlady of Friends of Partnership e.V.

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

It have been big hours for a limited number of guests in the hall/church of the center of the South-East Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA-SED) in Umpumulo., Countless witnesses watched the divine service for the introduction of the new Bishop of the ELCSA_SED via Youtube, Facebook or ZOOM on the screens scattered around the world.

Two years after the election of the popular candidate, which was annulled by the then presiding bishop of the ELCSA, after grueling disputes in the ELCSA, which had to be carried out in the state courts, after suspensions of deans and pastors, Nkosinathi Myka was re-elected as bishop five weeks ago in the first ballot by the members of the Synod of the ELCSA-SED. Today he was introduced to his ministry in a festive divine service.



Friends of Partnership e.V., together with many companions, congratulates a long-time friend and companion on this high office.

If you want to watch the whole divine service, you can do so on YouTube:


Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

A summary of the last months

For months now I have been trying to present the figures available on the Internet by various institutions on the extent and effects of the Corana virus on this website (klick here) in the form of statistical graphs. First, I only had the figures of the South Africa Nation and its provinces in view. At that time, at the end of April 2020, I had already noticed two things:

  1. The figures published by the South African “National Institute for Communicable Diseases” (NICD) were, and still are, figures without reference to the population in each province.

    Source: Twitter account of NICD
    Source: Twitter account of NICD
  2. Furthermore, from today's point of view, I do not think it is sufficient to analyse only the figures from South Africa. I can imagine that there are also people in South Africa who are interested in the development of the pandemic in Germany. Although I had indicated from the beginning in the article about the Corona emergency aid to the homepage of the "Robert Koch Institute" (RKI), which has a similar task in Germany as the NICD in South Africa, I doubt that its German-language dashboard with the current figures is understandable for all interested parties.


Since 23 May, in addition to the general development of the Corana case numbers, there have also been representations of the ratio of recoveries, deaths and sufferers in the provinces of Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. These provinces have the highest infection rates in South Africa, which is certainly also related to the major cities in these provinces.

Date: 23.05.2020
Date: 23.05.2020

On June 6, 2020, I introduced a third graphic that includes the representation of infected and acutely ill people based on the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Among other things, it became clear how much these values differ from the average in South Africa, both upwards and downwards. The source of the population figures in the provinces is the official homepage of the government of South Africa.

The following day, on 7 June, I supplemented this presentation with comparative figures from Germany, for the whole of Germany, for the state of Lower Saxony and the district of Osnabrück.

Here you can see:

  1. The average infection rates in the countries of South Africa and Germany are similar. If the recognizable trend continues, South Africa will achieve a higher infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the next few days than Germany.
  2. The land of Lower Saxony is currently comparable to the province of Gauteng in terms of infection figures per 100,000 inhabitants.
  3. The province of Eastern Cape has now "overtaken" the district of Osnabrück in terms of infection rate.

The situation for acutely ill people in both nations is completely different today:

It is clear that the rate has fallen sharply in Germany, dropping below the national average of less than 10 people per 100,000 inhabitants, while in South Africa it has risen to more than 100 people per 100,000 inhabitants. The reasons for this are manifold:

  1. The virus arrived in Germany a month earlier than in South Africa.
  2. The regulations of the two governments were similar, but not the same. In addition, they have had different effects due to the different medical care capacities and the different social legislation. In Germany, for example, no child or family had to suffer hunger when the schools were closed. Nevertheless, there have also been families in Germany whose food supply has been severely restricted, as they were not aware of state support mechanisms or were not entitled or able to apply for them.
  3. Social resistance to the restriction of personal freedoms is different. There have been demonstrations in both countries calling for the restrictions to be relaxed or lifted.
  4. Finally, in both countries, we have been "supplied" with untrue news and theories (fake news) on social media.


What about the spread of COVID-19 worldwide?

I have been increasingly interested in this question in recent weeks. There is a lot of data, but unfortunately it is not always comparable. In particular, the number of acutely ill patients is often not mentioned. They are not easy to find either in the dashboard of Johns Hopkins University in the USA, nor at the RKI in Germany or the South African NICD.

Dashboard Johns Hopkins Univertity,
Dashboard Johns Hopkins Univertity,

However, all three platforms display the current levels of the total infected people, the deceased and the people who have survived the disease and thus recovered. So I calculated these figures: the sum of the infected minus the sum of the deceased minus the sum of the recovering people is the sum of the acutely ill. These figures are available for the federal states or provinces in South Africa and Germany, but also for all countries of the world. So two new maps have been created, which I present here for the first time.

The world map with the numbers of infected in (almost) all countries of our planet
Date: 25.06.2020
Date: 25.06.2020,© EILERS-Media, 2020
The world map with the numbers of the currently ill.
Date: 25.06.2020
Date: 25.06.2020,Date: 25.06.2020,© EILERS-Media, 2020

The data of these maps were transferred by me to color values on June 25 and 26, 2020. I would like to note that the scaling is similar, but not the same. I will try to match this with the planned weekly updates.

It is interesting to note that the data are sometimes very different in relation to a single country. For example, Germany has a high rate of infected persons, but only a low rate among acutely ill people. On the other hand, the number and thus the rate of acutely ill people in the USA is still very high.

In South Africa, due to the diversity of all the figures in the provinces, there is an inconsistent development, which is in the middle of the international comparison in the national values. However, these figures are significantly influenced by the high numbers of people infected in Western Cape and the sharp increase in new infections in the provinces of Gauteng, Eastern Cape and also in KwaZulu-Natal. The significant increase in the number of infections has been particularly marked since the South African government relaxed the bans and restrictions.

In Germany, too, the number of new infections increased slightly last week, after falling steadily the month before. Scientists and, in some cases, politicians are now warning of a "second wave" of the virus. In particular, the large numbers of infections in meat processing plants show us the failures of the past with cheap labour from Eastern Europe and inhumane housing conditions of these European migrant workers. The upcoming summer holidays in Europe also pose a risk that the virus will spread again if the distance rules and the mask requirement are not adhered to.

If you have critics and suggestions for further reports you can send an e-mail to me:

Greetings to all readers – and: Stay healthy and careful!

Eckhard Eilers  EE_20200420

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Corona emergency aid South Africa: People from the Osnabrück region donate more than €30,000 to people at risk of hunger in the Durban/South Africa region. In just three weeks, church circles and organizations are raising an incredible amount of money for the South African poorest of the poor!

Barometer_2020061530,171,07€ this is the current status of the donation barometer! "We have received more than twice as many donations as we had quietly hoped for," says Anke Meckfessel, who organised the appeal for donations with the partnership committees in the circuits of Bramsche and Melle-Georgsmarienhütte and the friends of partnership association e.V. The people in charge would have already counted €15,000 as a success. Because the situation due to the Corona pandemic is also very difficult here in Germany. But most people here have a home and know that they will still have enough food tomorrow.
The situation is different in South Africa: the sudden curfew has cut off earning opportunities, soup kitchens and other offers of help. Neighbourhood aid was able to absorb the loss at the beginning. But now the gardens and wallets are empty – and hunger is part of everyday life. This is reported by the South African partner communities in the province of KwaZuluNatal in agreement.

The collected money will now be transferred to the lutheran circuits in South Africa. There, those responsible will put the money into the places that a particularly large number of people have to feed. Food rations and hygiene items are purchased centrally. The otherwise closed churches serve to assemble the packages needed depending on the size of the household – and many volunteers then bring the rations, sometimes almost 100km far, to the poorest of the poor – the currently hungry.

"It almost doesn't matter: the people here are dying of hunger or on/with Corona." One member, Mrs Nellie Luthuli, of the Partnership Committee in Durban sums up the situation. She continued: "Winter is here now, the number of infections continues to rise and on – we don't know what it will be like in three to four months."

That is why the circuits in Osnabrück region have decided not to close the donation barometer "We suspect that we want to give another sum to South Africa in the European autumn to provide further support and support our partners so that the worst can hopefully be prevented." This is how the patron of the appeal for donations, Superintendent Hannes Meyer-ten Thoren, summarizes the action.

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Friends of Partnership: General Annual Meeting on 6th June 2018

Memory of deceased members

The general meeting commemorates the deceased members Ernst-August Gausmann (Barkhausen Rabber) and Wolfgang Striesche (Bennien). Both members have supported the partnership work for many years.

New board elected

In its general meeting, the association elected a new board on June 6th, 2018 and rethought the awarding of the funding. The board has been elected for the next 2 years:
1.    Chair: Elke Eilers (Bad Essen Parish)
2.    2nd chair: Henning Enge (Melle-Petri Parish)
3.    Scripture: Susanne Storck (Ahrenshorst Parish)
4.    Cashier: Simone Koch (Ahrenshorst Parish)

The general meeting thanked Rev. ret. Duscha for his great energy, which he has invested in board work for so many years (photo). Together with Eckhard Eilers Rev. Duscha will continue to design the Friends of Partnership newsletter.

New funded projects

Pastor Duscha reported on his visit to the partner circuits in South Africa in October/November 2017. Afterwards the project Bishopstowe was discontinued by the South African side. Friends of Partnership regretted this step very much, as initial progress was evident. It was also regretted that the investments for the development of the site by the Diakonisches Werk in city and district Osnabrück were lost. Due to the closure of the Bishopstowe project and due to the good experience with the Bursery Fund, the General Assembly, at the request of the Board, decides on the following new rules for awarding the funding:
"In future, the association will promote various projects in ­South Africa and Germany. For this purpose, the Executive Board is commissioned to develop criteria for the approval of project applications received and to apply them provisionally. At the next general meeting (June 2019), the members will discuss the criteria catalog and the experiences made and vote on the list of criteria. The maximum subsidy amount should not exceed € 1,000 per project."

The Executive Board is currently working on the eligibility criteria. Irrespective of this, we would like to ask you all for grant applications in order to gain an overview. From now on, all parishes in South Africa and Germany can send project applications to Friends of Partnership through their parish councils. Requests for strengthening of faith, social contacts between parishioners or parishes, applications for social integration of marginalized groups or initiatives against racism will receive special attention in accordance with the statute of Friends of Partnership. Applications for construction measures will currently not be considered. The precise award criteria will be officially announced by the Board following its meeting in January 2019, through the partnership bodies of the circuits and partner parishes, as well as the Friends of Partnership website. Please send the applications with name and contact details of the project management to the mail address of the chairlady:

Bad Essen, 16th December, 2018

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Dear friends of the partnership work,
The last 12 months have passed very fast. Our intense life in the north and south has filled the days. Did the annual watch word 2018 fulfilled us?

GOD says:
I will give to the thirsty
the springs of the water of life
– as a gift.

The Revelation 21,6

Somehow we have remained "thirsty". The desert of missing humanity and the veld fires of war, displacement, corruption and hunger are spreading again. Did we actually think in the "good years" that we could control or even control injustice and strife? Maybe, they just took a break and we did not influence them? To be a Christian, to be a Lutheran Christian, is and remains a challenge.
I admit that sometimes I am very ­tired about the efforts my conviction sets on me. And then there comes a year-long watch word for 2019 on the plan, which calls me again actively to act:

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace an pursue it.

Psalm 34,14

I should not only seek, find, promote and preserve peace. No, I should chase after him. Does peace, the peace of justice, run away from us? Is something missing that we had already? Are we too slow or too tired to hold it? Don't we have enough strength and energy to shape it? Do we point out the discord, which does not emerge consistently enough through ­false allegations, disinformation and corruption? GOD, does our faith in Jesus Christ and belonging to the Lutheran Church give us the permission or even the commission to become active? How much democratic disobedience do we have to apply as Lutheran Christians to chase after those who disturb peace?
Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple because they deeply disturbed the peace of the church. He himself has shown us that there are values for which we must actively participate, even if things become uneasy and uncomfortable for us.
Let's stay on the ball and fulfill our mission. To chase peace means not to give a meter of space to those­ sowing the seeds of strife. It remains true: Peace arises through justice. Racism, aggression and corruption lead to strife. God grant us in 2019 the strength and per­severance to chase after His peace and the wisdom to be consistent and emphatic at the right moment.
Elke Eilers, Chairlady

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Good news in December 2018: Our newest Friends-of-Partnership-newsletter No. 18 is online now. On 18 pages we tell what happened in matters of lutheran church partnerships of Bramsche circuit, Durban circuit, Melle-Georgsmarienhütte circuit, Pirna circuit and Umngeni circuit. Your can download the pdf-file just here: FOP_Newsletter_18

Enjoy this new edition and send your comment to elke(at) or h.duscha(at) or eckhard.eilers(at)

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.
Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Ernst-August Gausmann died yesterday,

After a long fight against illness, our friend and member of „friends of partnership“, Mr. Ernst-August Gausmann, died yesterday in an age of 71 years. We are mourning together with the Gausmann family.

DSC_8985Ernst-August was very much engaged in our lutheran church. Since long time he was a voluntary worker in his home parish Barkhausen-Rabber. He was a member of the parish council and represented his parish in the synods of the former Melle-circuit and in Bramsche circuit. Since 2013, he has been the chairman of the Bramsche circuit synod. The last five years, he was additionally a member of the Lutheran Church of Hanover to represent the Osnabrück reagion.

Ernst-August got an education as a lay preacher in our church and helped the pastors with services in many parishes and old-age-homes. His very interest was on the history of „his“ home church, St. Kathrine in Barkhausen, which is one of the oldest churches in the region with roots which are more than 1000 years old.

Ernst-August Gausmann had (not only) a special view on the partnership relation between Barkhausen-Rabber parish and Chatsworth parish in Durban circuit. He was a member of the Melle circuit partnership committee from 2007 till 2012 and the same in the circuit partnership committee of Bramsche from 2013 till yesterday and he represented his parish in the membership meetings of „friends of partnership“ with high engagement.

When he visited Chatsworth in 2012, he was fully “enlighted“ for the churches partnership and helped to revive this parish relation and made it (together with the friends in Chatsworth) a living relation. He was in the parish team to prepare the delegation visit from Chatsworth in June 2014. He planned to visit Chatsworth again early this year, but had to cancel he trip shortly before the start because of his illness.

We have lost a brave and strong co-worker for Gods work in this one-world.

From South Africa Nathi Myka, Dean of Umngeni circuit, wrote: “Condolences to the bereaved family and to all who moarn his death. May he rest in peace.”

The chairman of the Durban circuit partnership committee and the co-ordinating partnership committee of Durban and Umngeni circuit, Mr. Khumalo wrote: “Condolences to the family friends and the church especially the Bramsche circuit. May he rest in peace.”

2012 10 02_3 Chatsworth Chatsworth_1 DSC_3492



Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.

Before year's end, the second newsletter of Friends of Partnership has been published. It contains again a lot of information about the association and meetings of circuits and parishes in the second half of 2016. Further on you find reports about  events in all the circuits Bramsche, Durban, Melle-Georgsamrienhütte, Osnabrück, Pirna and Umngeni.

If you like you can download this new edition right here. You find it also under documents.

Please feel free to share this site with your friends and partners by using your favoured network shown below.