• Pray for the Ghanaian church to develop a missions vision for the unreached villages of the north and beyond.
• Pray for those who claim to be Christian but who do not have an authentic faith to be transformed by the power of the true gospel.
• Pray for the rapid spread of Islam to be thwarted.
As the first black African country to gain independence from European rule, the Republic of Ghana today is a country relatively free of internal conflicts with a population that includes many diverse ethnic and religious groups. The former British colony known as Gold Coast has achieved this in part due to a reasonable constitution and a strong educational system that has bridged ethnic and religious divides. Bordered by Cote d'Ivoire and Togo in West Africa and with a coastline along the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana has substantial natural resources. Lake Volta in eastern Ghana is the largest artificial lake in the world, and provides electrical power from the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River.
Ghana's independence in 1957 was followed by a time of corruption and a series of military coups. A new constitution in 1992, however, established a democratic government and Ghana has transitioned successfully to a democratic system. Gold, prominent in Ghana's political and economic past, continues its economic influence today. Ghanaian cocoa production, second only to Cote d'Ivoire, timber products, and recently discovered oil reserves are also generating income. This well-run country is often used as an economic and political model for reform in Africa.
Christian missionary work began in Ghana in 1828. Today about 63% of Ghanaians call themselves Christians, yet many are nominal in their faith. A dual spirituality influenced by traditional African religions challenges much of the church. The strong Muslim presence in the north of Ghana has launched an aggressive outreach to the rest of the country and is making serious inroads. Current economic struggles have put people in need and many are open to receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ghanaians under the age of 15, representing over 40% of the nation's population, are spiritually open and when reached could have a profound impact on the Ghanaian church.
Rev. Dr. Steven and Cynthia Schumacher serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Ghana, West Africa. Steven teaches courses in Lutheran theology and serves as the dean of academics and student activities at the seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) in Accra, Ghana. He also assists the ELCG with their deaf ministry efforts. Cynthia assists the ELCG as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at their seminary.
Steven is from Concordia, Mo., and his current home congregation is Zion Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Ind. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial design technology from Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, and his Master of Divinity and his doctorate from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. Steven served as a pastor at five different LCMS congregations in Northeast and Midwest United States. He served as the North Wisconsin District missionary to the deaf (1988-1993). Most recently, Steven served as the director of deaf ministry for Lutheran Friends of the Deaf (Mill Neck Family of Organizations) and as an adjunct professor teaching deaf ministry at Concordia, Fort Wayne. Steven enjoys woodworking, camping and spending time outdoors.
Cynthia was born in Chester, Ill., and her current home congregation is also Zion Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Ind. She received a bachelor’s degree in education, with an emphasis in early childhood education and English literature, from Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Neb. (now known as Concordia University, Nebraska). Cynthia enjoys sewing, crafts, gardening and reading.